Preparing Kava: Three Ways To Make A Kava Drink
If you’re looking for the best way to make kava then you should know that there are essentially three ways to make a kava drink:
- The first is micronized powder, which you just stir in like instant coffee.
2. You can also prepare traditional ground kava with the use of a strainer. This works a bit like loose leaf tea, but with more work required to fully strain it.
3. Traditional kava, which is made from shredded whole root. If you’re looking for a quicker method, then a blender works well. You simply add the desired amount of kava into the blender with cold water at a 1:10 ratio and then blend for 3-4 minutes.
Overall, the best way to prepare kava will depend on how much time you have and how wedded you are to tradition.
Kava Powder Dosage: How Much Kava To Take
The standard recommendation is 100-250 mg of kavalactones. Studies show that this is usually enough to get an effect, however it’s significantly smaller than what many Pacific islanders traditionally consumed.
When it comes to raw kava, it seems that most people respond well to around 10-15g of instant/micronized kava, and 35g of whole or shredded kava root. However, the effects are dependent on how fast it is drunk and whether it is drunk alone or socially.
It is important to note that if you drink kava multiple times throughout the day, it will remain in your system even if you no longer feel the effects as sharply. Therefore, each subsequent dose after the first should be no more than half as big as the first dose.
How Long Does Kava Last, And How Long Does Kava Take To Work?
One study found that kava reached peak levels at 1-2 hours with a distribution half-life of 50 minutes and an elimination half-life of nine hours. Those wondering “how long does kava last” will be pleased to know that you can usually feel the effects for 2-4 hours. “How long does kava take to kick in” is another common question and the answer depends on how you take it, but usually it is 20 minutes.
Kava Preparation: How To Make Kava Tea
It is fairly simple to make kava tea in the traditional way. Preparing it this way often leads to a more enjoyable drinking experience. First, you should get around 35g-40g of raw kava powder ready. You will then need to use a strainer bag. We recommend buying a food grade strainer such as a nut milk straining bag.
Once you have the powder in the strainer bag, you can place it into an empty bowl. After this, you pour warm water directly onto the bag and ensure that the powder stays inside. Leave this to sit for a few minutes and then twist out excess air from the top of the strainer.
You can then knead the bag in the bowl and occasionally twist to strain out the water. The water should turn brown after a few minutes, and you can knead for a few minutes and then finally squeeze the bag to let out the water from the kava root material.
And that’s it, your kava tea will be ready to pour. If you need an easier method, then you can blend kava with cold water. Once it is blended you can put it in a strainer bag and squeeze the kava into a bowl.
How To Prepare Micronized Kava
Preparing micronized kava is really easy and it works just like instant coffee. All you need to do is boil or microwave some water and stir the kava powder in. You can mix in anything else you want for added flavor. Note that micronized kava tends to hit you faster than traditional kava and this is a reason why some see it as the best way to take kava.
How To Make Kava Stronger
There are a few ways to make the effect of kava stronger. First, you can try drinking your first cup or two after an empty stomach. However, you should take food once you start to feel the effects. There’s a tradeoff between making it hit faster and making it last longer which is something to keep in mind if you are dosing multiple times throughout the day.
Kavalactones are fat-soluble rather than water-soluble which means you can mix in some fat such as a teaspoon of butter/coconut oil to allow more of the kava to dissolve. The answer to “how long does it take for kava to kick in” is around 20 minutes.
You should note that if you are using kava root rather than micronized kava, you can re-use the kava-root multiple times in the same way you would use a teabag or pour-over coffee batch to get the maximum mileage from it. If you’re asking yourself “how long do the effects of kava last?”, the answer is around 2-4 hours.
Kava can be combined with other things to increase flavor or to add an extra buzz. Here are some tasty recipes.
For combining kava’s effects with caffeine for a relaxing buzz. Use traditional kava and put the strainer either in the coffee pot or in the filter with the coffee powder.
- 1 tablespoon powdered or shredded kava
- 2 tablespoons of coffee
- Milk, sugar, cream, cinnamon or sweetener to taste
Start out with a 1:2 ratio of kava to coffee; you can go higher if you want, but try the feel and flavor of a lower dose first.
Alternatively, you can simply mix micronized instant kava with the coffee after it’s made.
Kava Protein Smoothie
If you want to combine kava with a healthy meal replacement then a protein smoothie will do the trick.
- 8-12 oz coconut milk
- 1-2 scoops protein powder
- 1-3 tablespoons of kava powder, or 2-4 oz of strained kava
- Optional: One banana
- Optional: One teaspoon of cinnamon
This is a good option for a second kava dose since absorption will occur more slowly. If it is your first dose, be aware that the kava high will be weaker but also longer-lasting, and err on the side of a higher dose.
- 12 oz lemon-lime soda or 12 oz club soda
- 1-2 tablespoons of micronized kava powder
- Add lemon and lime juice to taste
You’ll probably want to add some lemon and lime juice even if you use lemon-lime soda. One teaspoon tends to work with Sprite, while a tablespoon may be needed if you used club soda. Mix thoroughly but not too fast to avoid making the soda go flat. Serve over ice.