Manufactured by Nestle, Coffee-Mate is a powdered form of milk that is intended to replace and substitute milk when used in coffee and tea. Its been around since 1961
In the UK its only available in powder form, is most commonly known as a coffee whitener and is available as either “regular” or “light”. The light version doesn’t taste as good but it has a lot less fat.
In the United States, using a milk substitute for coffee and tea is a lot more popular and as a result, there are a lot more Coffee-Mate options to choose from.
In the US it fits within the banner of “coffee creamer” because as well as coming in powder form its also available in liquid form and flavoured liquids as well.
They even do some of the flavours like French Vanilla in big bottles with a pump on them so you can get a measured squirt to try and replicate a vanilla latte.
Is it worth using Coffee-Mate instead of regular milk to add to your coffee?
Does it make the flavour better or worse and why doesn’t everyone just use coffee whitener or creamer for their coffee?
Is Coffee-Mate better than regular milk?
Powdered milk is never better than fresh milk when it comes to coffee. Certainly in the UK, powdered milk should be considered as an alternative to milk if you have run out of milk and not as a first choice.
The choice is, of course, personal but in my opinion, the flavour of coffee mate is nothing like fresh milk and although it changes the colour of coffee or tea it doesn’t combine with the coffee liquid in the same way milk does.
You will never see any of the high street coffee chains using powdered milk to make coffee because fresh milk beats powdered milk every time.
If you live in a really hot country or you go on holiday to places where it’s really hot then you may be better off with Coffee-Mate than regular fresh milk because the heat makes fresh milk go off really quickly.
I used to go to Spain a lot and because of the intense heat I quickly realised that fresh milk wasn’t really viable unless you bought it every day and even then it was touch and go.
By the time you get it out of the supermarket and back home and into the fridge you were lucky if it hadn’t already gone off and of course it would have been out of the refrigerator for a time to get it into the fridge on the shelves of the supermarket.
Most people would use long-life UHT milk but I absolutely hated the stuff and in my opinion it ruins the flavour of anything it goes in so then, and only then, did I use Coffe-Mate instead as for me it was the lesser of two evils between that and long-life milk.
What is Coffee-Mate made out of?
The label for ingredients on any label has to be listed in order of highest through to lowest so the item you see at the very beginning will be what there is most of in the product you are consuming.
With Coffee-Mate the largest ingredient is Glucose Syrup and that’s basically sugar.
Sugar in small amounts is fine and should be limited to about 30g per day.
This article explains in detail how to manage your sugar intake in coffee:
If you are adding sugar directly to food or drink items you make yourself then you can see and be aware of how much you are consuming but where it becomes difficult is when you consume things that have been pre-prepared.
It becomes more challenging when you eat or drink things that you don’t know the ingredients and even if you do know the ingredients then you tend to not give it much thought.
The fresher the ingredients you use the more control you have over what goes into your body.
Milk comes straight out of a cow and very little gets done to it or added before it goes into the bottle so we know what’s in it and it serves as a good source of protein which is good.
Coffee-Mate’s main ingredient is Sugar (Glucose Syrup) and so that’s something to be aware of if you use it to whiten your tea or coffee on a regular basis.
Palm oil is the next biggest ingredient and adds flavour but is high in Saturated fat at 26g per 100g. Saturated fat is fine in small amounts but personally I like to consume things with a maximum of 7g per 100g of saturated fat.
If you normally use sugar to sweeten your tea or coffee then you won’t need to add as much or any at all because there is already plenty in Coffee-Mate.
What type of coffee works best with Coffee-Mate?
Instant coffee is probably the most suited type of coffee to use with Coffee-Mate because you are combining the most convenient way to make a coffee with the most convenient way to make it white.
You can russell up a cup of instant all from one cupboard. Add coffee, coffee-mate and sugar (less sugar though because coffee mate already has sugar in it) and water and you are done without even going into the fridge.
Most people in the UK still drink instant coffee on a regular basis so if you want to find out more about what it actually is then this article explains:
You can use Coffee-Mate for all coffee made using all the different types of brewing methods used from espresso to filter coffee to cafetiere, a pod machine and more.
This article explains all of the different ways you can make coffee with Coffee-Mate:
Coffee-Mate can work pretty well if you are going camping or anywhere that it’s inconvenient or difficult to bring milk to. You can even pre-mix the instant coffee with the Coffee-Mate and then you have a ready to go cup of coffee with only hot water required.
What does coffee mate taste like?
It’s a very personal thing and you either like it or you don’t. I’m not a big fan and would only use it if there wasn’t any fresh milk available.
It’s a bit bland and produces a kind of cardboardy taste in my mouth that doesn’t really go well with coffee.
Some say it makes the coffee silkier and creamier but that’s not my personal experience.
Can you use coffee mate in tea?
Coffee-Mate in powdered form is just powdered whitener so it can definitely be used in tea as well as coffee.
When it comes to the liquid stuff its more of a creamer than just a whitener so that will work less well in tea and is best left to coffee.
There are certain circumstances where Coffee-Mate can be a convenient replacement to fresh milk such as when you are in very hot places and the fresh milk goes off quickly.
Or perhaps you are an outdoors person and love coffee but don’t want to be carrying fresh milk around with you so bring some Coffee-Mate instead.
Or perhaps you can keep it as an emergency measure for when you open the fridge and realise you have run out of milk.
But for me, fresh milk wins every time so if you are mostly drinking coffee with milk in your own home then stick to fresh milk for far superior taste and an overall better coffee experience.