Discovery: A Kava Kava Cafe - St. Petersburg

I'd never seen a kava kava cafe before, so when I spied one called Bula Kafe in St. Petersburg's Kenmore neighborhood, I chose that for out coffee shop. I first encountered the stuff in my days of trying to find fun drugs that were orderable online and still legal in the U.S. I ordered a pound, waited a week, and eagerly ripped open my package. I excitedly made a smoothie out of the brown powder, not having cheesecloth on hand nor the patience to go buy it and figure out the more authentic process. Perhaps I should have done so. Maybe that was the trick.

Instead, my girlfriend and I blended the powder with almond milk, a banana, and, knowing me at the time, probably some Stevia packets I'd swiped from a Whole Foods. We brought the gunky concoction to our lips and paused, having unfortunately caught whiffs of the wretched stench.

"Ugh," she said.

"Oh just drink it," said I, "You would if it were mushrooms."

But mushrooms, this was not. Nothing happened.

So having someone else prepare the stuff for me so that it possibly does do something quite appeals to me.

Unfortunately, we all needed coffee at the time and didn't actually get to try their kava kava. I had some hopes that we might come back later for it, but alas, we ran out of time. Will someone go try it for me and let me know how it is? The taste, but more importantly, do you get any trip from it?

It supposedly:

• Relaxes muscles
• Calms nerves
• Creates a general feeling of well-being
• Induces a feeling of peace, relaxation and contentment
• Enhances mental alertness and concentration
• Has historical use as an herbal aphrodisiac
• Reduces inhibitions and makes people more sociable


"Unlike alcohol, kava does not produce or stimulate aggression. It does not condemn the user to a dreaded hangover, unlike alcohol. Alcohol literally kills hundreds of thousands of people a year, and Kava, when properly harvested, has never actually hurt anyone. Kava has even been known to help reduce alcohol consumption!"

Better yet, does anyone know any other kava kava cafes around the U.S.? In or near Boston?

For now, I can only review the place as a coffee shop. It's a total hippie-fest. In addition to kava kava, they have Yerba Mate drinks for the legal drug drink seekers. Dread locks and performative laid back-ness abound.

They have a really nice patio with a fun game selection as well as spiritually angled magazines.

Americano Rating: 7/10
Left - My girlfriend; Right - Espresso Rating : 7/10 - Quite bitter, in a good way

My sister, Cami, with a coconut water, another hippie-approved option at Bula.

Bula Kafe on Urbanspoon

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