The Best Ways to Prepare Kava
- Traditional Method
- Blender Method
- Mixer Cup Method
- Stand Mixer Method
- Kava Extraction Wash Method
- Aluball Method
- How to Store Kava
- Kava Base Liquids
People usually use the traditional method of kava preparation to make a larger batch. For either yourself over a long period of time or for you and a few of your friends. The prep is interesting and fun to watch and creates a fun atmosphere.
First you'll need some kind of large bowl. People call the traditional bowl a Tanoa.
We are working on a vendor to have these in stock. To be available to buy on the site and send directly from the maker. We'll keep you posted!
Otherwise, preferably you'll want to find one that will hold a bit more than 1 gallon of water. That's an amount of kava suitable for a gathering of a few people with shells at 4oz each. If you don't have a huge bowl, I found something that works fantastic.
They're called Cambro Food Storage Containers. When I worked in restaurants, we used these for hot and cold liquids as well as dry storage. They're multi-use when you're not making kava and can store all your kava stuff inside them very easily.
They also don't tip over easily and fit in sinks easily to save the mess. They even come with lids. Do you have 20 aluballs? Stick them in there and shake shake shake!
Then you'll need some kind of strainer bag like a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. I highly prefer quality nylon nut milk bags over cheese cloths because you can reuse them over and over. They wash and store easily.
Cheesecloths get dry and stiff. You usually can't squeeze everything out of them anyway. If you do it's usually fraying so much you wouldn't want to continue to use it.
If you're in a pinch and have them available an old *clean* t-shirt you never plan to wear again. Even clean nylon stockings will also work. You will use the stockings once and ruin the t-shirt as well.
Warm a gallon of water to about 105F. If you don't have a thermometer nearby, that's a bit warmer than body temperature. If you've ever been in a hot tub, you'll know what that feels like.
You don't want it any warmer than that as it will degrade the kavalactones and make a weak kava. If it's less warm that's also fine. It doesn't have to be exact. A thermometer would be great to have on hand if you have one nearby.
Get 100 grams or about 3.5oz of the best medium grind kava you can find.
Put the kava powder in the nut milk bag or wrap it in your straining bag. Pour the water into a bowl or cambro. Use a lot of water depending on the amount of kava you decide to use.
Usually a gallon of water for 100 to 130 grams of kava root powder. Put the wrapped kava in the water. Massage it in the water for 10 to 15 minutes until it has a nice deep brown color.
Below are step by step instructions on how to make a pacific island favorite beverage using ground kava root. There are many ways to prepare kava. If you're a beginner, mix some of the prepared kava with chocolate milk to enhance the taste. Enjoy!
Kava Recipe (Blender Method)
Serving Size (4oz):
Yield: 1 serving(s)
- 4 ounces of water
- 4 grams of kava powder (Recommended: Kelai, Melomelo, or Damu from Art of Kava)
- 100-micron strainer
- Ice cube tray (optional for freezing)
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoon
- Add the Kava: In a blender, add 4 ounces of water and 4 grams of kava powder.
- Blend the Mixture: Blend on medium-high for 4 minutes. Give your blender a short break every minute or so to prevent the motor from overworking.
- Strain the Mixture: Pour the blended mixture through a 100-micron strainer, squeezing the powder until it is dry.
- Consume or Chill: You may consume your kava drink right away or chill it. It's best if consumed the same day as prepared.
- Freezing Option (Optional): If you'd like to save your kava for later, get an ice cube tray. Freeze the mixture into ice cubes. Each cube will be roughly 1 ounce.
- 4 cubes will be one serving of kava. This will stay good and strong indefinitely. The next time you'd like kava, just pull it out of the freezer. Let it melt in water, or blend it into a smoothie.
Enjoy your homemade kava!
Mixer Cup Method
One of the awesome folks in the Kavaforums conceived the mixer cup method. If you haven't been to the forums or have questions, check it out. They're a great bunch of people there and absolute fonts of kava knowledge.
For the Mixer cup method, you guessed it, you need a Mixer Cup. These things are pretty cool. Stores sell them as protein shake mixer cups. Some are USB chargeable and you can even charge your phone from it in a pinch.
Like the blender method, you put 4 tablespoons of kava in the cup. Fill the cup with warm water and put the lid on. Turn it on for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain with your nut milk bag.
It makes a great cup of kava! Also, you can use the mixer cup to froth milk for coffee and other purposes. Making vinaigrettes and other stuff you would need something simple to mix things.
Stand Mixer Method
Another one was brought to us from an awesome member of the Kavaforums.
You can use a larger amount of water like you would with traditional prep. Only you don't have to sit there and knead anything for 10 minutes. The machine does it for you!
The levels of water here are different from bowl to bowl of your stand mixer. Feel free to adjust the water levels to your liking and so you don't splash everywhere.
Add 3.5 ounces of medium grind kava powder to your stand mixer bowl. Add enough water to fill, so you can have the mixer going and don't splash everywhere. Also enough to agitate the kava.
Start the mixer on low and get up the speed until you feel you can add more water without splashing. Add more water until you reach a level you're comfortable with. Mix for 10 to 15 minutes at that speed.
Slow the blender to a stop and strain the powder out. Use a nut bag, the liquid strains into a large bowl. It's ready to drink!
Washing Machine Method
Kavafied, the maker of Aluball, has recently shown adapting a portable washing machine (for clothes). You can use one in an RV, dorm, etc., to make large batches of kava.
We would highly recommend it if you are using this for kava. Never use it for anything else (like washing clothes). Make sure your machine is well sanitized before use.
Restaurants and breweries use a product called Star San https://amzn.to/3sHZVVB. It’s very easy to use and portion with the air space in the bottle. Just open both caps and squeeze.
The small 1oz side will fill up, then you pour that into your water in the bucket. Let it sit for the recommended amount of time and drain. It’s even safe for use with a septic system.
Here is the link to the washing machine we recommend https://amzn.to/3fpturJ
The best strainer out there for kava right now for this method is the Magic Kava Strainer by Kavafied. It is the 3 in 1 magic kava strainer by kavafied here: https://www.getkavafied.com/collections/kava-makers/products/magic-kava-strainer .
It works well because it zips and there are 3 strainers in one. The zipper is functional because it lets the bag float around in the kava. Wash extraction machine without kava powder going everywhere.
This washing machine has one side where you can make your kava. The other side will spin dry your kava pouch to get every last bit of liquid kava out of there. This is easily the best one out there for the price.
The less expensive ones on Amazon are the AE ones sold elsewhere as kava extraction machines, but aren't very durable. Plus if it does break, the exchange policy on Amazon is way better than most other places.
1 gram of kava powder per 1oz water.
1 gallon of water is 128oz. 1 gallon would use 128 grams of kava powder. With this method you're wanting to make much more than that.
3 gallons of water is 384 ounces which will require 384 grams of kava powder.
We highly recommend the Temotu Purple as the kava powder. Also an excellent blend to make at home is a 50/50 blend of Kadavu Damu and Temotu Purple.
Put your kava powder into the center bag of the zip strainer and zip shut.
Sit the washer up on something. So you can easily drain it later. Do this while empty…yup, it's almost as if I knew u were lifting that thing full of water haha. (Because it's something I'd do for sure!)
Fill the left side of your kava washer with 3 gallons of warm water no higher than the tap would provide. Then immerse your closed strainer bag with the kava powder in it, into the water. (Not the side with the metal spinner, the other side)
Turn on your kava washer to the wash setting for 15 minutes and close the lid.
Play a video game of some sort. Maybe Elden Ring? Yeah, it has been out for a while, but it remains pretty super.
Really do want you want. You have 15 minutes and feel like cleaning the house? You do you boo 😉.
Come back to your freshly made kava. Take the pouch out of the left side and put it into the right. Turn on the spin setting. Let it spin for a while until you are satisfied with how much you have squeezed it.
Go get the vessel you'd like to hold your kava in. I'd recommend some kind of bucket, not a bowl. A bowl is wide. You very well may end up like Kevin and his famous Chili from The Office (on the floor).
I'll assume you heeded our warning and got a bucket. For those who didn't, you like to live on the edge and I appreciate that. Godspeed to you.
Put that vessel below your kava washer. Add the hose it comes with to the drain area and put the other end into that bucket. Clean the strainer you just used.
Put the strainer down at the end of the hose so you strain out any extra bits. Drain the contents of your kava washing machine through the strainer and into the bucket below.
What you have is a bunch of kava made in a washing machine. Enjoy!
Super easy on the go method to make your kava. This will not make the strongest kava you'll have however it is very portable and easy.
You can get your aluball here: https://amzn.to/3FFvI1c
Fill your aluball with kava. Don't pack it so the water can still flow through. About 2 to 3 tablespoons.
Fill your shaker with water. about 16 to 20 oz, or fill.
Give it the ole shakey shake for about 1 minute.
You're ready to enjoy!
How to Store Kava
How do you store prepared kava? When you make too much kava to drink at once. It can be a problem to figure out how best to store it and why.
The thing that makes the most sense and is the go to for many is the refrigerator. While this can be a good option for very short term storage. Prepared kavas potency will only last for about 2 to 3 days.
A better way to store prepared kava is in the freezer. A drawback to storing it in the freezer is when it thaws. Some folks say that it has more of a gritty texture. We don't find that as an issue as the difference is minimal.
The benefit of freezing your kava is that it will stay potent for years in the freezer. Not that it will last that long!
We highly recommend using ice cube trays to freeze your kava. Each ice cube tray is typically 16 fluid ounces. That means each cube is about 1 fluid ounce each.
Which then means that you can thaw exactly how much you want to have that day. You can also blend into smoothies, acai bowls, protein shakes, etc.
Kava Base Liquids
Through this entire post I only use water as your liquid example. That was in the interest of keeping it simple. You might want to make kava taste better or even make kava stronger. You can add other liquids while you're preparing your kava.
Usually these liquids are fats like coconut milk, almond milk, regular milk or even creamers. Cocoa Pebbles creamer is excellent.
Subtract 1/5 of water and add in any of these liquids above. It adds a little something extra to your next kava session.