Our goal is for anyone trying kava for the first time to have the very best relaxation experience. When you set out to try kava for the first time, there are lots of products to choose from. Many people’s first experience of drinking kava is with Yogi Kava tea bags. That kind of kava tea is not the strongest. For a more authentic kava drinking experience, purchase medium ground kava root and follow Step 1 below to brew a kava tea the traditional way. Kava tea made this way will be more potent. It will provide better relaxation effects than a drink made with any off-the-shelf kava stress relief tea bags.
Below we offer five tips for preparing and drinking kava tea. Follow these to best experience the relaxation and mood enhancement drinking kava affords.
1. Use tap hot water to make a traditional kava tea
If making a kava tea brew the traditional way, start by placing your medium grind kava root in a muslin strainer bag and kneading it in hot water. We recommend using water only as hot as the water your kitchen faucet provides because boiling water breaks up the starches and turns it into a kava sludge, impossible to strain. Coldwater or water that is lukewarm works as well, but tap-hot water provides about a 30% stronger brew and will make for the best kava drinking experience.
Note: Our micronized kava root powder is not used for brewing this way. It can be just mixed directly into water or a beverage of your choice including coconut water, coconut milk, or cold fruit juice – no preparation is needed.
2. Always consume kava tea on an empty stomach
Kava is rarely effective on a full stomach. It is always best to drink kava on an empty stomach so that the active ingredients can be absorbed efficiently. So plan your kava drinking session at least 3-4 hours after a meal. At the end of the day, after work, or before eating dinner are common times. If you try kava on an empty stomach and find it makes you feel a little nauseous, then follow the drink with what is called a kava chaser, a slice of fruit, nuts, or a small snack.
Also, when you first take a sip, if you notice for lips and mouth going numb, don’t worry. That’s normal and a sign that you are drinking high-quality kava that will provide the desired relaxation effects.
3. Know serving size is not session size
When making your drink of kava always follow the instructions on the packet and serving size portions, especially at first. For our products these are as follows:
- Medium Grind Kava prepared the traditional way: add 2-4 Tablespoons of kava to your muslin bag, then use 8-12 ounces of hot water to brew your kava tea.
- Micronized Instant Kava: mix 2-4 teaspoons in any beverage
- Kava Concentrate: dilute 1oz of concentrate with 7oz of water or fruit juice or a combination of the two.
It is important to know that serving size is not the same as “session size” though. Similar to alcohol, you can have more than one drink or serving of kava in a kava drinking session, but timing is important. Keep in mind that the full effects of a drink of kava, especially one prepared the traditional way, may not kick in for 15-30 minutes, so wait a while to feel the effects and let these seep in before enjoying a 2nd serving. It is completely ok to have another serving or two of a kava tea brew. Experiment until you find yourself experiencing the relaxation and calmness you desire.
4. Buy the best quality, fresh ground Kava to make kava tea
The difference in quality between one kava and another can vary greatly influencing the resulting effects. We have discovered that kava sourced directly from small farmers, as opposed to distributors or middlemen, provides the freshest, best kava. Also, a kava that is composed primarily of the lateral roots of the plant has higher kavalactone content and will be more potent than a kava that includes parts of the basal stem and fibrous parts of the root. Learn more.
If you buy the best kava, one that is sourced direct from Pacific Island farmers and fresh, it will have a big impact on your kava drinking experience. You will be much more likely to feel the feelings of calm and happiness a kava drink can bring.
5. Reverse tolerance is possible with kava
Kava is a known adaptagen. The more kava you drink, the less you need to drink to gain the same beneficial effects. Essentially, your body physically adapts to and gets used to kava when you consume it. Said another way, your body needs to adapt to kava before it becomes receptive to its relaxing properties. Unfortunately, this also means that for some people, the beneficial effects of kava are not felt when you first drink kava. It can even take a few kava drinking sessions on consecutive days and, sometimes even weeks before you start to feel its amazing ability to relax mind and body. Learn more about reverse tolerance with kava here.
When you buy the best kava and follow these kava preparation and consumption tips, your experience should be a great one and you will soon be convinced to make kava tea drinking part of your lifestyle. We also invite you to check out our kava tea recipes created to mask the earthy, natural taste of kava and create a better-tasting drink. Let us know how you get on and what you experience below.