As an occasional coffee drinker myself, I was really interested in reading a variety of articles about the amount of sugar that some coffee shop coffee’s actually contain. So I’ve put together a quick guide of which Christmas coffee shop drinks there are for you to choose from and their calorific content, you can then decide for yourself what you would prefer to choose!

I’m not one for Christmas before December if I’m honest, but now we are into the throws of the festive season there is nothing nicer that popping to the high street to pick up some Christmas bargains and enjoying a leisurely coffee whilst taking the weight off my feet. With the high street coffee shops adorned with their festive festoons and brightly coloured cups, what’s lurking inside these drinks?

What we have to remember is, that everything with the exception of water will have additional calories from fat to sugar and that goes for our drinks too. I’m not advocating that you don’t indulge in a festive special coffee, but you might want to just take note of it’s contents if this is part of your regular routine. As my grandmother used to say “everything in moderation” ☺ .

There are lots of different types of festive drinks and your independent coffee shop will have their own versions I’m sure. I’ve just chosen the most frequently visited coffee shops that are in my area, but these are also national and worldwide. I’ve listed those to watch out for and contain more calories than a mars bar or mince pie 226 – 228 calories and in some cases there seem to be more that two portions of Christmas pudding calories in one cup – wow! that’s on average almost 800 calories!

If your trying to stay low on sugar or are sugar free, some coffees have equivalent of more than 10 teaspoons of sugar and I’ve heard that some syrup containing coffees have as much as 23 teaspoons of sugar – that’s almost 4 days worth of sugar intake for a woman – in one go!

And be aware that larger sizes will contain even more sugar and fat.

Costa Coffee
Ones to watch out for:

Gingerbread and cream hot chocolate. Medium, with semi-skimmed milk, to drink in: 

Energy – 1408kJ, 337kcal. Fat – 19.8g, of which saturates 12.4g. Sugars – 22.6g (more than 5.5 teaspoons)

Black forest and cream hot chocolate. Medium, with semi-skimmed milk, to drink in:
Energy – 1510J, 361kcal. Fat – 20.1g, of which saturates 12.7g. Sugars – 30g (7.5 teaspoons)

Salted caramel crunch frostino with cream. Medium, with semi-skimmed milk, to drink in:
Energy – 1540kJ, 359kcal. Fat – 19.7g, of which saturates 12.4g. Sugars – 35.4g (more than 8.5 teaspoons)

The healthy alternative: Mint tea
Energy – 13kJ, 3kcal. Fat – 0.1g, of which saturates – 0.1g. Sugar – 0.3g

Starbucks
Ones to watch out for:

Gingerbread latte. Tall, with semi skimmed milk and cream:
Energy – 1081J, 258kcal. Fat – 10.6g, of which saturates – 6.6g. Sugars – 28.8g (more than 7 teaspoons)

Toasted marshmallow hot chocolate. Tall, with whole milk:
Energy – 1294kJ, 308kcal. Fat – 12.5g, of which saturates – 7.8g. Sugars – 36.7g (more than 9 teaspoons)

Toffeenut Coffee Frappuccino. Tall, with whole milk and whipped cream:
Energy – 1190kJ, 283kcal. Fat 11.9g, of which saturates – 8.3g. Sugars – 40.8g (more than 10 teaspoons)

The healthier alternative: Black chai tea.
Energy – 0kJ, 0kcal. Fat – 0g, of which saturates 0g. Sugar – 0g.

Caffe Nero
Ones to watch out for:

Caramelised almond hot chocolate. Regular, with whole milk:
Energy – 1650kJ, 426kcal. Fat – 24.5g, of which saturates 15.4g. Sugars – 38.2g (more than 9.5 teaspoons)

Salted caramel latte. Regular, with semi skimmed milk and whipped cream:
Energy – 489kJ, 116kcal. Fat – 2.5g, of which saturates 1.6g. Sugars – 17.7g (more than 4 teaspoons)

Hazelnut hot chocolate. Regular, with semi-skimmed milk and hazelnut syrup:
Energy – 1,667kJ, 399kcal. Fat – 21.5g, of which saturates 13.5g. Sugars – 38.2g (more than 9.5 teaspoons)

The healthy alternative: Latte. Regular, with skimmed milk and no cream
Energy – 234kJ, 55kcal. Fat – 0.5g, of which saturates- 0.1g. Sugar – 7.5g.

Most of the high street coffee shop chains will have the nutritional information for their products available in store, online, or both. If I haven’t listed your favourite one here, you could look up the details and find out more about what you’re drinking.

Nikki’s Top Tips

When you’re ordering your hot drinks, follow our tips:
1. Hold the cream
Cream is very high in calories and saturated fat, so avoid adding it to your drink, along with any marshmallows or syrup on top which are high in sugar

2. Go skinny
Asking for skimmed milk rather than whole will reduce the fat and calorie content of your drink, although if you have gone for a sweet drink like hot chocolate or a coffee with flavoured syrup then it won’t change the amount of added sugar in your cup.

3. Make it a small one
When we talk about a ‘cup’ of coffee, we’re usually talking about the amount you find in a traditional teacup, but on the high street a ‘regular’ size could actually be twice as big. Think twice before ‘going large’ – you’ll consume less saturated fat, sugar and calories, and be left with more money in your pocket.

4. Say no to the tempting treats
As well as the fancy drink flavours, coffee shops will often try to tempt you with treats to go alongside your cuppa. But your drink may contain as many calories as a small meal already, and adding a muffin or mince pie will add even more calories, fat and sugar.

But remember, don’t let it spoil your festive season, just don’t make it a regular thing!

Hope you found this interesting

Nikki x

Sources: nutritional figures courtesy of The British Heart Foundation