Coffee-Mate Vs Half And Half: Differences And Substitutes Milk & Cream


Coffee-mate and half and half are two popular creamers for coffee, but what is the difference between them?

Each has a distinctive nutrient profile and a different taste. 

Furthermore, many people are unaware of the type of milk used in each. However, the calories in each are relatively the same as well.

Have a close look, compare their nutritional facts and ingredients, and then decide which suits your taste buds and your specific dietary needs. 

We will also try to answer questions like “is coffee mate better than milk?” and “what is the substitute for half and half in coffee?” Heavy cream vs half and half in coffee – Is cream a good substitute? Lets find out about all this and more on Coffee-Mate Vs Half And Half! 

Coffee-Mate Vs Half And Half 

Most of them get confused in choosing the right type of creamer for their coffee. There are a lot of options in the market nowadays. In choosing the right one you need to know what’s best for you.



Coffee creamers are made without dairy content in it. Creamer is a milk-based drink that you can consume with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The cream is not a dairy product but a blend of fat and protein in a liquid state.

Is Creamer healthier than milk?

Coffee creamers are mixes of oil and sugar with a flavouring agent in them. You can buy them in all forms, including powder, bar form that easily dissolves in water, or you can add it to hot beverages with great ease. They have been produced with different flavour options to suit the taste buds of all types of people. 

Creamers do not alter the flavour of your coffee, hot chocolate or tea. Creamer can be made from cow milk, soy milk, almond milk and others. 

Coffee mate is a type of a creamer! So, is coffee mate the same as half and half,? Lets read about half and half to understand more!


Compared to creamer, half and half is both higher in fat and calories. It is made from dairy products, including cream and whole milk.

Also, it contains a carrageenan thickening agent. Carrageenan is a food additive derived from red seaweed and has been shown in studies to cause inflammation.

This additive is not healthy, and it is best if you avoid it. Luckily, you can find brands that don’t contain carrageenan, such as Organic Valley Half’ n half.

Also, half and half have more calcium than creamer. For those who want fat-free, it's better to choose a non-dairy option or to add a tablespoon of chia seeds or flaxseed oil to your coffee. 

So, is coffee mate the same as half and half?

A coffee mate is an artificial creamer. Coffee mate comes in many varieties, such as: coffee mate original, hazelnut coffee mate, vanilla (Coffee-Mate), mocha (Coffee-mate) , hazelnut mocha and many others.

Half and half is cream that is half milk and half cream. Half and half has a heavier taste than cream or people who are not used to using creamer in their coffee might find it a bit too rich for their palate.


Heavy creamers are high in saturated fats and also very rich in cholesterol and calories. You can find heavy creamers in ice cream, whipped cream, and other desserts. Restaurants and fast-food chains usually use them. 

What is heavy cream for a recipe?

In addition, you will find heavy creamers frozen in stores. Some heavy creamers may also come in cartons or cans.

You can make your heavy cream at home by adding whipping cream to your blender. It will yield a creamy texture similar to heavy cream.


Non-dairy creamer is an excellent alternative to heavy creamers that you can usually find in powdered or liquid form. The powder form is usually mixed with warm water to give you a creamy blend for your coffee.

They can be low in fat, cholesterol, and calories too. They also have a lot of vitamins that offer great nourishment to the body.

You can use them according to your taste and need, then this will give you an excellent flavour for your coffee as well as being healthy at the same time.

Coffee mate vs Half and Half – What Are Other Differences Between Creamer And Half-And-Half?

Here are a few more differences between coffee creamers, heavy creamers, & half-and-half:

They're different but have similar uses.

Heavy cream, half and half, and coffee mate are three popular ingredients to put in your coffee, but they all have different functions. 

Heavy Cream

Also known as Heavy whipping cream, it is made by skimming part of the cream from regular whole milk. The thick high-fat cream found in ice cream and other frozen desserts is becoming more common in standard coffee drinks. 

However, they are mainly used in baking and desserts. Because the cream is the central part of heavy cream, it contains the most calories.


Also known as Light cream, Double cream, or Half cream is made by mixing equal parts of whole milk and heavy cream.

It is thinner and lower in fat than heavy cream. Useful in many types of recipes as it has a lighter taste and mouth-feel. 

Half-and-half contains additives such as carrageenan. Carrageenan helps in enhancing the texture of the final product. 

Fat-free products usually include a combination of skim milk with corn syrup are widely available. They are suitable for those who seek a reduced-fat product and who want to lose some weight.

Coffee creamer

Apart from the conventional heavy cream, half and half, you can use coffee creamer in place of them. Most effective coffee creamers are a combination of water, vegetable oil, and sugar. 

What are the best coffee creamers?

In addition, some of the common additives are used to boost up the taste and texture of coffee creamers. 

These include carrageenan, cellulose gum, and artificial flavorings.

However, just like other creamers, coffee creamer is also filled with calories. They are also very high in saturated fat. 

So, is coffee mate better than milk?

The answer to this is yes, coffee mate is better than milk. Coffee mate is a preservative free coffee creamer which contains no high fat dairy products such as cream that can cause weight gain if you consume too much.

So, it's safe to say that if you want to drink a creamy cup of coffee without the fat and calories, then Coffee-mate should be your choice.

Heavy cream vs half and half in coffee: Which is better?

  • Both are delicious, but each has its own qualities.
  • For starters, Heavy cream is thicker and more saturated. Half and Half is thinner.
  • There are about 35% more calories in heavy cream than half and half.

Heavy cream also has about a third less fat content than half and half. So it will taste richer but will contain less fat than half and half.

Half and half is the equivalent of a 9% butterfat creamer. Heavy cream is the equivalent of a 35% butterfat creamer. So in most cases, you get more of a richer tasting product with heavy cream than half and half.

When it comes to how well they dissolve, Half and Half dissolves better than heavy cream. It has more emulsifiers and will blend with your coffee better!

Differences In Fat And Calorie Content

One of the significant differences between coffee creamers, half-and-half, & heavy cream is their fat content. Each has a different fat content. 

Half-and-half contains half its weight in fat. On the other hand, coffee creamer is 40% fat, while heavy cream contains twice its weight in fat.

Coffee-mate contains about 45% sugar, 23% carbohydrates, 6% protein, 2% fats and 1.3% minerals. Half-and-half has about 12% of each. 

You will find the differences in their nutritional value in the calories they contain. For example, Half-and-half has 112 calories per tablespoon, while coffee creamer has 142 calories per tablespoon. Heavy cream has 148 calories per tablespoon. 

They Taste Different

Apart from nutritional differences, these taste different. 

Heavy cream is the most decadent tasting cream of the three. It is not very sweet and doesn't contain any sugar.

On the other hand, half-and-half is a little less affluent and has a mellow, milky flavour. It is pretty sweet and contains about 30% sugar. 

Coffee creamer is specially manufactured to use as a cream replacement. It can have a slightly sweet taste but is not as powerful as the one from half-and-half. 

They are often artificially flavored to enhance their flavor. There are a variety of flavours, including chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, strawberry, coconut, and more. 

Your choice

It all depends on what you prefer. If you want your coffee extra rich and sweet, then go for half-and-half. If you are not very fond of milk duds, then go for the coffee creamer instead. 

Take note that there is no right or wrong here as each has its unique taste. It all depends on your taste buds and preference.

So, What is a good substitute for half and half in coffee?

I get this question all the time, especially because people are starting to go off dairy and looking for something that tastes similar to replace it with. And while I don’t think I’ve found a perfect substitute yet, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve come up with.

Coffee-mate is not real cream, so don't expect it to taste like cream. It's a product designed to blend into your coffee in place of milk so you can add fat without adding a bunch of calories.

I’m sure there are a lot of people out there turned off by the idea of adding “fake” stuff to their coffee, but if you can get past that, it’s clear that Coffee-Mate is a great choice for anyone looking for a dairy substitute.

They Each Have Unique Uses

Coffee creamer, half-and-half, & heavy creamers are similar in nutritional content but differ in taste, texture, and practical use. 

Heavy Cream

This rich, incredibly versatile ingredient can be used to make homemade custards, puddings, sauces, and frostings.

Is there a substitute for heavy cream?

Apart from that, you can use it as a filling for tarts, croissants, and pastries, and commonly used in baking or dessert recipes. It is also great for making smoothies.


The creamy texture makes it the best ingredient for soups and sauces. Half-and-half is often used to thicken gravy but can also be used to flavour soups and sauces easily without changing the dish’s colour or consistency.

Coffee Creamer

It is the best ingredient to use when looking for something that you can use to create delicious desserts. It can be used to thicken sauces, cream soups, make ice cream, and other frozen desserts. It also works well in making pies. 

Frequently Asked Questions:


If you want to skip the sweetness and sweetness of creamer, but still want a creamy texture to your coffee, then try these alternatives:

  • Protein powder
  • Spices like cinnamon or pumpkin
  • Vanilla or almond extract
  • Cacao and honey
  • Coconut milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Almond milk


Powdered has more calories and fat, but you can mix it with water or other liquids to reduce the calories and/or fat.  There are additives in the creamer such as:

  • Monoglycerides and Diglycerides
  • Dipotassium Phosphate
  • Artificial Flavor
  • Sodium Caseinate

Can You Substitute Half-And-Half In Place Of Creamer And Vice Versa?

That is a more complicated answer than you would expect. The answer is yes and no. Yes, you can substitute half-and-half in coffee for creamer and creamer for half-and-half, but the results won’t be as creamy and rich as if you used the original product.

You can also put in heavy cream as a substitute for half and half in coffee if you like the taste once in a while!

Who Should Get Coffee Creamer And Why?

Coffee creamers are basically for people who are health conscious. These are perfect alternatives to creamers because they are low in fat and low in calories. They contain things such as sugars, juices, carbohydrates, and oils form of fats. 

So they can give you an energy boost in the morning, especially if you have coffee with less sugar or creamer that is not only rich but calorie-filled. 

I would recommend these grounds to anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight.

How Do You Make Your Own Creamer?

It’s an easy way to make coffee creamer. You can substitute half-and-half for creamer and creamer for half-and-half, but the results won’t be as creamy and rich as if you used the original product.  

First, mix 2 cups of heavy cream with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of powdered or instant coffee to your mix and keep stirring until it is completely dissolved. 

You can store coffee creamer in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. The recipe makes 1.5 cups of coffee creamer.You can also experiment with different flavoured extracts and spices to find your unique version of coffee creamers. 

For example, add vanilla extract instead of plain extract, cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice to the basic recipe to give it a perfect flavour that will leave you wanting more.

Does Creamer Taste Like Half-And-Half?

No, it does not. Half-and-half is a rich, mellow taste, whereas coffee creamer has more of a sweet taste with a bit of bitterness.

The best way to describe the difference is that if coffee creamers are lighter black, half-and-half is the bolder black. So, is coffee mat the same as half and half? No! It is lighter than half and half. 

Which Is Healthier Creamer Or Half-And-Half?

It depends on what type of creamer you use. While low-fat versions of half-and-half have a lower fat count, sugar substitutes and additives can turn up the calories and carbs. 

Meanwhile, some low-fat creamers have oil added to them to replace fat content. So it depends on the brand and type of creamer you choose.  

In general, half-and-half is a little more nutritious than creamers because it has more vitamin D and calcium.  So if you don’t have time to make your own, go for this version.

Conclusion on Coffee-Mate Vs Half And Half

So, is coffee mate the same as half and half? Definitely not! Is coffee mate better than milk?Not necessarily! It really depends on your personal preference whether you choose one or the other.

When you know which one to use in coffee, it can make your day easier. You will not regret buying creamer or half-and-half. 

You can use heavy cream as a substitute for half and half in coffee, but between heavy cream vs half and half in coffee, its better to add half and half! 

You can also make your own creamer at home with these easy tips. First, check if it has artificial colors, fake flavors, additives and emulsifiers in it. 

If it does, then consider that serving when you can will give you benefits in the long run. The only way to know what is best for you is when you try them both and compare them with each other.

I hope this article helped anyone undecided about which one to use in coffee and also helped you differentiate between coffee mate vs half and half!

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