Kava or Piper Methysticum has become very popular in the US in recent times. But the use of the kava root goes back centuries or even thousands of years in the South Pacific islands, where the plant is traditionally used in social gatherings and even to welcome foreign authorities. In the US, kava can be typically found in powder form online and in the new trendy kava bars that are opening everywhere.
Although experienced kava drinkers don’t mind its taste and some even find it pleasant, there are still people who can’t handle its flavor. For this reason, many individuals come up with ideas and recipes to cover kava’s taste. So, if you wonder how to make kava taste better, keep reading this article to find some useful and delicious ideas.
Effects and Benefits of Kava
If you are a kava drinker, you probably know about kava’s relaxing and antianxiety effects. But the kava root has many more properties that we’ll see below. But before, let’s see why kava has these and other effects.
Like any other plant, kava contains a great number of compounds. But, the most important and the ones that give the plant its amazing benefits are its kavalactones, which are kava’s main active compounds. Studies show that kavalactones have the following effects:
- Relaxing and antianxiety. As we mentioned above, the plant is used by many individuals as a natural way to relieve stress and to cope with anxiety.
- Antidepressant. Some studies report that the kava root may help relieve symptoms of depression.
- Sleep aid. Since it has potent relaxing effects, kava can also help achieve good sleep and relieve insomnia.
- Muscle relaxation. The plant helps ease muscle tension and the pain associated with it.
- Improve cognitive function. Anecdotal evidence shows that kava can improve focus and alertness.
Although kava is a fairly safe plant to use, it doesn’t come without potential harm. Some studies report that heavy and prolonged kava use may negatively affect the liver. So, you should stay away from it if you suffer from any liver condition. Moreover, like with any other herb, you should be careful with your dose and don’t overdo it.
What Does Kava Taste Like?
The kava powder that we found in the market is made by grinding the kava root. The traditional way to prepare your kava drink consists of placing the ground kava root in a cheesecloth (or similar) and then soak it in water and knead it for a while to extract all the kavalactones. The remaining water is what you’ll drink. But how does this water taste like?
Most people describe kava as bitter and somehow spicy, others say that it simply tastes like mud or dirt. But, although most kava drinkers don’t mind the flavor and most times people get used to it after a few tries, others can’t just get over it. That’s why many of them have come up with ways to disguise kava’s flavor.
How to Make Kava Taste Better?
If you are one of those individuals who can’t handle kava’s taste but still want to enjoy its benefits, we’ll show you some tips below that will help you. So, keep reading to discover how to make kava taste better.
- Add more water. If you are preparing a very concentrated kava drink the flavor will be stronger. By adding more water, you’ll get a more pleasant texture and the taste won’t be so overpowering. This will help you get used to kava’s flavor in no time.
- Refrigerate your kava drink. For many people, kava tastes much better cold than room temperature.
- Use your favorite creamers. Chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon are probably the most popular among kava users but try as many as you can until you find the one that works for you.
- Mix it with milk. You can use regular milk or almond milk. And you can also use your favorite flavored milk!
- Use coconut water to mellow the flavor. Some people even use coconut water instead of water to prepare their kava drink. Others like to use pineapple juice too.
- If your problem is that the taste stays for too long in your mouth, try eating your favorite fruits just after you down your kava drink.
Finally, if none of the above works, you can also find flavored kava drinks in the market.
Kava Colada Recipe
Another great way to make kava taste better is by preparing a delicious recipe using the ground kava root. Did you know that “kava colada” is actually a thing and that it’s very easy to make? Find the recipe below:
1-2 Tbsp kava powder (amount will depend on your typical dose or preference)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 cup of coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple (cut a fresh pineapple in cubes and fill ½ cup with them)
1 cup of water
- Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend for no less than 5 minutes.
- Strain the resulting mix.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Serve and enjoy!
If you want, you can add a teaspoon chocolate powder to the above ingredients to give it a bit of punch!
And how about you? What do you do to make kava taste better?