Does Coffee Creamer Go Bad?

For most coffee lovers, coffee is infinitely better when there’s a little coffee creamer mixed in it. Coffee creamers are a kitchen staple, something that most consumers buy in bulk. While buying in bulk certainly has its advantages, it’s fair to think about how to store perishable goods for long-term when you bought bags of the stuff! So, does coffee creamer go bad? How do you store coffee creamer to maximize your supply?

Coffee creamers are often sold in two forms, in liquid and powdered forms. Between these products, powdered coffee creamer will last longer because of the lack of moisture. Since this product doesn’t contain moisture, it’s less likely to harbor mold or bacteria that could cause it to go bad much more quickly. However, powdered coffee creamer draws moisture from the air. Once it’s been exposed to air, it has to be sealed after every use to extend its shelf life.

Image used under Creative Commons from Dave Dugdale

Now, liquid coffee creamers are either sold in individually sealed mini cups, in a large tetra pack or in a plastic bottle. Generally, liquid creamer sold in sealed mini cups will keep longer in storage. Because the product is divided into individual serving portions, you are not exposing the creamer to the elements. This helps retain the quality of the product, which extends its shelf life.

On the other hand, liquid creamer packed in a plastic bottle or tetra pack will require refrigeration once opened. These products won’t keep for long at room temperature. The risk of cross-contamination and bacterial or mold growth is just too great.

How to Store Coffee Creamer?

Storing Coffee Creamer in the Pantry

To reiterate, unopened packs of powdered coffee creamer is best suited in the pantry compared to liquid creamer. You can store an open container of powdered creamer although this should be consumed as soon as possible. If not, the repeated exposure to air could cause the powdered cream to clump together. This product must be kept in a cool, dry place away from sources of light, heat, and moisture. Remember, powdered creamer draws moisture from the air so keep the container sealed at all times.

Powdered creamer is typically packed in a resealable container so there is no need to transfer the product to a different container. But if you have a better container, then by all means, decant the product to extend its shelf life. Never leave an opened container of creamer on the kitchen counter or table for too long.

Storing Coffee Creamer in the Refrigerator

This method is perfect for storing opened and unopened containers of liquid creamer. The chilly temps will extend the quality of the product. Generally, liquid creamers are packed in a fridge-friendly container although there is the possibility that the product would absorb the fridge odors. To avoid this, seal the container after every use. Do note that liquid containers have a short shelf life. Even if you are careful about storing this product, it will still go bad within a week or two.

Image used under Creative Commons from m01229

Storing Coffee Creamer in the Freezer

Liquid creamer can be stored in the freezer if only to prevent waste. If the product is packed in tetra pack or plastic bottle, you have to give the liquid creamer more room to expand as it freezes. That means you have to open the container and remove a portion of the product to give about an inch or two of space. You can also transfer the liquid creamer in a larger airtight container. Powdered coffee creamer, on the other hand, isn’t recommended for the freezer.  Thawing this product will be messy.

Shelf Life of Coffee Creamer

When kept in the pantry, sealed or unopened powdered coffee creamer will keep fresh for up to 2 years. However, we do not recommend waiting this long before consuming your supply. Use up the coffee creamer as soon as possible. Opened packs of powdered coffee creamer will keep in the pantry for 2 months or more.

When stored in the fridge, unsealed containers of liquid creamer will only keep for 2 weeks. This goes regardless of the expiration date.

How to Tell if Coffee Creamer Has Gone Bad?

It’s much easier to tell if liquid creamer has gone bad compared to powdered creamer. Just like regular milk, rancid liquid creamer will develop clumps and a sour or off-odor. It will also develop an off-color, like a deeper shade of yellow.

Powdered creamer, on the other hand, will only show signs of spoilage once the texture of the product changes. Also, watch out for signs of mold growth. If the powdered creamer has turned a darker shade or you are seeing blue-green specks all over, discard the product immediately.

Summary

Does coffee creamer go bad? Coffee is definitely yummier with a little creamer but make sure your creamer is stored properly! With the storage tips we’ve outlined above, you can finally buy coffee creamer in bulk without worrying about spoilage!