We have a new question that gets asked of us more and more these days. It’s how to go about making the strongest Kava possible. Well, lucky for you, there are many ways to make your Kava as strong as possible!
First, anyone who has experience with Kava knows that Kava drinks are usually made with water or coconut water. Fruit juices are often added, but mainly, Kava drinks are made from water.
The trouble is, is that Kavalacatones, the active ingredients in Kava responsible for the pleasurable effects, really like to be extracted into fats. Fats include liquids we all know well, such as milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and many others. Oils are also fatty, but who wants to make a drink out of olive oil? Not me!
The other problem is that fats and oils do not get along together. If you have ever had balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, you know that you have to shake the oil and vinegar to get them to blend. And even then, it only blends long enough to get onto your salad! So, let’s do a little bit of math:
Kavalactones account for just 10% of the total Kava root powder material. Doesn’t that mean we could use a 10% fat solution for our drink to get that 10% of Kavalactones? Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t work exactly like that. Things like soy milk are already water-based, and have plenty of water in them. So, if we wanted the strongest possible drink without any extra additives, we could simply use 100% milk, soy milk, or almond milk as these are already blended with plenty of water, instead of just water.
But there are more than a few natural products that act as emulsifiers. What’s an emulsifier you say? Glad you asked! Emulsifiers help bridge the gap between water and oils (or fats). Emulsifiers allow water and fats or oil to play nice together, and stay blended in your drink. So, if your salad dressing had an emulsifier added to it (many do), you would never have to shake your dressing!
Knowing that, what might be typical emulsifiers for Kava? Having water and fats play nice together does indeed make for stronger Kava drinks. One very common emulsifier is coconut milk and another is soy lecithin. These are used quite often as a way to give your Kava that extra “kick”. Both are safe, and vegan as well. So, they’re popular choices. There is another product available online called Kava Blender. This is an organic rice-based product that does a very similar job to soy lecithin, but as a powder instead of a thick, gooey substance or in granule form. I really like it and prefer that over soy lecithin at the moment.
Heating Your Kava
I also get asked whether or not Kava can be heated up. Even though the breakdown point for Kavalactones is only 140 degrees Fahrenheit, we have made plenty of Kava tea, Kava brownies, and a stack of other Kava-related items that still had plenty of kick to them. So, although Kava isn’t approved as a food ingredient, there are many reports online of people making treats out of Kava and enjoying a Kava brownie alongside that Kava drink. And, from personal experience I can say that this is an effective way of having a stronger Kava experience without actually making strong Kava.
Drink More Kava
Let’s now look at the more obvious ways of making strong Kava. One of the easiest ways is to simply drink more of it! I know the focus of this article is making strong Kava, but the beautiful thing about Kava is that there is no immediate tolerance to it as you’re drinking it. This makes it possible to enjoy several shells over the course of a few hours. In social situations, my friends and I will enjoy several cups (“shells”) of Kava over the course of a few hours.
It doesn’t matter how strong you make your Kava, the effects only last about an hour or so when taking single servings of Kava. But, when you start to consume more than just one shell an hour; say 2 shells per hour, some very relaxing and pleasurable effects start to take hold. And that is when things can get very interesting.
Another simple way to increase the effectiveness of your Kava is to simply add stronger Kava into the drink you’re making. This is most easily accomplished by using items such as Kava Tincture Plus or Kavalactone Paste 55%. These items are both emulsified, and will blend easily with any Kava extraction that you’re working on. If you’re looking for a bigger initial “kick” then these simple additives are the perfect solution to making strong Kava drinks.
And, just like anything else, both responsibility and moderation is the key to having a safe and fun time with Kava. It’s completely legal throughout the world for personal use (except Germany as of this writing), but can have effects that could make it more difficult to drive. So, if you plan on making strong Kava, please make sure you’re in a safe place such as a Kava bar or your own home, and get familiar with the effects before venturing out into the world.
So, what have we learned about making strong Kava drinks today? That it is indeed possible, and fun at the same time! You can extract into something that already has natural fats in it such as soy milk, almond milk, or even cow’s milk. That will make a stronger Kava drink than if you had extracted into only water.
There are also additives that can be quite effective, and are only needed in small amounts. Next, there’s always simply drinking more Kava! It’s not technically making stronger Kava, but it definitely is concentrating your Kava inside your body.
Lastly, please be responsible, and don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your Kava journeys. And, now you can hopefully do it as a better informed Kava drinker!