The Best Kava Tea
October 01, 2021
There is a universal phrase that has been around for centuries … probably because it’s applicable to so many different things in life. Let’s see if you can guess what it is.
You are given the choice between doing fifty burpees or running as fast as you can for two minutes without stopping.
You have to choose between eating a fat, juicy grub or munching on a fresh cricket.
Any ideas what that phrase might be? Come on. You can guess.
“The lesser of the two evils.” Right?! Is there really a good choice between a grub and a cricket? Or death by burpees and sprinting over 50 yards? (Maybe if you are an Ironman, sure.)
We have all been there. Choices staring us in the face, both of which seem equally unpleasant. And yet, we know we must make a choice. Like it or lump it, an undesirable choice must be made. So, we pick the one that is the least crappy of the two.
Nobody wants to do that, yet it is regularly a part of life. Boy is this true when it comes to foods and drinks—especially when you are doing it for health benefits. Many a person on a wellness, weight loss, or fitness journey can attest to this.
How many of the latest fads have you toyed with? Maybe you tried one of these wellness regimens: low carb, no-carb, hard-boiled egg, cabbage soup, banana, smoothie, or tea.
Tea … that’s one way to drastically reduce your calories or improve your wellness. But which one to choose? There are thousands … different flavors, different brands, different preparation styles, different purposes.
Tea is a fantastic wellness beverage. Cozy, cozy tea.
What is Tea?
That seems like a dumb question, but remember what your really great teachers told you. There are no dumb questions. So, answer the question.
Betcha think of tea as leaves in a little baggie with a string. Right? Well, you’re kind of right. You’re grocery-store-shelf right. And at present, every tea connoisseur is scoffing and grumbling, thinking, That is absolutely NOT proper tea.
So. What is tea? According to Wikipedia, “Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured or fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to China and East Asia.”
That is the technical or legal definition of tea. Many people think that boiling spearmint leaves in water gives you spearmint tea. Nawhhh, that just gives you spearmint water.
For all intents and purposes, many of the other teas we find on grocery shelves and online are blended with other herbs and oils to change the flavor and the effect of the tea. Many of them are in little bags, while many others are loose leaf tea.
There are over three thousand varieties of teas, white, green, pu-erh, black, oolong, and flavored teas. Within each of those categories, there are countless sub-categories. Jasmine green tea, white tea with citrus, peach oolong … the list goes on and on.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover the teas with a purpose. There are teas for tummy troubles, menstrual cramps, headaches, constipation, detoxifying your body, relieving muscle aches and headaches, as well as reducing stress, and aiding in relaxation.
Do those purposeful teas fulfill their stated purpose? Well, some do and some don’t. It’s subjective because some of this depends on the person. There are people who have experienced relief from constipation and stomach aches by drinking their special teas.
Still, others drink tea as a way to hopefully chill out and relax after a day or days full of unrelenting stress. Stress is definitely a common problem that many of us are on the lookout to reduce. Somewhere between one third to one half of Americans are completely stressed out.
So, it isn’t any wonder that people drink tea as a way to de-stress and regain some mental clarity. That is probably what drives people to their first cup of kava tea. Chances are, these people have looked into kava and thought it would be a great idea to give kava tea a try.
What’s the Deal With Kava?
Kava is a plant that grows in the islands of the Pacific. The natives have known the secrets held within its roots for centuries.
Thanks to some of those island natives moving to the United States and some Americans making the trek to visit the islands, kava has made its way across the pond and into our country. We are slowly but surely learning what makes kava so appealing.
If we were truly following the island native ways, we’d harvest the kava roots, lop off a hunk, pop it into our mouth, and chew. Walk into a local park, grab a stick, and give it a good chew. That’s pretty much what fresh kava root tastes like. It’s a tad bit earthy.
Kava is a special root because it contains kavalactones. No other roots on the planet contain these. Kavalactones are unique compounds present in the roots of the kava plant and they have some very unique properties.
Kavalactones make a person feel calm, happy, relaxed and focused. These little babies release inhibitions without working directly on the brain and slowing you down the way alcohol does. Your cognition remains unimpaired.
And it’s becoming clearer why people would want to drink some kava tea, isn’t it?
What is Kava Tea?
Honestly? The answer to this depends on who you ask. Somebody might tell you that kava tea is just a standard bag of tea that you brew by steeping it in boiling water for a few minutes.
Do you know what happens to the active ingredients in kava tea when they are added to boiling water? It’s death to the kavalactones! Kavalactones cannot survive in a traditional tea brew.
Connect the dots. A person wants to drink kava tea like a hot mug of comfort. Drinking it down to help them relax and reach a state of beautiful zen. Niiice, right? Wrong. How can a tea that relies on the ingredients being active even work if those active ingredients have been deactivated through the brewing process?
The lesser of the two evils.
Which fully steeped kava tea is the best? Now you are beginning to understand why this is a loaded question. You must have knowledge under your belt to make an informed decision. Kava completely loses its strength when it’s steeped in boiling water like a traditional tea.
How to Get the Most From Your Kava Tea Routine
Alright. So, if you truly want to make the most of your kava tea, you probably shouldn’t leave it to a teabag. That type of kava tea is the weakest form of kava available. It defeats the purpose of trying kava if you can't actually get the full benefits from it.
First. And this is very important. Do not ignore this point. Your kava tea must be made from noble kava. Noble kava is the only way to go, people. You cannot trust tudei kava to work safely and effectively without any adverse effects. We repeat, noble kava only.
Truth be told, kava tea isn’t a tea by definition. An effective kava brew isn’t made from tea leaves, it’s made from kava root powder.
Now that we have that key point out of the way, we can move on with our tips for the best way to perform your own kava ritual. Do your research and find a noble kava root powder with a medium grind. The tips we’re about to give you will result in a more intense kava tea brew that far exceeds the results of those teabags. However, it is troublesome and time-consuming, which is why Ü Relax would be a much easier, quicker, and more effective way to go.
Tip #1: No Boiling Water
Yep. We’re telling you again. Boiling water is a big no-no when it comes to making a truly effective kava brew. Make your kava brew with some hot tap water.
You just need to put your noble kava root powder in a muslin bag and place it into a bowl of hot tap water. Then you’ll knead your kava powder in its little bag. You could use cold or warm water, but it won’t work as well. Hot water is going to produce a much stronger kava brew for you.
Tip #2: Don’t Eat
Yep. Don’t drink your kava with a meal. You want to enjoy your kava on a totally empty stomach. In order for the kava to be absorbed fully, no other substances can be sitting in your stomach. It’s best to drink your kava a few hours after you eat.
But if you drink kava on an empty stomach and find that it makes you feel a bit sick to your stomach, not to worry. All you have to do is follow up with a little snack. Grab a little bit of fruit or a few nuts.
How can you tell if you brewed if it’s going to work? Well, you’re going to start feeling a little funky. Your lips and mouth will get a little tingly and go numb. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to feel. It’s a great sign that you’ve got yourself some good kava!
Tip #3: Pay Attention to Your Serving Size
Pay attention to the portion size suggested by the manufacturer. This is especially true when you are figuring out how kava affects you. Each manufacturer will be slightly different on this. You can be safe with a ratio of 20:1. Twenty times the amount of water to your amount of kava is a decent standard to go by.
Keep in mind that kava takes about fifteen to thirty minutes before you feel the effects. Those effects from one serving will last for about four to six hours. So, don’t grab a second cup right away. You will want to give it a bit before adding a second serving.
Tip #4: Quality, Quality, Quality
This is a biggie. If your kava isn’t of high quality, you may as well not be drinking it. Your results can vary quite a bit depending on the kava powder you use.
Kava harvested from the roots that run laterally has a much higher kavalactone concentration. This kava is going to be much more effective because it’s more potent. (You can also expect to pay a bit more for this kava, but it’s worth it!)
Tip #5: Be Aware of Kava’s Reverse Tolerance
Your body adapts to kava. It’s not like alcohol or drugs. When we drink alcohol or take drugs regularly, our bodies develop a tolerance to them and we need to consume more and more of them to achieve the desired effects on our mind and body.
Kava works in the opposite way. The more regularly you drink kava, the less of it you need to drink to feel it working. The kavalactones build up in your body and your body becomes more prepared to react to its presence in your system.
Sooo, if you’ve started drinking kava and it doesn’t seem to be doing anything, that’s okay. You just need to be patient. It will start working after a few more sessions. (NOT a few more cups, separate sessions on different days.) It could possibly take a couple of weeks. The benefits will far outweigh the time you wait for it to work.
So What is an Avid Tea Drinker to Do?
Let’s say you love your tea time. Sitting down with a cup of tea is your time to take a deep breath and exhale all of the tension that has wrapped itself around your mind and body. You probably have a ritual.
Maybe you put the kettle on to boil your water. Meanwhile, you slip into something more comfortable like yoga pants or pajamas. Then, you head back to the kitchen, place your tea leaves into a diffuser, pop that into your mug, and as soon as the water has begun to boil, you pour it straight into the mug on top of the diffuser.
And now it steeps. While it steeps, you either grab your favorite book or pull up some fantastic BBC show. Then you must decide to sweeten or not to sweeten. Sweeten, of course, because you are a wise person and know that a little honey in your tea is just about perfect. Stir, sit, destress.
You truly love your tea time.
And then you heard about kava. You found out about all the benefits it can bring to your everyday life … the way it reduces stress and lifts your mood. Trying kava sounds like a great idea.
You want to experience all of these kava benefits for yourself, so you really want to do it right. After doing research, you discover that a typical kava tea is not going to do the trick. You want the best of both worlds: relaxing tea time and oodles of lovely kavalactones.
Here is what you can do. Make a traditional kava preparation part of your tea routine. While prepping your tea, you can prep your kava. For starters, be sure to use the highest quality noble kava root.
Not sure which tea will work best with kava? Well, you can choose peppermint, hibiscus, valerian, or passion flower teas to enhance the calming and relaxing effects of your kava.
While you are boiling your water for tea, you can steep one serving of kava in its little muslin baggie in a bowl of hot tap water. Take a few minutes to do whatever you need to do to get into your cozy zen mode. Then, while you steep your tea bag, knead your kava.
Now, that tea will still be too hot to mix with your kava. You can either let the tea cool, or you can add an ice cube. (Stop rolling your eyes. You’ll destroy the kavalactones if your tea is too hot.) While your ice cube melts, squeeze out the rest of the moisture from your bag, set the baggie aside, and pour your tea into the bowl.
Of course, you now have two mugs worth of tea. Double your pleasure! You can have the same soothing effects of drinking your cup of tea while getting the benefits of a true cup of kava.
There you have it. It’s not the lesser of two evils, it’s the best of both worlds.
You are welcome to steep a blend of tea with kava in a teabag. If you get on Google and look it up, you’ll probably read a lot of claims that the kava tea bags just deliver a very mild kava experience. Well, that’s definitely true.
The problem is that the experience will be so incredibly mild, you won’t really get the intended benefits of kava. Plus, most people will make their tea with boiling water and destroy the active kavalactones. And we definitely cannot guarantee that those teas are made with noble kava. If it’s not noble kava, we cannot recommend drinking it.
Try combining a kava ritual with your tea ritual, as we suggested. That will give you a genuine kava experience. Of course, if this seems like way too much work and you just want to try the darn kava, then you can trust your kava experience to Ü Relax.Ü Relax has done the research, performed the clinical trials, and improved upon the traditional kava by adding L-theanine, chamomile, ashwagandha, and lemon balm. We prepared four ounces in a ready-to-drink bottle and all you need to do is twist off the cap and ready yourself for relaxation.