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Making Kava 101

To make kava, a traditional beverage popular in many Pacific Island cultures, you’ll need the following ingredients and equipment:


  • Kava root powder
  • Water


  • Large bowl or container
  • Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
  • Muslin bag (optional)
  • Blender (optional)

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make kava:

  1. Start by measuring the amount of kava root powder you’ll need. A typical serving is around 2 tablespoons of kava root powder per cup of water. Adjust the quantities based on your preference and the number of servings you want to make.

  2. Pour the desired amount of water into a large bowl or container. The water should be cold or lukewarm, as hot water can diminish the kava’s effects.

  3. Add the measured kava root powder to the water and stir it thoroughly. You can use a spoon or your hands to mix it well. Make sure the powder is fully submerged in the water.

  4. Let the kava mixture sit for about 10 to 30 minutes. During this time, the kava’s active compounds will be released into the water. Some people prefer a longer soaking time for a stronger brew.

  5. After the soaking period, you’ll need to strain the liquid to remove the kava root particles. Set a fine mesh strainer or a piece of cheesecloth over a bowl or pitcher.

  6. Pour the kava mixture slowly onto the strainer or cheesecloth, allowing the liquid to pass through while catching the root particles. You can use the back of a spoon or your hands to press the mixture and extract as much liquid as possible.

  7. If desired, you can repeat the straining process by pouring the strained liquid back into the original bowl and straining it again. This step helps achieve a smoother and clearer brew.

  8. At this point, you have a choice to make. Some people prefer to consume the kava as is, while others like to improve the taste by enhancing the flavor. If you find the taste unpleasant, you can add ingredients like honey, coconut milk, or fruit juice to mask the earthy flavor. Experiment to find a combination you enjoy.

  9. Serve the kava in a cup or a traditional kava bowl called a “tanoa.” It’s common to drink kava slowly and in a social setting, often passing the cup or bowl around and sharing with others.

It’s important to note that kava affects individuals differently, and its effects can vary based on the strain, preparation method, and personal tolerance. If you’re new to kava, start with a small serving and gradually increase as needed while observing your body’s response. Additionally, consult with your healthcare provider if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications that may interact with kava.