With such a big focus on carbohydrates in the dieting world these days, many people want to know exactly how many carbs there are in what they're eating and drinking. I personally was curious about how many carbs are in espresso, but there wasn't any organized information online for me to learn from, so I decided to do some research and figure it out myself.
A 1 ounce shot of espresso has about 0.5-1 grams of carbohydrates in it. These carbohydrates come from the oils and tiny pieces of the coffee beans in the drink and is such a small amount that it is considered negligible by low carb and ketogenic diets.
In this article I’ll talk about where the carbs in espresso come from, how many there are in espresso and espresso based drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos, and give you a few tips on how you can lower the amount of carbs in your homemade espresso drinks. Let's get into it!
What is Espresso?
Espresso is a type of coffee that is served in small shots and is made by forcing pressurized hot water through very finely ground and tightly packed coffee beans. Although espresso is made from the same types of beans as coffee, its unique brewing process makes it much stronger, richer, and higher in caffeine than regular coffee.
What are Carbs?
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients, the other two being proteins and fats. A few examples of foods that are mostly made of carbs are fruits, bread, potatoes, pasta, and soda.
Although carbs get a bad wrap in the dieting and weight loss community, they’re actually the body's main source of energy and are essential to healthy body and brain function.
Carbs only become a health problem when you eat too much of them. This is because when you eat more carbs than you use for energy, the unused carbohydrates are stored as fat for your body to use later.
So carbs can lead to weight gain when eaten in excess, which is an easy thing to do because of how tasty they are. However when eaten in moderation, they are actually a super important part of maintaining healthy body and brain function and having enough energy to get through the day.
According to Mayo Clinic, The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults eat between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates per day. Although this number will fluctuate based on a persons height and weight, activity levels, and dietary goals.
Why Espresso Has Carbs in It
The reason that espresso has a tiny amount of carbs in it is because the coffee beans that are used to make it are partially made of carbohydrates. And since small pieces of these coffee beans are in the final espresso, it does have a small amount of carbohydrates.
Some coffee drinks will have 1 or 2 more grams of carbs in them than others because their brewing method extracts more of the coffee bean.
For example, a more watery coffee drip coffee made with a filter has close to 0g of carbs in it, while espresso, a much more concentrated and stronger drink, extracts more of the coffee bean, leaving it with 1-2g of carbs.
Caffeine doesn’t affect the amount of carbs in espresso, so decaffeinated espresso will have the same amount of carbs as caffeinated.
Where the amount of carbs in espresso really changes is when things like milk, cream, sugar, and syrup are added to it. I’ll get more into the specifics of this in a minute.
How Many Carbs Are in Espresso?
So exactly how many carbs are in espresso? A shot of espresso, which is typically an ounce, will have 0.5-1g of carbs in it. And a double shot of espresso, which is 2 ounces, will have 1-2g of carbs in it.
For reference, a homemade chocolate chip cookie has 16g of carbs and a piece of pizza 36g.
This tiny amount of carbohydrates in espresso is so negligible, you can pretty much count it as zero. In fact, people on low carb and keto diets don’t even count espresso or other black coffees as having carbs, so I wouldn’t even worry about them if I were you.
How Many Carbs are in Espresso Drinks
The 0-2 g of carbs in espresso is only for black espresso with nothing added to it. If you add creams, sweeteners or milks to espresso, there’s going to be a lot more carbs.
If 2 shots of espresso are combined with equal parts steamed milk and equal parts foamed milk to make a cappuccino, it will have 12g of carbs.
If 2 shots of espresso are combined with 10 ounces of steamed milk to make a latte, it will have 15g of carbs
If 2 shots of espresso are combined with hot water to make an americano, it will still have 1-2 g of carbs.
If 2 shots of espresso are combined with 4 ounces of steamed milk to make a flat white, it will have 10g of carbs
If a dash of foamed milk is added to 2 shots of espresso to make a macchiato, it will have 2g of carbs
Amount of Carbs in Espresso Drinks
Low Carb Sweeteners and Milk for Espresso
If you’re making espresso or espresso drinks at home and want to keep them low in carbohydrates, you're going to want to use low carb milks and sweeteners.
Two great low carb sweeteners to use in place of sugar are stevia and erythritol.
And if you like milk in your espresso but are trying to keep your coffee carbs low, you can replace dairy milk, which has about 12g of carbs per cup, with unsweetened almond milk, which only has 1-2g of carbs per cup.
Espresso and other black coffees do have some carbs, but the amount is so low that it can pretty much be ignored.
This makes espresso a great drink for low carb and keto diets, however be careful when adding sweeteners, milks, or creams to your espresso since these things can easily increase the amount of carbs in the final drink.
I hope this article was helpful for you! If you want to learn more about espresso, its benefits, and even how to make it yourself, be sure to check out the rest of my website!