Pouring Creamer into a Cup of Coffee
Michelle Lee Photography/istockphoto

The Best (and Worst) Store-Bought Coffee Creamers

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Pouring Creamer into a Cup of Coffee
Michelle Lee Photography/istockphoto

Morning Brew

There's no shame in adding cream and sugar to your coffee. But if you want to sweeten your morning up a little bit with coffee creamer, which direction do you go in? Do you blast off into sweetness or opt for a more understated vibe? In order to find the best coffee creamer out there, I tasted nine different options. Here are some grocery store favorites — and ones you should leave on the shelf.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: The Secret History of How Coffee Took Over the World

natural bliss almond milk coffee creamer
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism
international delight peppermint mocha coffee creamer
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best for Winter: International Delight Peppermint Mocha

$5 from Instacart

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The minute I taste that nippy winter air, the craving finds me. Peppermint mochas are such a wholesome mark of seasonal change that no matter how sweet they get, they stay irresistible. Why the Grinch is involved with this creamer is a mystery to me — peppermint mocha feels decidedly like something he would hate.

starbucks coffee creamer
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best for a Morning Jolt: Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

$7 from Instacart

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To wake up in the morning and pour yourself a coffee sweetened with Starbucks Caramel Macchiato is quite a move. I can see this being something you might bust out on Christmas morning or another special occasion, but nobody needs this on hand in their fridge. You pour a little splash, it barely changes the flavor. You pour one more little splash, and maybe there's a slight change. You pour a third splash and — uh oh — all of a sudden you're being dragged down to the depths of the Caramel Macchiato sea.

oat milk coffee creamer
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Most Like Dunkaroo Cream: Planet Oat French Vanilla

$5 from Instacart

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Remember Dunkaroos? This tastes like them. What's most nuts to me is that these things come in quarts. Who could possibly use that much creamer before the expiration date? How much are you dumping into your coffee? As for the fact that this is made out of oats, it's probably a good thing that you can't tell. All you can think about is that sweet, sweet Dunkaroo cream.

cold stone coffee creamer
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Most Like Melted Ice Cream: International Delight Cold Stone Sweet Cream

$7 from Instacart

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Beats me as to why Cold Stone is getting in on the coffee creamer game, but here it is. There's something to the idea of melted ice cream with your coffee, in a sort of reverse-affogato sense, but this is just a mega-sweet cream attack that you probably don't need. 

dunkin coffee creamer
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best Basic Creamer: Dunkin'

$5 from Instacart

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Here's the truth. I was ready to talk copious amounts of smack about Dunkin', as I generally find its coffee to be overrated. But Dunkin's Extra Extra coffee creamer really isn't bad at all, and tastes the most like a sweet coffee without overwhelming sugar and cream. It's almost milkshake-y in the best way, and if you're looking for the most basic of coffee creamers, Dunkin' is a good bet.

coffee mate french vanilla creamer
Nestlé

Best if You Like Coffee With Your Cream: Coffee Mate French Vanilla

$4 from Instacart

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One cannot miss the vanilla flavor here, and that is perhaps because it is the only flavor in this creamer. If you're the person that needs to load your coffee up until it tastes like a bottled Starbucks Frappuccino, reach for this Coffee Mate.

chobani coffee creamer
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Most Representative of Actual Ingredients: Chobani Sweet Cream

$5 from Instacart

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Most of the nauseating liquid I put in my body for this taste test felt otherworldly. I did, in fact, taste the creamers on their own as well, and the thickness was not something my spirit was prepared for. That said, Chobani smells and tastes like real ingredients. This creamer tastes like nothing but whole milk and real sugar, but that's also what confuses me. Why does this exist? Why not just put actual milk and sugar in your coffee? How much time are you saving here — the time it takes to turn a teaspoon over? There has to be something I'm missing.

coffee mate hazelnut creamer
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best for Pouring Down Your Garbage Disposal: Coffee Mate Hazelnut

$5 from Instacart

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Here's a funny prank to play on somebody you don't like: Tell them to taste this. The smell alone caused me to take a step back, and not because it was spoiled. The flavor is a miracle of modern science, simultaneously tasting overly sweet and bitter. It's like sugar and dirt mixed together. Don't consume it.