I’ve usually been one to avoid coffee stores and buying coffee drinks, but the other day when my friend Mary and I needed to get together I suggested we meet at Java Kai in Kapaa. Our girls had been encouraging me to go, and the meeting seemed the perfect excuse to give it a try.
It’s going to be a very, very long time (like until I receive another gift certificate) before I ever step into a Starbucks again now that I’ve been to Java Kai.
This great coffee house is located in Kapaa’s Old Town area, and has an incredible menu of very tasty coffee drinks, and well as tea drinks and smoothies you won’t find elsewhere. Most coffee drinks are in the $4 to $5 range, but they are big! They also offer a splendid selection of pastries, breakfast sandwiches and lunch items (including vegan and gluten-free items – coconut-lime cupcakes were the vegan offering the day I was there). If it’s crowded (some times I’ve seen the line going right out the door), and you’re in a hurry, there’s a “secret window” in the back that supposedly goes faster. Like almost everywhere you visit on Kaua’i, the Java Kai staff is genuinely friendly and helpful.
WenYu and YaYu often stop for a coffee drink when they walk into town (yes, it’s within walking distance of our house!), and are working their way through the menu. Thai coffee, frozen hot chocolate, and Maui mocha (chocolate and coconut) are currently at the top of their favorites list. The day I was there with Mary I stuck with a boring, but very well-made soy latte and enjoyed every sip. Any of their drinks can be made with soy, coconut or almond milk.
Although there’s plenty of seating inside, if the sun is shining I recommend the outdoor seating. Grab your coffee (and treat if you indulged), and head outside to watch the parade go by. Love Java Kai!