Forms of Kava
TRADITIONAL GRIND Kava - The classic form of dried kava roots. Great for those who like the more traditional and interesting way of preparing and drinking kava, just the way it's been done for centuries around the South Pacific. It's also the most affordable form of kava. The traditional grind powder should be placed in a strainer bag, immersed in warm water and then kneaded hard for apx. 10 minutes. It can make a strong and full-flavoured, but smooth and relatively easy to drink beverage. If you need more detailed instructions, visit our Kava Preparation page.
MICRONISED Kava - A great option for beginners, those who cannot be bothered with the traditional preparation techniques and those who want to experiment with mixing kava with various soft drinks. High quality micronised kava is produced by extremely fine grinding of dried kava roots free of the coarse fibres and extraneous plant material. These coarse fibres are called "makas" and they are not only much weaker than the softer parts of the root, but they can also cause stomach discomfort in some people (that is why medium grind kavas should always be strained before consumption). While most micronised kava on the market is not free of makas and is simply a better milled version of traditional kava, we strive to remove all of these coarse fibres from our kava prior to its micronisation in order to ensure much greater potency and much lower likelihood of stomach discomfort. Our makas-removed micronised kavas also go through an additional proprietary process which ruptures the Kava cell walls and releases more Kavalactones, which ensures maximum potency and good value for money. The end result is a very fine powder that can be mixed directly with water or any other soft drink (just like with the instant kava, no filtering or kneading necessary). This makes a slightly gritty, but very powerful and convenient beverage. Micronised kava is more expensive per gram than medium grind, but it is also more potent - you only need to use around 30-50% of the amount of traditional grind powder to get similar effects. Micronised kavas are perhaps not as smooth and easy to drink as instant or traditional, properly strained kavas, but present an affordable option for those who value convenience.
INSTANT Kava - High quality instant kava is a another fantastic option for both beginners and seasoned drinkers looking for a more exquisite kava experience. It is the closest thing you can get to drinking freshly squeezed kava on one of the Pacific islands. Our instants are truly excellent products made by dehydrating the resin of a very powerful fresh kava mixture (obtained through a cold water extraction of freshly harvested kava roots) until all that remains are the pure instant granules. The instant powder is incredibly fine, smooth and potent. It can be mixed directly with water or your favourtie soft drink (no straining or kneading necessary!). Instant kava is more expensive than any other type of kava, but it also offers a remarkable combination of potency, smoothness, ease of drinking and convenience unmatched by any other form of kava. It is usually enough to use just 30-50% of the amount of medium grind kava to get similar effects.
Types of Kava
All kavas are generally known for their ability to promote calmness, relaxation an a sense of well-being without diminishing mental clarity. However, there are many different kava varieties and each variety has its own unique combination of kavalactones (expressed in a simplified form as the kava chemotype) which, together with such factors as the method of consumption and overall potency, will determine its specific effects. We can loosely differentiate between three broad types of kava varieties:
HEADY - kavas with higher concentrations of such kavain and yangonin (mostly those with numbers 4 and 3 closer to the left of their chemotype) tend produce more heady/cerebral, uplifting and cheerful effects. In general, heady kavas are good for day-time drinking as they keep your mind not just relaxed but also quite clear and alert. Heady kavas have more effects on your mind than on your body. They promote a gentle sense of well-being, contentment and happy unconcern. They are great for stressful situations and creative work. Such kavas are also good for social gatherings and parties as they encourage conversations and camaraderie.
BALANCED - Such kavas offer a good balance of the two types of effects. As such, these are the most versitile and popular kavas. Depending on dosage, they are used for both day-time and night-time drinking and are considered to be great for both beginners and those experienced drinkers who enjoy the full spectrum of beautiful kava effects.
HEAVY - Kavas with higher concentrations of the heavier kavalactones, namely dihydrokavain, dihydromethysticin and methysticin, (i.e. those with 2, 6 and 5 closer to the left, with 2 and 6 being far more desirable than 5) are considered "heavier" kavas. They are known to produce more effects on your body (the so-called "body-melting" effect) than on your mind. In general, they tend to promote much deeper relaxation and sedation. Their taste is often more bitter and their effects longer-lasting than those of the headier kavas. They are generally better for night-time drinking and not ideal for socialising or creative work and contemplation. As such heavier kavas are generally slightly less popular among kava drinkers.
©2014-2016 The Kava Society. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. The information provided on this website is not meant to be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. What we present here is the literature we are familiar with and our own experiences related to the consumption of kava as a traditional beverage. If you do suffer from an illness, take any medications, require treatment, or have any other concerns, we advise that you consult your GP whether you can safely use kava.
A bag with one of our micronised kavas