As many of you may know, in the past few years kava or kava-kava has become more and more popular in our western civilization. In fact, there is an ever-increasing number of kava bars all across America. Thanks to its many properties and to the lack of side effects present when consuming alcohol, many people are turning to kava to enjoy their free time. After drinking kava you may feel a lack of inhibition and a mild sense of well-being. And the best news is that you won’t experience a hangover the following morning.
But, did you know that you can prepare your own kava beverage and enjoy it at home? In this article, we will explore how to make kava tea using kava root and kava powder.
What is Kava
Kava, or piper methysticum, is a plant of the pepper family, native to the South Pacific Islands. The native cultures of these areas have been using this plant for centuries thanks to its many properties and effects. Traditionally, they used a kava beverage in ceremonies and rituals, but also, they used it to socialize and as a recreational drink.
Kava owns its properties to the kavalactones, which are the main active elements present in the plant. These kavalactones are more prominent in the plant’s roots, which is the part that people use to prepare kava tea.
Benefits of Kava
Although kava tea is mostly used as a social and recreational drink, the plant also has some medicinal properties. In fact, in places like Papua New Guinea, people only use kava as a medicine to treat various diseases.
Kava can help ease the following conditions:
- Some depression symptoms
- Muscle tension
- Some opiate withdrawal symptoms
It also can help you achieve a feeling of relaxation and mental clarity.
Finally, consider that taking too much kava can harm your liver, so you should never exceed the recommended daily dosages. The dosage may vary depending on the type of kava or if it is in raw or extract format. Although most vendors recommend not to exceed a maximum of 300mg per day.
How to Make Kava Tea
Although there are many ways to take kava, in this article we’ll explore the most common. Typically, kava is brewed into a tea. To make kava tea, you can use kava root or kava root powder.
Also, be aware that kava tea has a very bitter taste, in fact, there are people that can’t handle the taste. That’s why some people mix it with cocoa powder, fruit juices, or honey to mask the flavor.
How to Make Kava Tea Using Kava Root
If you have a full kava root, the easiest way to prepare kava tea is by taking 2 or 3 small pieces of the root. Then you will need to place them in a cup or bowl and fill this with boiling water and leave it to sit for 10 minutes. Finally, remove the kava root pieces from the liquid and enjoy it.
How to Make Kava Tea Using Kava Powder
Due to the fact that finding full kava root is very difficult, most people prefer using kava powder to prepare their kava beverages. Although there are many ways to prepare kava tea, we will explain here one of the easiest.
To prepare your beverage you will need:
- The desired amount of kava powder (typically 2-3 tablespoons per serving)
- A strainer bag or cheesecloth (some people use a piece of cotton t-shirt, but don’t use a coffee -filter, it won’t work)
- Approximately 8-10 oz hot water
- A bowl or a big cup
Directions to make kava tea:
- Consider that the water that you will use need to be hot, but not necessarily boiling. The right water temperature would be as hot as it comes out of your faucet.
- Place the strainer bag inside a bowl or big cup and mix the hot water with the kava powder inside the strainer bag. Then let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Squeeze the bag to extract all the remaining water and knead it for a few times to make sure that you extract all the water inside. Then your kava drink will be ready.
Finally, although some people like to have their kava drink warm or at room temperature, many prefer it chilled, as it tastes a bit better. So, you may want to refrigerate it before consuming it.