Kava Tea

How to Make Kava Tea You’ll Love

Making kava tea at home is pretty easy. But it’s very different from making traditional tea. When you learn and practice making your favorite kava tea beverages at home, it can be a relaxing routine with some soothing kava benefits. But let’s face it – kava root powder isn’t super palatable. Which is why today we’re giving you all our favorite tips for the freshest, most relaxing, drinkable kava tea you can make right in your own home! Ready? Great! Let’s get brewing.

What Is Kava Root or Kava Powder?

If you’re here looking for the best kava tea recipes, then you may already know how special the roots of the Piper methysticum plant are. A member of the pepper family, this plant grows big and bushy (over a few years!) and when it’s mature, the roots are harvested for use.

Traditionally, local Pacific islanders would dig up the precious roots, wash them, and literally chew them up to make a root paste. The paste was either brewed up right away for a special occasion, a ceremony, or small social gathering, or they were dried out to make a coarse ground “powder.”

Today, thankfully, the roots are mechanically-ground into kava root powders that we brew into beverages, pack into capsules, or formulate into tinctures. There are lots of ways to consume kava today, but the most widely-appreciated method is to brew the powders into pungent beverages we call “kava tea.”.

What Does Kava Do?

Kava contains active compounds called kavalactones. These phytoactive compounds may help people to feel more calm and pleasant. Historically, kava has been a part of the social and spiritual fabric of the Pacific islands, where islanders use the potent kava teas to enhance their daily lives, ceremonies, or special occasions.

Borrowing from this time-tested tradition, contemporary kava drinkers enjoy a bit of island calm right at home, or meet up with other kava-lovers at local kava bars, which are becoming more popular in the US. But if you do not live in southern Cali or in Florida where kava bars are popping up in abundance, or have a kava bar in a town near you, then you can still brew up your own kava tea right at home.

Need-to-Know Kava Tips

Making kava tea isn’t complicated, but it does take a bit more time than simply boiling water and dipping a tea bag. For the kavalactones to be most effective, there are a few more steps to making the best kava teas. Before we get into the supplies you need to make kava tea, and some kava tea recipe ideas, let’s take a look at a few important things you need to know about brewing kava teas for yourself.

Water Temperature

Unlike traditional tea, you shouldn’t use boiling or hot water on kava powders. Hot water can reduce the number of beneficial compounds in your kava drink. To preserve the integrity of the kavalactones you do not want to overheat them. By using warm or tepid liquid to steep your kava powders, you’ll protect and extract the kavalactones most efficiently – providing you with the most pleasurable and lasting kava experience.


Many recipes call for straining the tea before you drink it. This requires a very fine mesh bag or fabric. Straining helps to remove powder residues or bits of root from your beverage. Strainers used to make nut milks, or made from muslin, are preferred for straining kava. Some kava powders are literally pulverized to make them appear more water soluble.

These instant kavas (micronized kava) mean that you’ll consume a very finely-ground kava powder that’s suspended in the tea solution and not strained out. While easier to make, these teas will be more pungent, earthy, and strongly flavored.

Solubility of Kava

Kava powders do not dissolve in water completely, which is why straining is a part of the tea-making process. Also, many kavalactones are fat-soluble, not water-soluble. This means that if you add a liquid to the brewing water that has a little fat in it– like coconut milk – more of the kavalactones can be extracted from the kava powders. Your relaxing cuppa calm can then be all the more rich and effective.

Note: Do not use carbonated beverages as your liquid. Juices and milks are fine to use to encourage solubility, capture those kavalactones, or to sweeten your experience with a little flavor.

Kneading or Agitation

Kavalactones also are extracted more thoroughly when the root powders are kneaded or pressed or squeezed. This is why many kava tea recipes call for you to pour the water over the muslin-bagged powders, steep them to allow them to get fully wetted, and then hand-knead and squeeze them.

This kneads out the kavalactones while simultaneously pushing the water through the powders, making your teas more rich with soothing compounds.

Preparing Kava Tea

Now that you know a little more about how kava root powders work, let’s prepare to make some soothing and aromatic kava tea!There are many ways to prepare kava tea, and there’s no specific method that is better. (Whatever works best for you!) However, we’ll focus on traditional preparation methods and ways to tweak the tea’s taste to your liking.

Supplies You Need for the Best Kava Brew

The right headspace can foster a more pleasant tea-brewing experience. Brewing kava tea should be a fun thing you look forward to doing! Gather the essentials and prepare your workspace. Set the ambiance with your favorite relaxing music. Remember, you are participating in a centuries-old tradition for calmness and pleasantness.

Kava Preparation for Traditional Kava Tea

Before you begin your home kava tea ritual, gather some supplies.


  • 2-4 tablespoons of kava root powder and 8-12 fluid ounces of water* (per serving)
  • Any desired sweeteners, fruits, or garnishes

*You can also use a water + coconut milk mixture for the liquid.


  • A large mixing bowl
  • A 2-cup glass measuring cup for liquids
  • Measuring spoons
  • A hand towel or paper towels
  • A strainer bag that works for fine powders. A 75-micron cloth or bag, cheesecloth, or muslin bag works best.
  • Your favorite kava mug!
  • A comfy place to sit and enjoy the aromatic tea of your labor.

STEP ONE: Prepare the kava powders.
Measure 2-4 tablespoons (depending on desired potency) of kava powders and place them into the muslin bag / strainer material. Set aside.

STEP TWO: Prepare the liquids.
Measure the liquids into the measuring cup. The total mixture of liquids should be 8-12 ounces for a serving of tea. This includes your water and coconut milk. Both should be tepid, room temperature, or mildly warm. To help: 8 ounces = one cup. 12 ounces = 1 ½ cups.

STEP THREE: Pour through and steep.
Hold the muslin bag with kava powders over the mixing bowl. Slowly pour the liquids over the powders, allowing it to drain through the powders and into the bowl. Then, twist the bag closed or zipper it shut and allow the kava powders to rest in the water. You’ll want those powders to steep in the water for 10 minutes. It’s ok that the water and milk cool down. Kava tea is traditionally drunk at room temperature.

After the liquid has turned “muddy” it’s time to work the powders to release trapped air, and gently coax out the remaining kavalactones and water from the powders. Squeeze, knead, and work the powders with your hands (on the outside of the bag) to squeeze out all that goodness! This might take three minutes of hard work or ten minutes of leisurely working the powders. Do what feels right to you.

STEP FIVE: Make it tasty.
Now that your kava tea is done, you can drink it right away and enjoy that earthy flavor, or try one of these ways to make your kava tea more tasty. Try any combination for your own personalized kava recipe!.

Chasers Mix-ins Garnish
Fruit juice Sweetener or honey A sprig of mint
Grapes, pineapple, apples, pears, or other fruit Orange juice, apple juice, or lemon juice A slice of pineapple
Herbal tea Blend with banana or fruit Maraschino cherries
Flavored water drinks Mint A slice of orange or lime


A Few Last Tips

  • Your kava tea can be strained again if there is sediment or root fibers to be removed.
  • Kava works best a few hours after a meal or on an empty stomach.
  • The effects of kava take about 30 minutes to “kick in.”
  • Do not mix with alcohol or carbonated beverages for the safest and most authentic experience.
  • Try different preparation methods to get the right strength and consistency of kava tea that pleases you.
  • Adjust the amount of kava you use or vary the amount of water to adjust the potency.

Buying the Perfect Kava

To enjoy the benefits of kava learning how to make kava tea is important – but so is buying the best kava powders. For exceptional quality kava powders, buy online at a reputable dealer’s website. Look for ethical sourcing, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and transparent and thorough product testing.

Written By Staff

The staff writers for Kats Botanicals have been researching and writing about Kratom products for more than 5 years, and have a combined experience of over 35 years of writing in the healthcare and supplement industry. The team has a keen understanding of the topic, remain current on all FDA and industry news, and use their expertise to generate engaging and informative content to help educate consumers on Kats Botanicals’ products. Each article is fact-checked and includes sources to scientific data to ensure readers receive the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

Reviewed By Justin Kats

Justin Kats, founder of Kats Botanicals reviews and approves all content before releasing it for posting on the Kats Botanical website. Justin has been a tireless advocate for the benefits of Kratom since 2012. As a champion for botanical therapy, Justin created a Facebook group where more than 12,000 people discuss botanicals, and Kratom. He has also assisted more than 80,000 customers since the inception of his business and works directly with a single source farmer to ensure the purity of the products he sells. He also performs rigorous lab testing because he understands what it takes to get a high-quality and safe product to market.

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