Despite its benefits, most people don’t particularly enjoy the taste of black coffee. This is why some of the most widely used coffee recipes call for some kind of dairy.
Not only do these improve the taste of the hot beverage, but they also add the necessary calories and – depending on the type of dairy you choose – some additional nutrition.
While milk is the most commonly used dairy in coffee, many people also opt for creamers. Read on to find out why.
What Is Creamer?
Before learning about why people add creamers to their coffees, let’s look at what they are to begin with.
Creamer is basically a store-bought product that is added to coffee or black tea to reduce the bitterness and improve the flavor.
However, don’t be fooled by the name. A coffee or tea cream doesn’t actually contain any dairy. Instead, it is made of sugar (or sugar substitutes), fat, and thickeners.
It is available in a wide variety of flavors, including some seasonal options that may not be available all year around. Some of the most common flavors include vanilla, hazelnut, and Southern butter pecan.
In addition to the improved flavor, a common reason people prefer coffee creamers is that it has a much longer shelf life that milk and other dairy options.
Varieties of Coffee Creamers
Coffee creamers are commonly available in two varieties: liquid and powder. Neither is better than the other as both have the same effect on the taste and texture of the coffee.
The powdered variety may have a slightly longer shelf life than the liquid one, but it is a strong reason to pick powder over a liquid.
You’d likely witness liquid creamers in single servings at many cafes and diners. Liquid creamers also come in a wider variety of flavors as compared to powdered creamers.
On the other hand, powdered creamers are more readily available at supermarkets and grocery stores. While these also come in various flavors, the plain, milk-flavored one is much more common.
Whether you prefer liquid or powder ultimately comes down to personal preference. So if you have never tried creamers before, it is recommended to try both before deciding which one you prefer.
You can also get fat-free and sugar-free varieties of coffee creamer. These are also available in both liquid and powdered forms.
Also read: 10 Best Coffee Creamer Alternatives
Is Creamer the Same as Heavy Cream and Half-and-Half?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding creamers, half-and-half, and heavy creams. Some people use the terms interchangeably and believe they’re the same, especially creamer and heavy cream.
However, there are distinct differences between the three products.
Also known as heavy whipping cream, this is the cream you likely use in desserts and baking. It has a thick texture and can be used to make other milk products, such as butter, ice cream, and half-and-half.
Heavy cream is made by skimming off the fat that rises on top of milk during the heating process. Therefore, the fat content of heavy cream is very high, around 35% in general.
Some people add heavy cream to their coffee or tea in liquid form. Otherwise, stabilizers are added to thicken the texture and make it easier to whip.
Half-and-half is another common addition to coffee. It has a similar mouth feel as coffee creamers and blends well with black coffee.
It is made of equal parts cream and whole milk, making it the perfect blend of the two. Hence, its thickness is somewhere between milk and cream as well.
It has less sugar than most creamers, and the fat percent is around 10%. While some dessert recipes may call for half-and-half, it is generally exclusively added to drinks.
How Are Creamers Different?
As discussed earlier, creamers don’t contain any dairy in them. Therefore, the dairy content in heavy cream and half-and-half separates them from creamers.
How Are Creamers Used?
Whether you decide to buy liquid or powdered creamers, they come in convenient packaging. This means that you wouldn’t have to struggle to figure out how to use it.
They are either available in single-servings or larger packages. If you buy a large bag, the packaging will likely have instructions about serving sizes.
However, keep in mind that some creamers may be sweeter than others. So just like milk and sugar, you might need to experiment a little with quantity before finding the perfect amount that you like.
If it’s your first time trying a coffee creamer, start with a little less than the serving size. Taste the coffee and add and adjust accordingly.
Another thing to remember is that you might prefer different volumes of different creamers.
For instance, caramel-flavored creamer tends to be sweeter than plain creamer. So you might want to add a little less of the former if you’re trying it for the first time.
Can You Consume Coffee Creamer on Its Own?
Like with any other thing in the kitchen, you may be tempted to find out what coffee creamers taste like without the coffee.
People are especially prone to tasting liquid coffee creamers right from the bag. However, there have been instances of people taking a spoonful of powdered creamers and eating it as it is.
Whether it is safe to consume raw coffee creamer or not depends on an individual’s health. It may not cause any harm to one person, but it might upset another person’s stomach.
In addition to that, coffee creamers contain preservatives and artificial flavors. These can be harmful, especially when consumed in large amounts.
If you want to try coffee creamer, it is recommended to get a natural one made with real cream and milk. This will minimize any potential risks of consuming it raw.
If you have any health concerns or dietary restrictions, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before adding coffee creamers to your diet.
How Much Coffee Creamer Is Safe to Consume in a Day?
There isn’t any limit to how much coffee creamer you can safely consume.
However, creamers are high in sugar and fat. Therefore, it is recommended to consume them in moderation to prevent unnecessary consumption of calories.
It is crucial to keep an eye on the nutrition label to be aware of what you’re consuming. If you feel a significant number of your calories are coming from creamers, it may be time to cut back a little.
Generally, it is recommended to consume one to two tablespoons of creamers per cup of coffee. This way, you’d be able to enjoy the flavor without adding too many calories to your beverage.
You may feel tempted to add a little extra of the hazelnut creamer because you enjoy the taste so much. But it is crucial to practice some self-control, or you may be chugging much more creamer than it is safe.
Benefits of Coffee Creamers
If you are an avid coffee consumer, creamers can feel like a blessing to you. Here are some reasons to add them to your routine.
Masks the Bitterness in a Healthier Way
Most people consume coffee to wake up in the morning, while some do it for their health benefits. Either way, it is essential to make a healthy decision, or the calories will quickly add up.
The bitterness of black coffee is one of the main hurdles people face while trying to enjoy a healthy cup of coffee. This is why they add unhealthy ingredients to mask the bitterness.
While adding creamer isn’t as healthy as drinking plain black coffee, it is certainly more beneficial than adding milk and sugar.
The combined calories of milk and sugar can quickly multiply if you are used to consuming multiple cups of coffee a day.
Half a glass of milk contains around 90 calories, whereas a teaspoon of sugar contains 15 calories. Therefore, each cup will cost you around a hundred calories at least.
The most sugar and milk you add, the higher the calories.
In contrast, an average serving of creamers contains around 20 calories. Even if you consume 4 to 5 cups of coffee throughout the day, you’d barely touch the caloric amount of one regular cup of coffee.
Available in a Variety of Flavor
If you’re used to consuming a couple of coffees each day, the flavor will start getting boring at some point. You’d want to try something different, wouldn’t you?
Instead of adding sugar, whipped cream, and other high-calorie additions, you can simply get a variety of coffee creamers.
There are so many different flavors that you can try a different one each day, and you still won’t run out of new flavors for a few weeks.
In essence, you’d be drinking a different beverage each time while also reaping the benefits of coffee.
Overall, coffee creamers can significantly improve your coffee without any severe side effects. Plus, they allow you to experiment with so many different flavors.
However, be sure to remain mindful of the consumption. As long as you consume coffee creamers in moderation, you won’t face any short or long-term issues.
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