Traditional Method to Make Your Kava & Understand Role of Strainer

Traditional Method to Make Your Kava & Understand Role of Strainer

Kava has become extremely popular in recent times. Tampa Bay Times has reported the rising kava bars in the USA, especially in southeast Florida!

St Petersburg is not behind either. Pinellas County is now popular as a must visit place for any kava fan. This immense popularity for the earthy, mouth-numbing drink is no surprise and we will soon tell you why.

The popularity has also resulted in a number of kava preparation methods in the market and honestly, it can be confusing. Everybody calls their preparation “traditional” and authentic. 

The best part is that the traditional method is quite elegant and simple. It is fun and with your group of friends, it helps in creating the perfect unwinding space. 

So, what do we have for you in this article? Today, we will talk about the traditional methods to make your kava and understand the role of strainer (yes, a strainer has a serious role here!)

Before we do that, let us first briefly explore the reason for this traditional drink’s popularity around the world and in the USA. 

Understanding Kava 

Kava hails from the Pacific islands such as Vanuatu, Fiji, Hawai, Tonga and Samoa. Its botanical name is piper methysticum. 

Traditionally, this drink has been used by the communities for ceremonial, recreational and medicinal purposes. 

Kava is considered a patron deity of the local farmers. The kava making process traditionally includes:

  1. Kava bowl or tanoa 
  2. Strainer or tau’anga 
  3. Cup or ipu 

Tanoa (centre), ipu (coconut shell’s cups), and the strainer
Source: Centre For Asian American Media

The part used for making the kava drink is specifically its peeled and dried roots. These roots contain a chemical compound called kavalactones, responsible for its health benefits such as anti-anxiety impact. 

Not just anti-anxiety but it also has proven to be effective for neuromuscular tension. It also acts as an anticonvulsant. 

Kava is versatile, non-addictive, and a natural source of health benefits like CBD, turmeric, ashwagandha, chamomile. 

Especially its non-alcoholic nature has made it talk of the town amongst many. Its calming nature is a necessity for people in this busy, worrying world. 

Kava is often compared to alcohol. However, that’s not true. Kava is not alcohol and so far, research suggests no dependence whatsoever. 

So, now you know what kava is, what its health benefits are, and why it is popular. Let’s move on to making ourselves a bowl of kava 

Making The Traditional Kava 

As shared above, kava drink is made using dried roots. 

To make yourself the traditional kava drink, all you need are the following ingredients:

  1. Kava – ground
  2. A strainer bag. 
  3. Water
  4. A bowl to put the water and strainer bag in

Before we move on to the process, let us see the role of strainer here. Remember the kavalactones? 

Strainer Is Important

Kavalactones aren’t water soluble. Therefore, the common understanding that powder will dissolve into water does not work here exactly. Plus the powder contains thick, woody parts which are basically coarse fibres.

The Kava Strainer used for kneading the powder
Source: Kavafied

These coarse fibres contain kavalactones and you would think that’s great but there’s a twist in this kava making story. These particles aren’t good for your digestive system & overall gut health.

What to do then? Use the strainer bag!

Strainer bag helps in kneading the powder well with water. The squeezing allows the kavalactones to get out of the thick particles too.

& the strainer ensures that those coarse fibres filter out easily 🙂

Thus, the strainer allows better kavalactones extraction and an overall better quality beverage to consume. 

Let us now get back to our traditional kava making process. Are you ready?

The Process

  1. Add 1 part kava powder inside the strainer bag available with your noble kava powder. 
  2. Add water in a bowl.
  3. Place the strainer bag filled with kava powder in a bowl big enough to allow you to do the next step. (Let this sit in the bowl for a few minutes to loosen the tougher fibres)
  4. Now knead the strainer bag well. You can use the fist or continue twisting the bag in water for roughly 5-10 minutes.
  5. Continue step 4 until you see a dense brown color and feel the consistency to be oily. 
  6. Now, squeeze the bag really tightly, allowing any remaining water and kavalactones to be released from the bag. 

Kindly Note: 1 part kava to 4 parts water is a rough guide and those making the kava can surely try different ratios.

Voila, your kava drink is ready 

There’s MORE: The Second Wash!

Though this version is weaker. Still it is a good way to take out the remaining kava magic. 

Second wash is a process of adding a bit more water and repeating the traditional process on the leftover kneaded kava in the strainer. If you want, you can definitely try this and make the best of your kava time. 

The second wash can be put inside the fridge, soaked in water overnight and used the next day for a kava session. Many kava forums claim that a lot of kavalactones are left after first washing and are as potent in nature. 

You can put your second wash in the fridge. Try and preferably consume it within 24 hours 🙂

So, make sure you try it and let us know 🙂

We hope our traditional method to make your kava and understand the role of strainer guide is helpful. 

Before signing off we’d like to share a few important points to note in order to make the most of your kava session. 

Notes For You To Enjoy Kava Session 

First and foremost is ensuring you’re taking kava on an empty stomach or at least try not eating 3-4 hours before taking kava. It ensures more effectiveness and the calm effect you’re looking for in the kava.

More notes to enjoy your kava session are as follows: 

  1. Chug the drink so that the sediments of the drink don’t settle down making the impact weaker.
  2. Chug it also because kava drink isn’t famous for its taste. 
  3. Consider using a chaser like a fruit of your choice or a snack to make kava’s taste wash off.  It’s common to put coconut milk or some sort of creamer like milk in with your kava to make it smoother. 

Pssst…A fun note: Kava candy is a perfect chaser to go with your kava drink 

  1. Kava’s impact on each individual varies. Some feel its relaxing impact pretty quickly and some may take a few sessions or days. A phenomenon popularly known as reverse tolerance. Therefore, give yourself some time and listen to your body. 
  2. Don’t forget to use the strainer bag or else the thick, fibrous particles will impact your gut health. 
  3. Don’t drink the entire drink in one go. Preferably take 100-150 ml in one go and take 10-15 minutes break between each chug.
  4. Create a calm environment so that you can truly enjoy kava’s calm. Put on some nice music, sit with your friends, cook something. 
  5. Do not mix alcohol and keep it out of reach of children, pregnant women. If you have any physical concerns, do contact your physician first. 
  6. For your kava session, we highly recommend you try our very own light & refreshing blend of noble kava root

Bula to your new experience and that’s not all 

We have a special offer for you. A 25% off if you order today :)))

Just click here and start your kava journey with us today. 

If you’re interested in reading more about kava then kindly click here.


CAAM. (2015, August 24). “Pacific Worlds”—Community Voices lead at the Oakland Museum of California. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from CAAM Home website:

DiNatale, S. (2018, March 1). This city is the kava capital of the U.S. Retrieved from Tampa Bay Times website:

Kavafied. (n.d.). Kava Strainer Bag – Pro Grade. Retrieved from Kavafied website:

Romm, A., Hardy, M. L., & Mills, S. (2010, January 1). KAVA KAVA (A. Romm, M. L. Hardy, & S. Mills, Eds.). Retrieved November 9, 2021, from ScienceDirect website:

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