A couple of years ago my brother-n-law, Ryan, developed a new interest: coffee. Coffee has been a very trendy topic for several years now, but his new interest went way beyond just being a trendy fad. His interest led him to learning how to make the perfect pot of coffee, which then led him to purchase the best coffee gear and source the perfect beans to start his own coffee business. That’s some intense coffee love! Now Ryan is even working on mastering the art (and science) of roasting his own coffee beans.
Ryan’s love for a good cup of joe has be passed down to other family members, including my own family. And while I’m not interested in ever roasting my own beans (and I thought grinding my own wheat berries was too much work?!), I do have a new respect for a good cup of coffee.
With a new passion for all-things coffee running through our family’s caffeinated veins, I’m learning some of the do’s and don’ts of making and enjoying a well-brewed cup of joe. Let’s talk about one of these rules, shall we?
Coffee Rule: A well-roasted, well-brewed cup of coffee doesn’t need coffee creamer.
No coffee creamer? Say what?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a rule breaker. I can totally get behind rules like: grind your coffee beans at home versus purchasing the ground beans from the store and weigh coffee beans and time your water pour (when using a Chemex). But the moment I was told “Creamer really isn’t needed,” I was ready to head back to my non-trendy Folgers days (sorry, Folgers peeps). I’m pretty sure coffee is just an excuse for tastefully enjoying a half-cup of cream anyway, since eating a stick of butter is kind of a faux pas.
I’m happy to report that I’ve convinced Dustin that even really good deserves coffee creamer, because (and here’s the big kicker) not all coffee creamer is created equal. In fact, nearly every store-bought coffee creamer on the market is made with very questionable ingredients, some are beyond questionable and just down right disturbing, particularly the powder imitation stuff!
A good coffee creamer should consist of two basic foundation ingredients: milk and heavy cream. That’s it! At some point over the last two decades, coffee creamer companies decided that good ol’ milk just wasn’t, well, good enough for coffee. Let’s take a look at a popular brand of “French vanilla” coffee creamer: Water, Sugar, Palm Oil, Corn Syrup, Contains 2% Or Less of The Following: Sodium Caseinate* (A Milk Derivative), Dipotassium Phosphate, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Mono And Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Carrageenan, Salt.
That, my friend, is not coffee creamer. That, my friend, is probably the reason our coffee rule in question was created: “A well-roasted, well-brewed cup of coffee doesn’t need coffee creamer.” Even bad coffee is too good for a bottle full of ingredients like the one above. So what’s the alternative? What’s considered a good creamer to add to a cup of joe?
Oh, I’m so glad you asked.
Homemade coffee creamer!
Homemade coffee creamer sounds like a fancy undertaking, but making your own creamer couldn’t be any easier. The same two basic ingredients are used to make any flavor creamer desired: milk and cream. That’s it! With these two ingredients, spices can be added to create multiple natural flavors, or the creamer can be enjoyed “as is” with a great cup of joe. Coffee creamer generally lasts about 7 days in the fridge, so homemade creamer is a great prep time recipe to make in advance for the upcoming mornings. Cheers!
I also love making my own coffee-shop style drinks, like a Chai Latte, Iced Chai Tea Latte, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Turmeric Latte. Between making my own coffee creamer and homemade coffee shop drinks, I’m saving so much money while still enjoying my favorite things. I hope today’s recipe helps you do the same.
How to Make Homemade Coffee Creamer
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pour the ingredients into a tall bowl. Using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients together for 20-30 seconds. It’s important to keep the blending time short since the cream will thicken the longer you blend (AKA: whipped cream!). If you don’t have an immersion blender, vigorously whisk the ingredients until combined.
- Pour the coffee creamer into a storage bottle (like a mason jar). Store the creamer for up to 7 days, depending on the expiration date on your milk and cream. Gently shake the coffee creamer if separation occurs.
Favorite Homemade Coffee Shop Drinks
- How to Make Chai Concentrate With Tea Bags
- Ultimate Homemade Chai Tea Latte Recipe
- Iced Chai Tea Latte (Homemade Starbucks Copycat Recipe)
- Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate (Dairy or Dairy Free)
- Homemade Mocha Peppermint Latte
- How to Make a Turmeric Latte (Golden Milk)
- How to Make Homemade Coffee Creamer
- Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte Two Ways
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I’m going to make this homemade coffee creamer and give it a try. Unfortunately, I love the French vanilla flavored creamer that is bad for you. Is there a particular vanilla extract that has similar taste?
Most creamers are chemically made so I do not have a recommendation unfortunately.
Thank you for posting a recipe . This is awesome. I love reading your article.
Hi Kristin! Is your brother-in-law Ryan O’Rourke of Ironclad Coffee Roasters here in Richmond, VA? I know he spent time in Florida. If not, the similarities are uncanny! Thanks!
I just made this with organic ingredients of course ? And it is freakin’ AWESOME!!!!!!!! Love it. I also have your banana muffins cooling as I write this. I just came across your site a few days ago and we could be besties. Keep up the great work. ? Bonjour from Quebec, Canada
Hey Mae, It’s so great to meet you! Thank you so much, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog :).
Hi, I love this site. I just found it today and will use it forever. I was wondering if you had any recipes for homemade facial skin tightener cream for us older ladies. LOL
Hey Cissi, Welcome! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog! The vitamin C serum may work well for you: https://livesimply.me/2016/01/08/homemade-vitamin-c-serum/.
I’m new in this wonderful real food journey and still using the “non-trendy” Folders. Was wondering what you would recommend for a good coffee?
P.S. I L♥VE your blog and having been using it as my new go to reference for everything!! I pretty much want to make everything on here. Keep up the awesome work 😉
Hey Cassandra, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog! According to my brother-in-law, the coffee roaster, look for coffee that’s whole bean and grind it at home, if possible. This will ensure the coffee is fresh. Also, look for coffee in bags or sealed containers versus the open bins at a store. The bags and cans keep the coffee fresh. Personally, I purchase coffee from him, but I’ve also bought good coffee from multiple stores: Target, TJs, a local healthfood store, and Publix. I usually look for fairtrade beans at these stores. I don’t have a favorite brand from our local stores. When it comes to fancier coffee roasters, Stumptown (out west) is my favorite.
Thank you for posting this recipe. Organic Valley has AN AWESOME grass fed Whole milk with the cream on top! I will try this since I currently have a partial gallon in my refrigerator ☺
Hey Melody, Yes, they do! Enjoy the coffee creamer!!
Not sure where I found this link but it’s a great resource. I also found a great tasting half and half from Kalona Super Natural that’s my new coffee additive of choice with maple syrup 🙂 I also love their whole milk, it has cream on top also..yummy!
Hey Melody, I’ve heard so much great praise for Kalona Super Natural. I wish a store in our area carried this brand. Thank you so much for sharing!
Did you check the ingredients on your heavy cream? Last time I checked the ingredients were as scary as on the coffee creamer! I just stick with milk (or coconut, or even soy milk)! Love the added maple syrup though!
Hey Julie, Great point! You’re right, there are many heavy creams out there that are really scary. I use Natural by Nature (or cream from our local raw milk farm), which is a great heavy cream (no nasty ingredients) and it’s from grass-fed cows. Milk (and some milk alternatives) can also contain questionable ingredients or undergo ultra-pasteurization, so it’s best to always read ingredient labels.