Roast and ground coffee refers to the coffee we are most familiar with, which is coffee in its whole bean form or coffee that has already been ground. Roast and ground is the most prevalent coffee in the Canadian marketplace, with instant coffee being the other major form of coffee that is sold.

A plain cup of brewed coffee has zero fat and only a couple of calories. It is what you add to your daily cup (milk, cream, sugar) that will make a difference in its fat, sugar and calorie count.

Tbls.Milk, 2%8.8g.3g1.2mg
Tbls.Milk, Whole9.7g.5g1.5mg
Tbls.Half & Half19.6g1.7g5.6mg

Coffee does have a number of trace minerals (Thiamin, Niacin, Folate, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese) and is a good source of Potassium, Pantothenic Acid and Riboflavin. A 6 ounce cup of brewed coffee may contain 2 to 4 milligrams of Sodium however most of the sodium content comes from the water used to brew the coffee.

Instant coffee is a highly convenient coffee beverage derived from the same coffee beans as roast and ground coffee Through various sophisticated manufacturing processes the coffee is dehydrated into the form of either powder or granules. Instant coffee contains the same elements as roast and ground with slightly lower caffeine levels per cup. However, instant coffee has been found to contain higher levels of antixodants.

Instant coffee contains the same trace calories as roast and ground. Many instant coffee beverages frequently contain added dairy and sweeteners that allow for the “instant” making of flavoured and sweetened coffee options. For nutritional information on these beverages look to the nutrition facts table on the products label.

Decaffeination offers an alternative to those consumers who are caffeine-sensitive or wish to keep enjoying coffee during the day free from the affects of caffeine.

Coffee is decaffeinated by removing 97% or more of the naturally existing caffeine from the green beans before roasting.

The principals that are utilized to decaffeinate coffee are similar, with variances occurring between manufacturers, depending on the decaffeination agent and manufacturing process that is employed. The following briefly outlines the process:

  • green beans are soaked or steamed in water;
  • beans are then exposed to a decaffeination agent which extracts the caffeine from the bean;
  • beans are removed from the caffeine-rich solution;
  • in some cases, the caffeine is removed from the solution through a filtering system;
  • the caffeine-free solution may be reintroduced to the beans to add back the flavour which has – been inadvertently extracted;
  • decaffeinated beans are then dried and are ready for roasting.

The following agents are utilized in the decaffeination of coffee:

  1. Carbon Dioxide
  2. Coffee Oil
  3. Ethyl Acetate
  4. Methylene Chloride
  5. Water

Though consumers should make their own choices about which type of decaffeination process meets their expectations all types of decaffeinated coffee are absolutely safe in terms of exposure to the chemicals, if any, used in the process.

The term “naturally decaffeinated” refers to the decaffeination agent that is used. Currently, water, coffee oil and carbon dioxide are decaffeination agents, which are considered to be part of a natural process under Canadian labelling rules.

It is impossible to remove all the caffeine from green coffee beans, as it is a natural component. Health Canada established regulations, which stipulate maximum amounts of caffeine permitted in decaffeinated instant and decaffeinated roast and ground coffee.

Specifically, decaffeinated roast and ground coffee cannot contain more than 0.1% residual caffeine and decaffeinated instant coffee cannot contain more than 0.3% residual caffeine. The guidelines ensure that consumers of decaffeinated coffee are free from the effects of caffeine.

Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee contains similar antioxidant levels.

Source: Health Canada
ProductServing SizeServing SizeMilligrams of Caffeine (approx. values)
 (unless otherwise stated) 
Roasted and ground, percolated8237118
Roasted and ground, filter drip8237179
Roasted and ground, decaffeinated82373
Instant823776 – 106
Instant decaffeinated82375
Average blend823743
leaf or bag823750
Decaffeinated tea82370
Cola Beverages   
Cola beverage, regular12355(1 can)36 – 46
Cola beverage, diet1235539 – 50
Cocoa Products   
Chocolate milk82378
1 envelope hot-cocoa mix82375
Candy, milk chocolate128g7
Candy, sweet chocolate128g19

There are a number of variables that contribute to the amount of caffeine and caloric/fat intake when it comes to the different coffee beverages (hot and cold) available at the retail or grocery level. This often depends on the type/size of drink you choose. Nutritional information on these beverages is usually available from the source (i.e. retailer/manufacturer)

Some concerns have been raised regarding pesticides and other agricultural chemicals used in coffee growing. However as the coffee bean is contained within the coffee cherry natural processes mean very little if any agro-chemicals reach the bean. These insignificant residues, if present, in the green coffee are removed by the later stages of coffee processing.. There is agreement among most experts that the chemicals used in non-organic coffee growing burn off during the roasting process and that virtually zero traces of these chemicals remain.

The real issue for consumers looking at organic coffee options should not be about personal exposure to chemicals. Organic options should be seen as related to personal expectations regarding the environment and social impacts of technical agricultural practices in countries producing coffee.

Espresso is any coffee that is brewed quickly under pressure to create a concentrated, flavorful, and heavy-bodied cup. The espresso machine uses steam and water for a deeper, more intense flavor. In general, espresso actually has less caffeine than regular drip filtered coffee because of the smaller serving and the quick extraction. However, the exact amount of caffeine depends on the preparation technique used and the final size of the beverage.

Freshly roasted coffee beans are combined with a liquid or solid flavoring (vanilla, etc.), which are then released during the brewing process. These flavorings do not add a significant number of additional calories when compared to an unflavoured (plain) cup of coffee – approximately 3-4 more calories per 6 ounce cup.

Powdered (instant) flavored coffees contain nondairy creamers that contain hydrogenated oils and other sweeteners that increase the calories and fat when compared with a regular cup of coffee. Flavoured coffees are available at the grocery store and through retail establishments. Flavoured coffees are frequently created to simulate the taste of coffee with a liqueur but despite this apparent taste they do not contain alcohol.