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How To Tell if Coffee Creamer Is Bad?

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Many would agree that sometimes, if not all the time, a coffee with creamer definitely hits our taste buds better. That is why coffee creamer is a must in many households.

However, storing coffee creamer for a long time may have us thinking: does coffee creamer go bad?

If you want to know if coffee creamer is spoiled, how long it will last after it has been opened, and what are some of the ways to properly store it, then read on.

This article will let you know the basic information about coffee creamers, including their types, and we will also provide some tips on how to keep them fresh later on in this article.


There are many ways to tell if the coffee creamer is not safe for consumption. But before we tackle those things, let’s first talk about the different types of coffee creamers so that it’ll be easier to dive deeper into this topic.

Types of Coffee Creamer

When it comes to coffee creamers, there are four types that we most commonly use:

1. Dairy-based creamer

This type of coffee creamer contains milk, cream, or other dairy products.

2. Non-dairy based creamer

Based on its name, this type of creamer has no dairy products present in it. Some examples of this coffee creamer’s ingredients are soy, coconut, and almond milk.

3. Mini sealed cups

This type of coffee creamer is widely used in restaurants, though this can also be bought and easily used when traveling. Mini sealed cups are single-serving coffee creamers.

single serving creamer

4. Powdered coffee creamers/whiteners

Regardless if they are dairy or non-dairy, this type of coffee creamer is available in powdered form.

And now that you know the four coffee creamer types, let’s get to the main topic of this article:

How to Tell if the Coffee Creamer is Bad?

There are many ways to check if the coffee creamer is already bad. However, the best way to know is to actually test it in a cup of coffee. If you’re afraid to try it out, then these things will be of help:

Change in aroma

A coffee with a creamer always smells delightful – creamy, fresh, and nice. If the coffee creamer you used is already bad, or it begins to rot, you won’t smell that delicious aromatic scent.

Change in flavor or taste

If you aren’t convinced yet with the aroma and still want to test it out, first, take a spoon of coffee and distinguish its taste. If the coffee tastes sour, then probably it is not safe for consumption.


The appearance of fungus, or white mold, on the surface of your coffee creamer indicates that it is already rotten. This usually happens due to improper storage of the coffee creamer. If consumed, you may experience some health issues that can be dangerous.

Powdered coffee creamer can form mold if it gets exposed to moisture. Otherwise, it should do well for years.

Expiration date

Perhaps one of the easiest and most obvious ways to tell if the coffee creamer is already bad is by checking its expiration date. Dairy creamers should always have a lifespan, since dairy products only last for a short time.

creamer on coffee

Change in texture

Liquid coffee creamers usually undergo texture change when rotten, such as formation of clumps and chunks, along with the change in smell and taste.

How long does coffee creamer last?

The lifespan of coffee creamer depends on its type.

For dairy-based creamers, they are usually sold with use by, best before, and expiration dates. You may check on the package’s label on how long it will remain fresh after opening. Usually, this type of creamer will last about one to two weeks after opening.

The same thing goes with non-dairy coffee creamers. An indication is present on the package to know how long the product will stay in good condition.

It is best to check every time since it differs per brand. In general, non-dairy creamers will last for one to two weeks after opening, like dairy-based creamers.

espresso and creamer

Meanwhile, those coffee creamers that are in mini sealed cups have a longer lifespan, usually about half a year, or more. They work great even when you travel because they don’t require refrigeration. Also, we mentioned that this type is single-serving, so you won’t have to worry about leftovers, because there will be none.

Some even work well even if it’s past their expiration date, so it may be worth a try. But if you want to be sure and are afraid to try, then just discard them.

Lastly, we have the powdered coffee creamers. This type usually doesn’t go bad, unless it’s exposed to moisture, which we mentioned earlier.

Over time, powdered coffee creamer may have less taste if used after its expiration date, nevertheless, they’re mostly still safe to consume. If you don’t use coffee creamer often, then this type might be the best option for you. They will last long—for a year, or perhaps two.

How to store coffee creamers?

As always, storing coffee creamers depends on their type.

Dairy-based and non-dairy creamers should stay in the fridge at a cool temperature unless the label states that it doesn’t need refrigeration.

On the other hand, the mini sealed cups can be stored at room temperature – not too hot, and not too cold, though you can still keep them in the refrigerator if you prefer to.

For the powdered coffee creamers, make sure that they are stored in a place away from moisture. To do this, always seal the coffee creamer’s container tightly.

What can happen if you consume an expired coffee creamer?

Expired coffee creamers may have various negative effects on your body, that’s why it is important to store them properly to prolong their shelf lives. If you’re unsure if the coffee creamer is still safe to consume, better to discard it rather than experiencing these health issues:

Digestive problems

Some people regret throwing out coffee creamers that are only about to go bad, so they ended up using it anyway. However, consumption of expired and decaying coffee creamer can cause digestive problems.


Expired coffee creamer can cause the formation of gas, which may be the reason for diarrhea and other gastric issues.


Acidity is common for people with gastric issues, and consumption of bad coffee creamer can cause acidity.

It’s better to avoid bad, or almost bad coffee creamers than to experience one or more of these health issues.

sugar and creamer sealed jar

5 Tips to Keep Coffee Creamer Safe

  • Transfer the powdered coffee creamer you bought into an airtight container to prevent moisture and air from coming in. If stored properly, powdered coffee creamer will last for a long time, even if past the expiration date.
  • Like the powdered coffee creamer, mini sealed cups can be used just fine even weeks after their expiration date.
  • It is best to consume dairy-based liquid coffee creamer as soon as possible. If you won’t use it regularly, then don’t buy in bulk or in large amounts.
  • If you’re unsure whether to refrigerate non-dairy coffee creamers or not, then opt to consider the former option. Most, if not all, coffee creamers last longer when stored in the refrigerator.
  • If you’re using liquid coffee creamer, only buy when you’re almost done with your current one since this type of creamer only lasts for a short time.

And that ends today’s article. If you find this helpful, feel free to share it with your family and friends, especially the coffee lovers! As always, safety comes first. If you’re not sure of your coffee creamer, it’s safer to throw it out than have regrets later on.