Coffee gets all of the glory when it comes to creamer conversations, but tea deserves some attention. Tea is lower in caffeine than coffee, which is helpful for many people, and it boasts various antioxidant benefits. Herbal teas are even caffeine-free and have their own health properties and flavors. Not to mention, many of us are just partial to tea!
Dairy-free creamers don’t always perform the same in tea as they do in coffee. Tea tends to be less acidic than coffee, so curdling or separation isn’t as extreme. But it has more delicate flavors, which means creamers can easily overpower the taste. So I’ve put together our recommendations for the best dairy-free creamers in tea. It’s based on years of creamer sampling by a self-proclaimed tea fanatic, as well as ratings from other tea drinkers.
The Best Dairy-Free Creamers for Black, Green, and Herbal Teas
We’ll start with the dairy-free creamers you can buy at the store. But I also have recommendations for healthy, inexpensive homemade creamers and milk alternative options.
Top Pick: Nutpods Almond + Coconut Creamer
This smooth creamer submerges like a dream in all types of tea, no stirring required, and it has a relatively neutral taste that doesn’t overpower. Nutpods comes in unflavored original and a plethora of flavors to mix and match with various teas. I also like their smaller size, since not much is needed, and the shelf stable packaging (they also have refrigerated) for easily stocking up. The classic Almond + Coconut Creamers (not the oat creamers) are completely unsweetened, and have a very creamy, full-bodied consistency. The Sweetened Almond + Coconut Creamers are still sugar-free, but add a lot of flavor with just a splash. The latter are less creamy and very sweet, but do have a seamless taste.
1st Runner Up: Silk Soy Creamer
Tea (and coffee) drinkers across the country were loyal for over a decade to Trader Joe’s soy creamer. When it was discontinued, most switched to Silk, and have remained fairly happy. Soy milk has been used for generations in tea, and it still holds as one of the best creamer options to date.
2nd Runner Up: Silk Almond Creamer
Many dairy-free creamers have popped onto the market, but traditional brands like Silk continue to impress. Their Almond Milk Creamers add nice richness and flavor to tea, and they now have both sweetened and unsweetened varieties available. The one caveat is all of their creamers are flavored, so you have to pair the taste with your tea.
Best Homemade Dairy-Free Creamers for Tea
I’ve tested 25 different types of homemade milk alternatives in tea. Yes, 25! I created these three dairy-free creamers based on the results.
- Almond Milk Creamer Recipe – This homemade creamer is naturally a little nuttier than store-bought varieties, since it’s made with more almonds. But the subtle nutty taste melds well with many varieties of tea.
- Light Coconut Creamer Recipe – This option isn’t for the coconut averse, but it also isn’t overwhelmingly coconut. It’s tempered with light coconut milk, which adds richness without greasiness, and contrasted with vanilla for a pleasant, tea-friendly taste.
- Hemp Creamer Recipe – There’s something alluring about this hemp alternative. Hemp seeds are very rich, and blend into a nice, creamy finish. And the flavor is a touch grassy, which somehow works with several types of tea. It’s also a great option for nut-free needs, and for adding some omega 3s to your diet.
More Creamer Options: Oat, Barista, and Basic “Milks”
I’ve outlined this section in more of an FAQ format.
What about Oat Milk Creamers?
Oat milk products are all the rage. But oat milk creamers typically lack body and tend to have a slightly pronounced oat taste that often doesn’t meld with tea. Many coffee drinkers swear by oat milk, and I’m sure some tea drinkers love it too. But it’s grainy flavor pairs better with strong coffee than delicate teas.
If you are compelled to try oat creamer, the most popular dairy-free brand is currently Chobani Oat Creamer. I also think Elmhurst Oat Creamers are underappreciated. They do have notable flavors, but the company uses hemp cream to add richness.
Are Barista Milks a Good Option?
Barista milks are slightly creamier milk alternatives that are formulated specifically for foaming, frothing, and/or latte art. If you like to create coffee shop experiences at home, then these can be great options.
Pacific Foods Barista Series is one of the more common lines used in many coffee houses. Hip coffee shops love using oat barista milks, like Oatly and Califia Farms, for creating the best latte art and microfoam. Almond varieties are also popular, with Califia Farms and New Barn earning top ratings.
Do Dairy-Free Powdered Creamers Work Well in Tea?
Most powdered versions are made with coconut milk powder, and they are okay. But each brand we’ve sampled struggles to blend into tea, and they tend to have a stronger coconut flavor and a slightly oily mouthfeel.
Which Milk Alternatives are Best in Tea?
In line with the creamer top picks, soymilk and almond milk are the most popular milk alternatives for tea. Soymilk can curdle, particularly with black tea, which is more acidic. The creamers resolve this issue. Almond milk is thinner than it’s creamer counterparts, but it’s flavor still often flows with various types of tea. Coconut milk in the cartons can work well in tea, if you aren’t coconut averse. But you might also just opt for a spoonful of coconut cream for a rich finish.
Again, oat milk is popular, and many proclaim it neutral in taste. But again, we find it to have a stand-out oat flavor in tea, so it isn’t our favorite. You might like it! Some rave about macadamia and hazelnut milks in coffee, but the flavor in tea is sometimes a little too strong.
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