How To: Preparing Kava Tea At Home

The history of kava and kava tea is incredibly varied and unique. While the substance has been used for both medicinal and ceremonial uses for hundreds of years, it has only recently become known outside of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. The history of using kava as a supplement is quite new, but the preparation methods behind making kava tea are very old!

Because of the longevity and breadth of kava’s history, a number of different preparation methods for making your own kava tea. There isn’t a specific method that is better than the rest, and the decision about which you prefer will ultimately be up to you.

We actually think that it’s pretty fun to try out all of the methods! You’ll learn more about what can go into the preparation of kava tea, and find out which taste you find most appealing. Our main goal will be to help you learn more about at-home methods, but we will also share some info about traditional and bulk brewing methods.

At-Home Methods

Using Strainer Bags

The least “messy” way to make kava tea at home is to use strainer bags. You can use large cheesecloth bags or even large tea bags; the key is that you have a straining material that will help to keep any debris from making it into your final tea.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. 1. Add one part kava to the bag.
  2. 2. Add three parts warm water to a large bowl.
  3. 3. Place the strainer bag in the bowl with the water.
  4. 4. Using your hands, knead and massage the strainer bag for ten or more minutes, using a lot of pressure to do so.
  5. 5. Before you use the kava tea, squeeze out the bag to get as much liquid out of it as possible.
  6. 6. Drink the kava tea quickly!

This method takes a lot of physical effort, but the effects are well worth the labor that you put in. When you knead and massage the dry root with the water in this way, the root will begin to break down. As this occurs, powerful antioxidants found in kava are released. 

No-Knead Method

Of course, not everyone is going to be willing to spend 10 minutes massaging a strainer bag full of kava root every time they want to have some kava tea at home! While that method is definitely the most effective in terms of making kava tea at home, there are other options.

Rather than massing the bag, you can simply let the kava root or powdered kava steep as you would with a standard tea. If you are using kava root, get a fine mesh strainer. For powdered products, stick to muslin tea bags.

Here’s how to brew your kava tea:

  1. 1. Put the root or powdered kava into the appropriate brewing strainer
  2. 2. Add the strainer to warm (not hot) water. Boiling water will reduce the number of beneficial antioxidants in your final tea.
  3. 3. Allow the kava to steep for a minimum of ten minutes. The longer that you allow the tea to steep, the more effective the final product will be.
  4. 4. If using a tea bag, squeeze all remaining liquid out of the bag.
  5. 5. Drink up!

Most people brew kava just like this and use water, but you aren’t limited to use water as your only extraction liquid. Some have found that doing the extraction in a fat-containing liquid like milk actually helps to draw out more of the kava’s antioxidants.

There are a few different liquids that you can try using instead of water:

  • • Milk
  • • Coconut milk
  • • Pineapple juice
  • • Papaya juice
  • • Orange juice

Buy It!

If steeping in any sense feels like too much work for your current time or needs, you may want to look into buying instant kava instead. Using instant kava means that you can instantly add pre-extracted kava to any drink, at any time. All that you need is to mix in the powder, and then you’ll be good to go!

The Traditional Brewing Method

Since you now know how you can make your own kava tea at home, let’s take a little bit of time to talk about how this brew was traditionally made in the regions where it has been used as a tea for medicinal or ceremonial reasons.

In The Past

The historical accounts of how kava tea was prepared are absolutely wild by modern standards. This method is how many regions made kava tea for many years, and the idea of that tradition may tempt you to try this method. Trust us when we say it might not be achievable!

First, the kava root would be gathered from the wild. All of it would be collected and brought to the region’s female virgins. These virgins would then chew the root until it became a pulp, damaging their teeth on the fibrous root. Because of how difficult it was, married women were not required to continue to do this activity.

Once the root was broken down through this intense chewing method, the pulp would be spit into a leaf. The contents of the leaf would be brewed with water to make a tea.


These days, no one is gathering the female virgins and asking them to chew on kava root. Instead, a manual grinder is used to create the pulp. Then, the tea is steeped. It is strained through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of the grit and debris before the tea is enjoyed.

Now Get Brewing!

Now that you’ve learned a few different preparation methods and more about kava tea’s history along the way, it’s your turn to create your own history. You will only be able to find out what you like best once you start doing your own kava tea preparation, so it is important to experiment. Have a little fun, try something new, and don’t let yourself worry too much!

Kava tea should serve a purpose in your life, but it should also be something that you can sit back and enjoy making every time you want to make a batch. Let it be fun, and you’ll be able to explore even more possibilities!

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