I'm looking for a substitute to milk in the coffee... something that will have the same effect on the coffee (tone down the bitterness of a coffee cup) put that wont turn bad after two weeks.

Here's the situation... I do like to take a good coffee when I'm a little sleepy on the job... that happens, well, maybe once a week.

But if I buy a 1L carton of milk, it will have the time to turn bad before I'm at the halfway point.

So is there a product that I could use to substitute the milk in my coffee that wont turn bad?

  • Welcome to the site, Fredy31. Look at this Q&A, for a substitute. Apr 22, 2013 at 19:13
  • 1
    Adding some grappa to the coffee makes wonders!
    – Bakuriu
    Apr 22, 2013 at 20:41
  • Could be true, but I dont think something alcoholic would be great for work. :p
    – Fredy31
    Apr 22, 2013 at 20:43
  • Milk does not actually objectively reduce the bitterness of coffee, FYI. Salt actually cuts the bitterness, and sugar dulls the rest of your taste sense so that you perceive less bitterness, but milk... is just adding another flavour that I suppose covers up the bitterness for some.
    – Aaronut
    Apr 23, 2013 at 2:08
  • @Aaronut: I question the assertion that milk doesn't reduce coffee's bitterness. No amount of sugar on its own will make coffee anything other than an unpleasant, astringent, bitter liquid. Milk/cream on its own, on the other hand, will make coffee at least drinkable; still not terribly pleasant without some form of sweetening, but no longer horrible, either. And I don't think it's because it's adding a new flavor: milk doesn't actually have a strong flavor, at least not compared to coffee. It's more like drinking milk to cut the heat of capsaicin.
    – Marti
    May 8, 2013 at 21:00

11 Answers 11


If you take your coffee sweet, ice cream works wonders, and it lasts in the freezer. Chocolate is my favorite. I recommend melting it before adding the coffee.

This makes sense because ice cream is mostly milk and cream, with some flavorings--usually of higher quality than are in artificial coffee creamers.

I should add the trick I used in the dorms some years ago, when I had no refrigerator (and an aunt to buy it): Bailey's Irish Cream. Of course, the effect is somewhat different :-)

  • True thats a nice idea!
    – Fredy31
    Apr 22, 2013 at 12:39
  • I don't think Bailey's would be great for work. :p
    – Fredy31
    Apr 22, 2013 at 12:49
  • Maybe not at work, but I recall enjoying it :-)
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Apr 22, 2013 at 13:04
  • 5
    You can buy condensed milk in tubes (like toothpaste). Good for camping. Apr 22, 2013 at 13:21
  • 1
    Just a warning with this one - cheap ice cream can be made out of vegetable oils rather than milk/cream. Always check before you buy. Apr 23, 2013 at 11:48

For coffee, there is milk in 10-ml portions. It is UHT, so it doesn't start spoiling until you open it, and you only open one of them per coffee. Alternatively, use powdered milk.

  • I have never seen that packaging of liquid milk here in the US, @Rumtscho It may be regional. Powdered milk is of course available, although it is not a terribly popular product.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Apr 22, 2013 at 14:26
  • 1
    Land-o-Lakes Mini-Moos. (It's half-and-half, not whole milk... not sure how specific the request for "milk" was meant to be.) If only one or two a week are needed, they can just be stolen (er, I mean politely requested) from your local diner, fast-food joint, or gas station.
    – coneslayer
    Apr 22, 2013 at 18:06
  • Yeah, I should have said "at the grocery store"; they are fairly common in food service, but many do require refrigeration. Stealing is of course wrong, even for a small item.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Apr 22, 2013 at 18:53
  • Even though the food service ones are often brought to the table cold, they're almost always marked UHT / "No Refrigeration Needed" in my experience. (Edit: In recent years, that is.)
    – coneslayer
    Apr 22, 2013 at 19:03
  • I stopped off at a place this morning for a chicken biscuit, and indeed the creamers are UHT. You can buy the sugar packets in the grocery stores, I wonder why portion control creamers are fairly non-existent.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Apr 23, 2013 at 11:53

You can also freeze the milk itself. Pour into small sealable containers and freeze.

If you want to go all the way, freeze the milk in ice cube trays, then vacuum pack the cubes individually. They last a couple of months.


A small pinch of salt will reduce the perceived bitterness, and salt keeps quite well.


There is also the full spectrum of non-dairy creamers, ranging from powder in jars or packets that keeps pretty much forever (and if aerated and ignited correctly makes a nice explosive) to liquid forms in containers ranging from single-serving to quart cartons. While never as nice as a dollop of heavy cream (or ice cream), they do lighten coffee effectively.

Finding and visiting your local restaurant supply store will provide lots of options, usually different from those available at your local mega-mart.


A good substitute is unsalted butter (pasture raised is best). Brew the coffee, and with a blender blend 2 tables spoons (or less or more dependign on your tastes) of the butter into the coffee until you get a nice foam.

I have been drinking what's called bulletproof coffee. It's coffee blended with unsalted butter and mct oil (i've been using coconut oil as a substitute). It gives the coffee enough calories and vitamins to essentally call it breakfast.

  • I made this today for the first time by blending 14oz of generic brewed coffee with 3 tbsp coconut oil and 1/2 tbsp of salted butter. I was surprised at how good it was- tasted really similar to coffee with added cream! It does, however, have roughly 450 calories and 50 grams of fat, so it definitely IS a meal replacement.
    – mdegges
    Apr 21, 2014 at 12:12

I don't know which country you're in, but Coffee-mate has been around for decades.

See Company Website for more info. They do loads of flavo(u)rs, but I've only ever tried the original; once, about 25 years ago. I'm not keen on white coffee, so I couldn't tell you if it's any good I'm afraid!


Almond Milk is my favourite. I had to use it once when I ran out and I can personally say it is better than milk.

  • This doesn't address the real problem, though, since almond milk will spoil almost as fast as cow's milk. And unlike cow's milk, the smallest quantity you can buy is half gallons - at the rate of one coffee per week, it'd take months to use up a half gallon.
    – Marti
    May 8, 2013 at 20:39
  • Almond milk (and other types of non-dairy milk, including rice, soy, and coconut) can be bought in aseptic cartons. There are both juice-box sized cartons and half gallon cartons. They don't need to be refrigerated until opened, and have quite a long shelf life- usually 2 years from the date purchased. Link with more details about the shelf-life of these products: eatbydate.com/dairy/milk/…
    – mdegges
    Apr 21, 2014 at 12:18

I usually keep juice box size of foiled packaged milk for back up. They have a longer shelf life and doesn’t need refrigerating until open. There is also small canned milk. It’s not my favorite but works in a pinch When visiting my friends, she always has skim milk (yuk). I use her canned whipped cream, just be sure to reduce the sugar. My favorite is lactose free milk which taste great and has a much longer shelf life. Anywhere from 60 to 90 days.


After trying all of the above and being extremely picky about the quality of whole milk in my coffee, but live in a remote area and having the same problem...
I melted some unsalted butter at least 1T per cup of coffee, some almond dust i made in the coffee grinder and a teaspoon of real maple syrup. I have 1 pint metal coffee mugs, , so i just take the hand blender and whip it up with the coffee... almost as good a frothed milk and all the ingredients are things you'd have around for months for other purposes.
I have also heard that a whipped cooked white potato works for some..will try this later.


one half gallon EACH of no-sugar-added vanilla almond milk, and plain

  1. reduce (light boil) down to 44 ounces (one third the original volume)
  2. add 3 tbl of safflower oil
  3. add 1 tbl of splenda
  4. strain through cheesecloth if you are finicky about sediment

Pour the mix into 12-oz squeeze bottles (like from margarine or such), use one for the week, while freezing the other 3

To each 11-oz cup of strong coffee, add 2 tbl of the creamer and 1 tbl of non-fat milk powder

  • Hello, and welcome to Seasoned Advice! We are a cooking site, and do not give health advice. So I had to remove the part of your answer discussing the possible health advantages of your suggestion. The rest is on-topic, so thank you for sharing it with us.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 30, 2015 at 9:21

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