Most people prefer milk or whipped cream when building upon coffee drinks’ richness, texture, and mouthfeel. However, coffee creamer is just as good an alternative, but how much creamer and sugar to put in a cup of coffee?
Coffee creamer may contain sweeteners and flavor additives that enrich the taste of coffee. Most are also dairy-free, making it a healthy alternative due to the lower fat content. There’s no clear-cut rule on how much creamer and sugar you should put in coffee. It all depends on the taste you’re going for or your health choices.
What is a creamer in coffee?
Creamer is a beverage additive often used to sweeten and lighten coffee instead of milk or other dairy-based products. Even though this product is usually sold in the dairy section, most coffee creamer products are dairy-free. Coffee creamer is sold in liquid or powder form.
What is coffee creamer made of?
The most common ingredients used to make coffee creamer are vegetable oil and sugar/sugar substitutes. However, other brands use corn syrup as a substitute for vegetable oil. Other ingredients may include artificial flavors, thickening agents, and chemical sweeteners. Some brands also make non-fat, low-fat, and low-sugar varieties to satisfy consumer preferences.
Note: Carrageenan and cellulose are common thickeners used in coffee creamer products. These additives make the creamer more viscous, thus adding a creamy texture to coffee drinks. Thickeners are also a lifesaver for people with trouble swallowing thin liquids like coffee.
Another ingredient common in coffee creamer products but usually goes unnoticed by consumers is sodium caseinate. This product is usually added to such processed foods as a stabilizer. Sodium caseinate is a milk derivative; therefore, while coffee creamer is usually marketed as a non-dairy product, most aren’t. If you’re vegan, check the ingredient list of coffee creamer brands for this ingredient before making a purchase decision.
How to choose a creamer for coffee?
Most people prefer to choose coffee creamer by flavor preference. This food additive is available in traditional flavors such as Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Caramel Macchiato, and Amaretto. You can also opt for more modern flavor options like Southern Butter Pecan, Peppermint Mocha, and Cinnamon Churro.
Meanwhile, if you’re concerned about your health and prefer to keep your sugar intake as low as possible, go for low-sugar coffee creamer options. Some also contain natural sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners. Popular sugar-free creamer brands include Mastermind Coffee Focus Creamer, NutPods Hazelnut Dairy-free Creamer, and Califia Farms Better Half Coffee Creamer.
Low-fat and non-fat creamers are preferable if you want to watch your fat and calorie intake. Here are a few examples of healthy coffee creamer products with low-fat and low-calorie content levels:
- Elmhurst Unsweetened Oat Creamer- 10 calories and 0.5 grams of fat per serving
- Califia Farms Dairy-Free Better Half Original- 20 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per serving
- NutPods Original Unsweetened Creamer- 10 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving
Meanwhile, if you like the rich taste of milk in your coffee but are vegan or are worried about the fat content in dairy milk, go for creamers infused with plant-based milk products like almonds, oat, and coconut milk.
What kind of creamer do you put in coffee?
Depending on your personal taste and preferences, you can choose from among the several types of coffee creamer available to put in your coffee, including:
- Dairy-free coffee creamer
- Low-fat/fat-free coffee creamer
- Unsweetened/low sugar/sugar-free coffee creamer
- Non-dairy milk coffee creamer (contains plant-based milk ingredients)
- Dairy coffee creamer (contains dairy milk ingredients)
- Flavored coffee creamer
- Unflavored coffee creamer
How much creamer to put in coffee
Generally, you should add 1-2 tablespoons of creamer per cup of coffee. However, you can use more or less, depending on personal preference. For instance, if you’ve already put in 2 tablespoons of creamer and your coffee doesn’t feel creamy enough, you can add an extra tablespoon.
How much creamer and sugar to put in coffee
If your coffee creamer contains sugar or sugar substitutes in the ingredient list, there may be no need to add sugar. However, if you’re using an unsweetened creamer and would love to add a sweet taste to your coffee, we recommend adding 1-2 teaspoons of sugar to the coffee alongside the creamer.
When buying coffee creamer, consider the flavors and your health choices. Some may be too sweet, some contain too many calories, and some contain too much fat. All in all, coffee creamer is one beverage additive that will make your coffee richer.
Is coffee creamer just milk and sugar?
No, coffee creamer typically contains more than just milk and sugar. In fact, milk is not a common ingredient in many creamer products. Additional ingredients usually include thickeners, flavors, and stabilizers. Sugar substitutes may also be used in place of actual sugar.
How do I choose a healthy coffee creamer?
To choose a healthy coffee creamer, pick one with less than 30 calories per serving. Unsweetened, dairy-free, and low-fat coffee creamers are also healthy options.
Do you need milk if you use a creamer?
You don’t need milk if you use a creamer, as it is already a milk substitute when making coffee drinks. Moreover, some creamer brands already include milk in the ingredient list.
Is it better to use milk or creamer in coffee?
It depends on your personal preference. Milk produces a richer taste, while most creamer products are healthier than milk.
Can I use milk as a coffee creamer?
Yes, you can use milk as a coffee creamer, as they can both add a rich, creamy, and flavorful touch to coffee.
Is it better to drink coffee without creamer?
Coffee by itself is low in calories and fat content, making it a relatively healthy beverage when no additives are included. However, coffee creamer adds to coffee’s taste, texture, and mouthfeel for a more luxurious drink.
Wendy J. Dahl- University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS): Pureed Foods, Thickened Beverages, and Water Needs