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Kava in the News

January 2, 2019

Kava news from around the world

Wondering what the buzz about kava is?

Below we share with you the most recent news articles about kava from around the world. These stories focus on kava culture, kava’s use for social relaxation, its mental and physical benefits, its growing popularity as a naturally calming beverage, and the expanding market for kava.

Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands invests in kava farming

Solomon Islands Business Magazine (July 8, 2020)

Good news for a sustained future supply of kava from the Solomon Islands who are investing in planting kava and encouraging a new generation of kava farming.

Learn More.

Tonga Prime Minister launches Tonga Quality Kava Standard

Matangi Tonga (June 27, 2020)

Tongan Prime Minister, Hon. Pohiva Tu‘i‘onetoa announces new Tonga Kava Quality Standard stating how Tonga can boost its foreign earnings significantly if they are able to export quality Tongan kava and how the two main Tongan islands supplying kava, Vava’u and ‘Eua, have already heavily invested in planting. Read news story.

Interview with Dr Vincent Lebot, a leading expert on kava

Kava Society, New Zealand Blog (June 25, 2020)

Interview with the world’s leading expert on kava, Dr Vincent Lebot. Dr Lebot has authored or co-authored the two most comprehensive publications on kava ever written. Not surprisingly, Dr Lebot is often seen the father of modern kava science. Here he discusses what triggered his interest in studying kava, his scientific studies of kava, kava’s origin and lots more.

This will take your knowledge of kava to the next level.

Read interview.

Kava Kava – kava vs alcohol consumption in the Pacific Islands

Hawaii Reporter (May 7, 2020)

UNICEF public health Dr. Jim Mielke outlines the benefits of kava consumption vs alcohol in Pacific Island communities. Read about the research.

Recipe for Escape

Bite Podcast (April 17, 2020)

This episode of the Podcast Bite from acclaimed food and farming blogger Tom Philpott, and Mother Jones editors, Kiera Butler and Maddie Oatman, focuses on ‘Recipes for Escape’ and begins with a discussion of kava.

Listen to Podcast: Recipe for Escape


Utah’s Attorney General Hosts a Kava Ceremony in the Capitol

Fox News 13, Salt Lake City (February 21, 2020)

Article about the hosting of hosted a kava ceremony by Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes. Utah is home to the largest Pacific Island community in the U.S. Mr Reyes describes kava ceremonies as being about peace and community. Learn about Kava in Utah

The great kava boom: how Fiji’s beloved psychoactive brew is going global

The Guardian (Feb 5, 2020)

Comprehensive article on how the appeal of kava has extended beyond traditional Pacific Island nations and the trends driving the growing global popularity of kava – the kava boom!

View article.

Shop Fiji Kava

Kava and a Cast of Classic New Yorkers

Grub Street (January 22, 2020)

Great article on the kava bar scene in NYC. We particularly loved this description:

“What’s most appealing about the kava bar is that it’s always a mixed bag — the witches summit hangs with the Wall Street guys, the billionaire chats up the local teens …. At kava bars, I’ve found rappers, tech guys, and dancers.”

Read about the Kava Bars in NYC

Herbalist Chestoria Smith on Restoring, Reviving and Renewing

Birmingham Times (January 2020)

Read how this herbalist and wellness expert used herbs and supplements to recover after she was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer. She talks about how she uses kava to deal with stress, calm her nerves, bring balance to her body and also how she used it to help with postpartum depression after she lost her son in childbirth. This is a great personal testimonial of the many uses of kava for improving wellness.

Learn more.

Welcome to Kava Culture: A Spreading Alternative to Reduce Anxiety

Filter Mag (December 20, 2019)

In this interesting article, the writer explains how, initially not impressed by kava, after giving it a second try they came to love its’ calming effects. They describe how they came to enjoy the supportive kava drinking community in New York and their reason for ultimately, preferring kava to alcohol.

Booze-Free Bars Opens in Jacksonville’s 5 Points Neighborhood

WJCT News (January 20, 2020)

Article on the opening of Wildcrafters, a kava bar in Jacksonville Florida and how it meets the needs of those looking for an alternative to alcohol.

Learn more.

Kava Culture: the Kava Bar trend sweeping South West Florida

Eagle News, Florida Gulf Coast University (October 2, 2019)

News article on the kava capital of the USA – that’s Florida!


Welcome to Lacuna, the first kava bar in Phoenix

Phoenix New Times, (August 13, 2019)

At first glance, Lacuna Kava Bar looks like a spot you might find in a mellow beach town, concealed in a gray brick facade hugged by vibrant green vines. The sign out front reads “Fresh Brews: Kava Tea, Kratom Tea, CBD Tea,” with a quippy “Stay Highdrated” reminder underneath. View article.

Aucklands first kava bar hopes to win hearts and minds over drink
NZ Herald, (July 19, 2019)

A kava bar in Auckland’s downtown is hoping to win hearts and minds over the drink, especially among Pākehā, as the Pacific’s favourite bitter elixir makes gains in international markets. Read more.

Uncovering the riches of traditional global medicine
MIT News, (July 23, 2019)

Whitehead Institute Research study looks to combine historical knowledge of kava plant’s medicinal properties, established through centuries of traditional usage, with modern research tools to harness the power of the plant’s kavalactones for clinical trials and wider therapeutic uses. Learn more.

Australia’s discussion of kava imports lacks cultural understanding
The Conversation, (June 9, 2019)

The Australian government is considering an increase in the amount of kava travellers can bring into the country. The consultation process includes a proposed pilot program to ease restrictions on kava importation for personal use from two to four kilograms per person. Some are arguing that the discussion reflects a lack of cultural understanding about kava. Read article on debate.

Trade between Fiji and USA in 2018 was worth $510.4M
www.Fijivillage.com, (May 10, 2019)

The total value of US investment projects implemented in Fiji from 2012 until 2018 was $366.8 million which created a total of 2,833 jobs for Fijians. A major success story is the export of Fijian Kava to the US market, that increased by over 400% since 2015. The US is the largest market for Fijian Kava exports. Learn more.

Retired UFC Fighter, Ryan LaFare to open Kava Bar on Long Island, NY
Greater Patchogue, (April 2, 201)

After a hard day of training, it was typical to find Long Island native and UFC fighter Ryan LaFlare at a kava tea bar. “I would take [kava tea] to relax and take the edge off,” said LaFlare, who would enjoy the Polynesian-based beverage while he lived in Florida. “I was always like, ‘Why isn’t there anything like this in New York?” 

Group of Tongan men enjoying kava.


Photo by Jarrett Finau via International Examiner.


Kava Clubs Bridge the Cultural and Geographical Gap for Tongan Community
International Examiner, (April 6, 2019)

One way people have been balancing both being a Tongan and an American is through the traditional drink of kava, (Piper methysticum), a ceremonial drink utilized by many cultures around the Western Pacific islands. For Tongans, the drink has a high ceremonial value with the Royal Family in that one cannot be crowned King unless they follow the kava ritual and drink it. Read more.


Cup of kava


Spookeasy Lounge in Ybor City Now Serving Kava Tea
Area 813, (March 6, 2019)

Ybor City welcomed the opening of Spookeasy Lounge opened on Halloween and is serving both Kava and Kratom teas for their guests to try and enjoy! View article.

Shop Kava


Kava Bar with palm trees on either sideNorthwest Arkansas Opens First Kava Bar
Northwest Arkansas News, (March 9, 2019)

A free concert marked the grand opening of northwest Arkansas’ first Kava Bar off Dickson Street in Fayetteville. At CBD American Shamen + Kava Bar and Shaman Yoga and patrons were treated to free samples of both Kava and CBD. Find out more.

 Shop Kava


A drink of kava in a yellow cup with pineapple wedge on the side


Courtesy Destination Differentville

Kava Bars in Florida – A Different Way to Chill Out on Holiday
Destination Differentville Blog

A young, British travel writer is happy to discover she can finally try kava in Florida and even happier after her first visit to one of the many Kava Bars there. Read story.

Pacific Countries to Promote Kava as Food
Radio New Zealand (November 19, 2018)

An interview with Kava expert Dr Vincent Lebot about how Pacific Island countries are working to adhere to international standards to protect the reputation of their kava products and be able to promote and export kava as a food – just like tea or coffee. Listen in.

Fiji Kava set to take its’ natural stress and anxiety remedy to Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)
Small Caps (October 17, 2018)

Fiji Kava becomes the first kava company in the world to list on a stock exchange with its public offering on Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). Learn more.

Prince Harry Drinks Kava in Traditional Fiji Ceremony – Meghan Markle Watches On.
TV News Now, New Zealand. (October 23, 2018)

The crowd went wild with cheers and laughter as Prince Harry downed a shell of kava. He delighted the crowds in Fiji by taking part in a traditional kava drinking ceremony as his Meghan Markle, his new wife, watched on smiling. Watch video.

Vanuatu Welcomes Polish Move to Re-Legalize Kava
Radio New Zealand, (September 4, 2018)

Good news on the kava front from Europe as Poland re-legalizes kava.

A New Kava High
Fiji Times (July 11, 2018)

New aid-for-trade program seeks to support kava farmers and the development of quality kava in Fiji, Vanuatu, and Samoa through the introduction of standards, training and expansion of kava plant nurseries. Read story.

Kava Lounge San Francisco Logo

Fiji to Unleash ‘Bula Spirit in San Francisco
Travel Pulse (July 14, 2018)

Fiji Airways Men’s 7s rugby team in San Francisco for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament, is taking the streets there by storm in a series of public and private events including a kava ceremony at Kava Lounge.

What is kava? And why does St. Petersburg have so much of it?
Tampa Bay Times, Florida (March 1, 2018)

Read about how St. Petersburg, FL has become the kava capital of the U.S.

View our map and list of all kava bars in the U.S.

Get to Know Kava, The Relaxing Natural Drink of Fiji
Wine Enthusiast Magazine (March 21, 2018)

Kava, the nonalcoholic national drink of Fiji, is a bit of an acquired taste. But its anxiety-reducing properties and earthy, piney notes make seeking out worth your while. Here are four places to find it.

Kava: The gnarly business of a relaxing root
Quartz (March 20, 2018)

Kava is a tropical shrub in the pepper family native to the Pacific islands like Fiji, Vanuatu, and Hawaii. For millennia, its macerated roots have been steeped in water to create a bitter, muddy beverage known for its relaxing properties, traditionally consumed in ceremonies and social gatherings. Read full article.

A drink of kava being poured into a wooden bowl


Courtesy of Mommy Potamus

What is Kava? Benefits, Safe Use, And How to Make Kava Tea
Mommypotamus Blog

In order to become a mom, this blogger had to embark on her own personal journey to health and happiness and became an advocate for natural remedies. Seeing the growing popularity of kava she recently decided to research and try kava for the first time. She shares what she learned here.

This Murky Tea is Nature’s Xanax
New York Post (April 2, 2018)

Last year, after a spell of “Airplane”-style slap-worthy panic attacks, I found myself in a Manhattan psychiatrist’s office pleading for something a bit stronger than Benadryl. The doctor wrote me a prescription for Xanax. But when I mentioned I was open to natural alternatives, he tossed out another suggestion: “Have you heard of kava?” Read story.

Kava: Inside the All-Natural High That’s Sweeping America
Rolling Stone Magazine, (March 16, 2018)

For centuries, this South Pacific root has been brewed into a calming tea – and now U.S. shops are offering it up as an alternative to drugs.

Roots Manoeuvre: what really happens in Fiji’s kava ceremony?
National Geographic Traveller (March 6, 2018)

Visiting Fiji’s largest cave system — a fortress of the island’s last cannibal tribes — isn’t straightforward. First, you’ve got to experience a heady ceremony involving the village priest and the island’s favorite root crop, kava.

Kava: The NFL’s newest and safest painkiller
ESPN, (November 10, 2017)

ESPN discusses how the opioid crisis has lead to a need for other pain management options and the use of kava as an alternative painkiller by some NFL players. Read article.

Wisdom in a Cup of Fijian Kava
Hawai’i Public Radio (October 11, 2017)

Fiji gained independence from British colonial rule nearly 50 years ago, this month. For Fijians in the South Pacific and around the world, this is a day for celebration. Here in Hawaii, celebration means partaking in the Fijian drink of choice.

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