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How to Make Low-Calorie Coffee Drinks at Home

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Updated May 11, 2013

How to Make Low-Calorie Coffee Drinks at Home

Krups XP5220 Precise Tamp Pump Espresso Machine


One of the best ways to decrease your caloric intake and lose weight is to make your own food at home. You’re able to choose and measure ingredients, make healthier choices and have better control over portion sizes. But, this doesn’t just apply to the food you eat. You can also save calories if you learn to make low-calorie coffee drinks at home.

Why Make Coffee Drinks at Home?

If you are one of those people who stands in line at the local coffee shop every morning, this article is for you. Have you ever thought about how much time, money and calories you’d save if you learned how to make that latte at home? Of course, you can just order lower calorie coffee drinks at Starbucks. You'd probably lose weight, but then you are still stuck with the cost of your habit and the time wasted in line.

When you make your own coffee drinks, you can control the amount of sugar, the amount and type of milk and the amount of caffeine that goes into every cup. And think about what you could do with the time you save by skipping the morning trip to the coffee shop. A morning workout, perhaps?

Use these guides to make your favorite drink:

Review: Krups XP5220 Precise Tamp Pump Espresso Machine

When I decided to learn how to make my own coffee at home, I tried out the Krups model XP5220 because it fit perfectly on my small kitchen counter. The model looks clean and slim and was easy to learn how to use.

Espresso makers can range in price from about $150 to over $2000. I can’t tell you if the expensive models are worth it because I haven’t tried them, but I can assure you that the model I tried, which retails for just under $200, worked just fine. I spent about an hour setting up my machine and learning to make my favorite drinks. I had to toss a few batches before I got it right, but eventually I was able to make a drink that was just as good, if not better, than my favorite drink at Starbucks.

If you choose this particular machine, there are a few things you should know. First, there is no internal coffee grinder. Since the bean grind can make the difference between a good cup of espresso and a horrible cup of tinted water, it’s worth your time to go to a good coffee bar and get beans ground especially for an electric espresso maker.

Next, the steam wand takes some time to get used to. Be ready to spend a little bit of time learning how to froth your milk if you enjoy drinks that require it. My first few batches weren’t as creamy as I’d like, but I eventually got the hang of it.

Food Swaps to Save Calories

If you’re trying to lose weight, your home espresso maker can help. Use skim milk and sugar free syrups to keep the calorie count low on your coffee drinks. Then get creative and use the espresso machine to make other treats. For example, do you crave chocolate at night? Find a high quality dark chocolate powder and make a small hot chocolate with foamed milk. The drink contains about 100 calories, significantly less than the 520 calories you’d find in a cup of Haagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream.

Need a caffeine pick-me-up in the middle of the day? Instead of reaching for a soft drink, make yourself an iced coffee. Brew an espresso and throw it over ice or add one half cup of chilled skim milk. Soft drinks, like Coke and Pepsi, contain about 150 calories per 12 oz serving and contain no healthy nutrients. An iced coffee with skim milk contains about 40 calories, 4 grams of protein and other nutrients such as calcium.

Simple changes that save 100 or 200 calories each day can have a big impact at the end of the month. Consider investing the time and money into learning how to make coffee drinks at home. The folks at Starbucks might miss you, but your scale will be happier.

  1. About.com
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  4. Best Food, Recipes and Cooking Tips for Dieters
  5. How to Make Low Calorie-Coffee Drinks

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