If you ask random people on the streets of any city in almost every country in the world, it is highly unlikely that you will find many people who don’t enjoy coffee or a glass of alcoholic drink here and there. The ways of drinking coffee vary in different parts of the world, the same as the ways of drinking alcohol, but most would agree that life wouldn’t be the same without one of the two.
Although commonly we drink coffee and alcohol separately and in different situations, there are moments when we like to combine them. There are different ways to do that and they vary depending on the result we want to achieve. For example, when you go to a bar you can ask for a cocktail such as Irish coffee! But you can also ask for a coffee liqueur such as Tia Maria and Kahlua!
Few Words About Coffee Liqueur
When we are talking about this, it is important to emphasize that liqueur coffee and coffee liqueur are not the same things. To make it clear, drinks like Irish coffee, Parisienne coffee, etc., are types of coffee with some spirits – whiskey, cognac, and so on. Coffee liqueurs are drinks made with alcohol and coffee together. The first one is a cocktail, and the second is considered to be a spirit, same as whiskey, gin and so on but much sweeter. Usually, they are made with rum or vodka as a base, water, sugar, and of course, coffee. For a long time Tia Maria and Kahlua were the only liqueurs of this type but the list today is much longer.
What is Kahlua?
Unless you lived under the rock, the probability of you not knowing about Kahlua coffee liqueur is next to none. But, let’s go over it, just in case. So this is a type of liquor made with rum, Arabica coffee, and sugar. Its country of origin is Mexico. The first Kahlua liqueur was made in 1936, but it started to gain international fame only after being imported to the US. People enjoy drinking Kahlua both on its own and in cocktails. It also gives good taste when used as topping on cakes, such as cheesecake.
Considering that coffee beans are being used in the process of making this liquor, it contains caffeine. It comes with relatively high alcohol content as well because of the rum. Therefore you should be careful not to be fooled by its sweet taste of this coffee flavored liqueur.
What is Kahlua Made Of?
We have already mentioned that Kahlua is made of rum, 100% Arabica coffee, caramel, water, and sugar. If you are making it at home you can also add vanilla extract as per your preference. It is important to know that you should use white rum for this liqueur if you are making a Kahlua alternative at home. Some people also opt for vodka because it is cheaper. If you don’t want to be bothered with making your version, some alternative options can be Sheridan’s or Tia Maria.
How to Drink Kahlua?
Different people like to drink Kahlua in different ways. Some people like to drink it plain, or with ice cubes. Others prefer to make cocktails with it. Some of the most famous cocktails with Kahlua are White Russian, Espresso Martini, etc.
What is Tia Maria?
When it comes to Tia Maria vs Kahlua we have two say that these are two very similar liqueurs. There are several stories about the origins of the Tia Maria drink. According to one, we can find the first mention of Tia Maria liqueur in the records from the 18th century. Another story says that the drink was discovered after the Second World War by a man called Dr. Evans, who then started making and selling it. Finally, there is a third version of the story according to which the drink was made in Jamaica in 1930.
What is Tia Maria Made Of?
Tia Maria is a spirit made of Jamaican coffee beans, vanilla, Jamaican rum and sugar, citric acid, caramel, and water. As you might have guessed, Jamaica is the home country of this liquor. As it is made with coffee beans it also contains caffeine. Same as in Kahlua the alcohol volume is 20%.
How to Drink Tia Maria?
You can drink Tia Maria pure or with ice. It is also used to make different cocktails. One of the most popular cocktails with this liqueur is Espresso Martini.
Other Drinks (Baileys, Richardo’s, Kamora)
As we mentioned earlier, in the Kahlua and Tia Maria were the only coffee liqueurs in the past, but things are now changing. There are other coffee liqueur brands nowadays, such as Richardo’s, Kamora, St George Nola, Mr. Black, and so on. Equally popular are some other liqueurs like Sheridan’s and Baileys that you can find in coffee cocktails but they are not made with coffee. As they are often put in cocktails, people are wondering what is the difference between Kahlua vs Baileys. Besides the difference in ingredients, they also taste differently – Baileys is sweeter and smoother while Kahlua is coffee-flavored.
Here we are at the end of our Tia Maria vs Kahlua comparison list. As you can see, there are more similarities than differences between these two liqueurs. It depends entirely on your preference which one you will choose as your favorite.