How many sugars in your coffee? 25? Oh, go on then.
I remember the first time I ever had sugar in my tea, I was about nine and I was on a school trip. The tea and the sugar were freely available, so like any usual child I began to see what I could get away with. Two, three, perhaps even four teaspoons of sugar were going into each cup. I was mixing it up into a paste. It was the stuff of my sweetest dreams, a revelation.
By the end of that weekend trip, I’d out-sugared myself, at least in terms of tea, and I returned to the normal no sugar tea regime I remain unashamedly addicted to.
Until today, I thought the four sugar cup of tea was the height of excess. I now know how utterly wrong I was, and I have gained a new level of comprehension at the depths of depravity our national sugar obsession has plumbed.
For it has emerged that the coffee shops of Great Britain are selling drinks with life-shortening quantities of sugar loaded into them.
The most staggering sugar levels are those found in Starbuck’s drink the Hot Mulled Fruit (grape with chai, orange and cinnamon) venti. This insane concoction contains 25 teaspoons of sugar. That’s 25 teaspoons of sugar in just one cup. This is three times the recommended maximum daily sugar intake for an adult human.
Elsewhere, Costa’s largest chai latte was found to contain a gut-clogging 20 teaspoons of sugar.
A 330ml can of coke contains seven teaspoons of sugar.
The research comes from campaign group Action on Sugar, which found that 98% of the 131 hot flavoured drinks found in Britain’s large high street chains would be forced to carry a “red” warning for excessive levels of sugar if labelling rules were applied.
Action on Sugar’s Kawther Hashem, a registered nutritionist said: “They are laden with an unbelievable amount of sugar and calories and are often accompanied by a high sugar and fat snack. It is not surprising that we have the highest rate of obesity in Europe.
“Our advice to consumers is to have a plain hot drink or ask for your drink to contain a minimal amount of syrup, preferably sugar-free, in the smallest serving size available.”
The sweetest deals/worst offenders
1 Starbucks’ hot mulled fruit drink (grape with chai, orange and cinnamon) venti: 25tsp
2 Costa’s chai latte, massimo: 20 tsp
3 Starbucks’ white chocolate mocha with whipped cream, venti: 18 tsp
4 Starbucks’ signature hot chocolate, venti: 15 tsp
5 KFC’s mocha: 15 tsp
6 Caffe Nero’s caramelatte: 13 tsp
See the full results on Action on Sugar’s website.