How many calories are in a cup of tea with milk and Sugar?

Tea is a beloved drink for many people around the world. It can be consumed plain or flavored with additions like milk, sugar, honey, or lemon. When milk and sugar are added to tea, the beverage takes on a creamy, sweet taste that many find irresistible. However, adding caloric ingredients like milk and sugar also increases the calorie content of your cup of tea. So how many extra calories do milk and sugar add to tea?

Calories in Plain Black Tea

On its own, plain black tea has very minimal calories. An 8 ounce cup of brewed black tea has about 2 calories. The calories come from trace organic compounds and antioxidants in the tea leaves. Since these calories are negligible, plain black tea is considered a zero calorie beverage.

Green tea and herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint are also very low in calories, with around 2 calories per 8 ounce cup. So if you drink your tea plain without any additions, you can enjoy it without worrying about extra calories.

Calories in Tea with Milk

Adding milk to tea significantly increases the calorie content. How many calories depends on the type and amount of milk used.

Whole Milk

An 8 ounce cup of whole milk contains about 150 calories. If you add 2 ounces of whole milk to an 8 ounce cup of tea, that’s 75 extra calories. A splash of milk is about 1 ounce, which would add around 38 calories to your tea.

2% Reduced Fat Milk

2% milk has a slightly lower calorie content than whole milk. An 8 ounce serving contains about 125 calories. Adding 2 ounces of 2% milk to your tea would add 63 calories, while 1 ounce would add around 31 calories.

Skim Milk

Skim or nonfat milk has the fewest calories. An 8 ounce serving of skim milk has just 80 calories. Adding 2 ounces would add 40 calories to your tea, while 1 ounce would contribute around 20 calories.

Alternative Milks

Non-dairy milks vary in their calorie content. For example, 1 cup of almond milk has about 40 calories, while 1 cup of coconut milk has about 50 calories. So using almond milk instead of dairy can slightly reduce the calories in tea, while coconut milk adds a few more calories. Check the nutrition label of your specific milk alternative to get accurate calorie information.

Light or Fat Free Creamers

Some people prefer using liquid coffee creamers instead of milk in tea. Fat free and light creamers tend to have 20-30 calories per tablespoon, so adding a couple tablespoons would add 40-60 calories to your tea.


Heavy whipping cream and half and half are higher in calories and fat compared to milk. Just 1 tablespoon of heavy cream has 50 calories, while 1 tablespoon of half and half has 20 calories. So adding cream to tea can significantly boost the calorie content.

Calories in Tea with Sugar

Sugar is commonly added to tea to sweeten the flavor. However, sugar is pure added calories without any nutritional benefit. Here’s how the calories add up for different amounts of sugar:

1 Teaspoon of White Sugar

A single teaspoon of white granulated sugar contains about 16 calories. So stirring a teaspoon of sugar into your tea adds 16 calories.

1 Teaspoon of Brown Sugar

Brown sugar has slightly more calories than white sugar, providing about 18 calories per teaspoon.

1 Teaspoon of Honey

Honey is sometimes used to sweeten tea as a natural alternative to refined sugar. However, honey still contains calories – about 21 calories per teaspoon.

1 Teaspoon of Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is another popular sweetener for tea, although it has slightly more calories than honey at about 23 calories per teaspoon.

Sugar Substitutes

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose have minimal calories, so using them adds little to no calories to tea. However, some people may detect an aftertaste with artificial sweeteners. Natural sugar substitutes like stevia and monk fruit extract also have virtually zero calories and can sweeten tea without boosting calories.

Calories in Tea with Milk and Sugar

When you add both milk and sugar to tea, the calories increase even more. For example:

  • Black tea with 1 tablespoon milk and 1 teaspoon sugar: 25 calories
  • Black tea with 2 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon sugar: 55 calories
  • Black tea with 1 tablespoon milk and 2 teaspoons sugar: 40 calories
  • Black tea with 2 tablespoons milk and 2 teaspoons sugar: 75 calories

As you can see, just adding a splash of milk and/or a bit of sugar substantially increases the calorie content compared to plain black tea. The calorie count quickly adds up if you’re liberal with milk and sugar in your tea.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Tea

If you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, there are several simple ways to enjoy tea while minimizing extra calories:

  • Drink your tea plain without milk, cream, or sugar.
  • Use skim or low fat milk instead of whole milk or cream.
  • Limit milk to 1-2 tablespoons per cup.
  • Use just a teaspoon of sugar or natural sweetener like honey.
  • Try sugar substitutes like stevia or sucralose instead of real sugar.
  • Flavor your tea with citrus slices, cinnamon, or extracts like vanilla, almond, or peppermint.
  • Brew stronger tea so less milk and sugar is needed.

With some simple adjustments, you can still enjoy your tea with milk and sugar while keeping calories in check. Ultimately, be mindful of portion sizes of add-ins and find a tea-making method that suits your taste and health goals.

Nutritional Benefits of Tea

Despite the extra calories from additions, tea can still be an incredibly healthy beverage choice. Some benefits of tea include:

  • Antioxidants – Tea, especially green tea, contains polyphenols and catechins that act as antioxidants to reduce cellular damage in the body.
  • Heart health – Compounds in tea may help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and decrease risk of heart disease.
  • Cancer prevention – Tea polyphenols show potential to slow tumor growth rates and lower cancer risk.
  • Diabetes management – Some research indicates tea may help regulate blood sugar and prevent complications of diabetes.
  • Digestive benefits – Tea has prebiotics that support healthy gut bacteria and may relieve digestive issues.
  • Hydration – The water content in tea keeps the body hydrated as effectively as plain water.

Tea also has a much lower caffeine content than coffee, so it can provide a mild energy boost without severe crashes or jitters. Adding a dash of milk may even lower the caffeine content for sensitive individuals.


Ultimately, tea on its own is an excellent no-calorie beverage full of flavor and health perks. But while milk and sugar provide a pleasant taste, they can also pack on extra calories that diminish some of tea’s dietary benefits. Around 20-75 calories are added per cup depending on the amounts used. To keep calories low while still enjoying flavorful tea, opt for small amounts of milk and sugar, use reduced fat milk and natural sweeteners, or try calorie-free flavorings instead. This allows you to strike the ideal balance of delicious tea with nutrition in mind.

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