Maybe that package of powdered creamer seems to have been in your cupboard for forever, or you noticed you’ve been using that bottle of non-dairy creamer for weeks. How long does coffee creamer last? Does it even go bad?
Dairy creamers will often spoil within 7 days once opened but can last up to 3 days past the expiration date if left unopened in the fridge. Non-dairy creamers, also known as whiteners, can last up to 30 days in the fridge, depending on what ingredients are in the product. Powdered creamers do not spoil, but will lose quality of flavor over time.
To really know when your preferred coffee creamer will go bad, or to help prolong its freshness, you must explore its ingredients, consistency, and proper storage requirements. Also, always read the labels, and test safely before consuming.
Does Coffee Creamer Go Bad? How Long Does Coffee Creamer Last?
Coffee creamers and whiteners can go bad, and in some cases, rather quickly. It is wise to always check the label for storage instructions and be aware of the best-by date.
How Long Does Coffee Creamer Last In A Pantry?
Powdered coffee creamer can last in the cupboard for up to six months past its “best by” date. It does not get rancid unless exposed to high temperatures or moisture, but it does reduce in quality.
Single-use cups of creamer are designed to be stored for long periods of time at room temperature. They can last up to one month past their expiration date, as long as they are not stored near a source of high heat.
Many liquid creamers or whiteners can be stored on the shelf until they are opened, but then must be refrigerated. If you bought it in the refrigerator section, make sure to store it in your fridge at home, dairy or not.
How Long Does Coffee Creamer Last in the Fridge?
There is no need to store powdered creamer, dairy or not, in the fridge. Single-use creamer cups do not necessarily need to be refrigerated either. They were made for cupboard storage.
Dairy and non-dairy liquid creamers are effected by the moment their packaging seal was broken. How long they last depends on this factor, as they begin to degrade as soon as they are exposed to air.
Unopened, dairy creamer will last up to 2 weeks past its best-by date. Non-dairy creamer can last, unopened, up to a month after its best-by date. Opened, both can only be expected to last up to two weeks.
How Long Does Coffee Creamer Last in the Freezer?
While powdered creamer doesn’t need to be frozen to last, it can be. It can be frozen for up to six months and it may clump, but since it dissolves when dropped into hot coffee, people have not found this to be a problem.
Popular brands of non-dairy liquid whiteners claim that their products will not freeze well, and will say DO NOT FREEZE on the label. Liquid creamer lovers have proven, however, that dairy or not, liquid creamers can be frozen.
Coffee creamer can last up to six months in the freezer. When you are ready to drink it, thaw it in the fridge and try to drink it all within a week or so. Do not refreeze, the creamer will be ruined.
If you don’t use creamer often, buying it powdered or in single-use cups will be most efficient for you, they will last longer. Liquid creamers should be used quickly if not frozen.
How To Tell If Coffee Creamer Has Gone Bad / How To Know Coffee Creamer is Fresh
If your creamer has gone bad and you don’t know how to tell, it can mean a rough start to your morning routine. Learn the signs of spoilage and spare yourself from this nasty mistake.
Liquid dairy creamers spoil the same way milk does. The creamer’s texture changes, lumps form, and a strong sour odor can take over your refrigerator, if left unchecked. If you somehow do not notice the lumps or the smell and you cream your coffee in the groggy dawn hours, the taste will certainly alarm you. To finish that cup of coffee could mean upsetting your digestive system.
Powdered dairy-based creamers will clump as they go bad. They will not taste as good, either. If exposed to moisture, bacteria will grow and can cause an odor. Although, it may take months or a year for these signs of spoilage to become noticeable if you do not use powdered creamer regularly.
Liquid non-dairy creamers can spoil in similar ways to their dairy-based cousin. Depending on what their ingredients are; did you choose a milk alternative like almond, soy, or coconut milk? They typically lump, separate, and start to stink. Creamers made of vegetable oil and corn syrup may be a little tricker to tell, until you pour it or taste it, because the texture and flavor does degrade.
When in doubt, a tiny taste will always tell. Creamers of every kind lost their quality of flavor as they spoil. Less than a teaspoon will be enough for you to determine by taste without risking any digestive troubles.
How to Store Coffee Creamer?
Storing your creamer properly is the first step to ensuring it stays fresh as long as it can. Each type of creamer has different instructions, based on what their ingredients are, and what processes were used in their manufacture.
Powdered: Dairy or not, powdered creamers are best kept in cool, dry cupboards, cabinets, or pantries. Seal the package against air and moisture after every use, and keep it away from sources of heat.
Single-use cups: As long as these are kept away from heat, they are easy to store. You can put them in the refrigerator, if you want to, but it is unnecessary.
Liquid dairy: Always treat dairy creamer as you would treat ordinary milk. Keep it in the refrigerator, and do not leave it on the counter for more than hour, or you risk losing the entire bottle to bacteria.
Liquid non-dairy: If you found your creamer on the shelf, it can be stored in a cupboard at home until it has been opened. Once opened, or if you found it in the refrigerated section, store it in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Coffee Creamer? How?
There are benefits to freezing some types of coffee creamer, such as stockpiling for a busy household or preserving a favorite holiday flavor for the off-season. There are also a few different ways to do it, so you can choose which method works for your lifestyle.
Ice Cubes: Fill a clean ice cube tray as you normally would, but with coffee creamer instead of water. Once frozen, you can store the cubes a freezer-safe bag or container and use them for easy portion control.
In bottle: Coffee creamer does not expand when frozen like water does, so you can simply place the bottle of creamer in the freezer when you bring it home. Remember to write the date on it, and do not keep it longer than six months.
Powdered creamer: If unopened, powdered creamer can also be frozen to prolong its freshness. This is not entirely necessary, and you may experience clumping due to the freezing process.
How to Thaw Coffee Creamer?
However you chose to freeze your coffee creamer, you will need to let thaw somehow before you can use it in your coffee.
If you choose to freeze your coffee creamer, it is important to let it thaw properly. If not, the texture and taste of the creamer will be wrong, if not downright unpleasant.
Let liquid creamer in the bottle thaw in the fridge overnight and shake it well before opening it. In cube form, it may be best to warm it in the microwave a few seconds before mixing it in your morning coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee Creamer’s Shelf Life
The shelf-life for coffee creamer can be somewhat complicated, since there are so many unique types of creamer or whitener.
How long does soy creamer last? Even for soy milk that is sold and stored at room temperature until opened, once opened, all soy creamer can last 7-10 days in the refrigerator. Similar to cow’s milk, you will see curdling, changes in color, and an off-smell when soy creamer starts to go bad. Throw it out if you catch these signs before you taste it.
What happens if you drink bad creamer? Drinking expired coffee creamer of any type will have a negative effect on your digestive system. It can cause common food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Depending on how much you consume, the experience will be highly uncomfortable, to potentially severe. Remember to flush and hydrate your system with water.
A delicious cup of coffee can make or break your day, and if you aren’t prepared for your creamer to go bad, but you depend on it, your day isn’t starting out too well. Knowing how to take care of your preferred creamer can prevent unpleasant mornings and waste.