The 3 Major Differences Between Coffee and Kava

Kava Culture
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Across the world people are starting to drink kava in increasing numbers. However, one of the largest questions that we get is “what is the difference between coffee and kava?” Well to put this question to rest here is an entire article giving you the 3 largest differences.

There are 3 major differences between kava and coffee that everybody should be aware of. First, coffee contains caffeine while kava does not. Second, coffee is normally served hot and paired with baked treats. Third, kava is at its core a social drink while coffee is normally praised for its utility.

The team here at Kava-Bula drinks both kava and coffee on a regular basis. While we never combine these two drinks they both serve their own individual purpose. We have thought about combining cold brew coffee with kava but just have never gotten around to it.

Let’s jump right into the article ya; here are the 3 major differences between kava and coffee.

Difference 1: Coffee Contains Caffeine While Kava Does Not

This is a major difference between kava and coffee. Coffee contains caffeine and is designed to give people energy while they are drinking it.

Kava on the other hand is designed to put people into a more relaxed state. It does not elevate energy levels and because of this people often drink the kava to mellow out. Some kava bars offer coffee as people sometimes like to pair kava and coffee but this is a rarer thing to see nowadays.

Some of the best kava bars that we have been to have offered kava infused with caffeine as a way to combine the best of both drinks. These drinks have started to catch on around the United States but normally people just drink kava by itself and then order a coffee.

However, one of the main differences between coffee and coffee is that kava does not contain caffeine. This means if you drink kava you won’t get any added energy unless something has been added in.

Difference 2: Coffee Is Normally Served Hot and With Baked Goods

Another major difference between coffee and kava is that coffee is normally served hot and with baked treats.

When you go to coffee cafes around the world normally you will order a specialty coffee and get a baked treat. These treats can be cinnamon rolls, hot bread, or cookies. This combination is often one of the main reasons why people go to cafes themselves.

Even when you make coffee at home often you will pair it with something baked. In the morning we will have pancakes with our coffee or another bread-like thing. This is normal and many people don’t even think about it anymore. However, with kava this is not the case.

Since kava should be enjoyed on an empty stomach you will find no baked treats at kava bars. Further, kava should always be served cold and never hot. Going to a kava bar is more like going to a bar mixed with a cafe flair. You will get your cold kava and begin to socialize instead of working on a project and eating a small baked treat.

Kava should always be served cold. The reason behind this is that if the water is too hot then it will start to destroy the kava itself. Kava already tastes bad enough, imagine now it has no effect. Remember to serve your kava cold ya, it always tastes better.

Because of this one of the main differences between coffee and kava is that coffee is served hot and often with baked treats of some kind. Kava on the other hand is served cold and often just by itself.

Difference 3: Kava Is a Social Drink While Coffee Is Praised for Its Utility

The third major difference between coffee and kava is that kava is designed from its core to be a social drink.

When you go to a kava bar you are going to socialize. The entire kava ritual is designed around warding off bad spirits and wishing good fortune and luck to those around you. This often takes people off guard the first couple of times they walk in; during a kava drinking session random people will talk to you about anything.

However, when you go to a coffee cafe often people do not socialize as much. Most people go to coffee places to get work done or meet up with someone. This is just the culture of coffee and it is because of coffee’s use as a utility tool to make people more productive.

If you are looking to talk to random people about their lives or your own then go to a kava bar. You will meet some of the most friendly and likable people there. However, if you are looking to get work done and not socialize as much then a coffee cafe is often a better choice.

As such the third major difference is that coffee is more of a utility drink while kava is more for socializing.


That’s about it regarding the 3 largest differences between coffee and kava. Remember, kava is more of a social drink that at its core is built around communicating and bringing the local community together.

Whenever we here at Kava-Bula drink kava we wish good fortune and health to those around us by saying ‘Bula!’ This is why when you go to a kava bar around the United States you will often hear Bula being said alot. As such…Bula to you!


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