Non-dairy creamers and vegan milks have finally made it. Baristas don’t bat an eyelash when you request them, and most grocery stores stock a wide variety of alt-milks. But when it comes to coffee on-the-go, big containers just aren’t convenient, and the dairy-averse are left with few options. Allow me to introduce shelf-stable, single-serving, non-dairy creamers. These plant-based packets are relatively new on the scene, and the competition is starting to heat up. I tasted five different brands, and here’s how they stacked up.
Most grocery stores still don’t carry small, packable, non-dairy creamer options (yet), and if they do, it’s those miniature Coffee Mate buckets. Besides not being a vegan, they’re clunky and prone to leakage. The creamers you see below are ideal for keeping in your work desk drawer, tucking into your pocket on your way to the (cow-milk only) coffee shop, or packing for a camping trip or flight. You can even throw a few in your suitcase if you’re visiting a country that isn’t keen on non-dairy yet.
The best non-dairy creamer pouches
I chose five vegan and non-dairy brands that were easy to find and order online. The contestants are: Moo Stix Oat Milk Creamer, Coconut Cloud, Kuju Coffee Cloud Creamer, Nod Oat Creamer, and Joi Oat Milk Creamer. All of which are powder, except for Moo Stix, which is a liquid. When testing for the best non-dairy creamer, I looked for the things that matter to every coffee drinker: Color change, flavor, sweetness, and mouthfeel. I also took price per serving into consideration.
Nod Oat Creamer Vanilla: Best for sweet, flavored coffee.
This oat creamer delivered powerful sweetness and vanilla flavor. The powder did not lighten the coffee much at all, and it didn’t easily dissolve, resulting in a tendency to clump at the bottom of the cup. This oat creamer includes coconut sugar, so if you’re looking for an oat creamer because you’re allergic to coconut, or ingredients derived from it, this might not be the one for you. The texture was my least favorite of the five brands. Initially, it made the coffee seem watery, but the longer the coffee sat, the thicker it became until it was somewhat viscous, but not creamy. (It was off-putting.) At the time of writing, a box of 10 packets cost $13.50 on Amazon, making it a mid-range product.
- Comes in vanilla, caramel, or unsweetened
- Mostly organic ingredients
- Difficult to dissolve
- Possibly off-putting viscosity
- Flavoring tastes slightly artificial
Coconut Cloud Dairy-free Coffee Creamer: Best for coconut fans.
This non-dairy option leans on coconuts for top notch creaminess. One pouch lightened a six-ounce cup of coffee just like a spoonful of dairy cream would, and the texture was silky and rich. The flavor was decidedly coconut, but not like artificial flavoring, more like coconut oil. This creamer would be best for a person that likes coconut, or doesn’t mind it, and enjoys creamy, light coffee without added sweetness. At the time of writing, a bag of 20 servings cost $22.99 on Amazon, making this one of the cheaper options per serving.
- Full, rich, creamy consistency
- Stirs in completely and easily
- Affordable price per serving
- Possibly strong coconut aftertaste
Kuju Coffee Cloud Creamer: Best for unsweetened, unflavored coffee.
This coconut creamer has only four ingredients, and although coconut products account for two of them, there is no a strong coconut flavor. It’s somewhat neutral, lightens coffee like dairy cream would, and creates a rich, creamy consistency in a six-ounce cup of coffee. This creamer would be ideal for a person who likes unsweetened coffee and values a short ingredient list. Although it didn’t linger, I noticed an aftertaste that was similar to the Coconut Cloud brand, but not as powerful. My boyfriend also tasted this one and did not detect an aftertaste. At the time of writing, this creamer clocked in at $12.95 for a box of only eight pouches, making this the most expensive of the five options.
- Lightens coffee like cream would
- Rich, creamy texture
- Neutral flavor
- Quick to dissolve
- Most expensive per serving
Joi Oat Milk Creamer: Best for a crowd pleasing cup o’ joe.
We’ve arrived at my top picks. I like Joi’s oat offering much more than the Nod creamer. Joi’s powder was much finer and dissolved easily after stirring. It lightened the coffee, but not too much. It made the consistency creamy, but not too much. The flavor was neutral and allowed the coffee to be the star. The box is labeled “sweetened” but it is ever so slightly sweet. (The creamer is only available as sweetened, but the same brand makes an oat milk powder that is unsweetened. I haven’t tested it.)
My coffee also had a rather attractive foamy topping, which felt a little bit fancy. This is why Joi Oat Milk Creamer is the crowd pleaser. It cuts through the coffee just enough to take the edge off but doesn’t over-do it. One box of 10 sleeves costs $14.99 at the time of writing, which makes this option slightly cheaper than the Kuju Cloud Creamer per serving.
- Neutral flavor
- Gently sweetened
- Dissolves well
- Medium creamy texture
- On the expensive end of the options
Moo Stix Oat: Best for if you just want oat milk, dammit.
Moo Stix are the only non-dairy, vegan, individual coffee creamer that is packaged as a liquid, not a powder. If you find yourself unsatisfied by powdered options and you just want a splash of oat milk for god’s sake–this is it. It’s a no frills oat milk, unsweetened, unflavored, and thoroughly uncreamy. There’s no issue with it dissolving, as it’s already liquid. The problem is that it’s very watery, and each pouch only contains a third of an ounce of oat milk, about one and a half teaspoons. I felt like I was drinking black coffee until I added a second Moo stick. After that, it was smooth sailing and the oat milk didn’t overpower or over-complicate my coffee. Even if you use two servings for every six-ounce cup of coffee, at $14.99 for 50 packets, Moo Sticks still comes in as the most affordable option per serving by a long shot.
- Liquid oat milk
- Neutral flavor
- Good bang for your buck
- Small serving size
As more companies jump in the non-dairy, single-serving coffee creamer pool, we’ll start getting even better options, but for now this is a good start. Whether you like creamy and sweetened, or lean and simple, there’s an option here for you.