Does coffee liqueur have caffeine?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Does coffee liqueur have caffeine?” and will discuss how much caffeine is present in coffee liqueur.

Does coffee liqueur have caffeine?

Maybe, coffee liqueur does have caffeine. According to the USDA, 1 fl-ounce of coffee liqueur contains 9 mg of caffeine. The presence of caffeine solely depends upon the manufacturer. Some brands may contain the caffeine that is naturally present in the coffee, while others may just include the caffeine that is generated during the processing of the coffee, even if this quantity of caffeine isn’t enough to make a significant change in the taste of the beverage. Some liqueurs don’t include caffeine because of the potential dangers of mixing a stimulant with depression.

What is a coffee liqueur?

Coffee liqueur is a spirit-based liqueur flavored with coffee and the historical fable of its origins dates it to the 1700s. Even though coffee liqueurs all share a common ingredient, the taste of each one varies based on the spirit used and whether the product contains added sweeteners or flavors, such as vanilla. Rum is a common alcohol base used to make coffee liqueur, although tequila, brandy or vodka can also be a main ingredient (1).

A liqueur coffee is a coffee drink spiked with liquor. In most cases, it’s served in a liquor glass, along with whipped cream or sugar. In several nations, coffee liqueur drinks are served in a variety of ways. One of the most popular liqueur coffee beverages known as Irish coffee is widely available in the United States. Cocktails and digestifs, which are intended to help the digestive process after a meal, are the most common classifications for liqueur coffee drinks.

The liqueur elaboration process includes different stages, maceration, infusion, and distillation, or a mix of them. In these processes, volatile compounds, responsible for the aromatic notes, and phenolic compounds, with antioxidant properties and color, are transferred to the alcohol. Phenolic compounds have a great influence on the quality of the liqueurs, mainly in the mouth due to their bitterness and astringency notes. These compounds are also responsible for the liqueur’s appearance; however, the final color results from the addition of caramel, honey, or food-grade colorants (2).

A liqueur is a syrup-like alcoholic beverage that contains sweeteners and flavorings. Coffee liqueur, a subcategory of liqueur, has been around since the 16th century. There have been many variations on coffee liqueurs throughout the years, but they all feature a rum base with coffee and vanilla flavorings. Caffeine, sugar (white or brown), vanilla, espresso, and alcohol are only a few of the main components. It must be made with natural coffee, but no mention is made either of the species (Arabica or Robusta), the geographical origin, or the grain size (grounded or whole grain) (2).

Coffee liqueur is made by steeping roasted coffee beans, sugar, and other flavorings in a spirit. Kahlua, a Mexican coffee liqueur, has been around since 1936 and is one of the most popular. In addition to liqueurs, several additional alcoholic drinks are commonly blended with other ingredients to generate liqueur coffee. Many people like spirits made from grain, such as vodka, rum, and whiskey.

In Liqueur, how many milligrams of caffeine are in each serving?

Aging is one of the most important processes to improve the quality of wine, spirit and alcoholic beverages. Complex chemical reactions involving sugars, acids and phenolic compounds can alter the aroma, color, mouthfeel and taste in a way that may be more pleasing to the taster during aging. In conventional aging, coffee liqueur takes at least 6 months to reach the quality marketable level. During the aging process, there is an increase in the caffeine content of the coffee liqueur. The increase of caffeine content may be caused by residual fine coffee particles in the liqueur. During the aging process, ethanol acts as an extraction solution and caffeine is gradually released. In a study, the caffeine concentration reached 250 mg/L of beverage after 180 days of aging, which is equal to 7.4 mg of caffeine per fl-oz (1). According to the USDA, a regular coffee liqueur contains 9 mg of caffeine per fl-oz.

Depending on the brand and manufacturing technique, the precise caffeine content will vary from brand to brand in each variety of coffee liqueur. While some brands may not contain any caffeine at all, other brands may have enough to let you feel the effects.

The quantity of caffeine in most coffee-flavored liqueurs isn’t enough to make a big difference in someone’s day unless they are very caffeine sensitive, which isn’t the case with most liqueurs, which are supposed to be alcoholic beverages first and foremost.

As an example, one of the oldest and most popular kinds of coffee liqueur has roughly 100 parts per million of caffeine.

A liter of liqueur will have roughly 100 milliliters of caffeine in it per one million parts of the drink, or about 100 milligrams of caffeine per milliliter of the beverage. Five milligrams of caffeine may be found in one and a half ounces of a normal beverage.

If you were to consume an eight-ounce cup of coffee in the morning, you’d get anywhere between 200 and 250 milligrams of caffeine. There are between 10 and 30 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce can of soda you can buy at any supermarket.

The caffeine content in your favorite coffee liqueur will be discernible, but it will be so minute that you won’t even notice it unless you have a high tolerance for the stimulant in the liqueur.

Then there are coffee-flavored liqueurs that are expressly designed to evoke the taste and effects of coffee. It’s possible to get the flavor of a cup of coffee in your favorite liquor, but it’s not always possible.

Caffeine content is going to be higher in a coffee liqueur since that’s what it’s supposed to do: bring out the coffee flavor. In a one-ounce serving, you should expect to pay closer to a third of the price of a regular espresso shot for these sorts of coffee liqueurs. 

A standard espresso has between 60 and 100 milligrams of caffeine; therefore, a single shot of the liqueur should contain between 20 and 30 milligrams of caffeine, which is a significant increase over the 5 mg previously consumed.

Coffee liqueur’s caffeine content varies greatly depending on the brand and how much of it you consume, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this question.

Is it possible for coffee liqueurs to include caffeine? The answer is “yes,” and many coffee-flavored liqueurs contain some level of caffeine. If the inquiry is about how much caffeine is in the drink, there will be no clear response since this is a brand-dependent topic.

Even though it has less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee, you may want to stay with coffee if you’re searching for something just based on the quantity of caffeine it has.

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

What are the best store-bought coffees?

Can you boil coffee?

Why do people drink coffee?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Does coffee liqueur have caffeine?” and discussed how much caffeine is present in coffee liqueur.


  1. Shyr, Jeng‐Jung, and Siao‐Han Yang. Acceleration of the aging process in coffee liqueur by ultrasonic wave treatment. J Food Process Preserv, 2016, 40, 502-508.
  2. Cortés-Diéguez, Sandra, et al. Quantitative descriptive analysis of traditional herbal and coffee liqueurs made with grape marc spirit (Orujo). Foods, 2020, 9, 753.