The legend of Tia Maria dates back to the mid-17th century, when a beautiful young Spanish aristocrat fled the turmoil colonial war brought to the island of Jamaica. Her maid saved one family treasure, a small jewelry box with black pearl earrings, and an ancient manuscript with the recipe for a mysterious liqueur. The recipe was named after the courageous woman: Tia Maria.
In the immediate post-war years, life in Jamaica continued much as before with the colonial community enjoying cocktails on the veranda to accompany the usual stunning spectacle of sundown. One of the most sought-after social invitations was that of local microbiologist Dr. Kenneth Leigh Evans. An invite to the Kingston country club always caused a stir as society’s finest had the chance to sample his latest homemade liqueurs.
This often led to a convivial conversation about the evening’s concoction. One night an unexpected experience occurred when Dr. Evans was served an intense and intriguing coffee liqueur at the home of friends. Immediately enthralled with his discovery he begged his hostess to give him the recipe.
Once in possession of this treasured family heirloom, made to the original 17th Century Caribbean formula, he set about perfecting it. Dr. Evans found by combining the richest roasted Arabica coffee with refined Jamaican rum from local sugar plantations close to the sea where the air was fresher and the soil naturally fertile – the flavours started to intensify. After the unveiling at the country club and further discussions, he found the finishing flourish in a touch of exotic vanilla, and so it became the Tia Maria as we know it today.
Tia Maria owes its inimitable rich flavour to the pure quality of its finest ingredients and its unique recipe.
Firstly, a selection of high quality 100% Arabica coffee beans are carefully blended to achieve the desired balance. Only the bigger beans are selected due to their lower caffeine content and then lightly roasted at a controlled temperature by the master roaster. Roasting is the most critical stage in coffee production as it transforms the green beans into dark, fragrant one, and releases more than 800 natural coffee elements.
Secondly, the cracked coffee beans are put in the maceration vats with an alcohol solution. Over a two week period, the intense natural essential oils and flavours are drawn from the raw materials into the spirit to create a powerful concentrate. This intensely flavoured blend undergoes a series of filtrations to remove the solids. Highest quality vanilla beans are included to add delicate and precious aromatic notes. Jamaican rum is added to achieve the distinctive full-bodied taste of Tia Maria.
Finally, the liquid is mixed with pure water to the right ABV content (20%) to exalt the silky smooth mouth feel Tia Maria is renowned for.
A strong aroma of coffee emanates immediately and opens itself with light notes of chocolate and pipe tobacco.
Coffee and chocolate are instantly impactful on the palate and then leave space in the mouth for the rum’s caramel hints.
Long and lingering coffee notes that fall away to feel the vanilla sweetness.
50mL, 350mL, 700mL, 1L