What is Coffee Liqueur?
Fancy a mug of Java, joe, dirt, mud, brew, cuppa, daily grind, lifeblood, tar, rocket fuel, or worm dirt? Having many nicknames simply confirms our worldwide love and obsession for coffee. But don’t make the mistake of confusing ‘cuppa’ for an ‘Americano' as you’ll be ordering a cup of tea rather than a straight black coffee, when ordering in the UK!
Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, the seeds of berries from certain flowering plants in the Coffea genus. Coffee plants are grown in over 70 different countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Africa.
From the coffee fruit, the seeds are separated to produce a stable raw product, which are unroasted green coffee beans. These seeds are then roasted, a process which transforms them into a consumable product: roasted coffee, which is ground into fine particles that are typically steeped, which means ‘to soak’ loose in a French Press/Cafetiere. There are many methods used to brew coffee, from pour over/drip, areo press, percolate and even cold brew to name but a few. There’s instant coffee too, and as the name suggests, it’s instant with the advantage that there’s no preparation required as instant coffee dissolves quickly in water. Alternatively an espresso machine brews coffee by forcing pressurised water that is near boiling point through a "puck" of ground coffee and a filter in order to produce a thick, concentrated coffee called espresso.
Coffee is also graded offering a reference to coffee quality, the higher the score the better the coffee. The SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) is a trade association who developed an industry standard for grading coffee. It is a quantifiable and qualifiable measure, based upon scientific testing, which set values and/or ranges of values for coffee. Coffee which is graded with a SCA Cup Score of 80+ (out of a scale of 100) is classed as Speciality Coffee, which is considered the best.
A liqueur is spirit based often using rectified* spirits with added flavourings such as sugar, fruits, herbs, spices or even tea and coffee. Flavourings can be added by different processes such as maceration, infusion or distillation.
A Coffee Liqueur (Coffea and Coffea Decaf) is a sweetened alcoholic coffee flavoured drink which can be served neat over ice. Due to its sweetness and lower alcoholic content it is also used as an essential ingredient in cocktails such as Espresso Martinis and Mudslides and can also be used as primary ingredients for desserts such as Tiramisu and Affogatto Corretto. Sometimes Coffee Liqueur is referred to as Alcoholic Coffee but regardless of name Coffee Liqueurs are certainly growing in popularity. This is driven by our curiosity for adventure and exploring more interesting and unique flavours with the desire for something new. After all wouldn’t you prefer an LQR Espresso rather than an espresso?
It’s time to join the Coffee Liqueur revolution!
*Rectified spirit also known as neutral spirit, is highly concentrated ethanol which has been purified by means of repeated distillation in a process called rectification.
Liqueur vs. Liquor
Liqueur and Liquor are different alcoholic drinks, although both are spirit based, a liqueur is sweet by nature which differentiates the two as liquor is just a spirit, like Vodka, Whisky or Gin for example.
Liqueurs are generally lower in alcoholic content typically ranging from 15 to 30% VOL vs. 30% and above for liquor.