What do you add to your coffee? Coffee Creamer? Milk? Cream? Sugar? Soya Milk? Coffee Mate? Adding cream or milk to coffee has been a common practice for centuries.
But there are a lot of places where storing cream or milk isn't possible, such as at the office kitchen, in your desk, or when traveling. Coffee creamers offer a viable solution, and you are sure to find at least one coffee flavoring that you can use in your coffee.
You'll also find that Coffee Mate is available in a variety of packaging for powder (sachets, jars and sticks), creams (one-cup-servings, pumps, and bottles) and also flavored varieties.
In 1961 the Nestle Corporation decided to manufacture a non-dairy coffee creamer that would be convenient, tasty as well as economical under the Carnation brand name.
Their coffee creamer has gone through many alterations over the last half century and the product line has expanded considerably since then. To see the current Coffee-Mate range of products, click the link to open the page.
Always keeping up with what the public wants, Coffee-Mate Lite appeared in 1989, a low-fat version of the popular creamer. Shortly afterward, the liquid version of low-fat hit the shelves and Nestle began introducing flavored variants in an effort to attract new buyers.
People who had never used creamer in their coffee before were now buying the flavored creamer. Sales soared when Nestle introduced the European version to the States, which is made without using the hydrogenated fat that is linked to heart disease.
There are now more than a dozen flavors, most of which are also offered in low-fat and sugarless versions: Creamy Chocolate, French Vanilla, Hazelnut Flavor, and Vanilla Caramel, to name but a few. Search for other flavors, too.
There have also been one or two failures, one of Nestlé’s was a soy based creamer, because not enough people cared for that particular milk substitute. You can also find popular seasonal variations, such as Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Mocha, especially in the sugarless versions.
Always sensitive to the public’s needs, Nestle has now offered their creamer in single serving Stick Packs, Liquid Coffee Creamers (in pumps, bottles, and small singe use portions), and powdered creamer in jars. Powdered creamer is good for 24 months if unopened, while the liquid versions last 14 days or until the "end use" date.
The Nestle's CoffeeMate website offers recipes for hot and cold drinks, holiday creations and desserts such as Mocha Dream Cake and Irish Crème Brulee. The site also showcases Nestlé’s charity, the Dress for Success program that provides disadvantaged women with business clothing, career development tools and a support network to give them confidence.
In short, it's a concoction of partially hydrogenated oil and sugar with some flavorings, emulsifiers, and preservatives. There have been issues in the past over the use of hydrogenated oils and heart disease. The current list of ingredients includes:
Glucose syrup is derived from corn starch (hence its other name, corn syrup), but it can be made from any starch, such as wheat, rice or potatoes; Hydrogenated vegetable oil (perhaps from coconut, palm or soybeans) which can generate 'trans fats' but generally helps to preserve the shelf life and quality of the product; Dipotassium phosphate is added to prevent coagulation (or clumping) in the product; Sodium aluminum silicate is added to help the free flow of the products; Monoglycerides and acetylated tartaric acidesters of mono- and diglycerides also acts as an emulsifier; and... Artificial flavorings, and let's not forget colorings, too!
Yes, I had to look most of those up, too!
Many coffee drinkers become fixated on 'their' way of drinking coffee whether it is all-black, or with lashings of milk… a teaspoon of sugar, but if you are willing to experiment, you may find that Coffee Mate's convenience, price, and availability makes it a convincing purchase.
But there are at least three groups of coffee drinkers who may favor some form of Coffee Creamer over fresh milk, half-and-half or cream: those who (for whatever reason) are lactose intolerant, vegans, and those on certain restricted diets.
This is an issue for many people in Asia who don't have the necessary enzymes (lactase) even as children for consuming the lactose content of milk and milk-based products. So consuming milk or creme in coffee would be impossible for many. Coffee Mate makes an acceptable alternative, especially if you've never tasted or drunk milk in your life.
Also, many adults now develop lactose intolerance making consumption of milk and cream products embarrassing, uncomfortable and they strive to avoid these in their lives rather than take medication.
Coffee is a natural product, 100% animal free, and usually safe for vegans and vegetarians. However, if your vegan or vegetarian precludes dairy products and you can't drink coffee black, then this creamer makes a great product for you, as it's generally recognized as suitable for vegans.
There are, in vegan circles, debates about whether one of the ingredients is in fact derived from milk, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), is acceptable in a vegan diet. Of course, Nestle takes the position that it is, because it's derived from milk. As a vegan, if this bothers you, you may have to look at soy-based alternatives that you may find in the shelves of your local supermarket, health food markets, or organic wholefood stores.
For those on low-cholestrol diets, there may be additional benefits by reducing the amount of milk you consume. Switching to Coffee-Mate may offer some help in this regard, but there have been some issues with the overall perception of Coffee Mate's health benefits.
If you're worried about the calorie content, you should first check out Coffee Mate's actual calorific values and compare them to your regular milk/cream.
The many flavors of Coffee Mate make an interesting challenge should you decide to be a Coffee Mate Lover. But matching the flavors with the coffee may be difficult because some of the coffee beans may be overpowered by the flavors such as Mint or the sweetness of the products. Of course, personal preferences also apply.
In general, if you are drinking coffee that is darker roasted or includes Robusta beans, such as espresso coffee, you may find that the stronger flavors are okay. Some of the sweeter flavors or lighter flavors may suit medium roasts better.
The unsweetened varieties may allow the coffee flavors more 'presence' in your cup. You'll have to experiment, though, and you may find that some flavors work better with your favorite roasts, blends or brands of coffee beans.
Wherever you are, remember "Only Great Beans Make Great Coffee"!
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