There is no universal way to drink your coffee. Some people love straight black coffee, while others enjoy mochas. When you go to the grocery store, you are bound to see tons of flavoring products for your coffee.
From products that just add a bit of sweetness, to products that will almost completely alter the taste of your cup. Out of all these products coffee, creamer is one of the most popular ways to flavor your beverage, and it usually comes in a wide variety of flavors.
To put it simply, it is a cream-like substance that is used to alter the flavor of your coffee. It can be made from a few different ingredients and come in dairy and non-dairy alternatives. There are tons of brands out there, and most stores will carry diet, sugar-free, regular, and non-lactose creamers.
Dairy-based creams generally use half and half milk as the main ingredient. This creamer usually contains between 18 to 12 percent milkfat. This range may change by country, so those buying creamer in Europe might find that there is a higher percentage of milk fat in their beverage.
Non-dairy creams are made from a variety of different products and may even use vegetable oil for texture. Some will use types of milk protein without lactose, while other vegan-friendly options will use almond or coconut milk as a substitute. It’s important to check the ingredients of non-lactate creamers, especially if you have allergies to nuts.
No matter which type of creamer you buy, it will likely be flavored. Coffee creamers come in flavors from mocha to eggnog. Eggnog, along with many other flavors, are special seasonal varieties to help keep your coffee more festive.
The shelf-life of your coffee creamer will greatly depend on a few factors. Some brands will go bad faster than others, especially if they use dairy. Others will have more preservatives or be made with ingredients that help them stay fresh longer. Here is a helpful guide to let you know how long your creamer may last.
Dairy Creamer: Dairy Creamer will generally go bad the fastest. Once it is opened, you generally have around two weeks to use it. This gets shorter after you have passed the use-by date. Single-use creamers are usually made to last around a month.
Non-Dairy Creamer: Non-dairy creamer may last a bit longer depending on what products are used to make it. It has a much longer shelf life and usually lasts for around a month more than traditional creamer. Once it is opened, though, the same rules apply, and it can go bad after two weeks.
Powder Creamer: This is a bit of a toss-up. Powder creamers can last up to two years, depending on the company and the ingredients used. Check the expiration date if you’ve added a container for a while and make sure there is no strange odor before use.
Yes, almost every type of food/seasoning will eventually go bad. Bad creamer can lead to sickness or if you’re lucky, horrible tasting coffee. As mentioned above, different creamers have different shelf lives, and you need to check the expiration date before consuming an item, especially if you didn’t recently purchase it.
Some of my best advice for this is to always check the packaging. Most coffee creamers will be stored the way they are bought.
If you buy a dairy creamer, it will probably be near the milk in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. When you bring it home, you should always place it back in your refrigerator after use.
If you bought a creamer off the shelf, and it’s a liquid variety, check the packaging. Sometimes you will find the refrigerator after opening directions. This is to help your creamer last longer. For single-use cups, check the box, but know they mostly can be stored in your cabinet. You will need to check the expiration date often on these.
No matter what type of creamer you use, make sure to put the cap back on securely. By not tightening the cap, you are letting more air and bacteria into the product, which can cause it to go bad much faster.
This is generally pretty easy to do if you have a liquid creamer. First, check the best by date, if it’s more than a few days out, then your creamer has probably gone bad.
If you’re still within the date, check the consistency of the creamer. Is it still smooth and cream like, or does it look like it has a film or chunky pieces floating around inside of it?
What about the smell, does it smell like the flavoring it’s supposed to be, or is it a bit sour? If the smell is off at all, it is a good sign that the creamer has gone bad. This can even be noted in powder creamers. With any variety of creamer, if it tastes off or wrong, then it’s best not to drink it and throw the rest out.
Finally, always lookout for signs of mold. Mold can be gray or green, and most of the time can look a bit fuzzy in texture. Mold is a major health issue, and even a small amount is reason to throw the product away.
Coffee creamer is a fun and sometimes unique way to add a burst of flavor to your favorite drink. There are several different varieties out there and even options for those allergic to Lactaid.
You should always check your creamer to know when it’s best by date is and know the signs of a cream that has gone bad.
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