What better way to top off a perfect cup of coffee than with a great creamer? Sure, many people prefer the full flavor of a cup of black coffee but for others, the flavor is too strong. While coffee purists want to stick with a plain old cup o’ Joe, there are as many who prefer to experiment with flavors.
Coffee creamer gives us the opportunity to try different flavors, add sweeteners, or change the texture of our coffee. That said, there are tons of creamer choices, and it can feel a bit overwhelming deciding between so many varieties, types, and flavors.
While it’s ultimately a personal choice, we know that great decisions cannot be made without the right supporting information. That’s why Jiale has created this guide to help you choose the best coffee creamer for your tastes.
Dairy or Non-Dairy?
One of the first choices you need to make when it comes to coffee creamer is whether or not you want to use dairy. When most people think of cream, they think of dairy. However, not everyone can consume dairy and some people choose not to for health, moral, or religious reasons.
There is an endless supply of both dairy and non-dairy creamer options that you can choose from to boost the flavor of your coffee. A good starting point in narrowing down the options is to decide if you want dairy.
If you are vegan, lactose-intolerant, allergic to dairy, or unable to consume dairy for religious purposes, then you may opt for some of the many ready-made non-dairy options available. These creamers are often made with plant-based milk alternatives so that you get a similar flavor and texture, without the dairy.
When choosing between dairy and non-dairy, and what type of creamer you want, you may also need to consider the nutrition elements. Milk or pure cream will usually be thicker and contain more fat. If you only drink one small cup of coffee and day and you use a small amount of creamer, this may not have a large nutritional impact for you.
However, if you drink a lot of coffee or add large amounts of creamer to your drinks, then those extra calories and fat can add up fast. It’s important to be mindful of how much you are consuming in relation to the daily recommendations. It’s very easy to drink your calories without realizing it and to consume more than you intended.
You can also choose low-fat or skim milk options to reduce calories and fat more while still enjoying milk in your coffee. This can be a good option for people who are counting calories but still like milk or cream.
Types of Milks
Milk is one of the simplest and most common types of coffee creamer available. Now let’s take a look at the many types of milk you can use for your creamer.
- Cow’s milk
- Goat milk
- Whole milk
- Reduced-fat milk
- Skim milk
- Plant-based milk
If you’re looking for a thicker texture than milk provides, you may want to use cream instead. While all of these types of coffee additives are called “creamer”, only one type is made of actual cream.
Types of Cream
Cream will be thicker than milk, but similar in flavor. Let’s take a look at the different types of creamers available to you.
- Half and half
- Light creamer
- Whipping cream
- Light whipping cream
- Heavy cream
Next, let’s look at commercial creamers that you purchase. These are made specifically for use in coffee and come in a variety of flavors. There are two basic types:
- Liquid creamer
- Powder creamer
The biggest difference between liquid and powder creamer is in how you store them. Powder creamers can be stored in the pantry or cupboard and do not need to be refrigerated. Liquid creamers need to be refrigerated after opening.
The flavors are usually the same. The main thing to look out for is that powder creamer does not blend well in cold coffee. You need hot coffee to help melt down the powder. When you put powder creamer in iced coffee, it tends to clump up.
These commercial creamers come in tons of different flavors, which is part of the appeal to them over standard milk or cream. Some flavors include vanilla, French vanilla, café mocha, caramel, caramel blends, coconut, cinnamon, peppermint, chocolate, hazelnut, crème brulee, pumpkin spice, and more.
Brands like Coffee Mate and International Delight will often release seasonal flavors that come out for a limited time only. They also have a variety of fat free and sugar free options.
If you want to turn your coffee into a nightcap or give it a little “kick”, you might consider an alcoholic creamer. The most popular and well-known is Bailey’s Irish Cream. This crème liqueur blends well with coffee and even comes in a variety of flavors.
Some other alcoholic options are Kahlua and Amaretto. You can also add whisky, brandy, or your other favorite alcohol as a shot and then top it with any of the creamers mentioned in this post.
Make a Homemade Creamer
Another option you have is to make your own homemade coffee creamer. This is the one choice that gives you the most control over what you consume. However, it simply doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re pressed for time or don’t enjoy doing things in the kitchen, it may be easier to just purchase a creamer, and that’s okay too.
Let’s take a look at some options for those who like to make their own, though.
All creamers begin with a milk-type base. This may be:
- Half and half
- Soy or almond milk
- Some other milk alternative
From there, you may want to add a sweetener. These could be:
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
- Sweet n low
- Some other artificial sweetener
And finally, you can add a flavor of your choice. This might be:
- And more
Now that you have all of this great information about coffee creamers, you’re ready to select your own. Remember that many coffee lovers try lots of different creamer options before they find the one that suits them best. It’s also really common to enjoy more than one flavor of coffee creamer.
Or perhaps you like one creamer with a certain type of flavor of coffee and another for a different coffee. That’s the beauty of it – you get to mix and match and enjoy it according to your own tastes.
Remember that you can add as much or as little as you want, and the flavor combinations and sweetness you use is completely up to you. Enjoy!