If you are a regular coffee drinker, coffee creamer is something you know more than anyone else. It’s quick, easy and convenient to make homemade coffee taste rich and creamy.
This household staple comes in a wide range of flavors too. Which means you can have a new style of coffee every morning! If you are anything like me, chances are you buy more than one type of creamer at once.
But then what? You can’t finish the whole thing before the expiration date. So are you going to throw the bottle away? Luckily, no!
In this article we will talk about coffee creamers and how long they actually last. Spoiler alert, it’s much longer than you think. So let’s figure out how long does creamer last!
What is a Coffee Creamer?
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. There are liquid creamers, powdered creamers, creamers with chocolate, creams in different flavors and colors, and so on. There are non-dairy and vegan versions as well.
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: Which One is Better?
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.
How Long Does Coffee Creamer Last?
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?
Unopened dairy creamers can last you up to 2 weeks past the expiration date in the refrigerator. The expiration date is a mere suggestion and not a fixed thing.
If you happen to open the creamer, consume it within a week. Once you open a creamer bottle, it does not stay edible after 7-8 days. Always refrigerate your dairy creamers whether it’s unopened or opened.
How Long Does Non-Refrigerated Creamer Last?
Non-refrigerated creamer is basically non-dairy options. They are often made with fat and sugar. So they don’t need to be in a cool temperature to stay fresh. Non-refrigerated options tend to have a longer expiration time as well.
It’s not always that a non-refrigerated creamer is non-dairy. There are powdered dairy creamers that don’t require refrigeration either. They also last super long and can be stored in the cupboard. Powdered creamers can last for months without any issues.
If you like to use individual mini creamer cups, know that they have a longer shelf life too. These cups tend to have a month-long shelf life. As you use each cup fully once opened, there are no issues of contamination.
|Creamer Type||Storage Type||Shelf-life|
|Dairy Creamer (opened)||Refrigerated||1-2 weeks|
|Dairy Creamer (unopened)||Refrigerated||1-2 weeks|
|Non-dairy Creamer (opened)||Pantry/Cupboard||1-2 weeks|
|Non-dairy Creamer (unopened)||Pantry/cupboard||1 month|
|Powdered Creamers||Pantry/Cupboard||2-6 months|
|Creamer Cups||Refrigerated||1 month|
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 affect the longevity of your coffee creamer. So use this data merely as a suggestion.
Making 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 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Take a saucepan and put it on medium-low heat.
- Add condensed milk and almond milk together onto the saucepan.
- Once the mixture is heated through, add the other ingredients one by one.
- Wait for it to bubble while constantly stirring.
- Take the pan off the heat and pour it into an airtight container.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
01. 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.
02. 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 roasts 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.
03. 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!
04. 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.
05. 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.
06. How Long Does International Delight Creamer Last?
Probably the most popular and well-loved creamer is International Delight. If you store it in a cold and dry place, it will last you up to 2 weeks without any issue. But once it’s opened, you have to finish it within a week.
07. How Do You Know When a Coffee Creamer Has Gone Bad?
There are many different types of creamers out there and each has a different sign for when it’s gone bad. For liquid creamers, a change in texture is the first thing to look for. If your liquid creamer looks lumpy, chunky, or lumpy, it probably has gone past its consumption time.
The smell is another prominent factor to look for. Check if it is a funky odor or not. If you are not sure, it’s best to taste a teaspoon to make sure. Don’t worry, that little amount won’t cause any issues.
08. Can You Drink Coffee Creamer Left Out Overnight?
Yes, you can. Coffee creamers contain preservatives that allow them to survive longer. If you happen to leave your dairy creamer on the countertop overnight, do not worry. You can still drink it but lit might not last as long as it says on the label.
As long as the creamer was in a cool and dry place, it’s safe to eat. If you live in a warm climate, you might need to check whether it has gone bad or not.
09. Why Does My Creamer Separate in My Coffee?
This is something almost all of us have experienced at least once. You prepare your coffee and cream and then pour the creamer on top of your espresso only to see the cream separating. When this happens, you don’t get the smooth, creamy feeling we all look for.
But why does this happen? Mainly because coffee is a very acidic ingredient. What happens when you add lemon juice to milk? It separates, doesn’t it? The same thing happens when you add cream to your coffee.
How to avoid it? The trick is so simple that you will doubt its effectiveness. All you have to do is add cream to your coffee cup first. Then pour a little bit of coffee and combine them together.
Then add the rest of the coffee. When you mix these two ingredients gradually, they don’t react and the creamer doesn’t separate. Pretty nifty, right!
10. What Happens if You Freeze Coffee Creamer?
If you freeze unopened coffee creamers, they will last longer than the expiration date. Liquid coffee creamers can last up to 4 months in the freezer if left unopened.
If you are using a non-dairy creamer, it can last up to 6 months. Dairy creamers tend to have a shorter shelf life and change their texture very quickly. If that happens, we recommend not using that creamer.
Coffee creamers are super useful when all you need is a great latte but can’t be bothered to go outside for it. It’s quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. The fact that these creamers come in so many different flavors just adds to the appeal.
If you happen to bulk buy too many coffee creamers, hopefully, our guide helped you to know how to store them properly. So now you can store those festive or Christmas limited flavors for much longer than 2 weeks!