Creamer is a condiment that’s commonly added to coffee or black tea. It works as an alternative to milk, half-and-half, or whipped cream. Most coffee creamers are dairy-free products. Brands use sugar (or sugar substitute), oil, and artificial thickeners to make creamers.
Which begs the question, how much creamer to put in coffee? The short and simple answer is 1 tablespoon for each cup. But there are lots you should know about why it’s 1 tablespoon – hence our article. So, let’s find out what is coffee creamer, how much you need it, and the types of creamers you should look for.
- What Is Coffee Creamer?
- Facts About Coffee Creamer
- How Much Creamer To Put In Coffee…
- How Much Is Too Much?
- Positives And Negatives of Coffee Creamer
- Adding Creamer To Coffee Grounds (Pre-Brewing)
- Adding Creamer To Brewed Coffee
- Adding To Iced Coffee
- Adding To Lattes And Cappuccinos
- How much creamer and sugar do I put in my coffee?
- Is coffee creamer bad for you?
- How much creamer to put in an iced coffee?
- Should you put creamer before coffee?
- Is coffee creamer gluten-free?
- Can coffee creamer expire?
- Which is better: half-and-half or coffee creamer?
- What do Americans put in their coffee?
What Is Coffee Creamer?
Creamer is usually a type of dairy product. It’s made from milk. But the coffee creamer we’re talking about, the commercial ones you buy from the supermarket are mostly the nondairy substitutes of the aforementioned type. It is used to add creaminess and tasty flavor(s) to our coffee. The coffee creamers are usually made from milk, sugar, cream, and artificial flavorings (vanilla, almond, hazelnut, and mocha).
Creamers do have a longer shelf life than regular milk products. You can find it both in liquid and powdered forms. They are one of the most popular condiments in the U.S. and they come in a wide variety of flavors.
The use of coffee creamers has significantly increased over the years as many brands have introduced lactose-free, gluten-free, and low-fat creamers, benefiting health-conscious, lactose-intolerant, and gluten-intolerant consumers.
Facts About Coffee Creamer
As we’ve already stated, most creamers are dairy-free products, meaning they don’t contain any milk products at all. Creamers have a similar thickness to half-and-half but contain a high amount of sugar (note: sugar-free options are available). Creamers are made exclusively as an addition to coffee and tea.
So let’s look at these facts about them:
- They’re found in 2 major varieties—liquid and powdered form. But there are also sugar-free, fat-free, and flavored versions available for both of those 2 types
- Some of the popular sweetened and flavored creamers are vanilla, almond, hazelnut, chocolate, caramel, and pumpkin spice
- The bottled liquid creamers can last up to 2 weeks after opening, whereas the powdered jars can last up to 6 months
- Popular organic substitutes for coffee creamers are half-and-half, whole milk, and organic milk cream
- Coffee creamers are ready-made products. You simply have to add it to your coffee and stir it
- Creamers have a similar flavor and texture to regular half-and-half or whole milk
- Freezing is not recommended for either liquid or powdered creamer
How Much Creamer To Put In Coffee…
Even though the amount of creamer one should use depends on his/her personal preference, we should be careful of what a creamer actually is.
Although coffee creamers are delicious condiments, they are usually high in processed sugar. They contain ingredients such as oils, corn syrup, and carrageenan. Furthermore, they include artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors.
The presence of corn syrup and processed sugar can increase the risk of weight gain, metabolic syndrome, depressive symptoms, and other negative health effects. So, it’s best to limit your creamer intake as much as possible.
Typically, if you’re drinking 2–3 cups of coffee per day, then use about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of creamer for every cup (237 ml). If you like to make your coffee richer and smoother, you may add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of creamer.
Please note that regular coffee creamers carry 10 grams (equivalent to 2.5 teaspoons) of sugar per 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of creamer.
So, it’s best to check the ingredient list before you buy your favorite coffee creamer.
How Much Is Too Much?
If you only focus on your taste and the rich coffee texture, there is no set limit on how much creamer you should consume. But we’ve already informed you about the ingredients and sugar content. You shouldn’t blindly go off on creamer consumption.
Coffee creamer is loaded with heavily processed compounds and sugar. As mentioned before, a regular 2 tablespoons of coffee creamer carries up to 10 grams of sugar, and this amount is equal to 2.5 teaspoons of white sugar.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the daily intake of added sugar should be no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) for women. For men, it’s 9 teaspoons (36 grams).
In the aforementioned section, we’ve already indicated how loaded coffee creamers can be when you compare them with the AHA standards.
Now, let’s focus on the fat content of coffee creamer. It can vary by brand, but it’s typically 1 gram of fat per tablespoon (15 ml).
And 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of coffee creamer contains around 20 calories.
Needless to say, it’s in your best interest to carefully consume your coffee creamer. The general rule of thumb is to not consume more than 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coffee creamer per day.
Positives And Negatives of Coffee Creamer
- Adding creamer to your coffee makes it more palatable as well as adds additional calories and nutrients
- Creamers tone down the bitterness and are light-colored and more flavorful
- They can also add that coveted creamy mouthfeel and body to the coffee
- In addition, creamers can provide protein, fat, and vitamins and are beneficial for people who’re trying to bulk up their diet
- Creamers also keep coffee warm for a longer period
- Creamers are high in sugar and calories. It can contribute to weight gain
- The sweetness and creaminess make your coffee more addictive, which will lead to an increased caffeine intake per day
- Creamers can mask the real taste of coffee. As a result, you might not realize how good or bad your brew was
- Finally, creamers spoil more if not stored properly. Once spoiled, they can develop bacteria and other harmful microorganisms
Different Ways To Make Coffee With Creamer
Since coffee creamers are read-made products, it’s not difficult at all to use them with various coffee perpetration. So, let’s take a look how at some of our favorites:
Adding Creamer To Coffee Grounds (Pre-Brewing)
Yes, you can add powdered coffee creamer to the grounds before brewing. It’s a great way to add flavor, sweetness, and creaminess to your cup of Joe. Vienna-roasted coffee beans are ideal for this method.
Adding Creamer To Brewed Coffee
It’s the most familiar way of adding cream. This method adds extra flavor and sweetness to your coffee. Pour in the desired amount of creamer, stir, and enjoy!
Adding To Iced Coffee
Coffee creamers have revolutionized the iced coffee and cold brew phenomena the most in the last decade. Iced coffee has turned iced coffee from a summer drink to a year-rounder. Pour the creamer over the ice and cold brew, stir, and enjoy!
Adding To Lattes And Cappuccinos
For a latte, pour 1/2 cup of creamer over 1/2 cup of espresso. You can add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar as well. For cappuccinos, it’s the same but adds 2-4 tablespoons of sugar.
Types Of Coffee Creamers
Coffee creamers are sold in 2 main forms—powdered and liquid. Liquid creamers have a wide range of flavors. You can commonly find low-fat and sugar-free varieties as well. Powdered creamers are also easily available in different flavors.
Here are the 10 most popular coffee cream flavors:
- French Vanilla: It’s considered the most classic flavor. It’s a richer taste with a custard-like flavor
- Café Mocha: A flavor based on a chocolate-flavored latte. Perfect for a fancy morning coffee
- Caramel Macchiato: It has hints of espresso, vanilla, and caramel. Starbucks’ version has become a fan favorite
- Crème Brulee: Another classic from the French desserts. It has a taste of creamy custard with hints of brown sugar
- Hazelnut: With deep and chocolatey flavors, hazelnut creamer gives your coffee a rich and bold tone
- Italian Sweet Cream: It was inspired by the Italian pastry cream found in classic Italian desserts. It’s very sweet with vanilla and almond notes that pair well with more robust dark roasts
- White Chocolate: It has a very creamy vanilla-flavored texture and is another crowd-pleaser from Starbucks
- Butter Pecan: A classic southern flavor that tastes like cream and butter, with the nutty flavor of toasted pecans!
- Salted Caramel Mocha: A tried-and-tested salty-and-sweet flavor for caramel fans
- Pumpkin Spice: America’s love affair with pumpkin spice has now rolled over to creamers as well. Although a seasonal item, its popularity has earned it a secure spot on this list
How To Choose The Right Coffee Creamer
Hands down, a regular coffee creamer of any kind is the best possible way to sweeten your daily coffee. They’re specifically made to balance the creaminess and bitterness of the coffee.
- So, whether it’s normal, sugar-free, or non-dairy, be sure to take a look at how many calories it contains from the labels
- Always try to pick a brand that uses less corn syrup and other processed sugar in their creamers
- For both liquid and powdered creamers, not all creamers mix easily with coffee. Obviously, buy one that dissolves easily
- Don’t limit yourself to one or two flavors. Try different ones to not only improve your palate
- For vegan and lactose-intolerant consumers, a non-dairy creamer made with coconut cream is the best bet
- If you’re trying to be health-conscious, it’s safe for you to try non-dairy (either sweetened or unsweetened) creamers
Alternatives To Coffee Creamer
It’s always better to know about the alternatives to a coffee-related condiment because it widens your options and helps you make a better choice depending on your situation. Luckily for us, coffee creamers have a lot of alternatives.
- Evaporated Milk: The name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a milk form that gets heated until most of the water content evaporates. It has an excellent shelf life and is one of the best coffee creamer substitutes
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: If you love your coffee extra sweet, sweetened condensed milk is made for you. Add it sparingly though, as it’s concentrated, rich, milky, and wonderfully sweet. It’s great with a strong dark roast, iced, and hot preparations
- Half-and-Half: This is one of the most popular creamers. A half-and-half, made with half whole milk and half cream, perfectly balances the milk fat. It also doesn’t contain any added sugar or syrup, which makes it a great choice
- Heavy Cream: Even creamier than half-and-half, a splash of it will turn your cup of Joe into a luxurious, velvety cup. It’s rich and not exactly fat-free, but the flavor is well worth it
- Almond Milk: The best non-dairy coffee creamer alternative. It’s creamy, lactose-free, and full of protein. And that unforgettable almond flavor. You can even pick from unsweetened, vanilla, chocolate, and more versions of it
- Oat Milk: This plant-based milk is mild, creamy, and subtly sweet. It’s a great alternative for those who are looking to minimize their soy consumption
- Soy Milk: Oldest form of non-dairy creamer. It’s full of plant-based protein, has a silky texture, and is available in an assortment of flavors
- Coconut Cream: It’s thicker and richer than coconut milk and adds a divine fruitiness to brewed coffee
How much creamer and sugar do I put in my coffee?
There’s no need to add sugar to your creamer as most creamers are very sweet. Add 1 tablespoon of creamer per cup.
Is coffee creamer bad for you?
Too much coffee creamer is bad for you. So, always buy a healthy creamer and consume very little of it.
How much creamer to put in an iced coffee?
2 tablespoons of creamer are sufficient for an iced coffee.
Should you put creamer before coffee?
Yes, you can. Pour the creamer before you pour your hot or cold coffee.
Is coffee creamer gluten-free?
Yes, coffee creamers can be gluten-free. Check the ingredient label to make sure you’re buying it as such.
Can coffee creamer expire?
Opened liquid coffee creamers stay good for 2–3 weeks, and powdered creamers stay good for 6 months (if stored correctly).
Which is better: half-and-half or coffee creamer?
Half-and-half is the healthier option among these two.
What do Americans put in their coffee?
Americans love to put sugar and cream in their coffee.
Putting coffee creamer in your coffee should be done carefully. Even though the consensus on the matter is that there are no rules as coffee habits vary from person to person. While we don’t disagree with that, we can’t ignore the fact that it’s a high-calorie and high-sugar product. Various long-term health conditions derive from those 2 factors alone.
Fortunately, there are healthy alternatives that are available to you. It’s best if you add anywhere from 1 to 2 tablespoons of creamer per day. Start with less and add more if you feel more is needed. Remember, too much creamer will make your coffee watery.