Kratom Vendors

SoCal Kratom Vendor Review

Rating: 3 (for First Coast Tea Co., the company that acquired SoCal Kratom)

The Demise of SoCal Kratom

In 2019, a SoCal kratom death occurred that would affect the future of this landmark vendor. As reported in the Inquirer (dated March 7, 2019), a Pennsylvania family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against SoCal Herbal Remedies after their 25-year old son died from a fatal kratom overdose.

The decedent was driving at the time of the incident, and his car struck a curb. The accident resulted in his car overturning, but the Chester County coroner ruled “acute mitragynine intoxication” as the cause of death.

For those who don’t already know, mitragynine is the most abundant indole alkaloid present in the Ayurvedic herb. This powerful compound can have profound cognitive effects, moderate sedation among them.

It is this potential sedation that is responsible for much of the stigmatization surrounding kratom use. It is also believed to be why many users have ended up hospitalized after overdosing on this controversial substance.

Although some have argued that kratom is only lethal when taken in conjunction with prescription medications, others have recognized the danger of consuming kratom if you suffer from a preexisting health condition.

In the case of 25-year old Caleb Sturgis of West Chester, PA, no preexisting health condition was noted. However, it bears mentioning that the decedent’s sister, Tanya Sturgis, readily admitted that her brother had been using kratom for some time.

As any responsible party will tell you, regular or long-term kratom usage is ill-advised. One needs only to look so far as a kratom user guide to see that chronic kratom dosage is associated with an increased risk of side effects, tolerance, addiction, abuse, and health complications.

GMP-compliant kratom vendors routinely warn customers about the potential for kidney or liver failure at larger dosages. The best in the biz offers detailed instructions for dosage.

For example, Urban Ice Organics offers kratom capsules in bottles with proper labeling. Each label outlines serving size, health warnings, and more.

SoCal Herbal Remedies failed to do their due diligence in this area. Not only did they provide a negligible amount of important information about responsible kratom use, but they also sold their product in bags that did not appropriately address the hazards of chronic consumption.

Not long after this scandal played out, everyone’s favorite California kratom vendor vanished.

Their site remains shuttered today, but this hasn’t quelled the flood of public comments about the brand. User reviews and requests for info about SoCal continue to pour in on platforms like Reddit.

Where Are They Now?

Within months of the Sturgis lawsuit, SoCal owners quietly merged with First Coast Tea Co. Operations were moved to Florida, where a new base provided the company a fresh start.

Over the last 14+ months, First Coast Tea Co. has developed into an industry leader, delivering many organic herbs and artisanal treats that customers expected of the OG SoCal brand.

About First Coast Tea Co.

First Coast Tea Co. is the rebranding of SoCal Kratom. While it focuses on other botanicals, it does still provide kratom products. However, the kratom options aren’t visible on the website unless you search for “speciosa.” This suggests a lack of transparency, although that might be understandable based on the lawsuit mentioned above.

First Coast posts third-party lab results for all of its kratom products on the hidden product pages. That means you can verify the quality, purity, and potency of the kratom before you buy it. The lab results are all up to date and include information about contaminants — including pesticides, mold, and bacteria — heavy metals, and alkaloid content.

First Coast Tea Co. doesn’t have a very impressive mission statement or company outlook. This lack of information, along with no founder info and a wide range of non-kratom products, suggests a lack of focus, which is a red flag for many kratom users.

The product selection is good, and the AKA certification is certainly a positive thing that suggests company trustworthiness.

First Coast Tea Co Kratom Products

In the wake of SoCal Kratom’s rebrand, First Coast Tea Co. is Florida’s premier source for quality kava, kratom, proprietary blends, and more. In an effort to keep its kratom products hidden from the public view, the company hides all kratom products from the SHOP page and any mention of kratom on the website. This is a red flag for most kratom users, as it suggests a lack of transparency. For other individuals, it’s an understandable strategy given the company’s past.

If you’re looking for kratom products on the website, you’ll have to search for “speciosa” using the website’s search function.

First Coast Tea Co. carries kratom powders — billed as “herbal teas” for further protection from kratom-related lawsuits — and capsules in a variety of strains.

Kratom Leaf Powder

Kratom powder is the most widely available form of kratom and the most popular way to use the herb. In powder form, kratom has a long shelf life and allows users to get precise with their dosing. Unfortunately, the powder has a bitter and unpleasant taste, which most users seek to mask with juice or other flavored liquids.

First Coast Tea Co. White Sumatra Kratom Powder

White Sumatra kratom is referred to as an energy-boosting powerhouse, as it provides most users the stimulation supplied by several cups of coffee but without the jitteriness or racing mind. White Sumatra is also touted as providing nootropic benefits, including improved focus and concentration. As such, it’s a popular choice among students and business professionals.

This strain is only available in 28-gram and 250-gram bags.

Price: $5.00 for 28 grams or $26.00 for 250 grams

First Coast Tea Co. Red Borneo Kratom Powder

Red Borneo kratom is best known for its sedative and pain-relieving effects. For many users, it acts as a powerful sleep aid and relaxant, as well as an alternative to prescription painkillers. The high concentrations of 7-hydroxymitragynine also make it a reliable central nervous system suppressant, meaning it can quel anxiety and stress for most users.

This strain is also only available in a 28-gram/1-oz option, so it’s not possible to stock up. However, the price of the single size is quite low compared to most competitors.

Price: $5.00 for 28 grams

First Coast Tea Co. Green Horn Kratom Powder

Green-vein kratom strains are known to be well-balanced, providing moderate stimulation in low doses or mild pain relief and sedation in larger doses. For most users, green strains are a good option for beginners, as the effects are believed to be less intense and overwhelming. This Green Horn kratom is a bit more potent than most other green varieties, so it might be too much for first-time users. However, it’s a good all-around strain, according to most individuals.

This strain is only available from First Coast in 28-gram/1-oz bags or 250-gram bags.

Price: $5.00 for 28 grams or $26.00 for 250 grams

Other Strains Offered by First Coast Tea Co.

First Coast Tea Co. has a decent variety of strains available in red, green, and white-vein varieties. All strains are listed as “herbal tea” and are sold in accordance with the same pricing guidelines: $5.00 for 28 grams or $26.00 for 250 grams, when available. Below are all of the kratom powder strains sold by First Coast:

  • Gold Bali Kratom Powder
  • Green Elephant Kratom Powder
  • Green Horn Kratom Powder
  • Green Hulu Kapuas Kratom Powder
  • Green Malay Kratom Powder
  • Green Maeng Da Kratom Powder
  • Green Riau Kratom Powder
  • Green Vietnam Kratom Powder
  • Green Zareena Kratom Powder
  • Red Borneo Kratom Powder
  • Red Horn Kratom Powder
  • Red Hulu Kapuas Kratom Powder
  • Red Riau Kratom Powder
  • Red Thai Kratom Powder
  • Red Vietnam Kratom Powder
  • Super Green Borneo Kratom Powder
  • Super Red Indo Kratom Powder
  • White Bali Kratom Powder
  • White Elephant Kratom Powder
  • White Horn Kratom Powder
  • White Hulu Kapuas Kratom Powder
  • White Indo Kratom Powder
  • White Maeng Da Kratom Powder
  • White Papua Kratom Powder
  • White Riau Kratom Powder
  • White Sumatra Kratom Powder
  • White Vietnam Kratom Powder

Kratom Capsules

Kratom capsules are gel caps that contain kratom powder. Because the powder is pre-measured, they make precision dosing impossible. However, the caps make it so that you can consume kratom without having to deal with the bitter taste. Many users find that the typically higher prices for capsules are worth it for this reason alone.

First Coast Tea Co. White Borneo Kratom Capsules

Kratom capsules are only available from First Coast in two strain varieties, and White Borneo is the more popular of the two. White Borneo kratom is well-known as a potent stimulant that provides a bump in concentration and focus. Many users report that it improves mental acuity and performance, so it’s a popular option among students and business people.

As is standard in the kratom industry, the capsules are more costly than the powder. Each capsule contains 0.75 grams of kratom powder.

Price: $30.00 for 100 capsules

First Coast Tea Co. Red Borneo Kratom Capsules

Red Borneo kratom is considered quite the opposite of White Borneo. It’s best known for its potent analgesic effects, which make it a popular option for those looking for pain relief. The high concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine also makes it useful as a sedative, sleep aid, and relaxant. It can help reduce anxiety and stress, especially before bed.

These capsules are also quite costly compared to the Red Borneo powder. Each capsule contains 0.75 grams of powder.

Price: $30.00 for 100 capsules

Kratom Tinctures

Kratom tinctures are highly concentrated kratom extracts that come in liquid form. Their high potency makes it challenging to get precise doses, but getting a heavy dose is made far easier, especially if you’re on the go. Tinctures are typically significantly more expensive than other consumption methods.

First Coast Tea Co. Borneo Tincture

The Borneo tincture from First Coast contains 124.5 mg of mitragynine, and there is no indication that there are other alkaloids contained within the liquid. As such, this extract is probably best in small doses for potent stimulation. The bottle is 15 mL, and it says it comes with three suggested servings. The cost is quite high compared to dosing with powder or capsules.

Price: $17.50 for one 15-mL bottle

Is SoCal Kratom/First Coast Tea Co. Legit?

While SoCal Kratom is out of business due to misguided legal action from one of its customers, the brand was re-established as First Coast Tea Co. and relocated to Jacksonville, Florida.

There are several signs that First Coast Tea Co. is a legitimate source for kratom. Most importantly, the company is accredited by the American Kratom Association (AKA), which instills confidence in buyers. Additionally, it posts third-party lab test results for all products on its website, which allows buyers to confirm potency and purity before committing.

With that being said, there are some potential red flags when it comes to the company’s legitimacy and transparency. The most glaring downside is the fact that none of its kratom products can be found on its website unless you explicitly search for the word “speciosa.” None of the products are labeled as “kratom” and instead are sold as “herbal teas.”

Additionally, the return policy is not so promising. The company only accepts returns for an unopened product, so you cannot get a refund for products if you’re dissatisfied with them.

What You Can Expect to Pay

You can get a full ounce of SoCal Kratom for just five bucks. Two hundred fifty grams go for an industry-low of $26.00.

Even though kratom kilos do not appear to be offered, it doesn’t hurt to contact this vendor directly to make special arrangements. Many sellers prefer to keep their bulk and wholesale pricing close to the vest for apparent reasons.

Accepted Payment Options

Unfortunately, First Coast Tea does not accept a wide range of payment methods at this time. On the plus side, they currently accept all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

Additional payment options may become available shortly, but the company currently doesn’t accept eCheck, cryptocurrency or Bitcoin payments, or ACH.

Also see: How to Buy Kratom with Bitcoin.

Shipping & Returns

According to the website, users who order before 2:30 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time) automatically receive kratom same-day shipping. Items ship via the US Postal Service and delays may manifest on their end.

You can choose between Priority Mail with tracking for approximately $8.15 or Priority with Signature Confirmation for around $10.80. Please note that these estimates are based on an East coast shipping address and may vary depending on your place of residence.

Packages typically arrive within two to three business days, but you should expect delays given USPS’s current state during the ongoing public health crisis.

Should any issues arise, SoCal Kratom makes it a piece of cake to contact their customer service team. You can shoot them an email, give them a buzz at their local phone number or draft a short message using their online contact form. Unfortunately, returns are only accepted for unopened packages shipped back within 30 days. There are no refunds for opened or used products.

Answers to inquiries are usually prompt and satisfying, with customer service reps working quickly to resolve any matter that’s addressed.

What Other Customers Say About This Brand

There are very few company reviews available online for kratom products from First Coast Tea Co. This is likely due, at least in part, to the company trying to keep its products under wraps and not promoting kratom-specific offerings anywhere. Many customers likely don’t know about the company’s involvement with kratom due to products not being posted on the product page.

There are a handful of posts on Reddit — where many kratom users turn for honest and transparent kratom reviews — that mention that the products are good, but none go into detail about potency, customer service, or any other aspects of the company.

Final Thoughts: Questionable Company That Arose From Lawsuits

With SoCal Kratom closed in the wake of the wrongful-death lawsuit, you won’t be able to order anything from its website, which has since been shut down. However, the company rebranded and is now working under the name First Coast Tea Co. in Jacksonville, Florida.

There are several positive things to say about this new company, including the third-party lab results that are available on its website and the certification from the American Kratom Association.

Unfortunately, these positive aspects are overshadowed by some red flags that suggest a lack of transparency. The company hides all kratom product pages, making them accessible only with specific search terms. Additionally, none of the kratom powders are marketed with the word “kratom.” You’ll have to use the search function to look for “speciosa” if you want to see the kratom products.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide if the lack of transparency is worth it for you. If you do order from this company, you will enjoy low prices at the expense of a satisfaction guarantee and a good return policy.

Best Kratom Vendors: Alternatives

Given the red flags present with First Coast Tea Co., many kratom users understandably turn elsewhere for their kratom products. The below vendors are regarded as some of the best in the industry. They all have 100% customer satisfaction guarantees, excellent return policies, third-party lab results available, and affordable pricing.

1. Kona Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $45.00 — $115.00
Verified Vendor

Kona Kratom

4.95
Ranked 1 out of 97 vendors

Kona Kratom is a premium brand that offers a huge selection of strains, including red-vein, white-vein, and green-vein varieties. Their products come in powders, capsules, and extracts, so you can choose your preferred dosing method.

Most importantly, their products are trusted and safe. They are certified by the American Kratom Association, and they put all of their products through exhaustive third-party lab tests to ensure the highest quality standards possible.

Pros

  • Enormous strain selection
  • Several dosing methods
  • AKA certification
  • Third-party results available for all products
  • Super affordable

Cons

  • Slower shipping than some other options

2. VIP Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $40.00 — $125.00
Verified Vendor

VIP Kratom

4.85
Ranked 3 out of 97 vendors

VIP Kratom is one of the best online kratom vendors because of its unwavering commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. The purity and potency of each of their products are backed by a Guaranteed Analysis from third-party labs. It’s clear that everything they do is in an effort to provide a safe and potent product for their customers. They offer a wide variety of strains in both capsule and powder form. 

The one major downside of VIP Kratom is the relatively high prices they charge for their premium product.

Pros

  • High-quality products
  • Great customer service
  • Lab testing is done on all products
  • Wide variety of products

Cons

  • More expensive than most other options

3. Star Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $35 — $95
Verified Vendor

Star Kratom

4.9
Ranked 2 out of 97 vendors

If you need quality kratom products shipped to you quickly, you won’t find a better vendor than Star Kratom. They sell powders and capsules for very affordable and competitive prices, and they fulfill orders more quickly than just about any other vendor you’ll find.

Star Kratom offers third-party lab results for everything they sell on their website, so you can shop knowing that you’re getting a potent and safe kratom product. They don’t have the biggest selection of strains, but it will suffice for most users.

Pros

  • Powders and capsules available
  • Very affordable
  • Rapid shipping
  • Third-party lab results for all products

Cons

  • Limited selection of products