How to Buy Kava that is Best for You

Choosing The Best Kava for You?

It is not easy to know what the best kava is when you look to buy kava the first time. It can be hard to know what kava variety to purchase, answering 3 simple questions can help you decide which of the types of kava might is best for you and what kava product will suit you best.

  1. Why do you want to drink kava? What positive affects are you looking for?
  2. When do you want to drink kava and experience these affects? In the daytime or the evening?
  3. Where do you want to drink kava? Will you be at home, at the office or traveling and on the go?

The answers to these questions will help you decide how to choose the best kava for you.

Heady, Heavy, and Balanced Kavas

The first choice to make when selecting the best kava for you to drink is to choose between a heady, heavy or balanced kavas. With over 105 different cultivars, each kava variety is slightly different for effects. Some types of kava are great for daytime use, while other have more tiring characteristics and are better consumed in the afternoon/evening.

Heady Kavas are the best kava for daytime use as they make you feel more energetic and euphoric.

Heavy Kavas are ones better suited for evening use as they more likely to relax your body and make you feel a little sleepy.

Balanced Kavas fall in-between these classes and are good to use anytime. The easiest way to find out if a kava is heady, heavy or balanced is by chemotype or closely reading the product description to see whether the best time of day for drinking that particular kava is specified

With over 105 types of kava, finding and choosing the best kava for you can take some experimentation. Our selection of Kava Sample Packs were designed to help those looking to try kava for the first time, do just that.

Browse Kava Sample Packs


Kava Varieties

The descriptions below will  make it easier for you to know the best kava variety for you. These varieties have been selected as they are be best kava varieties for meeting the needs of our customers.

Tongan Kava: Pouni OnoPouni Ono Kava from Tonga

This type of kava is best suited for daytime use, has the least tiring effects and is a great social kava as well. It’s also unique in that many find it to be one of the easiest tasting kavas around. Overall Happy & Uplifting, perfect for easing stress while still being productive or for socializing with friends and family.

Loa Waka Fiji KavaLoa Waka Kava from Fiji

This is the perfect example of a great balanced kava. It is the strongest variety we carry and very popular all around effects. In smaller servings it is somewhat heady and good for daytime use. In larger serving sizes it can become heavier, melting away the stresses of the day.

Borogu Vanuatu Kava

Borogu Kava from Vanuatu

This is the most popular variety of kava in Vanuatu and is considered a good afternoon kava. It is still a balanced kava and starts out heady but tiring effects are more pronounced with higher doses and tend to set in a few hours after consuming.

Vula Waka Kava from Fiji

This is the perfect example of a moderately heavy kava. In smaller servings it is relaxing and good for easing worries of the day. In larger serving sizes it can become heavier, good for winding down in the evening or use as a nightcap.

Borongoru Vanuatu KavaBorongoru Kava from Vanuatu

This is the kava we recommend for late afternoon or evening drinking as it is great for reducing stress or anxiety at the end of a work or busy day, or for use as a sleep aid. It is a Heavy Kava and very relaxing.

Melomelo Kava from VanuatuMelomelo Kava Vanuatu

Another great afternoon/evening kava from Vanuatu that is aptly named – it will make you Mellow 🙂  It is a Heavy Kava and pleasantly relaxing.

Samoan Ava – Kava from Samoa

Samoa Ava KavaThis is our current Special Limited Edition Kava from Samoa. Similar to the Pouni Ono it carries a nice light taste compared to other types of kava and is a good daytime drinking selection as it provides relaxation without too much sedation or tiring feelings.



Shop All of our Kava Products Here

Understanding a Kava Chemotype & Effects

One good way to know if a kava variety is heady, heavy or balanced and what effects it’s likely to have is to look to see whether the product chemotype is listed. A kava chemotype identifies the composition of active ingredients, known as kavalactones in that particular variety of kava. Each of the main 6 kavalactones are assigned a number between 1 and 6 to make-up the total chemotype.

Kava TestingThe chemotype will list in order from highest to lowest the amount of each kavalactone present in a particular cultivar and any reputable vendor should have this information readily available. Knowing how to read a chemotype will help you choose the best kava for you. For example, if a kava variety has the chemotype 436215, it means that the kavalactone #4, Kavain, is most prevalent in this particular variety of kava. Kavain (#4) is responsible for mood elevation. Kavalactones # 2, Dihydrokavain (DHK) and, # 5, Dihydromethysticin (DHM) are responsible for the sedating effects that can come from drinking kava. While, the active ingredient Yangonin, (kavalactone # 3), is purported to be responsible for the stimulating effects of a particular variety.

The kava chemotype and associated composition of kavalactones will determine the overall effect you will get from the kava you drink. Kavas low in # 5 and high in #3 are known as Heady Kavas, better for daytime use as they still impart relaxation but little drowsiness. Kava’s high in #2 and #5 are know as Heavy Kavas better for evening use because they impart more drowsiness and muscle relaxation. It is important to note, if #5, DHM is listed in the first places of a chemotype, it is almost guaranteed to be Tudei Kava, undesirable kava varieties that carry the risk of lethargy and hangover effects that last for 2 days. We at Kalm with Kava only sell high quality, tested, Noble kava varieties. Learn more about Noble Kava vs Tudei Kava.

You can learn more about the science behind the natural calm of kava.



Kava preparation at home, at the office or when on-the-go.

Three jars of micronized instant kava stacked on top of each other
Jars of Instant Kava

A second decision when purchasing kava will be to choose whether to buy medium grind kava, micronized or instant kava, or a kava concentrate that’s been flavored to make kava actually taste good. Each of these kavas are prepared differently, so which one to choose will depend mainly on your answer to question #3 above.

To prepare Medium Grind Kava you’ll need a strainer bag (muslin cloth) and bowl of water to prepare it the traditional way. See our Kava Preparation Page for easy instructions. If you are at home, during the day or evening, it’s most likely you will have the necessary tools to hand. On the other hand, you might not have a bowl or muslin cloth at the office or want to follow the traditional method for preparing kava in an office environment. So Medium Grind kava is usually purchased for use at home.

On the other hand, Micronized and Instant Kava is relatively quick and simple to prepare.  All that you need to do is simply stir 2-4 teaspoons into any beverage. Many people mix micronized kava with juice or smoothies. The benefit of this method is that is also helps mask the earthy taste of kava.


Lastly, Kava Concentrate is perhaps the best kava to buy if you are traveling or on-the go.

Two 10oz Bottles of Different Flavor Kava Concentrate Relaxation Drink
Two flavors of kava concentrate

All you need to do to prepare a tasty and enjoyable drink is dilute the concentrate with water or a nonalcoholic beverage of your choice. It’s super quick and easy. Kalm with Kava developed our great tasting kava

concentrate with the help from nutritionists and food scientists and its been constantly one of our best sellers.

You should also keep in mind that these different types of kava product vary in strength. Learn more about which kava product is strongest here.

Well that, in a nutshell – or as we say bilo – is how to choose the kava that is best for you.

We’ve also created this handy kava product selection tool to help you decide what kava would be best for you.

Let us know if you have any additional tips or tricks in the comments below.

We’d love to hear how you choose between the different kava varieties on the market and what you think about our new handy kava selection tool.

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55 Responses

  1. peanut_6
    | Reply

    Great article. Helped me find the right kava’s for me. Thank you for such an informative article.

  2. Robin Vermeersch
    | Reply

    Loa waka is for sure the best kava I’ve ever had! Feels like flying a rocket to krunkspace hahaha. Need to order it again asapp!

  3. KrisMc
    | Reply

    Thank you for the wonderful resources and information. My first Kava experience was in Hawaii at a Kava bar. I loved the relaxing feeling and I slept great that night. I’m looking forward to ordering some of your product.

  4. Sheena S.
    | Reply

    Looking forward to trying your micronized kavas. I’ve tried a few varieties of your medium grinds and have pretty much narrowed down my choices.

  5. Sean Smith
    | Reply

    Great article thank you!

  6. Amber
    | Reply

    I use the Borungoru for my and my husband’s sleep problems. Helps us sleep hard without randomly waking up through the night. Did take us a few days of drinking two cups a night to start seeing results, but now we just make one 2tablespoon/16oz water brew every couple nights. I let it soak for about 5 min before squeezing/kneading it about 10 min.

  7. Dylan Johnston
    | Reply

    Love the Borogu variety. Just light enough to ease me to sleep, but not too strong to use in the day time. Not to mention, that as far as kava goes, this one tastes pretty good!

  8. Andeev
    | Reply

    I’d love to try the micronized but I can confirm that the traditional root is very nice.

    • Shelley
      | Reply

      Try it, you’ll love it! It’s my favorite.

  9. Charleswsen
    | Reply

    Very nice article. I believe someone new to kava might enjoy micronized or concentrates. They obviously take less effort to prepare. It can be confusing if you don’t know exactly how to prepare traditional kava and you’ve never tried it before. Anyone looking for traditional kava though, I would recommend the borogu!

  10. Daniel L Zambito
    | Reply

    I enjoy the instant kava products. They taste decently good and are so easy to prepare! I was scared I wouldn’t feel the effects but I do!

  11. Carolyn
    | Reply

    Still trying to find my favorite!

  12. Rena Welch
    | Reply

    I love Heady Kava the Pouni Ono is my favorite, it’s great for social events when ppl are drinking but you are not, also good for early day stress relief to boost your mood. I also love the micronized Instant Kava that way I get all the benefits of Kava without all the prep easy as 1-2-3 it also mixes really well with juice or ice tea best tasting Kava I have ever tried

  13. Taylor
    | Reply

    I found this article really helpful when I was first curious about kava.

  14. charlotte sanfilippo
    | Reply

    never tried this brand yet, sounds great, hope I could win

  15. JustinK
    | Reply

    For those new to Kava, I’d recommend Kalm With Kava as a go-to vendor. They deliver consistent products as well as consistent processing and delivering. I’d also recommend researching a bit about Kava. A great place to do this is on the kavaforums. From there you can engage in or read in depth conversations about the plant. Kalm With Kava also has it’s own vendor page on that forum, which is a great place to read reviews and find out which product might be best for you (this is what I did). If from there you are still unsure, a sample variety pack may be right up your alley. I say this because it took me a few tries to find my favorite Kava, which is Borongoru. And this is not to say that I didn’t enjoy other Kava’s I’d tried, I loved them, but Borongoru is what I had been looking for- super heavy, relaxing, not stimulating (I have coffee for that), and a wonderful sleep aid. I’d also recommend the sample pack because it took me yet again a while to discover another one of my favorites that I’d never typically branch out to. The Pouni Ono. I just figured a “heady daytime” Kava just wouldn’t do it for me. Boy was I wrong. This is a potent Kava as well, just very “heady”. Meaning you’re not overly relaxed in the body, but it’s still strong in that you feel it in your head and it gives you a bit of energy and mood uplifting. This is a stimulating Kava and I love it, especially mixed with Borongoru.

  16. Amy Windsor
    | Reply

    Wow I would love to be a lucky winner , all the product’s sound very healthy, and very nutritionist,thanks for the in-depth details about your wonderful products the information is very helpful with making the right choices.

  17. Dylan
    | Reply

    My favorites are Borongoru and their Fijian Loa Waka. I generally got with medium grind but for starters, definitely recommend micronized due to the ease of prep/consumption. Looking forward to branching out and trying the Vula Waka and new batch of Pouni Ono.

  18. Abel
    | Reply

    Awesome article. Appreciate the organization and professionalism

  19. Dalton Cole
    | Reply

    My favorite kava is definitely your micronized kava. Its so simple and quick to mix, and it’s powerfully relaxing. I am instantly relieved of stress when I drink it. Perfect for an end to a long day

  20. Kelly
    | Reply

    I would love to try the heady kava, I can use a energy boost!

  21. Kelly
    | Reply

    Great article very informative.

  22. Meg
    | Reply

    Kava helps me get out and be social.

  23. Ash H
    | Reply

    Kalm with Kava has been my husband’s favorite brand of Kava so far. He uses it to help his anxiety and depression, and I haven’t seen him this happy and upbeat on a daily basis in quite a while. He loves how relaxed your products make him feel! Thank you!

  24. Daniel
    | Reply

    Can’t wait to try the Micro Loa that I have ordered. I originally thought that heavy kavas were the right way to go for myself, but I soon discovered that they make me feel too lethargic the next day.

  25. Patrick Anderson
    | Reply

    Great read! Looking at the three types of kava I think each would be best for me at different moments so I guess I’ll have to try all three! Excited to try your medium grind sampler pack!

  26. John
    | Reply

    I have purchased a couple of micronized kavas from KWK, even though I am a die-hard medium grind guy. I must say the quality and amazingly fine grind of the micronized opens a world of possibility. The prep is as easy as mixing in water, chugging, and getting ready for the calm. Great products and I will certainly be coming back for more. If you are pressed for time or opportunity to do traditional prep, I highly recommend giving the micros a try.

  27. Stephen Satmary
    | Reply

    Cant wait for xmas!

  28. Daniel J. Bomar Jr.
    | Reply

    I love your stuff! clean and nice!

  29. Andrea Fox
    | Reply

    Love the guidance on what Kavas have which effects!

  30. Michael Rice
    | Reply

    I lava kava

  31. Scott Martin
    | Reply

    This was very helpfull to understanding kava. Now that i understand kava i’m going out and get me some woo!!!! woo !!!! Stay tuned to find out my results later my friend’s kava! Kava!!!!

  32. Kaycee777
    | Reply

    I just took 4 tsp of borogu ‘Kalm with Kava’ and feeling wonderfully Kalm…Thanks for the explanation of the various types. It helps before ordering to prevent purchasing the type best suited for my needs. Very effected and powerful at a high dosage. Reassured that it is safe because it is ‘Noble’ kava. Love my liver and this ‘Noble kava’ will not affect it in a negative way. Very important to me to protect this organ. Wow! Now the room is swaying, I may have taken too much but I am at home and more confortable than I can ever have imagined. Viva Borogu.

  33. Pam
    | Reply

    We purchased the Pouni Ono on a whim. I was looking for something to calm my nerves quickly and help with my anxiety. This product is amazing! I got the instant tingling of the lips and then about 15 minutes, I was calm and very much at peace. Surprisingly enough, the relaxation helped with tension headache i was having! Will definitely buy more!

  34. Dave
    | Reply

    Kava is very helpful for anxiety, but definitely prefer the traditional method of medium grind. As far as a variety, I guess that is up to the individual.

  35. Nickalus Jankiewicz
    | Reply

    Amazing micro. Loa Waka had changed my life. I was a mess before this succulent powder entered my life. Now I’m floating on cloud 9 not an anxious feeling in the world peace like no other.

  36. Felicia
    | Reply

    This is an awesome article. Especially for those who are new to Kava like myself. I will be drinking Kava to relax and help with Fibromyalgia. I’ll drink it at home before bed….

  37. Mark
    | Reply

    Not much to add to this great article, what I can say however is don’t be afraid to do traditional preparation with medium grind. Especially if you use pantyhose or a Kava bag it’s very easy and very effective. Takes 15 mins max too. If you find drinking a lot of liquid to be too much making the Kava in a 2:1 or 1:1 mix of water and coconut milk works great for settling your stomach. Best luck guys!

  38. Arthur
    | Reply

    Love the kalm with kava lineup

  39. Sanjay
    | Reply

    Kwk has some great kava. Can’t wait to try their new waka.

  40. Cheksea
    | Reply

    Thank you Kalm with Kava for introducing me and my husband to your wonderful products. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable hobby together and keeps my husband away from beer as well as the calories and hangovers that go along with it.

  41. Bela
    | Reply

    Wonderful article and really helpful for a kava newcomer, like myself. I can’t wait to start trying kava!

  42. Jeremy Johnston
    | Reply

    Very helpful!

  43. Joe
    | Reply

    Great article. My biggest recommendation to anyone just getting into kava is to not give up or get discouraged. Sometimes it takes a while to get the full effects and in the beginning there is going to be a lot of experimentation. It takes a while to figured out dosage, what kava work best for you, getting your prep method down, etc but once you get everything ironed out its smooth sailing and well worth it. Just stick with it!

  44. Alex
    | Reply

    I love me the heady stuff! As much yangonin as possible!

  45. Mz_K
    | Reply

    Thank you for your helpful articles and amazing products!

  46. Steve
    | Reply

    Kava does wonders for my wife’s anxiety and it is a great way to relax at the end of the day without turning to more harmful substances.

  47. Tracy
    | Reply

    Very good info. I’ve only had the micronized kava, but looking for something new. This definitely helped me out. You guys have some great products along with product description. It helps when making a purchase. ????

  48. slade simkins
    | Reply

    The Vanuatu kava is the best, Kalm knows how to source the ultimate kava experience. There is only ONE brand I trust for my North American Kava consumption, and its Kalm, Kalm, KALM!

  49. NateB
    | Reply

    Very helpful information. I’ve only experienced Kava one time. It was at a lounge. I remember the tingling in my mouth and feeling calm. But at 12 dollars a shell I only had one serving. Hopefully I will find a alternative to unwind here.

  50. Dallas Wease
    | Reply

    The Pouni Ono is my personal favorite mentioned it gives me social energy while encouraging relaxation.

  51. Devin
    | Reply

    Great article! Great for newbies, and I’m a newbie!

  52. Even AE
    | Reply

    Very informative article, an excellent starter’s guide for kava newbies.:)

  53. Kevin
    | Reply

    This post is where I will point new comers, it answers that “what should I buy” question perfectly.
    Of course the best way to decide would be to try them all 🙂 Find what jives with your body best and you will learn to appreciate the greatness that Kava is.
    What isn’t mentioned here is their Vula Waka which is a new favourite, a little heavier and great for weekend evenings.

  54. JaneB
    | Reply

    Great article. Thanks for the description and explanation of the different varieties you carry in the shop.

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