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We Tried Starbucks' At-Home Creamers And This Was Our Favorite

three Starbucks creamers
three Starbucks creamers - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

The coffee creamer selection at your local grocery store is undoubtedly as extensive as it is at mine. Any big box grocer worth its salt is going to have seasonal selections and permanent flavors to create a huge range of coffees. With everything from the classic Coffee mate, to more expensive variations that utilize plant-based milk, there's a coffee creamer for nearly everyone.

Admittedly, I've tried a variety of creamers and brands, testing out various pumpkin spice versions during the fall, and enduring failed coffee experiments as I attempted to identify some of my favorite flavor preferences. Not to mention the many coffee rituals I've enjoyed, including making homemade creamer for a period of time to find that perfect cup of Joe.

While I still remain on the hunt, I've found that Starbucks coffee creamers are some of my favorites. I put three of these creamers to the test, comparing them against one another to determine the best. Here's how they match up.

Read more: 31 Popular Coffee Brands, Ranked

What Are Starbucks Coffee Creamers?

iced coffee and creamers
iced coffee and creamers - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

In the summer of 2019, Nestle and Starbucks partnered up to release a line of Starbucks creamers inspired by several of its drinks. The three flavors of creamers I sampled all had the same nutritional content of 40 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of total sugars.

In terms of ingredients, all of them offered the same, starting with nonfat milk as well as sugar, heavy cream, buttermilk, natural flavoring, and vegetable oil. This is noteworthy because, even though Starbucks doesn't outright advertise as being a milk-based creamer, only a small number of creamers actually follow this suit.

Take International Delight's Caramel Macchiato flavor, for example. This product's first three ingredients are water, sugar, and palm oil. The caramel from Coffee mate begins with water, sugar, and vegetable oil. Comparably, these two varieties also have five fewer calories than the Starbucks offerings.

Where To Find Starbucks Coffee Creamers

pouring creamer in coffee
pouring creamer in coffee - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

You'll usually find Starbucks' coffee creamers in the refrigerated dairy section of your grocery store. They will be beside others like Coffee mate choices, International Delight offerings, Chobani branded creamers, and even Dunkin.

The three we tried — vanilla, cinnamon dolce, and caramel — aren't the only ones available. There is also a white chocolate mocha offering, with a zero added sugar version, and other nondairy choices made with almond milk and oat milk. You may even find that different flavors are available at different stores. For example, my closest Target offered a Toffeenut option in addition to what Publix had on the shelf. You can also find Starbucks' coffee creamers on Amazon for delivery.

Seasonal flavors are usually released during the fall and winter. So when Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte season hits, you should also be able to find a creamer inspired by Starbucks' classic PSL.

How Much Do Starbucks Coffee Creamers Cost?

creamers and coffee
creamers and coffee - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

In terms of cost, it'll depend entirely on where you're shopping, as prices for Starbucks coffee creamers can vary. Generally, these creamers are available in 28-ounce containers. At Publix, they're priced just over $7, while Amazon offers them for between $6-$7 with the convenience of delivery.

Target lists them for slightly under $6, and Walmart is known to have the lowest price among these options. This means, depending on where you shop, you can expect to spend between $6-$7 for a container (prices correct at the time of publication).

Considering even the higher end of this price range, you're looking at approximately 13 cents per serving of milk and flavoring. This is a stark contrast to the nearly $5 you'd spend on a grande iced coffee from Starbucks, showcasing the creamers' cost-effectiveness.

Moreover, opting for these creamers not only promises savings, but also contributes to a reduction in disposable cup usage, aligning with more environmentally friendly practices. Additionally, for those who relish the convenience, or find themselves far from a Starbucks outlet, this option ensures you can still enjoy your favorite flavors without compromise.

Vanilla Flavored Creamer

vanilla coffee creamer coffee
vanilla coffee creamer coffee - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

For my coffee taste test, I went with the same coffee preparation for all three coffees to keep the base consistent. I ground 18 grams of my favorite Dr. Bumble coffee, a Nicaraguan dark roast from Yellowband Coffee Roasters. I put that in my Aeropress coffee maker along with 115 grams of 165-degree Fahrenheit water, and pressed it after a minute of steep time. To that, I added water and then poured the creamer over the top of the coffee, stirring well until the coffee and creamer combined.

I found that the flavor to this vanilla latte-inspired creamer had a pretty fake taste to it, even though it uses milk and other natural ingredients. Even still, I couldn't shake the fake sweetener flavor, and though the vanilla was present, it was all but very slight. This creamer is supposed to have been inspired by a vanilla latte, but that slight tinge of flavor is the only thing really going on here that is latte-like.

Cinnamon Dolce Flavored Creamer

cinnamon dolce coffee creamer coffee
cinnamon dolce coffee creamer coffee - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

Following the same preparation process as before, I found that the cinnamon dolce coffee creamer was very flavorful, and much more reminiscent of the cinnamon dolce latte than the vanilla one. It had a rather strong cinnamon taste to it; with a pretty powerful flavor, you may not need to use as much creamer as you typically would.

The cinnamon's spiciness slightly overpowers the creamer's sweetness. That cinnamon flavor could make your drink taste a bit bitter without the right coffee in your cup. In the case of my tasting, I found that the drink got better with a little ice melt so that the dark coffee melded more with the creamer. You may want to go with a lighter roast than the one I chose for this one. The verdict? It may not have been my least favorite, but it wasn't my favorite offering either.

Caramel Flavored Creamer

caramel macchiato coffee creamer coffee
caramel macchiato coffee creamer coffee - Dani Zoeller / Tasting Table

The caramel macchiato-inspired variety was absolutely the most flavorful of the creamers, and played best with the coffee. Admittedly, in the past, I have used this particular flavor of creamer as a cold foam creamer by frothing it a bit. This flavor does absolutely fantastic on top of iced coffee in that manner, as well as just pouring it in (as I did in these tastings).

The flavor here is sweet, and actually has more of a caramel flavor than a caramel macchiato you can order at Starbucks ─ which may not be as sweet as you'd want it to be. In fact, in order to get the same level of caramel sweetness from the actual drink in cafes, you would definitely need to order caramel syrup in addition to the vanilla syrup already in the drink. You'd also want extra caramel drizzle to achieve the same level of caramel flavor.

Surprisingly, I would prefer this creamer over a regular caramel macchiato any day. All told, this is a delicious addition to your coffee, and certainly one you'll look forward to repurchasing.

Are Starbucks Coffee Creamers Worth It?

creamers with iced coffee
creamers with iced coffee - Dani Zoeller/Tasting Table

I'd definitely say that these creamers are worth it when it comes down to price. However, in terms of flavor, the only one I would really pick off the shelf as something to regularly put in my coffee is a bottle of the caramel macchiato. The other two I tried simply didn't stack up in terms of taste, and I found them to be a little on the disappointing side, if I'm being honest. Even still, if you're truly committed to making coffee at home rather than visiting Starbucks regularly, purchasing a bottle of Starbucks coffee creamer is certainly a great way to do this.

If you happen to be a lover of Starbucks cold foam, I highly recommend also picking up an electric hand whisk so that you can simply whisk the caramel macchiato creamer and pour it right over your iced coffee. Although I didn't sample it for this test, having enjoyed coffee creamer this way in the past, I can tell you that it's one of my favorite ways to use Starbucks creamer.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.