There are two types of people in this world. The first type swears on strong, clean, premium black coffee without sugar, coffee creamers, or anything similar. Just the simple, dark cup of joe. Those coffee purists will enjoy their coffee clean, and we respect that.
However, the other type outnumbers them greatly. It consists of people who like their coffee varied with taste. So, they add sugar, creamers, milk, syrups, even butter (or salt!) to their regular cup of coffee. For them, we prepared a thorough guide on making your own coffee creamers. Naturally, with all the how’s, why’s, and what’s, along with the healthier solutions.
You see, the tricky part of creamers is all the excess calories, and artificial coffee creamers can be full of them. Also, added sugar and other chemicals could do a serious impact on your health. Making your own coffee creamer is the healthier alternative. The next logical question is: how to make your own coffee creamer? It’s as simple as making a homemade syrup for coffee.
What Is a Coffee Creamer
Let’s start from the beginning. From ancient times, people loved to add dairy products to their coffee. For the taste, calories, and simply because they liked it. Nowadays, we use coffee creamer, also known as a coffee whitener. Coffee creamer is a liquid or a powder people like adding to their coffee. It gives the coffee a sweeter, milky taste, and people tend to enjoy it. Also, it’s much easier to use coffee creamer than to prepare milk when brewing cafe latte at home.
We have a usual coffee creamer, straight from the shelves of your local grocery store. Let’s look at the ingredients:
- Vegetable oil
- Artificial sweeteners
- Cellulose gum and gel
- Artificial colors
- Weird chemicals
Ouch. We most certainly don’t want to put that in our coffee or in our bodies. And no traces of milk. But, we like the texture and the flavor that good coffee creamer can add to our morning cup of coffee. So, what now? We have two choices:
- Find a quality coffee creamer. Not all the creamers are bad, but a bunch of them are. So look for the one made from natural ingredients and low calories.
- Make your own coffee creamer with healthy ingredients you chose by yourself.
Benefits of Using Coffee Creamer
Oh, God, the taste. We live in a golden era of opportunities to make your coffee taste different. Starting from the classical milky taste to spiced pumpkin or chocolate mint. A whole world of flavors awaits your cup of coffee. That is the single strongest argument for using coffee creamers.
Good for People With Allergies
Despite their misleading name, most of the coffee creamers don’t have dairy products in them. That’s pretty great if you are lactose intolerant. Also, coffee creamers can be gluten-free too. They can be a great way to enjoy your cafe late, without adding any milk or gluten.
Coffee creamers last much, much longer than regular milk or cream. That goes especially for the powdered type. Although, make sure you check the expiry date, as coffee creamers can also go bad.
Coffee creamers can be found in all package sizes. One thing they all have in common, they are easy to use. The larger powder boxes are easily scoopable, while smaller ones have handy dispensers. As for the liquid creamers, you can even find small packages enough for one cup of espresso.
Adding even a little bit of coffee creamer to your coffee will increase the calorie count. That’s not the problem if you drink one cup of coffee with a teaspoon of coffee creamer daily. However, overusing the coffee creamer will lead to a few problems. The milk fat is one of the secret calorie hideouts. And the second one is sugar. So, if you are trying to lose weight, beware of the hidden calories some coffee creamers contain.
How Does Coffee Creamer Work
Ah, chemistry again. The sole purpose of coffee creamer, or milk, is to bind the tannins in the coffee. The tannins are those bad guys that make your coffee sometimes too bitter, and they are a natural ingredient of every coffee bean. Yes, even in the finest blend of Costa Rican coffees.
For people with a sensitive stomach, the coffee creamer is a blessing from the sky. Also, if you are offered a lousy cup of coffee, the coffee creamer will save your day by adding a little more flavor.
But how to use coffee creamer? Well, choose one of the options: liquid or powdered. Add it to your coffee and stir well before drinking. If you add it to your cold brew or ice coffee, you will have to stir it up a bit more.
Types of Coffee Creamers
Powdered Coffee Creamer
The powdered coffee creamer can usually be found in most supermarkets. It comes in scoopable, easy-to-store boxes. Usually, it comes in one taste, and that is sweetened milk. Of course, a variety of other flavors is available on the market.
You should keep your powdered coffee creamer in a dry and cool place, using an airtight container. After opening, it can last up to six months.
Liquid Coffee Creamer
To find a liquid coffee creamer, you will have to go to the dairy section aisle. Liquid creamers tend to have more flavor choices, and you can even pick low-fat and low-sugar options. You need to keep it in the fridge. When opened, it can last up to two weeks. Freezing is not recommended.
Non-Dairy Coffee Creamers
Non-dairy creamer is a bit of an oxymoron. But we didn’t write the rules. Simple: non-dairy creamers don’t have milk or any other dairy product in their ingredients. Thus, they are a great choice for lactose-intolerant people. Most of the coffee creamers are non-dairy. But, for extra safety, always check the label. As the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle becomes more and more popular, so are the dairy-free coffee creamers for vegans.
Milk Bases for Homemade Coffee Creamers
Everything needs a base. For our lovely homemade coffee creamer, we have prepared four usual milk bases.
Half and Half
Half and half is a pretty cool nickname for mixing cream and milk in the same ratio. To be more precise, a half part is a heavy cream and the other half is whole milk. The commercially produced half and half contains between 10 and 18 percent of milk fat. Although thicker than whole milk, it’s not even close to whipping cream.
Milk is our favorite healthy option for your homemade coffee creamer. Also, it goes great with all the coffee variety. The secret is the availability and the easiness of preparing the milk. Also, milk is the starting base if you want to make hot chocolate from K-cups with only a few ingredients, and we know you do. So, what are our options for milk?
Over the years, it has become a synonym for milk. We learn to love milk as babies, and that love goes on in life. The sweetness and richness it adds to a cup of coffee are just mesmerizing. You can choose from low-fat options to full milk ones. If possible, always choose fresh milk from organic farming.
Goat’s milk just recently became popular as an addition to coffee. This type of milk has low levels of lactose, making it a perfect choice for lactose-intolerant people. However, the taste is not as sweet as the one from the cow, and some people may find it hard to bear.
And we’re not even joking. Buffalo’s milk (water buffalo, to be precise) is the second most often consumed milk worldwide, just after cow’s. Buffalo’s milk has a high level of proteins, fat, and lactose, meaning it’s not for everyone’s stomach. But true aficionados will value this choice. There cannot be any creamier structure in the whole wide world than a cup of coffee mixed with a bit of buffalo’s milk.
Soy or Almond Milk
Although technically not milk, it’s pretty healthy. Also, a great choice if you are lactose intolerant. Soy and almond milk are the closest non-dairy substitutes for cow’s milk that you can get on the market. The rest of the alternatives for you are:
- Coconut milk
- Oat milk
- Rice milk
- Cashew milk
- macadamia milk
- Hemp milk
- Quinoa milk
Although it can look a bit repulsive, condensed milk is one of our guilty pleasures. It is a cow’s milk with 60% less water, and it’s thick and sweet. However, it usually has 40-45% sugar in it. As we said, guilty pleasure. If you are going for a healthier option, buy evaporated milk. It’s made in the same way, but without adding any sugar.
How to Make Homemade Coffee Creamer
Making your own coffee creamer is a simple yet rewarding process. With only a few ingredients, you can treat yourself to a good and healthy alternative to commercial creamers. So, grab a pack of the best chocolate-covered espresso beans, get comfy in your chair, and we will explain every step.
Step 1 – Choose your base
For a richer texture, go with half-and-half, buffalo’s milk, or condensed milk. If you want something simpler and healthier, choose the cow’s or the goat’s milk. And, if you want your homemade coffee creamer to be healthy and low on calories, pick soy, almond, or any other subsidiary milk.
Step 2 – Pick a sweetener
If you are going for natural ingredients, try white sugar, brown sugar, or even raw honey. As for artificial sweeteners, a plethora of them is waiting for you in your nearby market. Stevia drops are one of the usual choices.
Step 3 – Pick a flavor
With a variety of flavor choices, you just can’t go wrong. You could go for natural ingredients or get high-quality flavor extracts. You’ll find our best choices listed below.
Step 4 – It’s cooking time
Grab a smaller pot or a saucepan. Then, add two cups of your preferred milk base to it. For larger quantities, just double or triple all the ingredients.
Step 5 – Let’s sweeten it up a little bit
Add a tablespoon of sweetener and stop right there. You can always add some more of it later if needed.
Step 6 – Bring your creamer to a simmer
Gently whisk it around during the whole process. By doing that, you will be sure all the ingredients are well mixed. Swirl it around a little bit, making sure all the ingredients are mixed.
Try not to burn your tongue. Check if the taste is OK, does it need more flavor or sweetener.
Step 7 – Put your coffee creamer to rest
Wait for it to cool down, and then place it in a fridge for at least 8 hours. Using coffee beans that are organically processed will further enhance your tasting experience.
Homemade Coffee Creamer Recipes
As you see, the process of making a homemade coffee creamer is quite simple. But, choosing the right flavor for your taste buds can be an issue. So, let’s take a look at our best choices. If you are one of those people that measure coffee with a tablespoon, our instructions will be more than clear to you. And, of course, our recipes work with liquid and powdered homemade creamers.
French Vanilla Creamer
Add a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract to the creamer base. If you don’t drink alcohol, beware! According to the FDA, vanilla extract consists of vanilla scent, vanilla flavor, and alcohol. To be precise, at least 35% of ethyl alcohol. That said, you can always make your own vanilla extract at home. All you need is some vanilla beans and alcohol to soak it in.
Peppermint Mocha Creamer
It’s a seasonal flavor and reminds us of cozy winter mornings, with freshly baked cookies on the side. Add ½ teaspoon of the peppermint extract to the base. The peppermint extract’s flavor goes a long way, so don’t add too much. Follow it with a pinch of instant espresso powder and a tablespoon of unsweetened dark cocoa powder. You can optionally crush some mint chocolates into the mix.
Add two teaspoons of hazelnut extract to the creamer base. Optionally, you can also add an almond extract in a 1:1 ratio. Or, you can put a cup of hazelnuts in your blender and shred them into little pieces to make a real homemade hazelnut creamer.
Add two teaspoons of unsweetened dark cocoa powder to the creamer base. Top it up with ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract for a full-body taste. Optional: add chocolate crumbles or chocolate bread spread to the mix.
Add one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to the creamer base or ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon extract. And, of course, round it up with one teaspoon of vanilla extract. One teaspoon of brown sugar or honey is optional but not necessary.
Do’s and Don’ts When Making Coffee Creamer
- Do go for a healthier option, whether it’s a quality commercial coffee creamer or your homebrew. Your body doesn’t really need all the excess calories and chemicals.
- Do try a bulletproof coffee. Bulletproof coffee has only three ingredients: coffee, butter, and coconut oil, and does wonder about weight loss.
- Do check the ingredients list on your store-bought coffee creamer. Also, check the expiry date.
- Do use only high-quality ingredients for your homemade coffee creamer. They don’t cost a fortune and will guarantee you a great flavor.
- Do give K-cups a try. K-cups are produced in different flavors, and they might replace your need for coffee creamer.
- Don’t use a coffee creamer for the sole purpose of fixing a bad coffee. Remember that you can always reduce the acidity of coffee with the cold brew method.
FAQ About Making Coffee Creamers
What is the coffee creamer made of?
Homemade coffee creamer is made of milk base, flavor mix, and sweeteners. As for the store-bought, well… The bad coffee creamers are made from sugar, oil, taste enhancers, artificial colors, and various chemicals. But, you can also find high-quality coffee creamers out there, made from natural ingredients, too.
How long does homemade coffee creamer last?
If you store it the right way, your homemade liquid creamer can last up to a week in your fridge. Just make sure you use glass bottles, and seal the cap properly. Shake well before every use! As for the powdered option, it can last for a few months if stored properly.
What is a good substitute for coffee creamer?
Coffee is a wonderful liquid and blends really well with most of the standard flavors. Here are some of our suggestions on how to substitute the coffee creamer:
- Coconut milk or coconut cream
- Protein powder
- Maple syrup
Which is healthier: powdered or liquid creamer?
The answer isn’t quite simple, and it depends on which product you are using. When shopping for your favorite coffee creamer, look for the small letters and check the calorie count, trans fat, saturated fat, and amount of sugar in it. Most of the cheaper products are bad for your health, powdered or liquid ones.
What is the best coffee creamer for weight loss?
If you want to lose weight, but you can’t give up on using coffee creamers, at least go for a healthier option. Your healthy coffee creamer shouldn’t contain:
- Trans fats
- Artificial chemicals
- Too much sugar
- Too much fat
And, believe it or not, you have a lot of choices. You can always use milk, cow’s, plant-based, or nut-based. As for the commercial coffee creamers, take your pick. There are great weight-loss and keto-diet coffee creamers out there. Be sure always to check the label, though.
What is the best coffee creamer for a diabetic?
If you suffer from diabetes, go for a no-sugar, dairy-free option. Or, of course, you can always make your own coffee creamer. If you are opting for a commercial one, avoid the ones that have cornstarch in the ingredients list. Cornstarch has a high glycemic index and can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels.
Can a powdered coffee creamer explode?
It sure can, if you put a lot of effort into it. The Mythbusters did it. However, we wouldn’t recommend doing that in your kitchen. And, you will need a lot more than the usual amount you use in your morning coffee.
Also, amateur videomakers simply adore using powdered coffee creamers for their movie explosions. It’s cheap, available, and only burns while in the air. A pile of coffee creamer won’t burn, so you are safe.
Although coffee creamers have their ups and downs, they are still the favorite choice to add to your cup of coffee. And why not? After all, it’s the small things in life that count. But, homemade coffee creamer is always a better option if you have the time and space. Through this article, we shared our favorite recipes with you, and the rest is up to you. Go! Experiment! Surprise us!
Photos from: VikaKhalabuzar / depositphotos.com, chayathon / depositphotos.com, KostyaKlimenko / depositphotos.com, fahrwasser / depositphotos.com and Rawpixel / depositphotos.com.