10 Best Tia Maria Substitutes: Finding the Best Alternatives

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Have you ever found yourself crafting a cocktail only to realize you’re out of Tia Maria? I’ve been there. So, I did some trial and error and explored various substitutes for this classic coffee liqueur.

Now, I’m sharing my discoveries, focusing on alternatives that capture the essence of Tia Maria without compromising on flavors. If you’re looking for the best Tia Maria substitute, below are my top picks!

Top 10 Tia Maria Alternatives

1. Kahlua

Bottle of Kahlua

Average Price: Roughly $14/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 20% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why I Like It: Among other coffee-flavored liqueurs, Kahlua is perhaps the most famous Irish Cream and Tia Maria alternative. Its sweet, rich, and cream profile makes it incredibly versatile.

Kahlua is my favorite Tia Maria alternative – the top choice for Martini Espressos and White Russian recipes since it complements vodka, cream, and black coffee.

2. George Spirits NOLA Coffee Liqueurs

Bottle of George Spirits NOLA Coffee Liqueurs on a Wooden Table

Average Price: Roughly $33.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 25% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why I Like It: Inspired by the New Orleans coffee drink, it gives a slightly spiced, chicory-infused bite, which the recipe of Tia Maria lacks. It’s a top pick for those who want a vibrant drink.

With its combination of cognac, port and Fernet in addition to the NOLA, it’s definitely a robust cocktail that’ll warm you right up.” – Ellie Winters of St. George Spirits

Aside from Kahlua, I find St. George Spirits matching well with cream, sugar, and vodka, making it versatile enough for crafting mixed drinks, like the Revolver (enhanced with an orange peel).

3. Rieger’s Caffe Amaro

Three Bottles of Rieger's Caffe Amaro on a Wooden Table

Average Price: Around $45.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 31% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why I Like It: This one is for the adventurous. Rieger’s Caffe Amaro provides a bitter, herbal twist to the usual coffee liqueur recipe.

This is ideal if you like a complex drink since it’s made from Sumatran coffee. While Tia Maria has the usual black coffee notes, Rieger’s is unique with its low acidity and full body.

4. Caffe Lolita

Caffe Lolita

Average Price: Around $8.49/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 24% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why I Like It: Good news for those looking for a budget-friendly alternative: Cafe Lolita is a standout choice, perfect for coffee-flavored recipes and Black Russians.

Whenever I feel like having a lighter caffeine edge with a hint of chocolate, Cafe Lolita delivers, providing a different but delightful experience.

5. Borghetti

Woman Making Cocktail Drink Using Caffè Borghetti’s

Average Price: Roughly $29.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 25%

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why I Like It: Borghetti exudes an authentic espresso bite, making it an excellent Tia Maria alternative for espresso-based cocktails.

It’s slightly less sweet than Tia Maria, but I like how it maintains its rich-tasting profile, perfect for making an Espresso Martini or an excellent addition to White Russian.

6. Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur

Bottle of Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur and a Glass

Average Price: Around $27.49/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 25% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why I Like It: Mr. Black is a game-changer with its stronger coffee flavor and velvety smoothness. Specifically, I find it complementing well with vodka in a Black Russian cocktail.

It’s less sweet than Tia Maria and Kahlua (a rum-based drink with sugar and a coffee bean), but it’s perfect if you prefer a coffee liqueur on the bolder side.

7. J.F. Haden’s Espresso Liqueur

Two Bottles of J.F. Haden's Espresso Liqueur

Average Price: Approx. $34.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 30% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why I Like It: This coffee liqueur is a powerhouse of flavor, exuding a rich coffee profile with a noticeable kick. Its higher ABV makes it a must-have bottle for those who like their drinks robust.

It’s made from 100% authentic Espresso, one of the best Tia Maria substitutes for making Espresso Martini and White Russian.

8. Sheridan’s

Close Up Image of Sheridan's and a Glass

Average Price: Approx. $22/700ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 15.5% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why I Like It: Sheridan’s unique two-bottle design delivers a coffee and cream liqueur blend. If you want a smoother and creamier coffee drink recipe, use Sheridan’s instead of Tia Maria.

But, if you’re using this, know that it is meant to be layered in a cocktail glass, not to be mixed in a mixing glass, which makes it intriguing.

9. Mozart Chocolate Coffee Liqueur

Mozart Chocolate Coffee Liqueur

Average Price: Approx. $24.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 17% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why I Like It: With a delightful blend of chocolate and coffee, Mozart provides a unique twist to your drink. It’s a fantastic choice if you opt for something chocolatey.

I like the bittersweet notes of premium cocoa beans, rich Belgian chocolate (instead of sugar), and a hint of fruity aroma, perfectly complemented by the notes of Arabica coffee.

10. Blasted Brew

Bottle of Blasted Brew on a Table

Average Price: Approx. $41.99/750ml (BSW Liquor)

Alcohol Content: 24% ABV

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why I Like It: Blasted Brew brings a unique spin with its slight caramel, vanilla, and whiskey undertones – a great pick if you seek a robust character that compliments the coffee essence.

“Tia Maria captures the essence of coffee with the rum’s booze.” – Liquor Laboratory

As you can see, it’s a little pricey (so I don’t use this much), but it delivers well in terms of character and flavors.

Note: The star rating was determined during a blind taste and based on every substitute’s tasting notes, balance, aroma, smoothness, ingredients quality, and beverage compatibility.


What is the flavor of Tia Maria? 

Tia Maria flaunts a rich, sweet, smooth coffee taste, often noted for its hints of vanilla, chocolate, and orange peel. Besides, Tia Maria [1] is an ideal addition to any vodka-based beverage like a Mudslide or Revolver recipe.

What is the main ingredient of the liqueur Tia Maria? 

The main ingredients of the Tia Maria recipe include Jamaican rum [2], sugar, coffee beans, and bourbon vanilla. These components are responsible for the distinctive and robust coffee taste of Tia Maria.

Wrapping Up

From my experience, exploring Tia Maria substitutes is not just about finding a replacement; it’s about discovering new flavors and recipe possibilities.

Each Tia Maria alternative brings its unique charm, whether it’s the rich sweetness of Kahlua, Mr Black’s intense coffee kick, or Sheridan’s creamy blend.

But remember, the best way to find your favorite is to try them yourself. So, get your cocktail glass, prepare the ingredients, and mix your favorite recipe!



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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