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Does Kahlua Have Caffeine?

Charl Joost
Last Updated: February 24th, 2023

One of the more popular coffee liqueurs is Kahlua. There are numerous ways in which this liqueur can be enjoyed, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. Aside from its versatility, Kahlua is also known to have a rather enjoyable flavor.

Kahlua is a staple for every bar or drink cabinet. It is not unlikely that you will find a bottle of Kahlua in just about every house’s cupboard.

But, as Kahlua is a coffee liqueur, the question arises whether you will be kept up at night by it. Does Kahlua have caffeine in it? Yes, it does! Let’s find out more about this drink and just how much caffeine it really has.

What is Kahlua?

what is kahlua

Kahlua was created back in 1936 by a local named Pedro Domecq. Simply put, Kahlua is a coffee liqueur. It is made from rum, sugar, and arabica coffee beans. It is also produced in Mexico where the coffee beans are locally grown.

At first, the drink was sold with an alcohol content of 36%. However, when it was introduced to the global markets back in 2005, the alcohol content was reduced to just 20%.

In some places, Kahlua is still available with an alcohol content of 36%. Kahlua with this alcohol content is sold under the name “Kahlua Especial”.

Does Kahlua Have Caffeine?

Now that we know what Kahlua is, let’s move on to the real question we are all here to find the answer to. Does Kahlua have caffeine? Well, in short, yes, Kahlua does have caffeine. As this coffee liqueur is made using coffee beans, it is only logical for it to have some amount of caffeine in it.

The arabica coffee beans that are used to create Kahlua are what gives the drink its characteristic coffee flavor. These coffee beans are also the source of the delicious Kahlua coffee aroma.

Since the drink is created using actual coffee beans, the next thing to consider is exactly how much caffeine is in Kahlua.

How Much Caffeine is in Kahlua?

how much caffeine

The first thing that crossed our mind when we found out there was in fact caffeine in Kahlua was, just how much is there? We dug a little deeper and ran the numbers to find out just how much caffeine there is in a bottle of Kahlua.

The manufacturer of Kahlua has disclosed that there are 100 ml of caffeine per liter. This means that a regular 1.5 oz glass of coffee liqueur has about 5 mg of caffeine. Now, while this alone does not seem like much, when added to a cup of coffee, the overall caffeine amount is increased.

For the regular person, one shot of Kahlua is not going to really affect them. However, for a person who is sensitive to caffeine, it may keep them awake. Additionally, when Kahlua is mixed with other drinks, it will raise the alcohol, sugar, and caffeine content of the finished drink.

Unfortunately, another culprit that will likely keep a person up at night is sugar. The combination of sugar, caffeine and alcohol can result in a restless night. This is also due to the fact that alcohol is known to reduce the quality of a person’s sleep.

Is There a Decaf Kahlua?

Unfortunately for all those coffee lovers who are sensitive to caffeine, there is no decaf Kahlua. The company that produces the beverage does not produce a version that has less caffeine in it.

If you are feeling creative, however, there is a recipe you can use to try and make your own decaf Kahlua.

For the decaf Kahlua you will need:

  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 6 cups of strong brewed decaf coffee
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 12 oz of vodka or grain alcohol


  1. Pour the sugar into a pot and add the strong brewed, decaf coffee.
  2. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved then set it aside.
  3. Add the vanilla to the grain alcohol or vodka.
  4. Combine both mixtures and bottle them.
  5. Let the beverage sit for 24 hours before giving it a try.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Kahlua contain dairy?

Contrary to what many people may think, there is no dairy in Kahlua. Kahlua is made from sugar, rum, and coffee beans.

Is Kahlua a coffee?

Not exactly. Kahlua is a coffee liqueur. It is made using Arabica coffee beans, sugar, and rum.

Can you drink Kahlua straight?

Yes, you can! Kahlua can be enjoyed in a number of ways. The most popular way is to add it to your coffee or simply drink it straight as a shot.

Can you heat up Kahlua?

Yes, you can. Kahlua can be heated up in the microwave until hot. It can also be served chilled, over ice.


Although Kahlua does contain caffeine, it is not enough to be a problem. People that are sensitive to caffeine, however, may have some trouble sleeping after having a shot of Kahlua.

This coffee liqueur is great on its own but can also be added to coffee and mixers. It can also be enjoyed as a dessert.

When adding Kahlua to different beverages, the final caffeine and sugar content may increase. The levels in the final drink may lead to a restless night of sleep, but on its own, Kahlua is not likely to keep you up.

If you are feeling crafty, you can also try to create your own, decaf version of Kahlua at home!

About The Author

Charl Joost

Charl is a trainer, public speaker, and professional writer. While he has been coached to niche down, he has many passions. These include golf, gardening, technology, and a decent cup of coffee or two. Charl loves to learn about new products and tries everything he writes about.

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