Coffee, the magical potion that gives most of us the much needed energy boost morning after morning. Much of the world relies on coffee and similar products to make it through the day when they are deprived of sleep and rest by the daily obligations and chores. This is why coffee is one of the bestselling products in our supermarkets and one of the most popular beverages in catering establishments around the globe.
We all know that coffee is mainly so potent because of its caffeine content. This powerful chemical keeps our mind alert and our body ready for motion, and while it comes with some side effects, using coffee in moderation will certainly not kill you and it may help a great deal. The Coffea plant from which modern coffee is derived originally stems from Africa but has since spread across the globe and is being planted and harvested on almost all continents. It is reported that over 70 countries in the modern world cultivate coffee. While we may call all of it coffee, there are actually various blends of coffee such as the world famous Arabica or the powerful and hardy Robusta.
The basic origin of coffee is the berry of the plant Coffea and the seeds of this berry. The process of turning coffee berries into coffee as we know it is a hard and labor intensive endeavor which can often be seen in Latin American telenovelas, where you can see poor workers manually sorting through millions of seeds and sending them for further processing.
The first step of the process is of course picking, which can be done manually or by machines, and involves simply gathering all the seeds of coffee from the plantation. Next up, the seeds need to be sorted by their ripeness and this is a process that in every method involves very high intensity human labor. Once the right seeds are selected they are sent for processing.
Once cleaned and ready, the green coffee beans go in for roasting. The roasting process will change the beans in physical and chemical characteristics, and almost all of the coffee that reaches our shelves is roasted coffee. The brown color of the beans you can see in commercial coffee actually comes from the roasting process during which starches in the bean become simple sugars which turn the bean brown.
Further processes involve the tasting and grading of the coffee, packaging and storage, and finally brewing. Coffee is graded by experts and split into categories. Once packaged and shipped, it can be purchased in local stores and is usually brewed by grinding the beans into a powder and mixing it in with water, and sometimes milk in various methods.
As popular as the beverage is, coffee actually contains very few actual nutrients. The concentration of the macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates and protein is so low that the labels will actually say 0 grams in almost all cases. There are negligible amounts of macronutrients in coffee and you can tell this by seeing that there are only 2 calories per 8 oz of coffee. This is great news if you are on a diet, as you don’t have to worry about coffee increasing your calorie intake.
When it comes to micronutrients, coffee does contain some minerals and vitamins, although not in significant amounts. The most notable dosage of a vitamin in coffee is that of Riboflavin, as a cup of coffee will provide 11% of the RDI for this vitamin. Other than this, coffee also contains some Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese as well as Vitamin K, Folate and Chloine.
The single most significant chemical compound found in coffee is of course the caffeine. With 95 mg in a cup of 240 g of coffee, caffeine in coffee is concentrated high enough to have an actual impact on our energy level and concentration. Interesting thing about coffee is that it is actually about 98 to 99 % water with only 1 to 2% actually being other stuff.
The one thing to emphasize once more is that coffee does not contain any fats, carbs or protein, unlike most other food you will encounter. As you are reading through this article you should now be understanding the question does coffee have carbs.
Does Coffee Creamer Contain Carbs?
While coffee itself does not contain any carbs, it is important to note that the coffee creamers which many of us put in your coffee actually do contain carbs, protein, fats and will add a substantial amount of calories to the otherwise negligible amount of calories in coffee.
A regular creamer is usually about 2 grams in weight and will contain about 20 calories in total. Such a creamer may have up to 2 grams of carbs, about a gram and a half of fats and well under 1 gram of protein. If you are looking to go lower on carbs, or add two creamers, try the light creamer which will have about half the calories and third of the fats, while other nutrients will remain pretty much the same.
What Can I Expect From Coffee With Milk And Sugar?
Now as many of us drink it, coffee will end up containing both milk and sugar in it by the time we are drinking it. A 6 oz cup with milk and sugar will come up to about 45 calories with some 7 grams of carbs, a gram or 2 of fats and under a gram of protein.
While this will not significantly improve its benefits nor will it make you fat anytime soon, it will make coffee taste “better” and give it some extra texture, compactness and a lighter color.
Coffee is not a source of nutrition and should not seriously impact your diet in either way. We drink coffee for the caffeine in it and this will likely not change any time soon as we seem to be getting less and less sleep and more work on our plates all the time.
If you are a coffee lover, don’t worry about the nutrition, just make sure you don’t overdo the caffeine.
Image Credits Use In Does Coffee Have Carbs
All images used via a Creative Commons license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Image One by Christopher Michael – https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/13670658095/
Image Two by Maria Kaeys – https://www.flickr.com/photos/maria_keays/8459809062/
Image Three by Wafterboard – https://www.flickr.com/photos/waferboard/7417277946/