Coffee creamer is a wonderful alternative to cream and milk. Flavored coffee creamers eliminate the need for sweeteners in your coffee. Creamer singles are my favorite because of their portability and long shelf-life: I like to carry one or two coffee singles whenever I have hot black coffee in my travel mug.
Although creamer lasts longer than fresh milk, it’s bound to go bad at some point. So, how long does coffee creamer last?
Liquid coffee creamers last 7-14 days in the fridge after opening. Opened creamer concentrate and powdered creamer are fairly stable and can last up to 30 days and up to the use-by date respectively and they should not be refrigerated.
How long coffee creamer lasts before it goes bad depends on
- processing method and the type of creamer
- the expiry date
- whether opened or unopened
- storage method
Types of Coffee Creamer and How Long they Last
When discussing the shelf-life of coffee creamer, it is important to categorize creamers on the basis of the processing method.
- Liquid coffee creamers (Dairy and dairy-free)
- Powdered coffee creamer
- Creamer singles
- Creamer concentrate
How Long Does Liquid Coffee Creamer Last
Liquid creamers (dairy and non-dairy) require refrigeration after opening. Opened liquid creamer that is refrigerated lasts between 7 to 14 days before it goes bad so long as it has not reached its expiry date.
Liquid dairy creamers should always be kept in the fridge whether they are opened or unopened.
Non-dairy liquid creamers that are not opened, on the other hand, can be stored in the pantry for up to 4 months from the production date but must be refrigerated after opening.
Would you like to froth your creamer? Find out how to do it correctly.
How Long Does Powdered Coffee Creamer Last
Powdered coffee creamer lasts the longest whether opened or unopened. Unopened creamer powder can last up to two years past the date of production. After opening, powdered creamer can last up to the date of expiry.
Coffee Creamer Singles
Coffee creamer singles are individual creamers that are packaged in tiny sealed cups. Creamer singles last upto 9 months from the date of production and are pantry-safe when not opened.
Each cup is ideal for single-use and should be refrigerated if it’s opened to be used at separate times. Opened creamer singles will last for 7-14 days in the fridge.
Creamer concentrate is a thicker form of coffee creamer that comes with a pump. One pump of the concentrate is equivalent to one serving of regular creamer.
Concentrated coffee creamer is shelf-stable and is good for use for up to 30 days after opening so long as it’s not expired. You should not refrigerate creamer concentrate because you risk thickening it too to pump.
Creamer Expiration Date
Always check the expiration date when buying creamer. As with other perishable items, ask for the expiration date of coffee creamer when buying online to avoid cases where buyers have received creamer that is a few days to the expiration date.
Can You Drink Expired Creamer?
Yes, you can drink creamer that is past the use-by date but you need to check that the smell, taste, and texture of the creamer is intact. Pour a small quantity of the expired creamer into a cup and see how it pours.
Also, check its smell and taste. If nothing has changed, then you can drink it. If the expired creamer has an unusual smell, taste, or texture, ditch it immediately.
You can consume expired creamer up to 7 days after the expiration date. Powdered creamer is safe for use for a few weeks past the use-by date.
Always apply your best judgment when using coffee creamer that is past its expiration date.
Opened vs Unopened Creamer
Opened creamer means that the original packaging is unsealed. It is immaterial whether the creamer has been used or not. Opening creamer exposes it to air and moisture that causes rapid deterioration.
Keeping liquid creamer in the fridge after opening gives you about 7-14 days before it goes bad. Opened creamer has a shorter life span than unopened.
Generally, unopened creamer that is stored properly can last up to the date of expiry.
How to Store Coffee Creamer so that it Lasts Longer
Dairy creamer should always go in the fridge even when it’s not opened. Dairy-free creamer that is not opened is shelf-safe in a cool and dry place but should go in the fridge after opening.
Individual coffee creamers (creamer singles) need not be refrigerated when they are not opened. You should, however, refrigerate after opening and use within 14 days of opening.
When storing creamer in the fridge, keep the creamer in the back of the fridge where the temperature is cooler than near the door. Ensure that your fridge temperature is about 38-40°F
Both powdered creamer and creamer concentrate (opened or unopened) should be stored in a cool and dry place in the pantry. Exposing creamer to heat causes the creamer to spoil and develop a funky smell and a lumpy texture. Seal the powdered creamer container tightly after every use to keep moisture and air away.
Always check the storage instructions inscribed on the packaging of your creamer when you are not sure about how to store it.
How to Tell if Creamer has Expired
Expired creamer may not be easy to tell because you can use creamer even past its expiration date. Here is how to tell that coffee creamer has gone bad:
- Smell. Ditch creamer that has an unusual funky smell
- Taste. If creamer tastes sour and rancid, then it is not safe to use and you should discard it
- Texture. A chunky creamer can indicate that its freshness has excessively deteriorated or the creamer is almost spoiled. Creamer that has gone bad can have a disgusting gluey texture that does not soften even after swirling or stirring
- Presence of molds. Powdered creamer is likely to develop molds when it’s exposed to moisture over a long period
How to Make Coffee Creamer Last Longer
- Buy creamer that is near its production date. Avoid buying creamer that has only a few days to its use-by date. When buying powdered creamer, ensure that the use-by date is at least 6 months away
- Buy creamer in smaller quantities. Discounts and offers are very enticing but sometimes the items on offer are almost expiring. Avoid buying large quantities of creamer that will take you months to exhaust.
- Ensure proper storage of your creamer
- Refrigerate creamer that needs refrigeration immediately after purchase or opening. Try to head home fast after buying creamer that needs to go into the fridge. Always refrigerate liquid creamer within two hours of opening
- Buy the right creamer for your needs. If you like frothing your creamer, then liquid creamer is your best choice. Creamer concentrate and individual creamers are suitable for offices where a couple of people are sharing. Powdered creamer is an excellent choice when you rarely use creamer.
- Freeze liquid creamer to prolong its shelf-life
The shelf-life of coffee creamers depends on the processing method, how it is stored, the expiry date, and whether the creamer is opened or unopened.
Generally, all liquid creamers should go into the back of the fridge after opening where they can last for up to 14 days. Powdered creamers last the longest: up to 2 years after production.
You can use creamer that is past its expiration date but use your best judgement so long as the creamer has not changed in terms of smell, taste and consistency.
How Long Can Coffee Creamer Sit Out
It’s the best practice that perishable foods including creamer should not sit out for more than two hours unless they do not require refrigeration. Creamer that sits out longer than two hours is likely to start growing bacteria that can compromise its quality. You are better off promptly refrigerating coffee creamers that need to go in the fridge.