I once travelled throughout Oceania on a self guided kava tour, tasting and sampling different strains and preparation methods. Because of Kava’s strong cultural ties to spiritual and religious ceremonies, the preparation of kava is almost as important as the kava plant itself.
Kava tea has a storied culture and countless variations, but in it’s essence is pretty simple. I mean, the earliest accounts of kava tea include the chiefs of the village biting the kava root with their mouth, chewing it, and mixing it with their saliva to make their tea. Yummy! Uh—not so much.
Trust me—our recipe is much more pleasant than that.
Here is a basic recipe that even the most cooking-challenged can duplicate. The simplicity of the recipe lends itself nicely to a myriad of tasty additions such as coconut if you want to get creative with it.
If you’re a coffee drinker, you know how awful instant coffee is—now that’s how I feel about instant kava powder. Go for the real stuff, fresh root if it's locally available, or dried powdered root as a more accesible alternative, but stay away from the instant mixes.
The active ingredient in kava, called kavalactones, are water soluble and they can be extracted by thoroughly mixing it with water. That is why making kava is sometimes referred to as “mixing.” Fresh kava root will make a stronger tea with higher kavalactone content. Your kava dosage per serving should be approximately 150-500mg of kava root.
The finished kava tea should look like muddy water, and if this is your first time to try kava tea, you will probably think it tastes like muddy water too. It's definitely an aquired taste. But just like learning to love beer or stinky cheese that may taste off-putting at first, many people learn to love the bitter, earthy, complex flavors of kava tea.
Kava Tea Recipe
Makes approximately two 6 oz servings. Follow a 1:3, water to kava ratio, if you’d like to increase the finished amount.
- 4 Tablespoons of Kava root, fresh or powdered
- 12 oz of warm water
- Muslin cloth strainer
- Large bowl or pot to mix kava in
Pour your kava root into a muslin cloth strainer, squeeze out extra air, and tie a knot to close off the ends. Pour your water into a large bowl or pot, and submerge the bag of kava into the water, squeezing and kneading the bag repeatedly. This time can vary depending on the amount and quality of the kava.
It is normal for the bag to feel oily as the kavalactones are being extracted, so continue to churn the bag until it no longer feels oily.
Remove the strainer from the liquid and discard the used kava product.
Pour in two halved coconut shells to be extra. CHEERS!
Learn more about what is kava or how does kava work. Or if you're curious to experience what a kava kava high feels like, 1Hour Break® is giving away a free bottle of their Premium Kava Root Extract ($29 value) to new customers only.