One of the hardest things about going plant-based -- more than steak or eggs -- was half and half in my coffee. I tried not to care but couldn’t stop craving my creamy cup of morning java, because plant-based milk was just not cutting it. So, I began my quest for suitable alternatives.

Non-dairy creamers are the fastest-growing segment of the plant-based market, after milk, expected to top $6 Billion in sales in the next five years. It appears that more choices crop up every month.

Note that traditional Coffee-Mate (a Nestlé product) is lactose-free and on the company's website they say it is "non-dairy" but some of their products are not completely free of animal products since they contain sodium caseinate, which is a protein derived from cow's milk. So skip the regular Coffee-Mate and try the non-dairy natural Bliss sister brand, since it doesn't contain caseinate that we could see. There are many great choices to choose from, so we decided to taste test the most popular ones, plus a few outliers that sounded interesting.

In this taste test, we sampled Califia Farms Almond Creamer, Silk Almond Creamer Vanilla,  Natural Bliss Coconut Milk Creamer/Sweet Cream, So Delicious Organic Creamer, Coconut Milk, Natural Bliss Oat Milk Creamer, Vanilla Natural Flavor, Silk Oat Yeah Oat Milk Creamer, Silk Original Dairy-Free Original Soy Creamer, and Trader Joe's Coconut Creamer. While this taste is totally subjective based on personal taste, and whether you prefer half and a half or full cream taste and consistency in your coffee, it will hopefully help guide you as you search for your favorite option.

The main objective for these taste tests was to find a non-dairy creamer that would replace half and half, which I heat in my electric milk frother to give me that creamy coffee treats I so depended on every morning. Unfortunately, most of the better non-dairy creamers I tasted have added cane sugar (except the So Delicious organic creamer) and added oils (coconut, palm or sunflower). Ensure that you check the ingredients and use them sparingly!

Overall Winner:

1. Nutpods Creamer Unsweetened Original

Nutpods is the closest you'll get to the real thing! Tasters immediately gave this dairy-free creamer a 5 out 5. The texture is smooth and mixes with coffee instantly. Unlike soy creamers, this almond and coconut-based creamer doesn't separate once your done stirring. Nut Pods is the most comparable to half and half in the whole list of creamers!


2. So Delicious Organic Coconut Milk Creamer

So Delicious has been marketing dairy-free frozen desserts, yogurt alternatives, and smooth plant-based beverages for over 30 years. Besides the coconut milk, they also have “Original,” “Snickerdoodle.” “Caramel” and “Creamy Vanilla” flavors. I only sampled the coconut milk flavor. This is the only one in this taste test with 0 grams of added sugar. It has a very rich coconut taste and froths up nicely in coffee-like milk. It’s not as thick as some of the others but is a good alternative to ultra-sweet creamers if you want to be careful about your sugar intake. The coconut flavor is powerful but not overwhelming.


3. CoffeeMate Natural Bliss Vanilla Oat Milk Creamer

Natural Bliss Oat Milk Creamer, Vanilla Natural Flavor, with 4 grams added sugar is similar to Coffee Mate’s Coconut creamer but without the coconut flavor. It’s super-rich and creamy with a hint of oat flavor but not bitter at all. My new favorite! This is the best one I’ve found for frothing and taste especially if you miss the consistency and flavor of half and half. It’s like the real thing as it’s creamy, fluffy and not grainy. Remember to shake it up before putting in your frother. Use a little and be happy with your non-dairy latte!


4. Califia Unsweetened Almond Milk Creamer

Califia Farms Almond Creamer is made with real almonds and coconut cream to give a rich, full-flavored texture and has 2 grams of added sugar. The consistency is so thick it’s more like a heavy cream rather than a creamer substitute. Regardless, it froths up well and is very creamy. The almond taste is noticeable but the creamer isn’t bitter or grainy. You don’t need to use a lot of it; a little goes a long way!


6. Original Oat-Ly Oat Milk Barista Edition

The Original Oat-Ly Oat Milk Barista Edition contains 4 grams of sugar but its full-flavored taste makes it a rich choice. It doesn’t market itself as a creamer but it does advertise as the choice for the barista community. It’s slightly less frothy than real milk when mixed but the flavor is pleasant, not bitter,  and I would choose it again.


7. Silk Oat Yeah Oat Milk Creamer

Silk Oat Yeah Oat Milk Creamer, the Vanilla One has 4 grams of added sugar and is also at the top of my list. While it’s sweet, it’s also incredibly rich which means you can use less of it in your coffee. It was thick and creamy when frothed and it adds a fluffy cap to your coffee as lattes make with real cream. Note that pea protein is an added ingredient in this creamer as well. This can rival the real thing but choose this one only if you like a strong vanilla aftertaste!


7. Forager Organic Dairy-Free Half & Half

Forager is cashew milk and coconut cream-based that mixes for a unique and flavorful taste. The consistency was on the thinner side, and if you're a heavy cream or half-and-half devotee this is probably not the creamer for you, although those who like a lighter flavor will enjoy it.


8. Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss® Unsweetened Plant-Based Half-and-Half

This Natural Bliss Coconut Milk Creamer/Sweet Cream is the best one I’ve found for both frothing and taste, especially if you miss the consistency and flavor of half-and-half. It’s creamy and has a hint of coconut, but no overwhelming coconut flavor. Note: it is made with pea protein, unlike the other ones, which is probably why it’s thicker. Always check ingredients if you have food allergies because unexpected ingredients such as peas can be hiding in the product, and you would never know by the taste.

9. Malk Organics Unsweetened Almond Malk

The thickest consistency of the bunch, resembling a heavy cream rather than half and half. Malk has only 5 ingredients, making it super clean and healthy! The almond flavor might be overpowering to those who like less flavor in their creamer. Add the Maple Pecan flavor to your coffee for an even sweeter taste.


10. Trader Joe's Coconut Creamer

This creamer is rich, round and doesn't taste too overtly of coconut. You only need a splash to achieve a nice, creamy effect in your coffee, and there's no watered-down consistency, so if you swear by heavy cream or half & half, give this Trader Joe's option a try! At only $1.69 per carton, this product is a steal.


11. Silk Vanilla Almond Creamer

The Silk Almond Creamer Vanilla boasts that it’s “America’s #1 Almond Creamer. But with 4 grams added sugar you may want to use it sparingly. It did taste sweet and was nice and thick, so someone who likes rich creamers will love it. The vanilla aftertaste was pretty strong. And it's a little too syrupy sweet for my taste.

12. Silk Dairy-Free Original Soy Creamer

Silk Original Dairy-Free Original Soy Creamer has only 1 gram of added sugar, but sadly it does not froth up well when I heated it due to a thinner, more watery consistency. It didn't combine well with coffee, no matter how much was added. Because of the underwhelming flavor, this was my least favorite.


The Ultimate Vegan and Dairy-Free Ice Cream Taste Test