The 2019 Christmas Coffee Liqueur Smackdown

We’ve pitted two of the world’s most popular Coffee Liqueurs – Tia Maria and Mr Black – against each other to see which will be your festive season choice.

By: Tiff Christie|December 6,2019

For some of us getting through the festive season, especially Christmas is more of a marathon than a sprint. With family demands, family arguments and family expectations, the stakes can be high and being on the ball enough to navigate through it, is more skill than a suggestion.

With this said there is no better crutch to get through the battle than a coffee liqueur cocktail. Not only are they tasty but they will keep you awake through Uncle Bruce’s fishing stories, keep you attentive enough to sidestep the relationship/career/babies interrogations and alert enough to ward off potential arguments.


But when it comes to making a coffee cocktail, which coffee liqueur should you choose? And which recipes will steel you sufficiently for the family verbal bloodshed to come?

Well, we’ve decided to help you out with that and conduct what we can best describe as the Coffee Liqueur Christmas Smackdown. Yes, two coffee Liqueurs will enter but which one will survive?

Both Coffee Liqueurs have been training heavily to ensure that they will be the one left standing, or rather be the one that is practically glued to your hand from Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day.

So let us be your Dutch Uncle as these brands get ready to rumble.

In the red corner, we have Mr Black, an Australian Coffee Liqueur, represented by co-founder Tom Baker.

In the blue corner, we have Tia Maria, originating from Jamaica but now made in Italy, represented by Australian brand ambassador, Danilo Migliorini.

As the bell sounds, Mr Black comes out strongly “Mr Black has that dark roast, bittersweet flavour that people now know and love,” said Baker.

Mr Black uses cold-pressed, speciality single-origin coffee beans from Ethiopia, Brazil and Papua New Guinea to craft their gold-medal-winning liqueur.

“Mr Black, with its low sugar, bigger coffee flavour, probably is not going to appeal to your average Kahlua or Tia Maria drinker,” continued Baker. “It’s just got a lot less sugar in it and a really intense coffee flavour. The people that love it, couldn’t ever drink anything else.”

But don’t discount Tia Maria, who has come in with a sharp right hook.” Tia Maria is perfect for every occasion and it’s the combination of Jamaican spiced Rum, the chocolate after taste and the real coffee flavour,” said Migliorini

Tia Maria uses 100% Arabica Coffee Beans. Picked in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, as well as Madagascar Vanilla and Jamaican Rum for a complex aromatic taste.

We have a unique combination of Jamaican Spiced rum, Vanilla and coffee,” continued Migliorini. “It’s different for sure. It’s made with Jamaican spiced rum and rum is naturally sweeter than other spirits. In my humble opinion, Tia Maria is perfectly balanced.”

So which Coffee Liqueur will be your choice over this festive season? Well, really, each of our competitors is neck-and-neck and it will all come down to the next round, where the cocktails that each brand believes are worth your Christmas attention can be found.

Mr Black recipes




40ml Mr Black

20ml Mezcal or Tequila

30ml Pink Grapefruit

Top with Soda


Salt rim glass. Combine ingredients and add ice. Top with soda. Garnish with grapefruit wedge




30ml Mr Black

30ml Brandy


Stir & garnish with a brandied orange twist

Tia Maria recipes




30ml Tia Maria

20ml cognac

10ml creme de cacao dark

1 egg


Mix all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake it! Strain the mixture twice before serving in a martini glass and garnish with a bit of chocolate.




20ml lime juice

10ml coconut syrup

20ml bourbon

30ml Tia Maria


Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake it. Strain and serve in a tiki style glass for a tropical feeling, associated with Aussie Christmas!

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The 2019 Christmas Coffee Liqueur Smackdown

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