Kavafied Review: The Original Manufacturer of the AluBall Kava Maker

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Kavafied is the original manufacturer of the AluBall kava maker — which has become the standard kava shaker for the modern kava drinker. It makes a traditional style kava brew in a matter of seconds without the tedious mixing and mashing of kava in a bowl of water.

The company also sells a diverse lineup of kava cultivars from Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu. There’s really something for everyone from this company.

In this article, we’ll discuss Kavafied’s products in detail, and offer some of our own experiences and insights with using each one.

1. Price & Value

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Kavafied has done an excellent job at balancing the cost of these products with their potency. There are certainly cheaper brands out there, but not for this level of quality or potency. 

The only product in this lineup that I don’t feel is worth the cost is the instant powder. While instant kava is always going to be more expensive (it takes more work to make), this one is much more costly per gram of powder than other instant powders we’ve reviewed. 

2. Product Lineup

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This brand has one of the most extensive product lineups we’ve seen. They provide pretty much every category of kava product, as well as some very unique accessories — such as the AluBall or the companies uniquely designed kava strainer bags. 

3. Product Potency

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

These products aren’t the most potent we’ve tried, but they’re consistently above-average. If you’ve been drinking kava for a while, you’ve probably noticed there’s a particular issue with low-potency kava these days. With this brand we have yet to be disappointed with a truly underpowered kava powder like we’ve seen from many of the Amazon brands lately. 

4. Customer Service

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This company has a great customer service team. They’re very responsive and clearly know a lot about kava. I usually ask a few tricky questions to test their knowledge and was surprised at the thoroughness of the response I got from this company. 

About the Company: Kavafied

Kavafied is a Polynesian-owned company with a deeply rooted history in kava culture.

The company’s founder is Matt Masifilo and an ex-NFL footballer and inventor of the AluBall kava maker — which has become a standard method of preparing kava for the modern kava drinker. Almost all of the kava vendors we’ve reviewed also sell the AluBall kava maker along with their individual kava lineup.

Matt’s family comes from the village of Ha’aha’a (Kolo Maile) on ‘Eau, Tonga — where, kava is a way of life.

Kava drinking is a regular practice in the evenings on the island. This is a time where all the locals can come together and relax at the end of a long day. They spend the late afternoon and evenings socializing and drinking kava together before going home to rest up for another day of work.

Thanks to the strong connections to this small kava-drinking village in Tonga, Kavafied is able to offer a rare local Tongan kava cultivar. This kava is hard to get and only becomes available if there’s an excess of it in the region. The locals get first dibs. Matt’s family owns a farm in the region that supplies a lot of the Tongan kava they have for sale. The funds are used to help develop the community with new roads and schools.

You can find images of the family farm in Tonga, including the step-by-step process for how the kava is grown, harvested, and consumed. They were even running a local blog for the farm — showing what life is like on a kava farm. However, this project hasn’t been updated since 2018.

The Kavafied headquarters is located in Tampa, Florida, where they also run their own kava bar. Here, you can sit down with a group of close friends and drink kava together in the traditional Tongan way.

Kavafied also sells wholesale to other kava producers and kava bars. You can buy kava-making machines, professional acacia wood brewing bowls, strainers, and coconut cups for yourself, or your kava bar startup.

This company has it all and maintains strong integrity for the kava samples they offer. Everything is tested to prove the kava powder the company sources contain no trace of the undesirable tudei kava cultivars.

Kavafied Kava Root Powders

1. Kava SUPREME

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxing
  • Social
  • Creativity
  • Muscle Relaxant

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About This kava

Kava SUPREME is reported to be the original kava powder used to make the AluBall Kava Maker.

This kava is made from Vanuatu noble kava, but little information is available on which cultivar or chemotype this kava root powder contains.

We found this kava to be very heavy but had about average potency compared to other Vanuatu kava products. It gives users a feeling of relaxation without being too sedating. These qualities make this kava one of the few heavy kavas that work well during the day.

Technical Details

  • Origin — Vanuatu
  • Total Kavalactone Content — Not Listed
  • Effect Profile — Heavy
  • Strength — Average
  • Grind — Medium
  • Flavor Profile — Smooth, Creamy, Woody, Fresh
  • Kava Code — Not Listed
  • Recommended Experience — All Levels
  • Most Common Side Effect — Grogginess

Cost Breakdown:

NameTotal CostCost per Gram
Kavafied Kava SUPREME    $29.99 – $110.00  $0.13

2. Kava BATI

Best For:

  • Stress

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxing
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Social

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About This kava

This Fijian kava is named after the Bati warriors of Fiji. The Bati is the island’s warrior caste and considered to be among the strongest of the Fijians. Each Fijian village has a traditional infrastructure with a Chieftain and Bati clan serving as bodyguards or protectors.

The Bati were known for their strength, and ability to remain composed in the face of stressful situations.

This kava is less sedating than most kavas and has subtle euphoric effects. Like the Bati warriors it’s named after, this kava is good for keeping stress levels to a minimum so you can focus on finding solutions to problems instead of buckling under the pressure.

Technical Details

  • Origin — Fiji
  • Total Kavalactone Content — Not Listed
  • Effect Profile — Balanced
  • Strength — Average
  • Grind — Medium
  • Flavor Profile — Smooth, Mild Pepper, Woody
  • Kava Code — Not Listed
  • Recommended Experience — All Levels
  • Most Common Side Effect — Dizziness

Cost Breakdown:

NameTotal CostCost per 10 Gram Dose
Kavafied Kava BATI  $28.95 – $105.00    $0.13

3. Kava TONGA

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxing
  • Stimulating (mild)
  • Creativity
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Euphoria

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About This kava

Matt Masifilo’s family comes from Tonga. This is a unique and rare kava root from his home village of Ha’aha’a, ‘Eua.

Tongan kavas are already hard to find due to the widespread demand for the herb locally, and limited farmland. The strong connection Matt has to Tongan kava farmers brings this rare Tongan kava cultivar to the international kava community.

This strain is very heady and has a much stronger euphoric component than your average kava root. We even found it to be slightly stimulating at first — which makes it great for daytime use, or when sharing with friends.

Technical Details

  • Origin — Tonga
  • Total Kavalactone Content —Not Listed
  • Effect Profile — Heady
  • Strength — Strong
  • Grind — Medium
  • Flavor Profile — Smooth, Creamy, Woody, Sweet, Mild Bitter, Strong Pepper
  • Kava Code — Not Listed
  • Recommended Experience — All Levels
  • Most Common Side Effect — Dizziness

Cost Breakdown:

NameTotal CostCost per Gram
Kavafied Kava TONGA$34.99 – $120.00$0.15

4. Kava LAPITA

Best For:

  • Sleep Support

Positive Effects:

  • Sedation
  • Muscle Relaxant
  • Relaxing
  • Anti-anxiety

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About This kava

Kava Lapita is a small-batch Solomon Island-grown kava root.

This kava is named after the prehistoric Oceanic Lapita culture. The Lapita flourished from 1600 BCE to around 500 BCE and is believed to be the direct ancestors of Polynesia, Micronesia, and some areas of Melanesia.

The Lapita tribe was especially known for its seafaring nature. They were excellent navigators and would often set out on rafts to find and colonize faraway islands — bringing their culture, language, and kava use with them. They’re also known for their use of obsidian and distinct geometric pottery.

As a group of Lapita left their island in search of new land, they would bring kava roots with them to plant and cultivate when they arrived at their destination. The Lapita are widely considered to be one of the main reasons for kavas widespread distribution throughout the pacific ocean.

This particular kava is grown on the Solomon Islands and has a characteristic heavy, sedative effect  — which is common with Solomon Island kava cultivars. We recommend this kava in the evening a few hours before bed. Drinking this kava during the day may cause you to feel too tired in the evening.

The first time I used this kava I ended up going to bed at 6 pm! Surprisingly I remained asleep until my normal wake up time at 7 am — which was probably the longest sleep I’ve ever had in my life.

Despite its sedative nature, this kava doesn’t leave you feeling groggy the next morning as long as you get a full 8 hours of sleep (or more in my case).

Technical Details

  • Origin — Solomon Islands
  • Total Kavalactone Content — Not Listed
  • Effect Profile — Heady
  • Strength — Strong
  • Grind — Medium
  • Flavor Profile — Strong Pepper, Mild Bitter, Woody
  • Kava Code — Not Listed
  • Recommended Experience — Experienced
  • Most Common Side Effect — Sedation

Cost Breakdown:

NameTotal CostCost per Gram
Kavafied Kava LAPITA  $29.99 – $106.00$0.13

5. TokoUso Unity Kava Blend

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxing
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Social, Euphoria

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About This kava

This is a blend of Samoan and Tongan kava root. It’s named in honor of the brotherhood between early Tongan and Samoan cultures that used to war with each other. Toko (Tongan) and Uso (Samoan) both mean “brother”.

Together, TokoUso refers to a settlement of differences made between the two cultures that were previously at war with each other.

This is a perfect metaphor for what kava stands for. It’s meant to be a reminder that while we all have our differences, we can all sit together and enjoy a cup of kava and good conversation.

This kava has average potency but provides a strong sense of euphoria and wellbeing. This kava is excellent for promoting introspection and meditation but also works well in groups for engaging in deep conversations. The subtle relaxing effects of this kava blend make it easy to socialize with people. It’s excellent for breaking down any barriers when drinking kava with new friends.

We’ve had some really great meetups with this particular kava and love the backstory of this particular kava blend.

Technical Details

  • Origin — Tonga & Samoa Blend
  • Total Kavalactone Content — Not Listed
  • Effect Profile — Balanced
  • Strength — Average  
  • Grind — Medium
  • Flavor Profile — Mild Bitter, Mild Pepper, Creamy, Malty
  • Kava Code — Not Listed
  • Recommended Experience — All Levels
  • Most Common Side Effect — Nausea  

Cost Breakdown:

NameTotal CostCost per 10 Gram Dose
Kavafied Toukouso Unity Kava Blend$29.99 – $105.00$0.13

Kavafied Instant Kava

Instant Kava SUPREME — Dehydrated kava Juice

Best For:

  • Stress/Anxiety

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxing
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Creativity
  • Sedation

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About This kava

While instant kava isn’t exactly traditional, many modern kava drinkers prefer using instant kava mixes because of the convenience factor.

Unlike other “instant” kavas, this powder isn’t made from micronized kava root. Instead, this powder contains dehydrated kava root juice. The root juice is brewed in large batches, before having the water removed through a dehydration process — leaving behind pure water-soluble kava particles.

Micronized kava powders are the same as regular kava powder, but it’s been ground into even smaller particle sizes than normal to help it dissolve in water more quickly. Micronized powders still contain the tiny fibers of the kava root which can be slightly irritating to the mouth and won’t dissolve as well as dehydrated kava juice.

Dehydrated kava juice dissolves almost immediately in water, with very little effort. It also has all the microfibers removed from the kava source which helps with the flavor and texture of the final brew.

We found this instant kava to be well-balanced and resembles the companies Vanuatu powder in terms of effects (though slightly weaker and doesn’t taste as fresh). Instant kavas are more expensive, but if you don’t enjoy fussing around brewing kava the traditional way, instant kava like this is your best bet.

To use this instant kava, add 1 tsp of the powder to 1 cup (250 mL) of water. Flavor with milk or honey as needed. 

Technical Details

  • Origin — Vanuatu
  • Total Kavalactone Content — Not Listed
  • Effect Profile — Balanced
  • Strength — Mild
  • Grind — Very Fine
  • Flavor Profile —  Bland, Mild Bitter, Mild Pepper
  • Kava Code — Not Listed
  • Recommended Experience — All Levels
  • Most Common Side Effect — Dizziness & Nausea

Cost Breakdown:

NameTotal CostCost per 10 Gram Dose
Kavafied Instant Kava SUPREME — Premium Dehydrated Kava Juice$19.99    $0.71

Kavafied Kava Accessories

1. AluBall Kava Maker

The founder of Kavafied is also the inventor of the famed AluBall — a patented device designed to offer the quickest and most convenient way of making kava at home. It involves a strainer ball that holds the kava powder, and a sealable bottle.

(AluBall Pro Mana Collection)

Alu is a Tongan word meaning “to go” — referring to the portable nature of this kava mixer bottle. You can toss it in your backpack and take it with you as you head out the door. Many users will fill the strainer ball up in the morning and add water later when they want to make a quick batch of kava when they arrive at their destination (usually a park or friend’s house).

To use this device, all you have to do is fill the strainer ball up with your favorite kava powder, add water to the bottle, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or more.

This process simulates the traditional mixing of kava root in a bowl of water, but without any of the mess. You can make kava using this method anywhere.

I usually walk home from work, and will sometimes fill my AluBall with kava and shake it up as I walk home in the evenings.

(Standard AluBall)

The company recommends you shake the bottle for around 30 seconds, but I’ve found the best results require at least a minute or two. If you’re in a real hurry, 30 seconds should do the trick.

You can also reuse the kava after making a batch. I’ve found I can still get some good effects with up to three refills from the same kava root.

Kavafied sells a few different AluBall products. The pro version has a nicer plastic material, a slightly larger shape, an extra strainer ball, and a built-in cup lid. The cup is designed to emulate the shape of the traditional coconut cups used in Tonga to drink kava.

The company also sells the original AluBall, which is a cheaper option but works just as well.

You can get both the AluBall Pro and standard AluBall in multiple different colors.

2. Kava Strainer Bag

(Kavafied Pro Strainer bag)

Kavafied also sells strainer bags to mix up kava at home the traditional way.

They offer a pro-grade strainer with a 75-micron mesh screen, plastic opening to prevent spillage, and durable material to resist tears while you squeeze out the last drop of water from the bag.

The pro version is expensive for a kava strainer, but a must-have for any serious kava drinker. It’s exceptionally durable and comes in a larger size than the traditional (standard) kava strainer bags.

(Kavafied Standard Strainer Bag)

Kavafieds traditional strainer bag is made from a simple, 100-micron nylon mesh and drawstring. It costs less than half the price of the pro-grade strainer but does the trick for any casual kava drinker looking to get started without breaking the bank. 

3. AluBall Kava Machine

Kavafied also sells bar-grade kava makers — including this AluBall Kava Machine.

The machine basically consists of two large AluBall kava makers on an oscillating machine. This machine allows you to make two batches of kava at a time, using mechanical advantage to do all the hard work.

This device is fairly expensive at $1000 US but will save your kava baristas from exhausting themselves shaking up kava all day for your patrons.

This machine allows you to make up to 60 traditional kava shells and 120 concentrated kava shots per hour.

4. Kava Bowl — Acacia Wood Tanoa

You can even buy the large, traditional acacia wood tanoa (mixing bowls). These are the mixing bowls used on the pacific islands to make kava for a whole group.

Each bowl holds 1 gallon (3.7 liters) which makes enough kava for about 4 people.

You can also buy larger, 4-gallon bowls for larger group sizes. 

5. Authentic Kava Drink Cups

These traditional kava drink cups are the same traditional coconut cups you’ll find people using on the pacific islands. These small coconut cups have been used to drink kava for centuries, and add an authentic feel to your kava ceremony at home.

Each cup is unique and has its own texture and grain because it’s made from real coconut shells. The size and shape may vary slightly, but each cup is about 4 to 6 inches in diameter.

Kavafied recommends you lightly rub these ups with a small amount of coconut oil before and after use to keep them in good condition and prevent cracking or drying out.

Final Thoughts: Kavafied

Kavafied is an authentic Polynesian kava company based out of the United States. The founder comes from Tonga, where kava drinking is a strong part of the local culture.

His connection to pacific island kava farmers allows Kavafied to offer some of the most unique and rare cultivars of kava you’ll find.

Kavafied is also the original manufacturer of the infamous AluBall kava maker — which is designed to offer the modern kava drinker a fast and portable method of mixing kava at home, or on the go.

Overall, we enjoy all of Kavafied’s products and appreciate the diversity of kavas they have for sale. You can find a little of everything here — including heady kavas, balanced kavas, heavy kavas, and even some instant kava. The only thing this company is missing is the more niche product categories like kava capsules, tinctures, and pre-mixed kava drinks.

Kavafied is highly recommended!

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