How Long Does Coffee Creamer Last? Get the Answers

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Love adding a little something special to your coffee? Coffee creamer is a quick and easy way to get that rich, creamy flavor you crave.

About BoatBasinCafe

Hi there, coffee lovers! I’m John Bird, former chef and barista at the late, great Boat Basin Cafe in NYC. Even though the cafe is no more, I’m still obsessed with crafting the perfect cup of coffee.

I started this site to share everything I’ve learned over the years about choosing the best beans, perfecting your pour, and of course, extending the life of those tasty coffee creamers we all love. Consider me your personal guide on your quest for the ultimate coffee experience. Cheers!

What is a Coffee Creamer?

how long does creamer last
does creamer last

The name itself is pretty self-explanatory. Coffee creamer is a heavy, condensed cream for your coffee. But unlike other dairy creams, this one comes in both liquid and powdered form.

Coffee creamers are basically milk-based products. Dairy versions contain milk but they are mostly sugar and corn syrup.

Coffee creamers come in various different types:

  • Liquid creamers
  • Powdered creamers
  • Flavored creamers (chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, etc.)
  • Non-dairy and vegan versions

The main attraction of coffee creamer is how it makes your coffee smooth and silky. It adds richness and texture which can be very enjoyable especially when you are making it at home. Creamers are basically a cheat option for making a café-esque latte without any barista skills.

Creamer vs Milk: The Key Differences

drinking expired coffee creamer
drinking expired coffee creamer

This totally depends on what you are looking for. If you want a healthy option, coffee creamer is not the best choice.

There is no doubt that coffee creamer is not as healthy as plain milk, in fact, it’s not even close to being healthy in any way. Coffee creamer is basically fat, sugar and preservatives. They are not ideal if you have diabetes or high blood pressure level.

Coffee creamer also is high in bad cholesterol so if you gain weight easily, this is not something you want to consume every day.

But if you are simply looking for something that will make your coffee taste the best, creamers are the way to go! Milk can water down the coffee. Sometimes all we want is a dollop of rich creaminess on our strong espresso. Milk does not provide that. The best and quickest way to make your homemade coffee taste rich and luxurious is to add creamers.

Here are the key differences between coffee creamer and milk:

  • Health: Creamer is higher in calories, fat, and sugar. Milk offers more nutritional value.
  • Taste: Creamer adds richness and sweetness, milk is more subtle.
  • Convenience: Creamer is grab-and-go, milk often needs measuring.

Coffee Creamer Shelf Life: A Quick Guide

So, does coffee creamer go bad? Of course they do. The shelf life of coffee creamers varies from brands to brands. Each different type of creamer has different storing methods too. But how long does creamer last for real?

Creamer TypeUnopened Shelf LifeOpened Shelf Life
Dairy CreamerUp to 2 weeks past ‘best by’1-2 weeks
Non-Dairy CreamerVaries (see label)Up to 10 days
Powdered Creamer6-12 months6-12 months
Individual CupsUp to 1 monthUse immediately

*Refrigerate all creamers after opening, even non-dairy.

How to Store Coffee Creamer

How you store your coffee creamers affect greatly on how well they will last. Different types of creamers require different storage methods. We are going to talk about three main types: liquid, powdered, and mini cups creamers.

Liquid Creamer (Dairy and Non-Dairy):

Both dairy and non-dairy liquid creamers need to be stored in the refrigerator at all times. These creamers are usually made using milk, oil for non-dairy ones, sugar, cream, artificial flavoring, and preservatives.

All these ingredients can go bad if the temperature is too hot or cold. So keeping them in the refrigerator at a specific temperature ensures a longer shelf life.

Powdered Creamer:

Powdered creamers are the ones that can last the longest. You can store them in your pantry next to other seasonings and rice. That’s how easy they are. Powdered creamers are also great for traveling as they are more resistant to environmental changes.

Make sure to keep powdered creamers in an airtight glass container. Moisture can cause powdered creamer to clump together. So keep them on a dry shelf far away from any water sources.

  • Powdered creamer is shelf-stable. Store in a cool, dry place.
  • Don’t leave any creamer type in direct sunlight.

Mini Creamer Cups:

Mini creamer cups are super convenient especially if you don’t use creamers every day. These creamers come in single-serving size cup containers. They can be stored at room temperature.

These mini cups are sealed and then heated through to kill any bacteria inside. This process is called ultra-high temperature processing. So you can store them in both the refrigerator or in the cupboard.

Whatever you do, don’t keep them somewhere with direct sunlight. You can also buy individual half and half creamers and store them in the same way.

How to Tell if Creamer has gone Bad

Coffee Creamer is Bad
Coffee Creamer is Bad

Knowing whether your coffee creamer has gone bad or not is fairly easy. Especially for dairy options, you can tell right away.

Here’s our guide on how to tell if coffee creamer is bad or not! Drinking expired coffee creamer can cause stomach ache and bloating.

  1. Smell It: Start with checking the smell of your creamer. Does it smell acidic? Does it have an odor? Does it smell sour? If any of those is yes, then the creamer has gone past its safe consumption period. Throw it away as soon as possible.
  2. Taste the Creamer: If you are unsure about the smell test, tasting is another option. Sometimes with some non-dairy or powdered versions, you can’t tell if it’s bad simply by smell. Most times powdered creamers don’t have any smell at all. So take a tablespoon of creamer and taste it. If it’s bad, you will be able to tell right away.
  3. Texture Difference: Liquid coffee whiteners have a smooth texture. They look a lot like heavy cream. So if you find your liquid creamer to have lumps or clumps, it’s definitely not edible anymore. Always make sure to notice whether there is any texture difference or not.
  4. Expiration Date: Checking the expiration date is a no-brainer. In fact, most of us start with this step. While the expiration date is a great way to know how long they will last, you can’t depend on them too much. Many things can affect the condition of your creamer – how it was packaged, how it was delivered, how you stored it. All of these factors affect the longevity of your coffee creamer. So use this data merely as a suggestion.

Shelf Life of Popular Creamer Brands

How long your coffee creamer lasts depends a lot on the brand. Here’s a quick guide to the typical shelf life of some of the most popular coffee creamer brands:

  • International Delight: Refrigerate and use within 1-2 weeks of opening. Unopened bottles can last up to 1 month past the best-by date.
  • Coffee Mate: Liquid creamers can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks after opening. Powdered Coffee Mate has a shelf life of 6-12 months.
  • Nestlé: Most Nestle coffee creamers need to be used within 7-10 days of opening. Check the label as this varies by specific product.

Making Your Own Homemade Coffee Creamer

Homemade Coffee Creamer
Homemade Coffee Creamer

As much as we all love the rich creaminess of coffee creamers, they are not the healthiest thing to drink every day. Once you build the habit of using creamers in your coffee, it’s very tough to go back. Instead of using regular milk, you can make your own homemade version of it!

Here’s how you make homemade coffee creamers:


  1. 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  2. 1½  cup almond milk
  3. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  4. 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  5. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Take a saucepan and put it on medium-low heat.
  2. Add condensed milk and almond milk together onto the saucepan. 
  3. Once the mixture is heated through, add the other ingredients one by one. 
  4. Wait for it to bubble while constantly stirring. 
  5. Take the pan off the heat and pour it into an airtight container. 
  6. Let it cool down completely then store in the fridge for up to 8 days. 

And that’s it! Your homemade coffee creamer is ready to enjoy. 


Can Coffee Creamer Go Bad?

Whether you are using a dairy coffee creamer or a non-dairy alternative, it will eventually go bad at some point. Just like any other food item, a coffee creamer needs to be kept under a certain temperature for a certain amount of time.
Coffee creamer’s shelf life depends on how you are storing it. It can be influenced by temperature, moisture level, sunlight, packaging date, and processing method. Some of them you have control over and some you don’t. But needless to say, coffee creamer can go bad.

How Long is Coffee Creamer Good for?

If you keep your coffee whitener unopened and intact, it can survive up to 2 weeks very easily. Non-dairy cream lasts even longer. A jar of unopened non-dairy creamer can be kept up to a month without any issue.
Dairy creamers are always sold refrigerated and need to be kept at a certain temperature. Non-dairy creamer, on the other hand, can be stored in the cupboard.

Can You Freeze Coffee Creamer?

Dairy creamers can be frozen very easily. As it’s a milk-based item, you can treat it pretty much like any other milk product. So, can you freeze liquid coffee creamer?
You can freeze your dairy creamer without too much fuss. All you have to do is put the bottle into the freezer and voila! It will be fresh for up to 6 months!

Is Powdered Coffee Creamer Bad for You?

Yes, they are. Powdered coffee creamers are bad for your health due to their high amount of sugar and processed chemicals. Even though these types of creamers add a certain convenience to our busy lives, they are very bad for our stomach and heart.
If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, avoid powdered coffee creamers at all costs. They can cause a spike in your blood sugar level. They also add to your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. So you might struggle to lose weight.

Can You Use Non-dairy Creamer after the Expiration Date?

If the creamer was intact and properly stored, then chances are you can use a non-dairy creamer after its expiration date.
Unlike popular beliefs, the expiration date is not a black and white measurement of whether the food has gone bad or not. It’s a mere suggestion by the manufacturers.
All it indicates is the food will taste its best within that time period. It can go bad before that date alternatively it can stay fresh long after the expiration date. So the best way to tell is to smell and taste the creamer.

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