Coffee pods from donut shops like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts can be a convenient way to quickly brew a cup of coffee at home or the office. But how many calories are actually in one of these single-serve coffee pods? The answer depends on a few factors.
The Basics on Donut Shop Coffee Pods
First, let’s cover some background on donut shop coffee pods. Popular chains like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts sell boxed sets of single-serve coffee pods that are compatible with Keurig and other K-cup style brewers. Each plastic pod contains enough ground coffee to brew one cup of coffee. The pods come in a variety of roast styles and flavors. Some examples are:
Krispy Kreme House Blend
Krispy Kreme Donut Shop
Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend
Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla
So how many calories are in one donut shop coffee pod? Let’s take a look.
Coffee Pod Calories by Brand
Krispy Kreme Coffee Pod Calories
Krispy Kreme coffee pods contain between 0-35 calories per pod depending on the variety. Here is the calorie breakdown for popular Krispy Kreme coffee pod flavors:
Krispy Kreme Coffee Pod|
As you can see, the flavored coffee pods from Krispy Kreme tend to be higher in calories, while the classic blends are 0 calories. The calorie counts are for the coffee pods alone, without any added cream, sugar, or other mix-ins.
Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Pod Calories
Dunkin’ Donuts coffee pods are very low in calories, ranging from 0-20 calories per pod depending on variety. Here is the calorie count for popular Dunkin’ Donuts coffee pod flavors:
Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Pod|
Like Krispy Kreme, the Dunkin’ Donuts flavored varieties contain 20 calories per pod, while the classic Original Blend and Dark Roast are 0 calories. Again, these nutrition facts are just for the coffee pods alone without any extras.
Factors That Impact Coffee Pod Calories
When determining the calories in a donut shop coffee pod, there are a few important factors to consider:
1. Base Coffee Blend
The base coffee blend makes a big difference in the calorie count. Plain medium roast coffee has minimal calories, while more heavily roasted and darker coffee may be slightly higher in calories. Flavored coffee tends to be higher in calories because it contains added natural and artificial flavorings.
2. Added Ingredients
Coffee pods that contain extra ingredients like milk powder, sweeteners, and flavorings drive up the calories. For example, a French vanilla or hazelnut coffee pod gets some of its calories from added flavorings. Look at the ingredient list to identify sources of calories beyond just coffee.
3. Pod Material
The plastic pod itself contains minimal calories. However, some pods may include compostable or biodegradable materials that marginally increase the calorie content. This is generally negligible.
4. Caffeine Content
Higher caffeine coffees tend to be marginally higher in calories than low caffeine varieties. For example, light roast vs. dark roast. But the difference is usually very small. Caffeine itself contains calories (about 1 calorie per 5mg of caffeine), so more caffeinated coffee will have more calories from this compound.
5. Serving Size
Nutrition labels are based on a specific serving size such as one coffee pod. Consuming multiple pods will increase the calories you get. This is an obvious point but still worth noting.
Calories in Coffee Pod vs. Brewed Coffee
How do the calories in donut shop coffee pods compare to a typical cup of brewed coffee from Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts? Here is the breakdown:
Krispy Kreme House Blend Coffee Pod|
Krispy Kreme House Blend Brewed Coffee (12 oz)|
Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend Coffee Pod|
Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend Brewed Coffee (14 oz)|
As you can see, the brewed coffee ordered at the donut shops contains minimal additional calories over using the coffee pods. This is because plain, black coffee itself is very low in calories. The calories start stacking up when you add cream, sugar, flavor swirls, and other high-calorie additions to your coffee.
Tips for Enjoying Low Calorie Donut Shop Coffee at Home
Here are some tips for keeping your at-home donut shop coffee low in calories:
1. Stick to Plain Black Coffee
Opt for unsweetened, unflavored black coffee pods like Krispy Kreme House Blend or Dunkin’ Original Blend to get the lowest calorie option.
2. Skip High-Calorie Creamers and Sweeteners
Heavy cream, whole milk, flavored creamers, simple syrups, and regular sugar can add significant calories. Opt for small amounts of low-fat milk, a sugar substitute, or just enjoy your coffee black.
3. Watch Your Portions
Stick to 1-2 pod servings per day to keep calories in check. More than that can quickly add up.
4. Balance with Low Calorie Foods
Enjoy your coffee pods along with low calorie foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy to construct a healthy, balanced diet.
The Bottom Line
When enjoyed plain, donut shop coffee pods are very low in calories. Krispy Kreme coffee pods range from 0-35 calories each depending on variety, while Dunkin’ Donuts coffee pods range from 0-20 calories depending on flavor. To burn maximum calories, avoid heavy creamers, sweeteners and other high-calorie add-ons. Coffee pods can be a tasty, convenient way to get your caffeine fix for minimal calories as part of a healthy, balanced diet.