close up image of coffee tree cherries

Kratom and Coffee: Everything You Need to Know

Is kratom in the coffee family? What’s better in the debate of kratom vs coffee? Lately, it seems that more and more people are comparing Mitragyna speciosa to coffee, and our experts are ready to answer all your questions. We’ll deep dive into what exactly kratom is as well as what makes coffee give you that morning boost. Plus, we’ll explain why kratom may be the best coffee substitute for those who may be trying to consume less caffeine. Keep reading to level up your kratom and coffee knowledge!

What Is Coffee?

Technically, coffee is a fruit! Well, at least coffee cherries are classified as fruits. It’s the seeds of these cherries that are then harvested to become those recognizable roasted “beans.” Now you know coffee beans aren’t actually beans! Sometimes people will refer to them as pits of the fruit as well. Prior to roasting these seeds or pits, the coffee “beans” actually are green in appearance. Roasting the seeds turns them to the classic brown color, and then they are ground into fine bits to be steeped in hot water to create coffee. This will come in handy when we discuss kratom and coffee together.

The coffee we know and love is harvested from trees under the genus Coffea. There are two particular types of Coffea trees that we cultivate to make coffee: Coffea canephora and Coffea arabica. All Coffea trees belong to the family Rubiaceae. This will be important to remember when it comes time to answer, “Is kratom in the coffee family?” Before diving into kratom vs coffee, it’s important to note what gives coffee its ability to energize us.

At this point, the presence of caffeine in coffee is fairly common knowledge. But, do you know what caffeine really is? Kratom and coffee both contain nitrogenous organic compounds called alkaloids. In other words, alkaloids are all-natural substances that can have physiological actions on humans. Caffeine is a purine alkaloid naturally found in the leaves and fruit of some Coffea trees. This alkaloid is also present in tea and cocoa. It acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system, hence the experience of an energy boost after drinking coffee.

Alkaloids themselves are found in countless plant products and are stored in every part of the plant in different amounts. Alkaloids cover a broad category of compounds with effects that vary widely, but kratom and coffee have some alkaloids that could be considered similar. We’ll need to talk about what exactly kratom is, whether kratom is in the coffee family, and what kratom alkaloids are to properly discuss kratom vs coffee.

Okay, So What Is Kratom?

Kratom is directly harvested from the leaves of a kratom tree. These leaves are then dried and ground up before being sold as a powder, capsule, or extract. Kratom capsules are the purse-friendly version of kratom powder, as they’re just powders packaged into shells for convenience. Kratom extracts are a bit more unique—these can be stronger than capsules and powders due to their unique production process. Kratom and coffee both have this in common; there are plenty of unique techniques to form different products. All of the above forms of kratom are natural and created directly from kratom leaves. The strength of the kratom depends on—you guessed it—alkaloids.

Like many plants, kratom contains numerous alkaloids. However, the two alkaloids responsible for what makes kratom stand out are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Just as different brewing techniques, roast levels, and bean types can affect how much caffeine is in coffee, different harvesting and processing techniques can cause different levels of kratom’s alkaloids. We’ll get more into the details of kratom’s alkaloids when directly comparing kratom and coffee.

Kratom vs Coffee

Two hands holding roasted coffee beans


While coffee is technically the seed of a cherry-like fruit from the C. canephora and C. arabica trees, kratom is harvested from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree. So, is kratom in the coffee family? The answer is a resounding yes! Mitragyna speciosa falls under the family Rubiaceae too. This means both kratom trees and coffee trees have similar flowers, reproductive structures, growth characteristics, nutrient seeds, and even the same pests. However, the family Rubiaceae contains about 13,500 different species, which is about 3.5% of all plant species in the world. So, this doesn’t mean that kratom and coffee are the same.

Instead, what has led to the kratom vs coffee debate is the characteristics of their alkaloids. Many people want caffeine for that morning energy boost. However, not everyone has a positive reaction to the other effects caffeine can have, such as restlessness, an increased heart rate, and others. Plus, coffee itself can raise cholesterol in some people. If you’re someone who’s looking for a coffee alternative, you might be interested in kratom.

As mentioned above, kratom contains the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Less mature kratom leaves, which are harvested to produce white vein kratom, contain higher levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine than green or red vein kratom. This alkaloid is the reason we’re discussing kratom and coffee together. Many people who buy white vein kratom claim that they experience an energy boost. The properties of white kratom makes it a popular coffee alternative for those who want to avoid caffeine. So, while kratom is in the coffee family, it’s specifically the levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine in white vein kratom that place the two together in conversation.


Kratom VS Coffee

Experience the Royal Kratom Difference

At Royal Kratom, we make it safe and easy to buy kratom online with free same-day shipping, third-party lab testing, and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. The best way to decide your favorite way to wake up in the morning is to give both kratom and coffee a try!