Does Coffee Creamer go Bad?

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Many coffee lovers like the taste of their coffee better when it’s mixed with creamer; not all coffee lovers like it black. For this reason, coffee creamer is an essential item in the kitchen in most households.

Like most beverages and tea, the coffee creamer is stored for several months at a time. At some point, you might wonder if the creamer is still good to use considering how long you have had it; the question “does coffee creamer go bad?” is one every coffee lover asks at some point.

Perhaps you only drink coffee occasionally, and you are not certain how long a liquid creamer will last after opening the container. Or you are confused if buying a powdered creamer is a better option.

Whatever it is about coffee creamer that you are worried about, we will discuss it in this article. We will talk about storage, shelf life, spoilage, shopping for the best creamer, and FAQ on coffee creamer. We will discuss both the powdered and liquid creamer.

Coffee creamer generally is made from a mixture of sugar, water, and vegetable oil; hence the need for creamers to be refrigerated – or not? Before we dive deeper, let’s divide coffee creamers and whiteners into four categories.

Mini sealed cups: These are the little creamers that are single-serving that you often use when traveling or at a restaurant.

Powdered coffee creamers/whiteners: These are all the creamers and whiteners you can purchase in powdery form, including dairy and non-dairy products.

Dairy-based creamers: The dairy cream includes your milk or cream and other flavored brands: cream or milk.

Non-dairy-based creamers: Everything that is not dairy products falls under this category, including milk alternatives like coconut milk and almond.

All of the products above have a similar handling process. Let’s talk about each and the best handling process.

Mini Sealed Cups

The mini sealed creamer cup is an excellent option for traveling as it doesn’t require refrigeration – it is single-use. Since it’s used one at a time, you don’t have to worry about storing leftovers.

The mini sealed creamer cup has a shelf life of about six months but can last longer if it remains closed. If consuming any product after its expiry date is a problem for you, you can discard the mini sealed cup after its expiry period.

To determine if this creamer has gone bad, check the smell and taste. If it tastes different from what you know, trash it; if the taste is the same as before, go ahead and make yourself a cup of coffee.

Powdered Coffee Creamers

There are various powdered coffee creamers on the market with a variety of flavors. When storing your powdered creamer, room temperature is the best for the package. Keep the powder creamer away from moisture and water.

Once you open the packaging, make sure it’s always tightly sealed after each use. If the creamer’s package cannot prevent air from entering after opening, consider transferring your creamer to airtight containers or freezer bags.

If you wonder how long your creamer will last, the dates written on the pack have the best-by date, but it is only an estimate; more often than not, you can still use your powdered creamer after the stated expiry date. It might taste differently, but if it is not wet or have wet spots, it is safe for consumption.

You should discard your creamer if your coffee doesn’t taste as good as it used to with the creamer. If you take coffee rarely, you should get the powdered version as it has a longer shelf life compared to other creamers (a year or two).

Dairy-Based Coffee Creamers

Dairy-based products consist of milk, half-and-half, or cream. Flavored dairy products are handled the same way; most dairy products require refrigerating. Pasteurized milk doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge and also all milk that the label specifies.

All other dairy products except milk have a short shelf life – usually about a few weeks. For the dairy-based creamer, you should observe the best-before date stated on the label. Some of the products might still taste good for a few days after the stated expiry date if stored properly.

When you open a dairy-based creamer, check the label for details on how long it can remain safe for consumption after opening. Different companies have different dates – usually between four to seven days.

The best way to tell if your dairy creamer is bad is by smell, taste, and texture. If your dairy-based creamer is turning sour or has a funny smell or a different texture than what you know, you should discard it. If the color and texture look fine, give it a taste.

You should discard any open dairy product that has stayed in the refrigerator longer than two or three days.

None-Dairy Based Creamers

Most non-dairy products require refrigerating at all times; others, only when they are opened. The easiest way to preserve non-dairy creamer is to store them how the supermarket you purchased them from storing them.

If you do not remember how it was stored at the supermarket, check the label for directions. If the label does not state how to preserve an unopened container, keep it in the fridge; that’s your best option. Once you open, refrigerate what is left.

The shelf life of liquid non-dairy creamer is dependent on the product; It’s best to check for the best-by date on the label. If unopened, the non-dairy creamer can last a couple of months and about a week or two after opening.

To determine if your non-dairy creamer is still okay for use:

  1. Check appearance, smell, and taste.
  2. Pour a little into a glass and check its color and texture; if it looks good, give it a good sniff.
  3. If it smells good, have a little taste to determine if it’s still suitable for consumption.

If you have left the container open for a more extended period than the label states, you should trash the creamer to avoid risking food poisoning.

Let’s talk about factors that affect coffee creamers.

Type Of Processing

Non-dairy powdered milk has a longer shelf life than powdered creamers. Similarly, non-dairy liquid creamers have a longer shelf life than milk or cream. The safest way to preserve liquid creamers is to refrigerate and seal tightly after opening. On the other hand, the powdered creamers must be tightly sealed and kept in a cool and dry spot.


An excellent place to store your powdered coffee creamer is the pantry. When open, keep in an airtight container to avoid air from getting into it, as air will cause the powdered cream to clump together. Also, store in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture and bacteria from getting into your cream.


The majority of creamers have expiry dates on their label. As much as some of the dates are estimated expiry dates by the manufacturer, it’s best to abide by those dates. Those dates are how long the manufacturer estimates your creamer will remain at its peak quality. Powdered milk can still be used even after its stated expiry date as long as it’s properly stored in an airtight container or box.

Exposure To Heat

 When you expose your creamer to heat, it can result in milk curdling. Heat can also stimulate bacterial growth, which will cause milk acidity, sour taste, and bad smell.

At the moment, many non-dairy products are gotten from proteins derived from lactose-free milk; they are still milk products but contain neither cream nor lactose.

Types Of Dairy-Based Coffee Creamer

Powered by milk: The famous coffee creamers are made with milk. It adds a creamy splash to your cup of coffee. There is various milk-based creamers available:

Cow’s Milk: Cow milk is considered the most popular choice for traditional creamer – and for the right reason. It brings the perfect amount of creaminess and sweetness to your cup.

Buffalo Milk: Buffalos are the next most significant source of milk in the world after cows. People who prefer buffalo milk do so because it adds a creamy tang to your coffee, and it’s the fattiest of all milk.

Goat milk: Goat milk adds a rich and earthy flavor to your coffee.

Creamy Options

The cream is delicious and extravagant in a cup of coffee. The various types of creams include:

Half and a half: The half and half is a popular choice made up of milk and cream. It is enjoyed by many because it adds sweet thickness to their cup of coffee – talk about indulging!

Light cream: Light cream is a fatter version of the half and half. It’s loved for its creamy and delicious taste.

Light whipping cream: This gives you a creamy and decadent cup of coffee with zero fat associated with whipping cream. It has between 30-36% milk fat.

Whipping cream: If you are not bothered about the effect the whipping cream will have on your waistline, then go ahead and satisfy your taste bud. Whipping cream is thick and creamy in your coffee.

Heavy cream: This option is the thickest cream available. It is rich, delicious, and has at least 38% milkfat; this decadent option will enhance your cup of coffee.

Coffee Creamer Buyer’s Guide

Coffee creamer is a light cream used to thicken and add flavor to your coffee. There is an endless number of alternatives for you to get either dairy or non-dairy coffee creamer. Both dairy and non-dairy creamer have their unique advantage and what you will benefit from either.

Here is a guide on what to consider before making your purchase.

The base

Most coffee creamer’s flavors are built from a base. Most of these bases are either:

  • 2% or whole milk: A creamer with heavy cream and also rich in fat. Half-and-half is a lighter option. 2% or whole milk is a good option for coffee creamer as it contains less fat.
  • Soy Milk: Soy milk is known to be a great source of protein, and as such, including it in your coffee should not be harmful. It’s also an excellent option for vegan individuals.
  • Almond milk: Almond milk has gained popularity because of its healthy fat and vitamins, including calcium. If you are someone with a sensitive taste bud, plain almond milk is an excellent option as it doesn’t add any stranger flavor to your coffee.
  • Coconut milk: Coconut milk creates a versertile alternative because of its weight loss, heart health, and immune-boosting benefits.
  • Oat Milk:  Oat milk is another coffee creamer that has a close resemblance to regular milk. For what it adds in calories, it makes up for in fiber content.

Powdered Vs. Liquid

Purchasing powdered or liquid creamer is based on your personal preference. Powdered creamers have a long shelf life than liquid creamers but don’t taste as good as the liquid creamer.


What is a coffee creamer?

Coffee creamer is a creamy liquid added to coffee and has a similar taste to milk. It has different flavors like chocolate, hazelnut, strawberry, etc.

How long does a coffee creamer last?

That will depend on the type of creamer, how it was stored, and the expiry dates stated on the label.

How long does coffee-mate creamer last in the fridge?

Coffee-mate creamers are one of the most known creamers in the world. The liquid coffee mate creamer should be used within fourteen days of opening or before the use-by-date.

What will happen if you drink expired coffee creamer?

If you drink an expired coffee creamer that recently expired, you might get lucky and not fall ill. If you take a creamer that is far out of date, with a foul smell, or spoilt taste, you can get sick.

The bacteria that have inhabited the creamer can cause you to be quite ill. This is why you should be careful when taking coffee creamers.

Does coffee creamer go bad in coffee?

Yes, it can. If you are using an expired creamer or a bad coffee creamer, it will affect your coffee taste. Ensure to check your creamer’s expiry date before use, especially if you have had it for a long time.

In conclusion, coffee creamers come in various options – dairy, non-dairy, flavored, unflavored. If you want to enhance your coffee or try something new with your coffee, get a creamer to improve your coffee’s thickness and texture.

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