Kava Tea: 5 Tips For the Best Experience

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. A 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 

Kava tea preparationIf making a kava tea brew the traditional way, start by placing your medium grind kava root in a muslin 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 instant 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 needed.

Fruit as a Kava Chaser can help provide best kava experience

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 a 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.

Multiple servings can provide best kava experience

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

Fresh dried kava root is the best kava

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.

Buy Medium Ground Kava to Make Kava Tea

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.


Kava Tea Beginners Guide KWK

15 Responses

  1. Kyle b
    | Reply

    At first when I tried it two years ago I hated the taste and barely felt effects, so last month I decided let me try it one more time. Although expensive, at first you could not notice anything it took me almost a month of every other day drinking to notice what the rage was all about. But last week it hit me and trust me it was worth the wait, so don’t write it off so soon be patient, ya gotta PRE load on it, but once it’s in your system you’ll nottice you’re more social, and way more calm and relaxed. It feels like xanex to be honest with out the negatives, I do not like the taste of the micro, to be honest it taste terrible and makes me want to vomit, but …… the PRE made guava one is the bees knees and the one you brew your self works amazing. So take it from me before you give up on it. Just push through the end of the journey is worth it ….

  2. Linda
    | Reply


    I know you’re supposed to take Kava on an empty stomach. But does anyone know how long you need to wait to eat AFTER taking Kava?


  3. Laurel Matteson
    | Reply

    I ordered a half pound of cava in a white bag it was supposed to have been delivered on the 14th or 13th it is now the 15th and I never received it I was very much looking forward to it I realize someone could have taken it after it was delivered but I don’t know I even purchasedA French press to use with it anyway I would like to order more hopefully I will get it this time how do I order it

  4. Linda Andrews
    | Reply

    Hi I’m new to kava I’m hoping for some good results! I’ve used kratom with really good results! I love all the reviews because I am learning from me thank you for them! Can anyone tell me if they were me, what kind would be best to try first? I have severe panic attacks an pain in back! Any suggestions would be so appreciated.

  5. Yousef
    | Reply

    Is it common not to feel anything! I drank 8tablespoon of Kava in two servings but I didn’t feel anything! Sad 🙁

    • Jane Baker
      | Reply

      There is actually something called reverse tolerance whereby you don’t feel anything when you initially drink kava, but after trying it a few times the effects keep in. It’s like your body needs time to adapt. It’s also always best to drink kava on an empty stomach. You can learn more here: https://kalmwithkava.com/kava-tea-tips-for-best-kava-experience/

  6. Gretchen
    | Reply

    I’ve never tried kava (those stress java tea blends do NOTHING), do I was a bit nervous as to the effects. (I am quite familiar with the effects of alcohol 🤪) I started with 2 tsp Of the Samoa instant kava to see how I felt. I chugged it with some lemonade and within 5 min felt that heady/drowsy feeling you get when you drink a few alcoholic beverages… it lasted about 5 minutes and then it was more of a calm.. or should I say “Kalm” ☺️. An hour later I sipped 1 more tsp and definitely felt the numbness in my tongue and a more pronounced drowsy effect. I’ll experiment more with timing and dosages but as a wind down beverage it seems promising 👍🏻

  7. Vin
    | Reply

    I’ve tried kava today for the first time 3 tablespoons traditional prep with medium grind in 12 oz of water and drank in thirds 3 4 oz shots 10 mins apart from each other and felt it in my head it was calming but then I became anxious anyone have any recommendations? Did I drink too many bowls or??? I have bad anxiety was hoping it would lessen maybe I overdid it firnthe first time? I have Fiji Loa Waka maybe is the heady side of the strain?

  8. Robert GUEDJ
    | Reply

    bonsoir, est ce que je peux préparer du kalm KAVA Borongoru dans une une demie bouteille en plastique et le boire quelques heures aprés ?


  9. Karen McGinness
    | Reply

    Thank you for all the great informatiom! I’ve drank kratom tea for a couple years now, but But I am brand new at kava. So the more I learn the better.

  10. Frances M Lippert
    | Reply

    I am really starting to love Kava and I think I have found the perfect people to buy from

    • Darren
      | Reply

      Which do you recommend?thanks

  11. Elliot
    | Reply

    Just got my micronized loa waka a couple of days ago. This is a quality product that in 15 minutes or so, relieves chronic PTSD muscle tension and generalized anxiety. Only use about a tablespoon to get this effect, without any spaciness or drowsiness. So all those reviews I read before I ordered are for real! Thanks.

    • Richie Trout
      | Reply

      Hi Elliot,
      I am new to Kava, I’m on a budget so I want to make sure I get the rite kind.
      I am a Veteran and suffer with PTSD and Severe Anxiety. The VA floods us with many medications and they cause a lot of side effects to organs and mind. I have smoke a little bud to help with my anxiety and OCD. But if I can, would like to try something that is not considered a drug. So long story short, what brand did you find to be worth your dollar? And how many sessions did it take for your body to get use to it? Thank you in advance for your recommendation!! ✌🏻

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