Kava kava has traditionally been consumed for centuries by Pacific islanders, from Fiji to Hawaii, serving a similar social role to alcohol in other cultures. Here’s how the best kava tea can help you relax and let go of your stress.
What Is Kava Tea?
Kava tea is made from kava root, and it is one of the most popular ways of taking the substance. It can be sold as a powder, loose shredded root or as teabags. It has anxiolytic and sedative properties and improves subjective well-being. The active ingredients within kava are called kavalactones. Before getting to our kava tea reviews, we’re going to cover the different types of kava tea there are; since each of them is quite different, you’ll want to be informed about the distinctions between different types of kava tea.
Kava Powder (Also Known As Kava Kava Powder, Kava Root Powder, or Kava Extract Powder)
Kava powder can be made from a whole root or an extract. Whole root is the traditional form, but its bulkiness makes this impractical for most people. Instead an extract known as WS1490 is typically used, and a typical dose is around 100mg of kavalactones. However, 200mg before bed can be used for sleep. These doses are the same whether it is taken as a pill or powdered beverage.
Kava powder, when brewed as a tea, needs to be strained through a fine strainer such as a kava bag.
Micronized Kava (Also Known As Instant Kava)
Unlike kava powder, micronized kava doesn’t need to be strained out—it dissolves in liquid. Micronized kava is broken down into very fine particles, but the chemical structure remains the same. The main benefit is that it becomes easier to dissolve which results in a substance that is similar to instant coffee.
Micronized kava is ideal for mixing into tea and other beverages. Instant kava dosage tends to be the same with micronized vs. non-micronized. However, it does tend to absorb faster and it has a higher bioavailability. Moreover, it is less likely to sink to the bottom of your cup.
Kava Tea Bags
Kava tea bags are regular tea bags that have shredded kava root inside–and it is usually whole root, not extract. They rarely list a specific kavalactone dosage, and that dosage tends to be on the lower side.
Kava Tea Effects
Kava tea bags can provide relief from stress and anxiety. Although the (relatively) lower dosage will make this effect milder than powdered kava, it also largely eliminates the sedative effect and the ‘high’ that kava power can usually elicit.
Kava tea isn’t a direct weight loss supplement, but it could potentially aid weight loss by reducing stress-eating.
What Does Kava Tea Taste Like?
The flavor of kava tea can take some getting used to because it has a noticeable bitter taste. It can even numb your mouth a bit. In general, kava tea bags tend to have a milder flavor than powder. Most people tend to adjust to the taste after they’ve tried it for a while.
Making Kava Tea
It is fairly easy to make kava tea, as long as you’re not starting from whole kava root. If you have kava tea bags you can follow the regular instructions for making tea. If you have micronized kava, then you can make it like instant coffee.
You can also mix it in with coffee or another tea, either for flavor or to get a synergistic effect with a low dose of caffeine. This will give you a smoother caffeine high without the jitters.
To make kava powder into a tea, you need a fine strainer such as a kava bag.
It can take some experimenting to find your ideal flavor mix, but in general kava tends to combine better with coffee rather than tea and better with black rather than green tea in terms of flavor. Kavalactones are also fat-soluble rather than water-soluble, so they’ll mix better in coffee with a bit of milk or creamer.
What Is The Best Kava Tea? Our Kava Tea Reviews
Best Instant Kava
Drink Root Instant Connoisseur Blend
Drink Root offers the Instant Connoisseur Blend of dehydrated kava juice, which is our favorite kava product. The unique preparation process developed by Drink Root ensures a stable kavalactone content with no flavokavains.
In fact, Drink Root is the first company to offer kava in this form, and it seems to be the safest one.
The company sources organic ingredients from the farm in Vanuatu, and they subject each batch to quality analysis. This process ensures accurate information about the kavalactone content and guarantees premium quality instant kava.
Editor’s note 5/24/22: This product is currently sold out. We will update this review as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, we recommend purchasing this product in packet form HERE.
Best Micronized Kava
Kona Kava Farm Micronized Instant Kava
With 18.5 servings and 95 mg kavalactones per serving, Kona Kava Farms’ micronized kava is made from whole ground root—not an extract. It’s manufactured in a FDA-compliant, GMP facility, and comes in several flavors. It’s extracted with ethanol, and lab tested for purity and authenticity.
Editor’s note 5/24/22: This product is currently sold out. We will update this review as soon as it becomes available.
Best Kava Extract Powder
Wakacon KAVA WAKA Powder
Wakacon’s kava powder needs to be strained into a tea, with a strainer such as a french press or kava bag. This noble kava is 3rd-party lab tested for authenticity and quality, and is made from solely from the lateral and crown roots of the kava plant—which tends to be preferred among kava connoisseurs.
Best Kava Tea Blend For Sleep
Be Sleepy by Tea Tonix
This unique blend of loose leaf kava, chamomile, valerian and lavender aids with both speeding sleep onset and improving sleep quality. You will need a tea strainer for this blend; we recommend this one.
Does Yogi Kava Tea Work? Our Yogi Kava Tea Review
Best Kava Tea Bags
Yogi Kava Tea
In our experience, the best kava tea bags are the ones made by Yogi. Yogi Kava Tea has a wonderful sweet-spice taste thanks to the perfect blend of Kava, cinnamon, Indian sarsaparilla root and carob pod. The low strength kava combines well with these spices to give you a wonderful sense of relaxation and tranquility.
The tea is both GMO-free and caffeine-free. It’s popular for de-stressing at the end of a long day, and is a great choice for those who don’t enjoy the bitter taste of kava powder. All that said, Yogi Kava Stress Relief does not list its kavalactones content, and the amount of kava per tea bag suggests that kavalactone content is not sufficiently high to have the same effects as you would get from brewing a micronized kava or kava powder.
Looking for more options? Check out our article on the best kava.
Editor’s note: we are regularly updating this review. If you see any problems, weird interpretations of the data, or just want to say hi, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.