# How many calories in a mug of tea?

I can get an answer to this on google, in fact I can get hundreds of them, problem is that they all give different figures so I don’t know which one is the right answer…

I want to know how many calories are in a 350ml mug of tea with a dash of whole milk and a teaspoon of sugar?

Some of the calorie recording sites range from 40 to 90 calories per cup but to be honest I’m not sure how they reach that figure. I thought a teaspoon of sugar was around 15 calories, the tea+water itself was negligible calories, and 20ml of whole milk appears to be only 10 calories. Thats under 30 calories, why do so many sites give a far higher number?

Am I missing something simple here? What would you say is the calorie content of a 350ml mug of english breakfast tea with a teaspoon of granulated sugar and 20ml of pasturised whole milk?

Wolfram Alpha says 29 calories.

According to a quick google 20 ml of milk has 9 calories. As noted, a teaspoon of sugar is usually given as 15 calories. So… about 24 calories.

ETA ninja’d

Your math seems correct, but you’re likely underestimating how much sugar some people put in their tea. I’ve seen people add two heaping spoonfuls, using a spoon that is certainly more than a measuring teaspoon. That could easily be 4-6 measured teaspoons, which gets you to the 90 calorie figure you mention.

Hell, I have a scale, let’s see how this works. I get 2.6 g per level, measured teaspoon of sugar. With a typical small spoon in my silverware drawer, a heaping spoonful is 5.3 g, and with a large spoon it’s 7+ g (my sugar bowl was too small for me to get a really big heap). Two heaping spoonfuls, therefore, can get you 10-15 g of sugar, which is 40-60 calories.

Now add a more generous splash of milk, and you can get to the 90 calorie figure.

(and now the word “spoon” has lost all meaning for me. Great…)

It depends. Do you pour the tea or the milk first?

Some people use half tea/half milk, like a latte. So, it’s basically a cup of sweetened milk with a bit of tea for flavoring.

Ooh, I just bought a milligram scale, this is a good chance to use it.

Hm, I get results quite different from yours. A full teaspoon of sugar is too big to fit on the scale, so I measured a half teaspoon. Taking 4 measurements of a level 1/2 US teaspoon of granulated sugar, I get an average of 2.454 g (range 2.431 to 2.479). That’s almost twice the weight you measured. Are you sure you didn’t measure a half teaspoon? Are you using a US teaspoon or a UK teaspoon? Or maybe different brands of sugar are denser than others? But a factor of 2x seems unlikely.

The interweb says a teaspoon of sugar is about 4 g, which is closer to my measurement than yours.

I’d guess it was due to differences in sugar density. My sugar bowl is little-used, and was mostly solid. I had to chip at it for a while to get loose sugar, and there were still some few mm sized chunks. So in my case the sugar was probably fluffier, and less well-packed.

I was aware that many other people would take more sugar, the issue was that doing a search on the likes of “Myfitnesspal” using terms such as “mug of tea, whole milk, one teaspoon of sugar” was bringing up those 60-90 calorie results. I know a lot those results are user generated and may not be accurate but when there were so, so many of them I started to wonder.

In fact, a lot of the results for 50/60 calories were for cups of tea, or for 100ml of tea, not even the 350ml mugs I generally use.

Thanks for the replies, as long as I know I’m not missing something blindly obvious I’m going to go for an average figure of 32 cals for my mugs of tea. I usually take about 4/5 of them a day so if they were 90 calories each I really needed to know!

The question here is really how many calories are in sugar and milk, right? The thread title is misleading, as is the exact measurement of the amount of tea, but vague measurements for the milk and sugar. 350 ml of tea would have maybe 3 Calories, so almost all the calories in the mug depend on how much sugar, milk, honey, and/or ground beef you feel you must put in.

A good part of this question involves the size of a ‘teaspoonful’.

A teaspoon is a volume measurement, but the metric equivalent is a mass (weight) of grams. So this varies depending on the density of the item in question.

A teaspoon of sugar is generally 4.2 grams. A teaspoon of salt is about 5.5 grams.
For recipe conversions, a teaspoon is rounded to 5 grams. (Most recipe measurements aren’t that critical anyway.)