Quick question for Americans!

Feathil Posts: 167 Member
This is a silly question, but in the way that jelly is jam and cilantro is coriander, I've been wondering.

When you say you put cream in your coffee, is it actually cream?? Or is it milk?
In coffee chains it's sometimes an option to put whipped cream on top, but I assumed that was with ice coffees or fancy concoctions, but it's been bugging me... does coffee and cream always really mean cream?


  • A lot of people use creamER in place, which is a thinned-out, frequently flavored version of cream - or is sometimes non-dairy in it's entirety. I don't drink coffee, myself.
  • Captain_Tightpants
    Captain_Tightpants Posts: 2,215 Member
    It means anything other than black. So "cream" can cover fat free skim milk all the way up to half and half which is practically cream.
  • crrc78
    crrc78 Posts: 207 Member
    my parents are huge coffee drinkers (i've never had a cup in my life), but they always ask for MILK instead of Cream... in general, it seems like any sort of lightener is referred to as cream, but if you don't actually want cream, you need to specify what you do want. I ordered an iced coffee at dunkin the other day for my husband and said "milk and sugar" and they responded "milk? not cream?"... I guess Americans are so indulgent that they assume the worst.
  • EmCarroll1990
    EmCarroll1990 Posts: 2,856 Member
    Yes it does. Cream means cream and milk means milk.

    Oh, but this is coming all the way from Canada.
  • vim_n_vigor
    vim_n_vigor Posts: 4,093 Member
    No, coffee with cream does not always mean cream. I usually tell them what I want in my coffee instead of trying to guess what is in what they make. I don't get the whipped cream either. I just want my coffee!
  • Jugie12
    Jugie12 Posts: 289
    Cream would refer to actual cream, as far as I am concerned. I prefer low-fat milk if I need it. Generally, I use a powdered "creamer."
  • TheRoadDog
    TheRoadDog Posts: 11,800 Member
    At work, it's non-dairy creamer. On the weekends, at home, many times it is Whisky and Irish Cream.
  • NoAdditives
    NoAdditives Posts: 4,252 Member
    Jam and jelly are not the same thing.
  • mariposa224
    mariposa224 Posts: 1,340 Member
    In the US, it really does seem to refer to any sort of lightener, as others have said. If you actually want milk, though, as some have also said, you should ask for milk. :smile:
  • CandeesLand
    CandeesLand Posts: 200
    When I want milk in my coffee I ask for that. When I use flavored creamer, I call it creamer or coffee creamer. I almost never use actual cream (1/2 and 1/2, whipping cream, etc) in my coffee, but if I did, I would ask for it. But I'm from Wisconsin, the dairy state, and we care about these things. :wink:
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,508 Member
    If you have 2 containers of half and half, does it make a whole?:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 28+ years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • RobinShay
    RobinShay Posts: 54 Member
    There is also "Half and half" half cream and half milk. I use that.
  • billsica
    billsica Posts: 4,742 Member
    Cream can mean creamer, half and half, milk or evaporated milk.

    "Do you want cream?"
    "what kind?"

    silly yanks.
  • jeanholly
    jeanholly Posts: 12 Member
    I always have to specify milk when I don't want cream. Seems to me that most places automatically serve cream or those little creamers.
  • tamiehelt
    tamiehelt Posts: 8 Member
    As an American, my impression is that it is anything other than black; cream, milk or non-dairy creamer. I say 'with cream and sugar' but typically use milk rather than 'cream'.
  • skinnybearlyndsay
    skinnybearlyndsay Posts: 798 Member
    Jam and jelly are not the same thing.

    ^^this. Here, jam is more fruit-based while jelly has fruit in it but has a jello-like consistency and is more processed (for the most part) than jam.
  • AlsDonkBoxSquat
    AlsDonkBoxSquat Posts: 6,139 Member
    jam and jelly are not the same thing:

    In jelly, the fruit comes in the form of fruit juice.
    In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (and is less stiff than jelly as a result).
    In preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a syrup or a jam.

    For my coffee: cream is cream (and can come in heavy or whipping), half and half is half and half, milk is milk (and can come in whole some low fat % or fat free. Whipping cream is made from taking a beater and whipping whipping cream (although you can make it from heavy cream, and you can also make it using a pressurized can but beating the **** out of it is the best consistency).
  • rml_16
    rml_16 Posts: 16,415 Member
    It means anything other than black. So "cream" can cover fat free skim milk all the way up to half and half which is practically cream.

    And some people put actual cream in it. And some have whipped cream on top. And some like their coffee Irish, which means a different kind of cream. :-)
  • ZugTheMegasaurus
    ZugTheMegasaurus Posts: 803 Member
    It's generally shorthand for anything that's used as a lightener in the coffee. I used to work in coffee shops and a request for cream had to be followed up with the question, "What kind?"

    And it's funny, your point about jam vs. jelly has been the source of many arguments between my boyfriend and myself. I'll say something like, "Do you want jelly on your toast?" and he'll respond, "Eew, no, I want jam." At which point my head starts spinning around and I start shooting blood out of my ears and screaming, "THEY'RE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME THING AND YOU KNOW DAMN WELL WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. DO YOU WANT A CONCOCTION OF CANNED BOILED FRUIT PRESERVED WITH SUGAR SMEARED ON YOUR TOASTED BREAD OR NOT?" Seriously, I can't tell the difference; does it really matter? :laugh: