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Does Coffee Creamer Go Bad? How Tell If A Coffee Creamer Has Gone Bad


According to a study by Conagra Brands­­­­­­­­­­­, almost 90% of Americans get their coffee from home, rather than takeout. It’s for this reason that companies around the world are launching dozens of new flavours, styles and types of coffee creamer. If you’re not the type to use creamer every day, the big question is, Does coffee creamer go bad? The short answer is YES.

If you’re worried about accidentally drinking spoiled creamer, we’ve got you covered!

Does Coffee Creamer Go Bad?

Generally speaking, all coffee creamers DO go bad. As a rule of thumb, don’t store coffee creamer out on the counter. Just like regular milk, it will go bad quicker this way!

No single product has the same lifespan, and the shelf-life of each product depends on the brand of creamer, its ingredients, and whether or not it comes as a liquid.

The following information is an estimate, and can vary depending on various factors:

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Cupboard Refrigerated
Dairy Coffee Creamer (unopened) 1-2 weeks after best before date
Dairy Coffee Creamer (opened) 1-2 weeks after opening
Non-Dairy Coffee Cream (unrefrigerated, unopened) 1 month after best before date
Non-Dairy Coffee Cream (unrefrigerated, opened) 1-2 weeks after opening
Powdered Coffee Creamer 3-6 months after best before date
(Source: Marcin Skrzypiec,

These numbers provide a good guideline to follow as a base. You can adjust them based on your own personal experience with different brands and flavours.

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How to Tell if your Coffee Creamer has Gone Bad

When purchasing a coffee creamer, you’ll notice that they have some variation of a best-before date written on the package. Most companies err on the side of caution, and these dates are usually just to ensure that they’re used while still at “peak” quality.

Most of the time, the best-before date is around 1-2 months from the time you’re picking it up off of the shelf. As you can see from the chart above (Does Coffee Creamer Go Bad?), you can still use the products after the best-before date. It’s still a good idea to inspect the creamer before every use, just in case!

As is the case with most dairy products, coffee creamer has some telltale signs that can let you know if it is no longer safe to consume. If ever you’re in doubt, just trust your senses! Sometimes, you’ll be able to see that your creamer has gone bad just by looking at it.

How To Tell If A Liquid Creamer Has Gone Bad

  • Look: If it looks curdled, lumpy, or has a funky texture, it’s safe to assume it’s no longer good to eat.
  • Smell: creamer that has gone bad should smell similar to expired milk or other dairy products (sour, moldy, etc.)
  • Taste: If your creamer passes the look and smell test, you should be able to tell it’s gone bad based on the sour, foul taste!

How To Tell If A Powder Creamer Has Gone Bad

  • Look: If the powder looks different than it did before, or seems to have mold or strange discoloration, it is no longer good to eat.
  • Smell: As is the case with liquid creamer, if you smell something foul or moldy, don’t eat it.
  • Taste: Again, if you do wind up using the creamer and it has a bad or strange taste, throw it out!

If you open a recently-purchased product and it already shows some of these signs, make sure to throw it out. If your local grocery store accepts exchanges or returns, you can try bring it back for a new one.

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Why coffee creamer?

One of my biggest pet-peeves is waking up on a nice, sunny morning, brewing myself a cup of coffee, only to take the first sip and find that it just tastes okay. I then spend the rest of my morning regretting not taking a trip to the local coffee shop for a vanilla latte. After years of feeling like my coffee game was lacking, I finally decided to try out some flavoured coffee creamer, and haven’t looked back.

If straight sugar or alternative sweeteners aren’t your thing, this could be a great way to spice up your morning routine! Creamer is also helpful if you’re looking for something with a bit more texture than regular milk, and can give you a soothing, creamy feeling without having to froth the milk yourself. My morning brew tastes way better than it used to, for a fraction of the price!

Most of us have tried some sort of creamer before, either at the local breakfast spot, petrol station, or after dinner at your grandparents’ house. In case you haven’t, most creamer either comes in a powdered or liquid form, and comes with or without dairy. Some brands even make a half-and-half, consisting of 50% milk and 50% creamer.

Most companies have a variety flavours, so everyone in your family can pick their favourite. Having creamer on hand is essential for avoiding the possibility of a disappointing cup of coffee (and we all know how detrimental that can be).

Some local cafes make their own creamers and sweeteners as well. In this case, ask the barista about the shelf-life of each individual product. Store-bought creamers can end up lasting longer since most companies use some type of preservative.

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How To Make Your Creamer Last Longer!

If you’re still a bit nervous about using your creamer after it’s gone bad, here are some tips for you to get the most out of your products at home!

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The best way to ensure that your creamer remains edible is to store it properly. If you buy an unrefrigerated coffee creamer (i.e. from a regular shelf, not from the dairy fridge), make sure to store it in a cool, dry spot in your cupboard. After you’ve opened the creamer, make sure to keep it in the fridge with the cap tightened securely (this is applicable for all liquid coffee creamer!)

Another great way for you to make sure that your creamer stays good is by buying smaller sizes. Most creamers come in large cartons or bottles (around 32 fl oz), which is perfect if you have a big family or use a lot of creamer.

Some companies sell smaller bottles, which can be better for people living on their own or for families that don’t use a lot of creamer. This will ensure that you finish the bottle before the best-before date! Buying smaller bottles is a good strategy if you plan on trying more than one flavour at a time!

If you’re still finding it hard to use up all your creamer before it expires, there are plenty of great alternative uses for it. Coffee creamer is very versatile, and can substitute milk in a variety of recipes. You can add it to overnight oats, pancake batter, or smoothies for a nice jolt of flavour, or you can even add plain creamer to mashed potatoes for extra creaminess!

Coffee creamer is truly the ultimate hack for your morning coffee. If you haven’t done so already, try using different brands and flavours of creamer to see which one is right for you. I personally prefer to buy a few different flavours and keep them on hand for when I’m feeling like switching things up, or for when I just want to impress my guests with café-quality coffee.

Using our senses, we’ll be able to tell if our creamer is still safe to eat, or if it’s time to throw it in the trash. If the creamer is nearing its best-before date, you can find dozens of awesome recipes and substitution ideas to make sure that nothing goes to waste. With flavours like hazelnut, French vanilla, and even nitro cream, we can all feel like baristas without breaking the bank!

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About the author


Samuel is a coffee lover and a writer. He's travelled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and has soaked up the sun, the culture, and of course - the coffee. He loves to write about his experiences, and he hopes to travel even more in the future.

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