Traditional kava preparation is time-consuming. The powdered root has to be mixed around by hand for at least 15 minutes before it’s ready to drink.
As long as you’re not in a rush this method works perfectly fine. However, many people don’t want to spend 15 minutes mixing kava on their break. They just want a quick cup of kava before they head back to their desk.
Instant kava is the solution — in just 20 seconds from start to finish you can prepare a nice cup of kava.
Instant kava comes as a fine powder, to which you add a cup of warm and stir. Some instant kava will dissolve right away, others may need some more vigorous stirring to get the job done, but the end result is the same. A fresh cup of relaxing kava in under a minute.
Unfortunately, there are a few low-quality instant kava products to watch out for. Some of these products are so highly processed they no longer offer any of the benefits of using kava in the first place.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about buying instant kava. We’ll cover the two main types of instant kava and offer a few of the best instant kava products available in 2020.
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Best Instant Kava Products [2020 Reviewed]
There’s a lot of kava on the market, but be careful which ones you spend your money on. It’s critical you buy a strain that has an ideal kavalactone content. Choosing a poor-quality kava product can mean the difference of having a nice, relaxing evening drinking kava, from feeling nauseous and tired for two straight days.
Here are our favorite noble kava strains in instant kava format for 2020:
- Root of Happiness Instant Kava (Hawaiian) — Best Instant Kava For Stress
- Kalm With Kava Borongoru Micronized — Best Instant Kava For Sleep
- Bula House Instant Kava Root Mix — Runner-Up, Best Instant Kava For Sleep
- Kavafied Kava SUPREME Premium Dehydrated Kava Juice — Best Dehydrated Kava Juice Powder
1. Root of Happiness — Instant Kava (Hawaiian)
Root of Happiness offers two instant kava options, but our favorite is the Hawaiian strain. The flavor is smooth and creamy, and the powder dissolves almost instantly in the water.
This kava is made via freeze-drying rather than micronization — which the company says leaves too much fiber behind even after the straining process.
2. Kalm With Kava — Borongoru Instant Kava
Brongoru kava is one of the most popular kava strains in Vanuatu. It’s strong, has a nice creamy flavor, and offers effects best described as heavy. Kalm With kava has Borongoru in both a traditional coarse-ground version, as well as an instant micronized option.
3. Bula House Kava — Instant Kava Root Drink Mix
This instant kava mix is made from fresh kava juice freeze-dried into a fine powder. The company sources kava roots from plants that are at least 5 years old from Vanuatu.
This is one of the only instant kava mixes we’ve seen that lists the chemocode for the mix. This particular instant kava is considered heavy kava with a mild peppery flavor. This kava is strong, and it’s recommended for supporting sleep or anxiety.
4. Kavafied Kava SUPREME Dehydrated Kava Juice
This is a true instant kava made from dehydrated kava juice — not micronized kava. It’s made by expressing the juices of the kava root and removing all the water content with the help of high-tech machinery.
This process renders a finely powdered concentration of the active compounds in kava. It dissolved very quickly and efficiently into water. It has almost no chalky sensation compared to other instant kavas and provides mild, but balanced effects.
The chemocode for this kava cultivar is 243.
This is a good kava for keeping at your desk at work, or for brewing in a hurry late at night when you’re having trouble sleeping.
|Kavalactone Concentration||Not Listed|
What Is Instant Kava?
As the name implies, instant kava is a form of kava that can be made into a kava tea in just a few seconds. This is differentiated from standard kava doesn’t mix well in water. These other kava options require more preparation and up to 5 – 10 minutes of mixing the roots with water.
There’s more to instant kava than you might expect. To get the kava to mix instantly with the water, there are a couple of processes companies use to prepare the kava. These processes are highly technical and result in a higher price compared to coarse-ground, run of the mill kava.
There are two types of instant kava you should know about — micronized kava, and freeze-dried kava. Both make a quick cup of kava, but there are some pros and cons to each.
1. Micronized Kava — Finely Ground Kava Powder
The first (and most popular) form of instant kava is micronized kava. This is essentially the same kava powder as the regular stuff — except its ground into an ultra-fine powder and had all the excess fibers removed.
This fine powder has a significantly larger surface area than regular coarse-ground kava, and therefore, allows the active kavalactones to come in contact with the water much more easily (and quickly).
Micronized kava is the most popular because it involves less processing than the second type of instant kava, maintaining more of the natural kava compounds (which can break down with extensive processing).
Some of the most popular micronized kava options include:
- Gourmet Hawaiian Kava House — Awa Hiwa
- Cactus Kava — Eva Kava
- Kalm With Kava — Borongoru
- Kalm With Kava — Loa Waka Kava
2. Freeze-Dried Kava — True “Instant” Kava
The next type of instant kava is made by brewing a large batch of kava tea or kava juice and freeze-drying the mixture to remove all the water. Once complete, you’re left with an ultra-fine powder. This powder was already dissolved in water at one point, so it will readily dissolve again once water is added.
This form of kava dissolves the fastest and most thoroughly. Oftentimes with micronized kava, you can end up with a layer of sludge at the bottom of the beverage. This won’t happen with instant kava made from the freeze-dried brew.
The downsides of this instant kava are that the processing may damage some of the kavalactones — making the mix weaker than an equivalent amount of micronized or coarse-ground kava. You can always add more powder to make the brew stronger.
The other downside to this form of kava is that you will rarely find one specific strain of kava in this form. Instead, most manufacturers will use a combination of kava strains.
Ultimately, instant kava made from freeze-dried juice or kava brew is the easiest kava to make, dissolve the fastest into the water, and doesn’t leave unwanted sludge at the bottom of the cup. Some companies will even add some extra flavor to the instant kava powder to make the drink more palatable.
Some popular instant kava from a freeze-dried mix
The Benefits of Instant Kava
Many people around the world drink kava on a daily basis for supporting sleep, stress, anxiety, or to promote creative workflows. Others use it in social settings to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family.
Although many people enjoy the ritual of preparing kava the traditional way, others may find it tedious and time-consuming. This is where instant kava truly shines.
The benefits of instant kava over traditional kava root powder include:
- It’s much quicker to make — a cup of instant kava takes less than a minute
- The finer grind makes the packages smaller and easier to tote around
- There are often other flavors or ingredients added to make the kava more enjoyable
How To Prepare Instant Kava (The Correct Way)
How do you actually prepare instant kava? Let’s cover the process step by step for ultimate clarity.
Step 1: Measure The Dose
It’s difficult to assess the exact dose for instant kava because each product can vary significantly in potency. It depends on how the kava was processed, what was removed (or left behind), and how long ago it was processed (kavalactones will breakdown over time during storage).
The best way to measure the dose of instant kava is to follow the directions on the label. This is going to give you the most accurate starting point from which to build off. If you’re not sure where to start, most instant kava suggests a starting dose of around 1 tablespoon of powder per cup of water.
We highly recommend you play around with the dose a little bit, as this can vary from one person to another.
Start with the recommended dose and see how you feel. If you think your drink could be stronger, take a slightly larger does the next time.
If you think the kava was too strong, take a slightly lower dose the next time.
Some instant kava will come in pre-measured packs. This is the most convenient for dosing because you don’t even need to think about it. Simply open the pack and pour it in your cup.
Step 2: Prepare the Water
The next step is to prepare the water. Again, the amount of water to use will really depend on the recommendations of the manufacturer because of how different one form of instant kava can be from the next.
As mentioned above, most instant kava will require roughly 1 tablespoon of powder per cup of water. If you’re making a brew just for yourself, fill up a standard 12 oz (350 mL) cup about ¾ of the way.
If you plan on making a larger brew, try to maintain similar ratios. You can simply double, triple, or quadruple the recipe for large batches of instant kava brew.
Although you can use whatever water temperature you want, we recommend you use hot, but not boiling water. The hot water that comes from the tap is usually perfect temperature.
Step 3: Mix in the Kava
The next step is to mix the kava into the water. This part is simple. If you’ve purchased proper instant kava, the powder will dissolve completely within about 20 seconds of stirring.
If you’ve bought micronized kava that doesn’t have the fibers removed, it’s going to be a little bit more difficult, and you’ll end up with extra fiber in the mix. You can filter this out by straining the tea through cheesecloth or cotton coffee filter (don’t use paper coffee filters or you’ll filter out the active kavalactones too).
Step 4: Flavor & Enjoy
You can drink the mix right away or add some flavoring to the brew to improve the taste. This is completely up to you, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. Add whatever you feel like to make the kava as enjoyable for you as possible.
Some popular flavoring options include:
- Agave nectar
- Cinnamon sticks
- Cream or milk
- Stevia powder
Final Thoughts: Where Can In Buy the Best Instant Kava?
Instant kava is one of the most popular forms of kava today for the simple reason that it’s much faster to make.
You can have a fresh cup of kava in as little as 20 seconds. This is a huge improvement compared to the traditional way of doing it which could take up to 45 minutes just to make a brew enough kava for six people.
When shopping for instant kava, make sure you see the words “instant” directly on the packaging. This is because there are a lot of micronized kava options on the market that are close to instant but haven’t had the fibers completely removed from the powder. This means that when you finish making the tea, you’ll have to either drink the fibers (which don’t taste great) or filter the tea before you drink (which defeats the point of going instant).
If you want to get started with instant kava today, we recommend going for the Instant Boronrogu Kava from Kalm With Kava — it’s one of the most well-rounded instant kavas you’ll find.
Have you tried instant kava? Leave your comments below.