Bula Kava House 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.

1. Price & Value

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bula House Kava is priced similarly to brands like Kalm With Kava, Root of Happiness, and Squanch Kava. Like most kava products, the micronized root (very finely ground), is much more expensive than the coarse ground root — however, the markup from this brand is less than the other brands mentioned above. If you’re looking for high-grade micronized kava root, this brand has the best value overall.

2. Product Lineup

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This company has a little bit of everything. Most of the product lineup is raw kava root powder, which covers all ranges of effects (heady, heavy, and balanced). They also offer a concentrate paste, instant kava powder, and a the option to buy every cultivar in a micronized form.

3. Product Potency

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This kava is definitely potent — especially the 11 Year Waka (this stuff is well above average). The rest of their lineup is also notably strong. However, I found the concentrate was a little disappointing in terms of the potency. This could be because of a lack of other synergistic compounds, but either way, it’s less potent than other concentrates on the market — such as the concentrated powders from Root of Happiness.

4. Customer Service

⭐⭐⭐⭐

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the customer service team at Bula House Kava — however, they were a bit slow in their response times (2-3 days) and some of the responses we got felt scripted or even automated.

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

Bula House Kava 11-Year Waka

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation

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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.

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

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 — 3/5

Bula House Kava Taveuni Waka

Best For:

  • Creative Work

Positive Effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation

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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.

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

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

Bula House Kava Borogu

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria

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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.

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

Cost Breakdown:

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

4. Nangol Noble Kava

Rating — 3/5

Bula House Kava Nangol Noble

Best For:

  • Creative Work

Positive Effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Mental Clarity
  • Relaxation

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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.

Technical Details:

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

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 — 3.5/5

Bula House Kava Nambawan

Best For:

  • Sleep/Meditation

Positive Effects:

  • Sedation
  • Relaxation

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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.

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

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 — 3/5

Bula House Kava Melo Melo

Best For:

  • Meditation/Relaxation

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria

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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.

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

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 — 3.5/5

Bula House Kava C02 Concentrate

Best For:

  • Creative Work

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Creativity

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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.

Technical Details:

  • Origin — Mixed
  • Total Kavalactone Content — Not Listed
  • Effect Profile — Balanced
  • Strength — Moderate
  • Consistency — Fine Paste
  • Flavor Profile — Honey, Orange, Vanilla
  • Kava Code — Not Listed
  • Recommended Experience Level — Experienced
  • Most Common Side-Effect — Nausea

Cost Breakdown:

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

8. Instant Kava Root Mix

Rating — 3/5

Bula House Kava Instant Kava

Best For:

  • Sleep

Positive Effects:

  • Sedation
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria

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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.

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

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.

Visit Bula House