Coffee in California, or at least in the Bay Area, doesn’t taste right. One reason, of course, is because when I’m on the East Coast, I frequent delicious Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shops. But even when I make Dunkin’ Donuts coffee at home (we order the beans online), it doesn’t taste as good as it should.
Why? Because when you’re on the East Coast, if you ask for cream in your coffee, you really get cream in your coffee. Not half-and-half. Light cream, aka coffee cream. Here in the Bay Area, the best you can put into your coffee is half-and-half.
Half-and-half is about 10-18% fat.
Light cream is from 18-30% fat.
Coffee tastes very different with light cream than it does with half-and-half, just like it tastes different with half-and-half than it does with milk.
For example, Oakhurst Dairy, in Portland, Maine, offers both half-and-half and light cream for putting into coffee.
You might think that light cream is bad for you, with too much fat. It’s not, because you don’t have to pour much into your coffee to make it yummy. Compare Oakhurst’s light cream against its half-and-half:
Light cream (serving size 15mL, or one tablespoon):
Calories from fat: 25
Total fat: 2.5 grams
Half-and-half (serving size 30mL, or two tablespoons):
Calories from fat: 30
Total fat: 3.0 grams
So, while light cream is indeed richer than half-and-half, it has less fat and fewer calories per serving, because you use less. Plus, it tastes better!