Tired of your regular home-brewed mug of caffeine, but don’t want to accumulate daily Starbucks expenses? Using a vanilla creamer in your coffee, or even tea, can bring a whole new level of luxuriousness to your drink.
There are a number of different options including liquid and powder forms as well as creamy, vegetarian, or low-calorie versions. If you’re not sure which option is the right choice to get your morning started on the right foot, we’ve rounded up the best vanilla coffee creamers for every diet preference.
Coffee Creamer vs Milk Powder
Unlike fresh milk, coffee creamer and milk powder both have a long shelf-life and don’t need to be refrigerated. Although they can both be added to coffee, their uses, ingredients, and flavor are very different.
Milk powder is made by evaporating whole fresh milk into a dry, powder form. It can easily be reconstituted to its natural consistency by adding water, however, it lasts much longer in its powdered form.
Milk powder may contain stabilizers and added nutrients to replace those lost in the dehydration process. It generally does not contain any flavorings or additional sugar so that it remains as close as possible to the original milk product and can therefore be used as a milk replacement in any recipe or drink when reconstituted.
Coffee creamer on the other hand is more about enhancing flavor and creaminess and is not meant to be consumed on its own. Creamer is often sweetened and flavored. It contains a lot more calories and fat due to the ingredients required to yield a luxuriously rich drink. Flavors include vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, cinnamon, and chocolate.
It is sometimes referred to as a non-dairy creamer, making it suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals.
Since milk powder won’t necessarily boost the richness or flavor of your warm beverage and may even water it down, creamer is the best option for a luxurious cup of smooth, rich, and tasty coffee.
Best Vanilla Coffee Creamers
Best Liquid Vanilla Creamer: Fairlife
Even though it is made with milk, Fairlife is a lactose-free coffee creamer. The line was only launched in 2020 and is a liquid blend that does require refrigeration. The vanilla product contains 40% less sugar than other creamers making it the perfect choice for those who want a mild vanilla flavor and sweetness without it overpowering the cup of coffee entirely.
Since it is in liquid form it is also a great addition to cold brews, iced coffee, and you can even add a tablespoon or two to smoothies.
Best Oat Milk Option: Califia Farms Vanilla Oat Milk Creamer
This dairy-free, non-GMO, vegan creamer is made from sustainable, whole grain oats grown in North America. The starchiness of the oats results in a deliciously creamy product without any dairy, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives. This is a liquid creamer that is ready to use straight out the bottle in coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and cold brews.
Best Almond Milk Coffee Creamer: Natural Bliss Vanilla
This plant-based creamer is made with real almonds and natural vanilla extracted from Madagascar vanilla beans. Unlike some almond milk products, this creamer doesn’t curdle when added to hot liquids and yields a smooth drink with hints of nuttiness and vanilla sweetness.
Keep in mind that the almond-based product is not as thick and creamy as other dairy creamers. You may therefore have to add more than usual to get a lighter, whiter, creamy drink.
Best Vegan Option: So Delicious Organic Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer
This certified vegan, non-GMO coconut milk French vanilla creamer comes in a liquid form and is best used within 14 days of opening. The coconut milk gives it a luxurious richness and paired with the vanilla flavor it’s the perfect addition for a decadent cup of joe.
Best Healthy Vanilla Coffee Creamer: Nut Pods Original Unsweetened
Nut Pods creamers are made from coconuts and almonds to achieve a rich creaminess. The dairy-free product comes in original, caramel, hazelnut, and French vanilla flavors. Nut pods creamers are non-GMO and have no added sugar or sweeteners making them the ideal choice for a Whole 30, keto, paleo, or diabetic diet. The brand sometimes releases exciting limited-edition flavors like cinnamon swirl and classic chocolate.
Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer
Homemade vanilla coffee creamer can provide a super indulgent treat. Make it by mixing 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 400ml of milk in a pot. Heat it on the stovetop and add in the seeds scraped out of 1 vanilla pod (and the pod itself). Once the mixture starts to simmer, remove it from the heat. Mix in a tablespoon of vanilla extract and let it cool before bottling and storing it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Adding vanilla extract can bring a lovely vanilla aroma and taste to your coffee but won’t offer the same creaminess or sweetness unless you also add milk and sweetener separately.
If creamer forms small lumps in your coffee it can be due to the coffee being too hot or too cold when adding it in. This is a natural reaction and doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t drink it. Mixing sugar and creamer before adding your hot coffee can also result in white particles floating around. Liquid creamer that has turned lumpy or slimy has gone off and is best discarded.
Powdered creamers don’t generally go off. They can still be used past their expiry date but may not taste great and will give your coffee a stale flavor.
Cream and sugar are not the healthiest options to add to every cup of coffee you consume, but as a treat, there are few better ways to spruce up your cuppa with the rich vanilla taste and sweet comforting creaminess of vanilla coffee creamer. Diet-specific health-conscious individuals can opt for healthier, low-sugar, dairy-free versions. If you are up for a real treat and not concerned about the sugar or calories, making your own version at home is one of the most luxurious treats to enjoy.
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*image by Aisyaqilumar/depositphotos