Bula House Kava Review

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As the first kava bar in Oregon, Bula Kava House is a trendsetter in the kava space. Over the past decade, the company has grown from a small, local kava bar, to one of the most popular brands online.

Is the company worthy of the hype?

In this review, we’ll explore Bula Kava House’s product lineup. We’ll get into detail about each product, its technical specs, and what we found after trying it.

Let’s get started.

About the Company

Bula Kava House was founded by a man named Judd Rench — who spent some time working in Hawaii where he first became familiar with the concept of kava and a kava bar. He liked the idea so much, he later founded the Bula Kava House in his home of Portland, Oregon.

The first venture Rench took on was a physical kava bar for patrons to visit and enjoy a few rounds of kava after work. He later expanded to include an online shop, offering kava to the rest of the United States.

The company was named after the Fijian word Bula which means “life” or “to live”. It’s the word used by Fijians in place of the English “cheers!” when drinking kava.

Bula Kava House sells a wide variety of kava strains from Vanuatu and Fiji — as well as kava tools like the classic coconut cups, strainers, and ceremony kits.

These guys truly love what they do — which is evident by their close attention to detail, and excellent product lineup. Although we have our preferences for the types of kava we like, none of the kava options you’ll find here can be considered poor quality or poor value.

This company is a member of the American Kava Association — which is currently the only national trade association regulating the ethical sale of kava products. The company also sends each batch of kava off to an independent lab for testing. This is the gold standard for providing the most transparency with the product quality possible.

You can’t really go wrong with the Bula Kava House brand.

Products Offered by Bula Kava House

1. 11 Year Waka

Rating

5/5

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
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Technical Details:

Origin Fiji
Total Kavalactone Content 12%
Effect Profile Heady
Strength Strong
Grind Fine (Micronized)
Flavor Profile Mild Pepper, Smooth
Kava Code 436251
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Dizziness

About This Kava:

This Fijian kava comes from plants that are an average of about 11 years old — thought he actual age of the roots can vary from 8 to 12 years. In general, the older the root, the better it is.

This is common for herbs. Older plants are generally regarded as being higher quality, and usually strike a higher price.

This noble kava has an excellent smooth effect and a high kavalactone content of 12% by weight. This is the strongest kava sold by BulaHouse. It has a very heady effect profile, making it perfect for social gatherings, or creative work.

This kava only comes in the micronized version.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
11 Year Waka — Micronized Kava Instant Powder $49.50 – $96.50 $2.15

2. Taveuni Waka Kava

Rating

4/5

Best For:

  • Creative Work

Positive Effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
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Technical Details:

Origin Fiji
Total Kavalactone Content 5.5%
Effect Profile Heady
Strength Mild
Grind Medium
Flavor Profile Smooth, Mild Pepper, Mild Bitter
Kava Code 245631
Recommended Experience Level Novice
Most Common Side-Effect Dizziness

About This Kava:

The Taveuni kava is an excellent mild heady kava option. It’s for people who want the effects of their kava focused around the mental benefits, without being too strong.

We can drink this stuff all day without becoming too drowsy. It gives a pleasant feeling of euphoria for the first hour or so after drinking, followed by short bursts of creativity and mental energy.

We love this kava as a work aid for doing creative tasks, but it can also serve well for people using kava socially, for meditation, or to support mild to moderate anxiety symptoms.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Taveuni Waka Kava $34.00 – $65.00 $1.47

3. Borogu Kava

Rating

3.5/5

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
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Technical Details

Origin Vanuatu
Total Kavalactone Content 7.5%
Effect Profile Balanced
Strength Mild
Grind Medium
Flavor Profile Strong Pepper
Kava Code 243561
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Nausea

About This Kava:

This is one of the weaker kavas sold by Bula Kava House — even compared to some of the others the company sells with a similar kavalactone content.

This kava could be referred to as the Bud Light of kavas — it’s great for casual, all-purpose use, but won’t pack the punch you need if you’re looking for something strong.

The mild nature of this kava makes it perfect for use socially, or during the day. Its effects can best be described as uplifting with a mild relaxing background.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Borogu Kava $25.50 – $48.00 $1.10

4. Nangol Noble Kava

Rating

5/5

Best For:

  • Creative Work

Positive Effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Mental Clarity
  • Relaxation
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Technical Details:

Origin Vanuatu
Total Kavalactone Content 7.8%
Effect Profile Balanced
Strength Moderate
Grind Medium – Fine (Micronized)
Flavor Profile Fresh
Kava Code 426315
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Dizziness

About This Kava:

This kava is made from a blend of Vanuatu kava strains. Its effects are best described as being very clean — promoting creativity, social interaction, and productivity.

This is one of the rare kavas that can be useful for promoting study and focus — but nit directly. It achieves this by offering mild relaxing effects on the mind, which makes it easier to remain focused on the task at hand without being so easily distracted.

We compare the effects of this kava to L-theanine, another popular relaxing supplement that can ironically support focus and concentration while also being a mild sedative/relaxant.

You can buy this kava in both a micronized form and medium-grind.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Nangol Noble — Kava Powder $31 – $60 $1.34
Nangol Noble — Micronized Instant Kava Powder $50 – $98 $2.18

5. Nambawan Kava

Rating

4.5/5

Best For:

  • Sleep/Meditation

Positive Effects:

  • Sedation
  • Relaxation
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Technical Details:

Origin Vanuatu
Total Kavalactone Content 11.2%
Effect Profile Heavy
Strength Strong
Grind Coarse – Fine (Micronized)
Flavor Profile Mild Pepper, Mild Bitter
Kava Code 423615
Recommended Experience Level Experienced
Most Common Side-Effect Grogginess

About This Kava:

This is one of the stronger kavas offered by Bula Kava House — but unlike its other powerhouse (the 11 Year Waka), this kava is a lot heavier in its effects.

The Namabawan kava is a powerful sleep-promoter. Even smaller doses of this stuff will bring on a feeling of relaxation, followed by a release of tight muscles, before finally leading you to drift off quietly to sleep.

This kava is notably more potent than most of the others on this list, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you try this kava. This kava is recommended for experienced kava users only.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Nambawan — Kava Powder $52.00 – $69.00 $1.55
Nambawan —  Micronized Instant Kava Powder $52.00            – $102.00 $2.27

6. Melo Melo Kava

Rating

4/5

Best For:

  • Meditation/Relaxation

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
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Technical Details:

Origin Vanuatu
Total Kavalactone Content 7.5%
Effect Profile Balanced
Strength Mild
Grind Medium – Fine (Micronized)
Flavor Profile Sweet, Smooth, Mild Bitter
Kava Code 425316
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Dizziness

About This Kava:

The name of this kava describes its effects perfectly — very mellow.

This balance kava offers subtle, relaxing effects, without being too sedating. Most people can take this kava throughout the day without becoming too sleepy.

This kava is quite mild but produces a pleasant, calm sensation. It’s great for supporting casual meditation, or for calming the nerves before a public-speaking event.

The flavor of this kava is not ideal. It starts off sweet, but tends to leave a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. We recommend keeping some fruit juice or savory snack nearby while drinking this kava.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Melo Melo — Kava Powder $31.00 –            $60.00 $1.34
Melo Melo — Micronized Instant Kava Powder $47.00 – $92.00 $2.05

7. CO2 Kava Concentrate (Honey Orange Vanilla)

Rating

4.5/5

Best For:

  • Creative Work

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
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Technical Details:

Origin Mixed
Total Kavalactone Content Unknown
Effect Profile Balanced
Strength Moderate
Grind Fine Paste
Flavor Profile Honey, Orange, Vanilla
Kava Code N/A
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Nausea

About This Kava:

This isn’t like the rest of the products offered by Bula Kava House. It’s a processed paste made from a mixture of kava plants. This makes it impossible to determine the kava code for this product, and fairly difficult to assess the overall effects of this paste.

In theory, the effect profile would change from one tube to the next — so we ordered two to test them out.

Surprisingly both were pretty much exactly the same. We plan on ordering two more at different intervals in the future to see how this changes from batch to batch, so stay posted.

This kava concentrate is designed with convenience in mind. All you have to do is mix the paste in with the water — no strainer bag necessary. It does require a lot of mixing though.

The convenient tube form of this kava makes it super easy to take it with you on the move. You don’t need your special kava mixing bowl or a strainer. You can simply drop a little bit off into a coffee cup, add warm water, and stir for a few minutes to have a fresh cup of kava. This is why we believe this is the perfect kava if you’re using it for work or travel.

The added flavors (honey, orange, and vanilla) also make this form of kava ideal for people who don’t like the taste of kava. You’re not likely to find a kava that tastes better than this.

Each tube contains 30 grams of kava paste — which works out to 15 doses at 2 grams per dose.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 2 Gram Dose
CO2 Kava Concentrate $38.00 $2.53

8. Instant Kava Root Mix

Rating

4.5/5

Best For:

  • Sleep

Positive Effects:

  • Sedation
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
Check Lowest Price

Technical Details:

Origin Vanuatu
Total Kavalactone Content 8.5%
Effect Profile Heavy
Strength Strong
Grind Very Fine
Flavor Profile Mild Pepper, Mild Bitter, Smooth
Kava Code 432165
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Grogginess

About This Kava:

This instant kava powder is made from a Vanuatu strain of kava. The roots are juiced before being freeze-dried to form a fine powder. This is the same process used to make instant coffee.

The ultra-fine powder this process creates will dissolve almost instantly in water — allowing you to add it to a water bottle or coffee mug to make kava tea without having to do any rinsing, or mixing whatsoever.

The plus sides of this tea is the convenience, but there are a few downsides that come along with this. The biggest downside is that the significantly increased surface area of the ultra-fine powder means the active ingredients will breakdown faster in contact with air. So you shouldn’t store this kava for too long before using it or you’ll find it’s not at potent as you once remembered it.

This kava is excellent for keeping in a work bag, purse, or desk for those times you need a little dose of relaxation while at work, school, or out and about.

I keep some of this stuff in my workbag to use before I give a talk or presentation — all I do is mix it with a standard 500 mL water bottle and give it a shake.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 5 Gram Dose
Instant Kava Root Mix $27.00 – $52.00 $2.60

Final Thoughts on Bula Kava House

We’re big fans of the Bula Kava House. Judd Rench is doing a fine job offering a diverse range of kava products to the American market — complete with all the tools needed for the job.

You can find kava strains best described as mild heavy kava, all the way over to strong heady kava and everything in between from this company. They even sell a few of the more unique forms of kava like their CO2 concentrate and an instant kava powder.

People that buy from this company tend to have excellent loyalty — which is definitely a good sign when it comes to buying from a new vendor for the first time.