How to make kava like a pro!
Following these instructions for making kava in a “modern” traditional way will enable you to achieve a thorough extraction
for optimal kava health benefit and potency. That's the way we enjoy it here in the islands: Pure and simple kava energy
There are a lot of creative ideas out there and this recipe can serve as a good basis to which many flavorings and
enhancements can be added. To get you going in the right direction, see our Alternate Methods and Variations below
or skip directly to our Kava Making Instructions.
Please take the time to view our product disclaimer at the very bottom of this page.
How much kava powder to use?
These proportions are presented here as a good starting point to get you going in the right direction. It's easy to add water and
dilute your mix, so don't worry about making it too strong. After making the kava drink a few times you will learn what works
best for your own taste and benefit requirements with each individual strain.
Kava Powder to Water Proportions
for 1 Gallon
*one cup = approx. 1/4 lb. = 114g.
| Kava Type
||1 cup* powder
||1 - 1 1/2 cup*
||1 - 1 1/2 cup*
I would say that maybe three to four glasses at the above strength is appropriate for a few hours of effect. Again, you may enjoy
more or less according to your own preference. All kava is different so it's more accurate to weigh the dry powder instead of just
topping off a measuring cup.
*If you want to make a little at once, a good proportion is:
2Tbls. (Two Tablespoons) of kava powder to 8oz. of water for strong results, or 16oz. of water for regular results. Several glasses
is still recommended.
How much to drink is entirely up to you because there is no overdose with kava. Regardless, you probably don't want to be
driving right after, just to be on the safe side. If your kava is too strong, or you feel like you drank too much, go out in the fresh
air and drink plenty of fresh water to dilute it in your system. Quiet, dark surroundings are usually best for kava enjoyment.
For beginners, caution is advised with the Isa/Tudei kava due to it's high DHM content. Start with a lesser amount first, (1c. or
less kava powder per 1 gallon water) and then adjust your brew strength accordingly. Wait an hour for the DHM to kick-in
before drinking more because it may surprise you when it does!
My personal kava kit consists of:
- 1 gallon mixing bowl or my Samoan Tanoa (wooden kava bowl - see my website banner above).
- 1 gallon of purified water (you can sterilize the plastic bottle and re-use it several times if you wish.)
- 1 cup (see table above) of Kava by Rex premium kava powder. One cup of kava powder is about 1/4 pound.
- 1 nylon stocking which can also be used many times (knee highs are a good length and make sure it's not colored).
- 1 small funnel (to transfer the kava drink from the mixing bowl back into the plastic bottle for storage.)
- 1 wire twist tie
- 1 fine strainer to remove the bigger particles in case the stocking runs or splits open.
I have been known to carry this kit with me to parties and gatherings in order to teach people how to make kava and
of course to share the kava with everyone. If I'm mixing with family and friends, I bring a 2 gallon plastic bucket that I
bought and use just for making kava instead of a 1 gallon bowl :)
*Kava Making Instructions*
First, you want to gather up all of your kava making stuff in one place and see the chart above to determine how much kava
powder and water to use for your purpose.
Second, wash your hands very well (the cleaner your hands and equipment are, the longer your kava drink will last in the
refrigerator) and you're ready to begin!
1) Prepare a bowl of tepid water (about 70-78 deg. F.)
*Hot water is not recommended because it will end up bitter; ice water should not be used.
*If you prefer to enjoy your kava drink hot, do your extraction with tepid water first and then heat it up.
*When heating your kava mix, don't go over 170 deg. F. because doing so may affect the active ingredients.
2) Spoon your Kava by Rex premium kava powder into a nylon stocking. If you’re doing this by yourself, you can hold the
stocking open by stretching it around the top of a wide mouthed cup or even a measuring cup.
*A "bag" made of T-shirt material or even several layers of cheesecloth may be used but I have found that a nylon
stocking is still the best because the stretchiness will allow the perfect amount (size) of the particles through.
3) Close the "bag" with a twist tie, place it into the bowl of water and moderately squeeze and massage the kava while
submerged for 5 minutes total. It only takes about 5 min. of vigorous squeezing for all the good stuff to be extracted. There is
no real reason to soak your kava powder in the water first before squeezing because kava is not water soluble.
* Start with a very light squeezing pressure to avoid splitting the stocking. After about 2 minutes, the finest stuff
should be all out at which time you can squeeze vigorously to release the rest of the good oils and resins.
If the nylon does split, use a strainer to scoop the larger pieces of wood that have escaped out into the water,
and invert the stocking over itself so you can continue your extraction.
*Pouring your kava drink through a strainer may remove the really small particles that are actually desirable in
your mix. You don't really want to do this unless you have to.
4) Lift the "bag" slightly out of the water and squeeze any excess kava liquid into the bowl and stir before serving.
5) Pour into cups and enjoy!
Your kava drink should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for up to 2 weeks! Many actually prefer it cold right out of
the fridge - always shake well before pouring and remember to stir before each sip :)
So you see, making kava drink the modern traditional way is really easy and takes no time at all!
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Some people use a blender to make the kava drink with varying results. Even though I don't do it this way, I have included
this information for those who may be interested.
What you do is whiz the kava powder with water in a blender and then strain it once or maybe twice into a bowl or glass.
Sounds easy but keep in mind that repeated squeezing will still be neccessary to thoroughly release the kava oils and resins
because they are not water soluble. Also, the really small particles that are actually desireable in your mix may be removed
when pouring your kava through a strainer.
*For those who prefer using a blender, I suggest maybe adding some granulated/liquid lecithin which has a fruity flavor,
or even a kind of lipid to the water which will bind to the kavalactones and facilitate the extraction. Another way to go is
a light, neutral tasting oil such as flaxseed, canola oil or even making it with milk. These may also be used with the
traditional extraction method to make a potentially more potent brew.
If you want to be really traditional and impress your friends, coconut water or "wai niu" (vai-new) as it's called in Hawaii, can
be used to make the kava instead of plain water. I find this is great for those who are new to kava because it lends a nice
subtle, sweet flavor to the mix taking the edge off. Just substitute the plain water with coconut water and follow the above
*Fresh coconut water is great if you can find it. I've noticed that harvested coconuts from different locations leads to
differing flavors of the water, making it quite an interesting medium to use.
If consistency is what you're looking for or you don't have coconuts readily available where you are, I have seen canned
coconut water at the grocery store that works really well. Use it at room temperature for the extraction process and then
chill it afterward if desired.
Because the traditional kava drink is an acquired taste, you may want to try mixing the kava drink with your favorite fruit juice for
a real tropical treat! I have seen kava lattes, kava milkshakes, kava smoothies with coconut milk added (yum!) and even kava
coladas - a take on the piña colada!
It's really fun experimenting with different beverages/flavors to mix the kava drink with. There's a lot of room to be creative
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The literature provided here has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult a health professional before taking any of these products if you are pregnant, nursing a baby or taking any prescription medications. Kava may interfere with MAOI's and medication for Parkinsonism. This product should not be taken with any alcoholic beverages. Excessive consumption may impair one's ability to drive or operate heavy equipment. Kava is not recommended for persons under the age of 18.
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