Dear In Need,
I actually have pretty strong feelings about Coffee-mate (and how many people can say that?!). Right off the bat, I'll tell you that Coffee-mate isn't exactly good for you. If you're a health nut, you should probably avoid the stuff altogether. However, if you're more concerned with making your coffee taste good and saving calories, there are things you should know. For starters, Original Fat Free Coffee-mate in liquid form has less than HALF the calories of the fat-free flavored liquid varieties (10 calories per tbsp. vs. 25). And the SF liquid flavored ones have 15 calories (and a gram of fat) per tablespoon. So, if you DO use their Fat Free or Sugar Free flavored liquid creamers, it's way too easy to add 100 calories to your drink without even thinking! If liquid Coffee-mate is your thing, stick with the Original Fat Free kind. When looking for flavored coffee-enhancers, stick with the powders. While they often SEEM to have more calories than the liquid, the truth is you only need to use about a TEASPOON of these to make your drink taste good. I like to use a teaspoon of the Sugar Free or Fat Free flavored powder Coffee-mate (love the vanilla-y and caramel-y flavored ones!) to help make my tea and coffee drinks taste richer, sweeter and creamier. And typically, a teaspoon of the stuff only adds about 10 calories or so to your beverage. Let's review. If using the liquid kind, stick with the Original Fat Free. If using flavored, go for Sugar Free or Fat Free powders and use just a teaspoon or so. Oh, one more thing. All of these canisters and bottles look VERY similar, so remember to read the labels carefully!