Do Coffee Creamers Need to Be Refrigerated?

Nothing is more pleasant than smelling freshly-brewed coffee when you first wake up. 

You stumble out of bed, pour yourself a hot cup of what some people call “the nectar of the Gods,” and try to clear your mind of the fog. 

However, you just realized that you accidentally left your bottle of coffee creamer outside the fridge. So, is it a good idea to still use it? 

With that in mind, here are a few things you must know about coffee creamers and whether they need to be refrigerated. 

How Long Can You Leave Coffee Creamers Out of the Fridge

Depending on the variety, most coffee creamers can be kept out of the fridge for a few hours. 

While non-dairy creamers can survive at room temperature, most dairy creamers require refrigeration to stay stable.

That’s why coffee lovers everywhere advise keeping coffee creamers in the refrigerator, whether the coffee calls for them or not. 

Nevertheless, most of the time, the creamer will keep longer in the refrigerator’s cooler environment. Furthermore, cold creamers can cool down your cuppa quickly, especially if you’re craving cold coffee. 

It is preferable to follow the same steps you normally would for any other dairy product, especially when using a creamer with a dairy base. 

After all, you wouldn’t dare leave that gallon of milk you just bought on the counter overnight. However, leaving it out for a few minutes or a couple of hours should be fine.

While it is best to keep creamer refrigerated when using a non-dairy creamer, the risk of leaving it out is less concerning. 

Non-dairy creamers usually tolerate being left out, even overnight. But, the shorter this time, the higher its chances of not spoiling. 

How to Tell If Creamer Has Gone Bad?

As with spoiled milk, bad taste, sour smell, and curdles are common telltale signs of bad liquid-based creamer. In fact, it should be thrown away immediately if you detect any of these changes.

If you still decide to consume it, you’ll likely end up in the emergency room. If you accidentally consume spoiled liquid-based creamer, expect to experience the following problems:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Stomach cramps

On the other hand, spoiled powdered creamer will not curdle or go sour. Instead, its consistency, flavor, or colors might change.

Spoiled powdered creamer probably won’t taste as good or be as potent as it once was. Depending on how old the powdered creamer was, the worst it can do is give you a stomach ache.

Ultimately, to avoid getting sick due to bad creamer, always check the expiration date at the back of the container. Here are a few other guidelines you should follow to extend your creamer’s life:

  • Store liquid-based creamer in the fridge.
  • Keep powdered creamers in a cool, dry place.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s storage guidelines printed on the back of the container.
  • Never put a wet spoon inside a powdered creamer’s container.
  • Always add creamer to a fresh cup of coffee. Spoiled coffee will spoil your creamer as well. 
  • Never put powdered creamer in direct sunlight.

Should You Refrigerate Single Serve Coffee Creamers?

Single-serve creamers don’t need to be refrigerated because they are individually sealed for freshness. They can typically be stored safely for up to six months due to the nature of the container.

Due to their convenience, these single-serve creamers are usually found in hotels and restaurants. Plus, they cost less than a large bottle of dairy-based creamer.

Furthermore, some coffee drinkers also keep single-serve creamers at home. This is only for their ease of use. 

With a single-serve creamer, you only need to open it, pour it into your coffee, and throw away the empty container.

You can grab one and put it into your pocket when you’re in a rush. In fact, single-serve creamers are excellent for people who enjoy coffee on their travels.  

Single serve creamers are also available in different flavors and are excellent for workplaces, allowing staff to make their own coffee on the premises. 

Although single-serve creamers are meant to be used completely in one go, it is advised that you keep any half-full containers in the fridge. 

Ultimately, they may not survive outside once the container has been opened, just like other dairy and non-dairy creamers.

What about Non-Dairy Creamers?

You can find most non-dairy creamers on grocery store shelves everywhere. This is why they don’t need to be refrigerated. 

However, as per best practice, you should always keep an opened container of non-dairy creamer inside the fridge. 

Typically, non-dairy creamers should be kept at room temperature for up to a month. However, once they are opened, refrigeration is a must. 

That said, it is easier to stock up on and store because they remain shelf-stable for longer. What’s more, tons of non-dairy creamer varieties are also available. 

While some people prefer different flavors, others prefer a range of creamers, including almond, soy, coconut, and even oat.

As with other creamers, most people advise following the manufacturer’s storage instructions printed on the back of the container.  

It would probably be better if you did, especially if the grocery shop you purchased it from stored it in their fridge.

Are There Any Creamers That Don’t Need to Be Refrigerated?

Some kinds of coffee creamer can be consumed without refrigeration. Usually, the powdered kind needs to be stored in a cool, dry area rather than in a fridge.

So, consider the powdered variety if you want a coffee creamer that tastes wonderful and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. 

This type is popular among coffee drinkers since it can be stored and used without following any strict storage steps. 

This makes things much simpler as you can purchase your favorite powdered creamer and place it on your kitchen countertop. 

What’s more, powdered creamer is available in various flavors for individuals who enjoy diversity. These include flavors such as French vanilla, hazelnut, and chocolate, to name a few. 

In fact, some manufacturers also offer lactose-free, non-dairy creamers, especially for people who don’t like powdered creamers. 

These particular types of creamers don’t need to be refrigerated to maintain freshness. 

So, while refrigeration is advisable, these manufacturers guarantee their creamers won’t go bad when left out of the fridge.

Can Coffee That Contains Dairy-Based Creamer Be Left Out of The Fridge?

Coffee will likely only survive two hours without refrigeration, especially if the creamer you used was chilled.

If you’re at a coffee shop and aren’t sure what kind of creamer was used, ask your barista to put the coffee in the fridge if you’re not drinking it right then and there. 

A powdered creamer is rarely utilized in these situations because coffee shops and baristas don’t like powdered creamer at all. This is because it doesn’t have the taste or frothiness of a liquid-based creamer. 

Therefore, it is better to consume your drink right after it has been prepared. If you don’t, you’ll have to drink subpar quality coffee.

What About Coffee That Contains Non-Dairy Creamer?

Coffee containing non-dairy creamer can be left out of the fridge longer than coffee containing dairy-based creamers. This means you can leave it out longer than the standard time, which is two hours.

Furthermore, leaving coffee containing non-dairy creamer out doesn’t affect the coffee’s overall flavor profile. In fact, that is also the case if your non-dairy creamer isn’t refrigerated.

However, if your non-dairy coffee creamer was chilled when it arrived, you should put your coffee in the fridge as soon as possible.

What About Coffee That Contains Powdered Creamer?

There isn’t a clear-cut answer to how long coffee with powdered creamer can be left out of the fridge without spoiling. However, it can usually sit out of the fridge for quite a while without going bad.

Instead, a better way to gauge quality is to use the powdered creamer’s “best before” date as a reference. 

For instance, if you use a powdered creamer near its “best before” date, your coffee should not be left out for long. 

On the other hand, if you recently purchased a new box of powdered creamer, your coffee can sit out for longer. 

Furthermore, coffee with powdered creamer doesn’t require quick refrigeration compared to liquid-based creamers. But still, using common sense and proceeding with caution would be wise. 

Ultimately, throwing out coffee if it has been sitting out of the fridge for more than 24 hours is advisable, with or without creamer. 

Wrapping Up

To sum up, coffee creamers that come chilled should always be kept in the fridge for the best results. 

In contrast, powdered creamers shouldn’t be refrigerated as the moisture inside your fridge will spoil it quickly. 

Generally, powdered creamers have a longer “best before” date than liquid creamers. Therefore, they should typically be kept in a cool, dry place, preferably inside your kitchen pantry. 

Still, it would be wise to check the manufacturer’s instructions on storing your creamer properly. This is typically printed on the back of the creamer’s container. 

Doing so will allow you to enjoy a great-tasting cup of coffee with creamer whenever you crave a freshly brewed cuppa!

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