While coffee creamer can be a contentious topic, it’s undoubtedly a popular choice for those who like the convenience and the taste.
One question that comes up frequently among liquid coffee creamer fans is simple: to freeze or not to freeze? Whether you want to stockpile creamer generally or just want to keep your favorite flavor around, it’s a good question.
And the short answer is: yes, you can freeze liquid coffee creamer! But let’s dive into some more detail.
Tips And Best Practices For Freezing Coffee Creamer
There are a few different approaches to freeze liquid coffee creamer to extend its shelf life, and there are a lot of tips and tricks to make it easier.
While the easiest solution may seem to be to take the original bottles and put them in your freezer, it’s not always the best solution.
If you go through a lot of coffee (and therefore a lot of liquid coffee creamer), it’s definitely feasible.
However, we think freezing your creamer in ice cube form is the better option for a few different reasons.
Freezing it in cubes allows you to use up less space in your freezer, and it also means that you don’t have to thaw out the entire bottle at once.
There are a few other benefits to coffee creamer ice cubes that we’ll get into in more depth.
You can also freeze portions of creamer in your own bottles, either the whole bottle of creamer or smaller amounts.
If you decide to go this route, you should definitely label your bottles with the type of creamer and the date you’re freezing them.
In fact, you should generally date-stamp your frozen coffee creamer no matter what method you use. While the freezer will keep your coffee creamer fresh for a longer period than if it was in the fridge, it won’t work indefinitely. Adding a date to your containers of coffee creamer will help make sure that you use them in the correct order and don’t risk waste.
If you decide to go ahead and just freeze the creamer in the container it comes in, you should make sure to thoroughly defrost the whole bottle in the fridge before using it.
The different components of coffee creamer freeze at different rates, and while this isn’t an issue with ice cubes made of coffee creamer, it’s a problem with larger volumes.
Freezing Creamer In The Bottle
One of the constant pieces of advice that comes up when you’re looking to freeze a liquid is to make sure there is headspace in your chosen vessel before you put it in the freezer.
If you’ve ever frozen a whole bottle of water or experienced a mishap with a bottle of soda or beer exploding as it freezes, you’ll know why.
Most water-based liquids will expand while freezing because water expands when it freezes.
Fortunately, this is not the case with liquid creamer for a few different reasons. First, while it has water in it, there are many dissolved solids of different types, particularly milk-derived protein and fats.
These components will help to keep the water in the container from expanding in a way that would make the bottle itself burst, which means that if you want to, you can easily just put the whole bottle in the freezer.
If you have space, you can even place multiple bottles of unopened creamer in without risking a big mess.
Some people will swear that you must empty some of the coffee creamer out of the original bottle before putting it in the fridge, but this actually leads to your creamer having less lasting power.
Instead, if you want to freeze whole bottles, put the coffee creamer containers straight into the icebox without opening or emptying them.
You must make sure to thaw frozen coffee creamer in the bottle fully before you try to use it.
The components that help to hinder the expansion of the liquid form as it freezes also have a tendency to thaw out at different rates. You wouldn’t want water in your coffee instead of creamer!
It’s also a good idea to give the bottle a good shake before you use it the first time after thawing in the fridge to make sure that all the solids are evenly distributed throughout the liquid.
Some coffee lovers also say that it’s a good idea to give it a good shake it every time if it’s been frozen–but this isn’t actually necessary.
It’s also important to note a potential downside of freezing and thawing a whole bottle at once: once thawed, the creamer may break down more rapidly than it would under normal circumstances, meaning you have to use it more quickly.
If you go through a lot of coffee, this might be fine. But if you don’t drink a lot of coffee, freezing the original bottle may not help.
Label The Bottles
It’s very important that you label the bottles you put in the freezer to make sure that you use them before they start to lose quality.
Even if you aren’t freezing entire bottles, you’ll want to include a date-of-freezing label on whatever container you use. This is because, while freezing will extend the life of most anything you put in it, everything will eventually break down.
If you’ve ever discovered a bag of frozen vegetables or a forgotten piece of meat at the back of your icebox that’s covered in freezer burn, you know the risks that come with leaving something too long in the icebox.
Over time, the same properties that make freezing extra liquid coffee creamer easy can also make it break down.
While the creamer won’t go bad, per se, sitting too long in a frozen state can allow the fats to oxidize and become rancid–just as they would anywhere else.
The super-cold environment only slows down the process of chemical reactions; it doesn’t stop it altogether.
In fact, frozen coffee creamers will remain good for four to six months, depending on the type of creamer and the ingredients it uses.
Beyond that, the different components may break down and lose some of their flavor and other properties.
Liquid creamers have many different ingredients, and they can start to taste weird if you use them past their shelf life, even after freezing.
Along with labeling your bottles, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re rotating your supply regularly.
In the restaurant industry, this is referred to as “First In, First Out” storage organization, or FIFO. The older bottles in your icebox should be the first ones you take out to thaw (unless, somehow, it’s already past its date).
By making sure that you’re always using the oldest container of creamer first, you can keep your supply fresh and your cup of coffee tasting the way you want it to.
What Are Liquid Coffee Creamers Made From?
Just like the question, “Can you freeze coffee creamer,” the question of what liquid coffee creamers are made of has a short answer and a long answer.
The short answer is that all liquid creamers are made from water, oils, and usually sugar, with a few different ingredients added to keep them stable, hold the liquid together, and add some flavor.
The longer answer to the question is that it depends.
Coconut creamer, a type of lactose-free coffee creamer, is usually made with coconut oil and sometimes flavorings.
There are other lactose-free and dairy-free options, including soy creamer, hazelnut creamer, rice-based creamer, and beyond.
There are countless variations on coffee creamer, so there are many different ingredients the product of your choice could include.
Low-fat and no-sugar coffee creamers usually have skim milk and/or artificial sweeteners in them. In fact, even some creamers that don’t advertise as low in sugar may contain artificial sweeteners.
The goal of any good cream replacement is to have the right consistency and creamy taste to duplicate the experience of cream or half and half in coffee.
As a result, they use different oils or fats to accomplish the distinctive mouthfeel, along with stabilizers and thickeners like milk-derived protein, monoglycerides, and diglycerides.
In the case of seasonal flavors, liquid coffee creamer may also contain different flavorings and aromas to give you the taste you’re craving.
Christmas and winter holiday creamers usually have some form of either mint flavors or spice flavors, and some have compounds to mimic different desserts.
But even when you don’t opt for flavored creamer, your coffee creamer container probably has some aroma added to it to enhance the experience when you add it to your coffee.
These ingredients all add up to a product that provides a creamy taste, sweetness, and a more stable alternative to fresh milk and cream that you can buy at the grocery store.
There’s also the fact that it’s not recommended to freeze half and half, or other dairy products, due to the risk of separation.
How To Freeze Coffee Creamer
Freezing coffee creamer is one of the easiest things you can do.
After all, you can just put the whole bottle in with your ice and other frozen items, give it enough time, and be done.
But there are more efficient and effective methods to get the most out of freezing creamer, and we have some specific tips and tricks.
First of all, it’s easier to actually use your creamer if it’s in a smaller format.
For that reason, we recommend that you freeze your creamer in the ice tray rather than in the original container it comes in. It’s also faster to freeze liquid coffee creamer in an ice cube format.
The process to freeze coffee creamer is very simple:
- Pour the creamer into your ice cube trays
- Cover each ice tray with aluminum foil in order to protect it and to also prevent any spills
- Allow the coffee creamer to freeze for three hours
- Extract the coffee creamer ice cubes and store them.
We recommend using a plastic bag to store your frozen creamer cubes long term, and a particularly good option is to use freezer bags.
This type of plastic bag is a little tougher, a little thicker than bags destined for the fridge or for pantry storage, so they’ll protect your coffee creamer for longer.
Freezer bags also typically have a spot on them where you can label the date, so just like with bottles of creamer, you can keep track and use each whole batch of coffee creamer in a timely fashion.
A freezer bag also takes up a lot less room than bottles do so that you can be more space-efficient.
Once it comes time to use your frozen creamer cubes, it couldn’t be simpler: you don’t even have to thaw them out first.
Instead, just take the number of cubes you think you’ll want in your coffee out of the plastic bag, and pop them in your cup.
Another benefit is that, like freezing coffee, freezing coffee creamer works very well with iced coffee.
You can use creamer cubes to keep your iced coffee cold while also not diluting it as much as regular ice. It’s also much better results than freezing fresh milk.
Just make sure that you clean your ice tray between different flavors and types of coffee creamers and that you store the whole batch of creamer ice cubes in as few bags as possible.
One freezer bag per batch is ideal. If you decide to freeze coconut creamer, keep in mind that even in cube form, it may need a little more vigorous stirring to blend into your coffee properly.
You can also use creamer ice cubes to turn your coffee into a frappé in the summer months: a few cubes of creamer will replace half cream options and give you a more velvety end result compared to milk. Thanks to the thickeners and other ingredients.
Just make sure you use your coffee creamer ice cubes within six months, and you’ll be good to go!