2 Reasons You Should Never Put Kava in Hot Tea

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Everybody loves tea, however you should never add kava to hot tea for two major reasons. When the team here at Kava-Bula travels around the United States helping to open kava bars we often get asked if they can combine kava with hot drinks; this is always a bad idea and can lead to your guests getting sick.

Generally speaking, there are only two major reasons why you should never add kava to a hot tea. First, hot water temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit will actually begin to destroy the kavalactones present in the kava and at high temperatures the kava can actually make people sick. Second, when you put kava in hot water it can actually begin to form sludge on the bottom of the cup this makes cleaning up after the kava drink extremely hard.

The hottest I would ever consider taking kava to when making a drink is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Hotter water will help diffuse the kava to a certain degree however any temperatures that are higher than that can destroy the kava and make the drink turn into a sludge mixture.

Let’s jump right in yeah. Here are the 2 reasons why you should never put kava in hot tea.

Hot Water Above 120 Degrees Fahrenheit Will Begin to Destroy the Kavalactones

This is a major reason why you should never brew kava with super hot water. Many people don’t know that boiling water or near-boiling water will actually begin to break down and destroy kava. This will leave you with an awful-tasting drink as the kava will turn bitter and at high enough temperatures some of our guests have actually gotten sick.

What makes kava work is the kavalactones which are present in high qualities in the root itself. When we make kava we stir the kava and then strain out the root leaving only the kavalactones in the water. This creates flavor and leads to the euphoric feeling that many people experience.

However, if you use hot water all you are going to do is destroy the kavalactones. Warm water will help extract the Kavalactones faster but it is offset by the destruction of the root itself. As you can see it is a careful game you have to play at the proper temperature before you begin the extraction process.

This is why we here at Kava-Bula recommend water that is around room temperature for the kava extraction. If you use room temperature water you are going to get the most out of the kava you have while also preserving the taste. Hotter water is going to lead to an extremely bitter taste that many people dislike.

As such one of the main reasons why we don’t put kava in hot tea is because it is going to destroy the kava itself and just make the tea taste bad. Tea is a nice drink by itself and is known to calm many people, there is no need to add kava to it as you will just destroy both the drinks.

Putting Kava in a Hot Drink Can Actually Lead to Sludge Forming on the Bottom of the Cup

This can be a major problem with adding kava to any hot drink such as coffee or tea. Depending on how many times you filtered your kava the sediment can actually begin to form sludge on the bottom of the drink.

This only happens if you let the drink sit for a while, which many people do as they let the hot tea cool. Imagine adding kava to your hot tea and all you get is a thick sludge on the bottom part of the drink that also tastes awful.

This is a major reason why we don’t add our kava to hot tea. There is no reason to create a problem for the drinker and also whoever has to clean up the cup at the end of the day. The closest thing we can relate the sludge to is hardened cheese that was melted. It is simply a pain to get off and requires lot’s of scrubbing.

This sludge only begins to form if you used kava that was not strained or filtered properly. Many newer kava drinkers will make the mistake of not knowing how to properly strain the kava root out of the kava drink. If you add this raw kava water to some hot tea you are going to get a sludge mixture.

As such one of the main reasons why we do not add kava to hot tea is because it can actually begin to form sludge on the bottom part of the teacup. This sludge tastes awful and is a huge pain to clean off. It is better to just drink the kava at room temperature yeah.

Can You Add Kava To Cold Tea?

Do you have some cold tea sitting around and want to mix in some kava? Go ahead! Because cold tea is cold there is no problem with adding kava to it.

This is one of our favorite additives for a hot summer day. Many of our guests love our sweet tea and kava combination drink that is poured over ice cubes and paired with some mint.

Here is the secret recipe for our kava mojito. 1/3 sugar iced tea, 2/3 finished kava, throw in some mint and a lime wedge garnish. This is an absolutely fabulous drink and the iced tea really balances out the entire drink.

However, you need to make sure you are adding COLD iced tea you know. Adding hot tea is just going to create the sludge and destroy the kava. There is no problem mixing kava with any cold beverage including iced tea.


That’s about it to answering the question of mixing kava with hot tea. Hot tea and kava do not mix well and should be avoided.

Most newer kava drinkers think that kava is like tea or coffee. They brew it with hot water and then wonder why the drink tastes bad. Sure hot water is supposed to make the kava extraction method better but at the end of the day it destroys the kava and leaves you with sludge in your drink. Always use cold or room temperature water to mix your kava.

Remember kava is a cultural drink that is designed to bring the local community together. That is why when we drink kava we always say ‘Bula’ which translates to wishing your new friends and local community good health and prosperity. So bula to you!


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