Adding just a tiny bit of coffee creamer can truly elevate its taste. These creamers dissolve into your coffee instantly and give it a much richer and creamier taste.
We often drink coffee in the morning, right before we’re leaving for work. Because you’re in a hurry early in the morning, the chances of leaving the creamer outside after you’ve used it are quite high.
You might have forgotten to put the coffee creamer back into the refrigerator. It’s completely normal. But how long can coffee creamer sit out?
Will it become inedible if it sits out for too long? And, how long is too long for creamers to sit out?
Let’s find out how long this delicious concoction can be left out of the refrigerator.
What Is Coffee Creamer?
If you are a regular coffee drinker, you already know what a coffee creamer is. It's a ready-made creamer product that you add to your coffee to make it richer.
This product is sold in both liquid and powdered form. Besides adding this creamer to your coffee, you can also add it to tea and hot chocolate.
Most creamers come in a non-dairy form. They also have a lot of different flavor options to choose from. Holiday flavors such as pumpkin spice or peppermint, and classic flavors such as caramel or almond are quite popular amongst coffee creamer consumers.
You can get dairy-based, non-fat, sugar-free, and small-sized mini sealed coffee creamers as well. The product is quite versatile and gives its consumers a lot of options to choose from.
Factors That Effect Coffee Creamer's Shelf Life
Coffee creamers will almost always come with an expiry date. You cannot consume the creamer after it has passed that date. But there are a few factors that can increase or decrease the product's shelf life. Let's take a look at a few of these factors in-depth.
1. Storage Method
How you store a coffee creamer can heavily influence how long the product will last.
According to the product's packaging, you should store creamers in a dry and cool place. It's better to avoid exposure to extreme weather conditions when you're storing powdered creamers.
If you are consuming liquid coffee creamers, you have to refrigerate the product for sure. If you leave it out for too long, the product will expire and become inedible.
2. Type Of Creamer
Liquid coffee creamers that are thicker in texture tend to last longer than thinner coffee creamers.
But when it comes to longevity, powdered coffee creamers are the clear winner. Powdered creamers can outlast both thin and thick creamers.
If a powdered creamer is stored in a cool dry place, it will never clump up or get ruined.
3. Expiry Date
A very easy way to understand when your coffee creamer has become inedible is to look at the expiry date.
Once the coffee creamer has gone past its expiry date, it's better not to consume it. But if you are in dire need of the product, you can check it out for foul smell and taste. If it does not taste or smell any different, and it's only a day or two past its expiry date, you might still be able to use it.
4. Storage Environment
The location where you store your coffee creamer can have a huge impact on its longevity. You should never store your creamer in an extremely hot environment.
Try not to store powdered creamers right beside ovens or stoves. Coffee creamers should be placed far away from appliances that might give off heat.
If you store your coffee creamer in a cool and dry environment, it's more likely going to last longer.
How Long Can Coffee Creamer Sit Out?
How long can creamer sit out depends on a lot of factors. The exact amount of time that you can leave out coffee creamer outside of the fridge depends on what kind of ingredients it has, and also what kind of environment you are living it out in.
Here are a few different kinds of coffee creamers and how long they can be left out of the fridge.
1. Powdered Coffee Creamer
Powdered coffee creamer can be left outside for a long time. You don't need to refrigerate this sort of creamers.
The creamers have a longer shelf life than liquid coffee creamers. You can store them outside of the fridge for as long as you want. Just make sure that the environment is cool and dry.
Of course, the coffee creamer will become inedible after it goes past its expiry date.
2. Liquid Coffee Creamer
Liquid coffee creamers with preservatives added can be left out of the refrigerator for a couple of hours and still be consumable.
If the bottle of creamer that you have bought has not been opened yet, you can store it outside for about 6 months. Coffee creamers usually have a lot of preservatives added to them and don't get spoiled too easily.
But what if you have opened the bottle? How long can coffee creamer be refrigerated after it has been opened? You can consume opened bottles of coffee creamer for about 2 weeks. Once the bottle has been opened, it has to be refrigerated for sure. If the creamer that you have bought has a very long expiry date, you can probably use it for even longer.
3. Individual Coffee Creamers
Tiny pods of creamers that you can get in the grocery store have a very long product shelf life. If you haven't opened them at all, the cups of coffee creamers will last you about 6 months.
Because they have a lot of preservatives added to them, you can also consume them even after 1 month of their expiry date.
But, make sure to give the product a good sniff and a small taste to see if it has changed. If the coffee creamer tastes normal, it's safe to be consumed.
How To Store Coffee Creamer Properly?
The safest way to store coffee creamers is in the refrigerator. If you have not opened the bottle yet, you can store it outside of the refrigerator if needed.
1. Storing Non-Dairy Coffee Creamers
Coffee creamers that don't have any dairy in them can be stored outside of the fridge. They are also sold on shelves in supermarkets, not in refrigerators. As long as you are storing them in a cool dry place, and not exposing them directly to heat, they will be good to go. So, non-dairy coffee creamers have a longer product shelf life.
2. Storing Dairy-Based Coffee Creamers
If you have purchased a dairy-based creamer, it's better to store it in a refrigerator whether it be opened or unopened. If you keep a bottle of unopened dairy-based coffee creamer in the refrigerator, you can still consume it after 1 month of its expiry date.
After every use, try to put back the creamer inside the refrigerator as soon as possible. Don't let it sit out for too long. Dairy-based coffee creamers don't have a long shelf life and can go bad very easily.
If you have left out a dairy-based creamer outside of the fridge for over 2 hours, and it starts to smell a little, it's better not to consume the rest of it.
3. Using Air-Tight Containers
Powdered coffee creamers have to be stored in an air-tight container. You need to keep this product away from air and moisture. Otherwise, the powder will clump up and become hard.
Storing the powdered coffee creamer in an airtight container will keep it away from moisture and fresh for a long time. Also, try and store this container in a dry and cool area, away from heat.
How To Know If Coffee Creamer Has Gone Bad?
So you have let your creamer set out for a while, can you still use it? The most accurate way to find out if a coffee creamer is still edible is to check substantially if it has gone bad. Here are a few things that you need to look for when checking your coffee creamer.
1. Change In Texture
Check your coffee creamers’ texture, and see if it has changed. If the smooth texture has become a little bit clumpy now, it is not edible anymore.
If the consistency of your creamer has changed significantly, where it is not even anymore, it's better to discard the product.
2. Sour Taste
If you see that the coffee creamer has not changed its texture, you can try and taste a little bit of the product. Take a very small amount, less than half a teaspoon, and taste it with your tongue.
If the coffee creamer tastes sour and weird, the product has gone bad for sure. Do not consume creamer that tastes acidic.
Open the container of your powdered coffee creamer and check for mold. If you see white fuzzy mold on the powder, the product has definitely gone bad.
Powdered coffee creamer that has become clumpy and hard, is also better not consumed.
If you cannot find mold on your dry powder coffee creamer, you can try and taste a little bit of it. Similar to liquid creamers, if the taste is acidic and weird, do not consume the powder creamer.
4. Bad Smell
This is often found in dairy-based liquid coffee creamers. When a liquid coffee creamer goes bad, opening the bottle will give off a very foul smell.
When you notice this foul, pungent smell, throw away the coffee creamer immediately. It cannot be consumed any further.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Coffee Creamer Need To Be Refrigerated?
Liquid creamers that are dairy based need to be refrigerated all the time. Opened or unopened, you cannot keep them in normal temperature for long, otherwise they’ll go bad after a few hours.
Powdered and non-dairy creamers have long shelf life, hence refrigeration isn’t crucial for them. However, it’s better if you store them in refrigerator too because that’ll keep them consumable for a longer time.
2. Is Expired Coffee Creamer Bad For You?
Yes, expired coffee creamers are bad, even harmful for you. Especially if you have bought a dairy-based creamer, you should never consume it after it has expired.
Consuming expired coffee creamers can lead to stomach aches and food poisoning. As expired or gone off creamers have bacteria and fungi growing in them, it exposes your body to health risks and can cause issues such as diarrhea and vomiting.
3. What Kind Of Coffee Creamer Will Last The Longest?
If you want to buy a creamer that will last you a long time, it's better if you go for powdered coffee creamers. Powdered coffee creamers have a longer shelf life compared to liquid counterparts.
Also, you can store powdered creamers outside of the refrigerator in a cool and dry place. Just make sure that no moisture gets into the powder and the product will be good to go.
Powdered coffee creamers can also be consumed one month after they have passed their expiry date.
4. How To Extend Coffee Creamer Shelf Life?
The most effective way to extend coffee creamer shelf life is by storing it in the refrigerator. It doesn't matter if you have opened the bottle or not, storing it in a refrigerator will help increase the longevity of the product significantly.
Coffee creamers can be stored in refrigerators for about 6 months.
5. What Temperature Should You Store Your Coffee Creamer In?
You should store your creamer in a refrigerator at about 40° F. This cool and dry environment will prevent bacteria and fungi from growing in the liquid coffee creamer. It will also help the preservatives inside the product work better.
When it comes to a food product, storage is key. If you have left out a liquid coffee creamer outside of the refrigerator for too long, it's better to not consume it.
Coffee creamers that have dairy in them, need to be consumed more carefully. It's better if you finish the creamer within a week or two of buying it.
The answer to the question ‘how long can coffee creamer sit out’ depends on what kind of coffee creamer you have bought. Powdered creamers can be left out for quite a long time outside, while liquid creamers should not be consumed if they have been left out of the refrigerator for more than 6 hours.
But, we would always suggest that you store your coffee creamers in the refrigerator no matter what type they are. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Don't take any chances with your health.