How to Buy Kava that is Best for You

Choosing The Best Kava for You?

Choosing the best kava for you and your needs can be a challenge. It is not always easy to know what product or variety to buy. Answering three simple questions can make the selection process simple:

  1. Why do you want to drink kava? What specific relaxation benefits are you looking for? What wellness needs do you have?
  2. When do you want to drink it? In the daytime or the evening?
  3. Where do you want to drink it? Will you be at home, at the office or traveling and on the go?

Below we explain how these three questions can help you to select the kava that will be right for you. We start with some basic information about this amazing herbal supplement.

The Basics 

Kava is a small shrub grown in Pacific islands, mainly Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, and Hawaii. Centuries ago the islanders discovered its’ relaxation properties, found a way to prepare and consume it and started to drink it at social and religious ceremonies and for medicinal purposes.

Today the benefits of drinking kava are more widely known. People drink it to relax themselves mentally and physically. It calms the mind, reduces stress and helps you sleep better. It can make you feel happier, put you in a better mood and is great as an alternative to alcoholic beverages for social relaxation.

What relaxation benefits you get depends on the specific variety and product you drink. You need to discover what will be best for you and your needs.

When you know why 

Choose between heady, heavy, or balanced kavas

First you need to select  between a heady, heavy or balanced kava varieties. There are 103 different cultivars, each with slightly different effects. Some types are great for daytime use, while other have more tiring characteristics and are better consumed in the afternoon/evening.

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

Heavy Kavas are 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.

Closely read product descriptions to learn whether a variety is heady, heavy or balance and whether it is best drunk in the daytime or evening.

With this many options, it’s best to experiment. Our Sample Packs were designed to help those looking to try kava for the first time, do just that.

Browse Kava Sample Packs

Choose a variety

The descriptions below will make it easier for you to know the best variety for you.

Pouni Ono from Tonga

This type of kava is ideal 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. Pouni Ono is a heady kava variety.

Loa Waka 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 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 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 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 Vanuatu

Melomelo from 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 

This 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. Samoa Ava is a heady kava.

Shop Our Kava Products

Understanding Kava Chemotypes & Effects

Knowing how to read a Chemotype will help you determine if a variety is heady, heavy or balanced and to choose the best one for you. The Chemotype is a six-digit number that lists in order from highest to lowest the amount of the six main active ingredients, (kavalactones), in that specific cultivar.

Each kavalactones is designated by a number between 1 and 6. Kavain, which is responsible for mood elevation, is represented by the #4. So if that appears towards the beginning of the chemotype, that cultivar is likely to be a heady one. On the other hand, if the earlier numbers in the chemotype are 2 or 5, those represent Dihydrokavain (DHK) and Dihydromethysticin (DHM), the active ingredients that are responsible for more sedating effects. If the numbers 2 and/or 5 are included in the first three digits it indicates a heavy variety. Learn more about the science behind the natural calm of kava.

The Difference Between Tudei and Noble Varieties

The Chemotype also helps you know if you are buying a Noble or a Tudei kava variety. If #5, DHM, is listed as the very first number it is almost guaranteed to be Tudei Kava. Drinking a Tudei carries the risk of lethargy and hangover effects that can last for two days and should be avoided. Learn more about Noble Kava vs Tudei varieties.  We sell high quality, tested, Noble kava only.

When you know where 

– choose the right kava product type

Three jars of micronized instant kava stacked on top of each other

Where you want to drink kava will dictate what type of product to buy; medium grind root, micronized or instant kava, or a concentrate that’s been flavored for a more tasty beverage. Each of these product types are prepared differently.

Medium Grind Kava is prepared the traditional way and requires a strainer bag (muslin cloth), bowl of water and kneading to make a tea. So Medium Grind root is usually purchased for use at home.

Micronized and Instant Kava is relatively quick and simple to prepare.  Just stir 2-4 teaspoons into any beverage. Many people mix micronized with juice or smoothies making for a better tasting drink with less of an earthy taste. A jar of Micronized Instant Kava can be taken with you anywhere.

Four bottles of kava concentrate including 2oz bottle that can be taken through airport.

Similarly, Kava Concentrate can also be taken with you when you are traveling or on-the go. To prepare a great flavored drink just dilute the concentrate with water. It’s super quick and easy. We developed our great tasting concentrate with the help from nutritionists and food scientists and its been constantly one of our best sellers. Our 2 oz. bottles are especially popular for those with a fear of flying who take them with them on the plane and prepare a drink to calm their nerves.

Also, keep in mind that these different types of product vary in strength with Micronized Instant and Medium Grind being stronger drinks than those made with concentrate.

Learn more about which the strongest products here.

Quality Matters – Buy from a Reputable Vendor

The quality and strength of any given kava product will also depend on who you buy from. Make sure to buy from a reputable online vendor. Quality matters, so read their product reviews and customer testimonials before purchasing. Learn more about us.

Still wondering what to buy? Then try out our handy quick selection tool.

Try The Kava Quick Selection Tool

Note: We know that some people turn away from trying kava, even though it could be the best herbal supplement for their wellness needs, after reading about the potential risk of liver toxicity. In truth is minimal. The abundance of misinformation on this topic online originates from inaccurate research finding dating back years. Read this more up-to-date, balanced overview of the safety and potential side effects. Or check out the scientific research.



63 Responses

  1. frolep rotrem
    | Reply

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    | Reply

    I wasnt aware of the many ripples and depth to this story until I surfed here through Live search! Good job.

  3. Ted
    | Reply

    I live in the Philippines. Where can I buy kava? If i cant buy it locally, may I buyit internationally and have it shipped here?

  4. kavamehameha
    | Reply

    Awesome overview over what KWK has to offer, and what it is about. Thanks for your incredible work, and bula!

  5. Jonathan
    | Reply

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. Sincere Goose
    | Reply

    I really just recommend trying them all. Impossible to say what will work for you until you try them all. Cant go wrong with kalm!

  7. Jonathan Gerhards
    | Reply

    Without Kalm With Kava, I would have given up before it started working for me. Despite what some people may say, reverse tolerance is real. Stick with it and it will all pay off. I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to appreciate the effects of Kava and it’s helped me in so many ways. Sleep, anxiety, socially, and just being able to relax for once. I can’t imagine where I’d be or what I’d be doing if it wasn’t for Kava, and with KwK you know you’re getting the good stuff.

  8. Anthony Reichelderfer
    | Reply

    Good place to get started

  9. peanut_6
    | Reply

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Sean Smith
    | Reply

    Great article thank you!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. Carolyn
    | Reply

    Still trying to find my favorite!

  20. 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

  21. Taylor
    | Reply

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

  22. charlotte sanfilippo
    | Reply

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. Abel
    | Reply

    Awesome article. Appreciate the organization and professionalism

  27. 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

  28. Kelly
    | Reply

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

  29. Kelly
    | Reply

    Great article very informative.

  30. Meg
    | Reply

    Kava helps me get out and be social.

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

  35. Stephen Satmary
    | Reply

    Cant wait for xmas!

  36. Daniel J. Bomar Jr.
    | Reply

    I love your stuff! clean and nice!

  37. Andrea Fox
    | Reply

    Love the guidance on what Kavas have which effects!

  38. Michael Rice
    | Reply

    I lava kava

  39. 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!!!!

  40. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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….

  45. 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!

  46. Arthur
    | Reply

    Love the kalm with kava lineup

  47. Sanjay
    | Reply

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

  48. 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.

  49. Bela
    | Reply

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

  50. Jeremy Johnston
    | Reply

    Very helpful!

  51. 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!

  52. Alex
    | Reply

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

  53. Mz_K
    | Reply

    Thank you for your helpful articles and amazing products!

  54. 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.

  55. 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. ????

  56. 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!

  57. 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.

  58. Dallas Wease
    | Reply

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

  59. Devin
    | Reply

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

  60. Even AE
    | Reply

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

  61. 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.

  62. JaneB
    | Reply

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

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