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coffee liqueur?

i'm looking for an alternative to the ubiquitous kahlúa brand coffee liqueurs (i've tried their especial, too). i've heard illy has an espresso liqueur that sounds interesting. anyone tried it? are there any smaller, artisanal companies making good stuff? (i've done some preliminary scouting online, but haven't come up with anything.)

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  1. Keeping with big name brands..... Tia Maria as well as Starbucks does an Espresso Liqueur

    1 Reply
    1. re: industry worker

      I dislike Starbucks coffee but really liked their coffee liqeur. It was smooth but dark and espresso-like. Very elegant - moreso than Kahlua and not as sweet, and I think I prefer it. Definitely worth a shot, so to speak.

      1. re: ashwood

        yeah, that's what i was thinking i'm going to have to do. :|

      2. XO Cafe, made with Patron tequila. Blows Kahlua away.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ecustard

          Yep!!! I discovered Patron coffee a few months ago.. All I can say is WOW! It is awesome!

        2. Kahlua is to coffee liqueur what Oscar Meyer is to meat. Kamora is slightly better, but some would disagree.

          I've had the Illy version and it is quite good. Hard to find, but worth the hunt.

          Starbucks is a good one too. It's made by the same people who make DeKuyper (Future Brands: Jim Beam, Pucker, Vox, etc.), they are experts at flavors and really nailed the coffee taste with this.

          1. Ecustard is correct re: XO Caffe. Once you sip a glass of XO all coffee liqueurs become insignificant. Not easy to get, I get my at High Time Liquor in Costa Mesa, CA, it is worthwhile seeking out. One word of caution. It is 40 proof which is about twice the alcohol content of liqueurs.

            1. I get my XO Caffe at http://www.wittyswine.com/sku12367.html

              Usually buy 5 bottles at a time (I'm not an alcoholic) because my friends and I go through them so fast.