Kahlua is slightly sweet and has a strong coffee flavor with hints of vanilla. It is made from roasted Arabica coffee beans, a variety of coffee characterized by its acidity and nuanced flavor.
Kahlua is a simple drink, mostly made up of coffee and rum. The rum in Kahlua is what binds all the ingredients together. The other two ingredients are high-fructose corn syrup and sugar, which provide sweetness to undercut the possible bitterness of the coffee. The rum lends some additional sweetness, since rum itself is made from sugar byproducts.
The main flavor note in Kahlua is roasted black coffee. Arabica coffee is the most common variety in the world, and the flavor of these beans differs subtly by region. The beans used in Kahlua are sourced from Mexico. The sweet flavor of the drink lends itself to use in cocktails with dairy ingredients or cocoa.