Caffeine In Kahlua - Does Coffee Liqueur Have Caffeine

Caffeine In Kahlua – Does Coffee Liqueur Have Caffeine?

Last updated on May 20th, 2024 at 11:50

Let’s talk about the caffeine in Kahlua and answer that question: Does coffee liqueur have caffeine?

Yes, there is caffeine in Kahlua, not a lot, a minimal amount which is derived from the Arabica coffee beans used. So, we can conclude that coffee liqueur does have caffeine.

Keep reading for more details about The Caffeine in Kahlua and how much there is!

What Is Kahlua?

Kahlua is a tasty after dinner coffee liqueur from Veracruz, Mexico. It’s made with 100% locally sourced aromatic Arabica coffee beans.

The alcohol content is considered to be low with 20% ABV in the regular version and 36% in the Kahlua Especial version.

The creator, Pedro Domecq, who started making the drink in 1936 with an alcohol content of 36%, the amount reduced to meet the market demands of the changing markets that prefer to have a lower content.

Caffeine In Kahlua
20% Alcohol In Kahlua

Read: Kahlua K Cups

How Kahlua Is Made?

The aromatic Arabica coffee beans used for Kahlua are shade-grown coffee beans which means the coffee trees are shaded from the sun and take a little longer to grow.

The coffee cherries, from which the coffee seed is found, need a little more time to mature due to being grown in the shade.

Shade grown also means there is less use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Growing in the shade is chosen as a means of protecting the coffee tree from too much sun.

Once the beans have been picked, harvested and processed and then roasted, they are rested for up to 6 months.

The rum used in Kahlua is made from sugar cane and is left to rest with the extracted coffee for approximately one month in an oak cask and then bottled.

Caffeine In Kahlua – Does Coffee Liqueur Have Caffeine?


there is a minimal amount of caffeine in Kahlua. The caffeine content has been measured at 100 PPM (Parts Per Million). In a single 1 ounce (30 ml) serving there is 3.34 mg of caffeine. To give a comparison, this is only the equivalent of 1/20th of the average shot of espresso.

It is safe and accurate to say that the amount of caffeine in this particular coffee liqueur is minimal.

Does Kahlua Have Coffee In It?


Kahlua is made with 100% Arabica coffee beans that are locally sourced from Veracruz in Mexico. Exactly how the coffee is used to make the liqueur, grind size, coffee to water ratio, brew temperature and time, brewing method is not known.

Obviously the low caffeine content comes from the Arabica coffee beans, but the coffee flavor is more concentrated.

Understandably it is kept as a trade secret how they use the coffee.

Other ingredients are rum and sugar.

Does Kahlua Have Coffee In It
Kahlua Has Coffee In It

Read: Coffee and Kahlua recipe

How Much Caffeine In Coffee?

The amount of caffeine in coffee varies quite wildly depending on the brewing method and the type of coffee that is used.

Here are some examples of popular coffee drinks and their caffeine content.

Coffee Beverage Caffeine 
Single Shot Of Espresso 1 Oz (30 ml) 75 mg.
Single Shot Ristretto 2/3 Oz (20 ml) 65 mg.
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) Latte 75 mg.
Caramel Macchiato 12 Oz (360 ml) 75 mg.
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) Mocha 75 mg
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) Flat White 130 mg
Tall Cold Brew 12 Oz (360 ml) 155 mg
Tall 12 oz (360 ml) Iced Coffee 75 mg.

Details have been taken from Starbucks website.

Caffeine Free Kahlua

Sadly there is no caffeine free Kahlua available. It should not be a concern to you, unless you are hypersensitive to caffeine, as there is a minimal amount of caffeine in the beverage on a per shot (30 ml, 1 Oz) basis with only 3.34 milligrams of caffeine.

It’s not an amount that will cause any kind of stimulation.

Is Kahlua Vegan?


Kahlua products are labelled as being not vegan. The products are labeled as labelling milk proteins or milk. Milk is not labelled as an ingredient. The labelling may be due to manufacturing process.

Either way, Kahlua is not vegan.

Read: Kahlua coffee

Kahlua Alcohol Content

Kahlua has a low alcohol content with only a 20% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) content. Which is considerably lower than alcoholic spirits which typically have around 40% alcohol.

Different Types Of Kahlua

There are seven different variations of the Kahlua coffee liqueur, which are:

  • 1. Original Coffee Liqueur.
  • 2. Chili Chocolate.
  • 3. Vanilla Liqueur.
  • 4. Salted Caramel Liqueur.
  • 5. Especial Coffee Liqueur.
  • 6. Mint Mocha.
  • 7. Kahlua Espresso Martini.

Frequently Asked Questions About Caffeine In Kahlua

Is There Any Coffee In Kahlua?

Yes, Kahlua is a coffee liqueur from Veracruz, Mexico that is made with rum, sugar and locally sourced Arabica coffee from Veracruz. It’s a dairy-free coffee liqueur as no dairy or cream is used, although these two ingredients are commonly used in drinks that are made with Kahlua.

Can Kahlua Keep You Awake At Night?

No. Even though Kahlua is made with coffee and does contain caffeine, there is a miniscule amount that is so low that it will have no effect. If you happen to have it as a nightcap, it is more likely to be something else, perhaps the alcohol content that is keeping you awake than the caffeine.

A single one ounce (30 ml) shot of Kahlua have 3.34 milligrams of caffeine, 1/20th of a shot of espresso.

Does Kahlua Make You Sleepy?

There are no ingredients listed that would cause you to become sleepy listed on the Kahlua ingredients list unless you are incredibly sensitive to alcohol. The Alcohol content is considered low with an ABV, Alcohol By Volume of 20%.

The caffeine content which is 3.34 milligrams of caffeine per 30 ml (1 oz) shot is not likely to cause you to be sleepy or to even cause you sleepless nights.

Can You Drink Just Kahlua?

Yes, you can enjoy Kahlua as it is or on the rocks. It is best with a mixer though.

Is Kahlua Or Baileys Better For Coffee?

Opinions vary, and it depends on what type of coffee drink you are putting Kahlua or Baileys in. Baileys works, in my opinion, much better in milk-based coffee beverages like a latte due to the creaminess making a great match.

Kahlua is much better in strong milk-free coffee drinks like a Caffe Americano due to the more dominant coffee taste.

How Much Alcohol Is In A Shot Of Kahlua?

Kahlua contains 20% alcohol by volume (ABV), which is considered as low. This is considerably less than other alcoholic spirits like gin, rum and whiskey.

Coffee liqueurs and other liqueurs generally are not high in alcohol.

Final Thoughts – Caffeine In Kahlua

There is caffeine in Kahlua, and a very minimal amount at that, 1/20th of the amount of a typical shot of espresso for the same volume. It’s an inconsequential amount and will not cause any stimulation or keep you up at night should you enjoy a pre-bed time tipple. 

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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