The 3 Things That Kava Tastes Like

Kava Culture
Also Check OutThe 3 Reasons Why Kava Is Becoming So Popular

Kava is one of the fastest-growing recreational drinks in the United States. This cultural drink often raises a couple of questions with potential drinkers. One of the largest of these questions is “what does kava exactly taste like?” Well here are the 3 things that kava tastes like from our guest’s experience.

People who drink kava for the first time describe it as tasting as one of three things. First, for many people, kava tastes like ground-up grass and dirt in a jar. Second, for some people, Kava tastes sweet and with a little spice. Third, other first-time kava drinkers describe kava as tasting extremely bitter.

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Let’s jump right into it yeah. Here are the 3 things that kava tastes like to new kava drinkers.

For Many People Kava Tastes Like Ground-up Grass and Dirt

One of the most common tastes that new kava drinkers describe kava as having is one of ground-up dirt and grass in a jar.

This is to be expected. Kava is in fact a root and it comes from the ground. When you drink kava you are typically not consuming any of the plant matter but what is often left over is the water-infused kava with a bit of the root flavor.

It really depends on if you like the natural flavor of kava. Some of our first-time guests love the natural taste of kava and don’t need anything to make it taste better.

If you are serving kava to a bunch of people and they don’t like the taste then you should pair the kava with a piece of fruit for them. Normally this neutralizes the earthy taste and helps new drinkers enjoy the beverage.

We have seen kava bars offer a wide array of fruits to pair with their kava drinks. The most popular is Pinnaple but we have seen everything from strawberries, blueberries, and even apples and pears! While most of us enjoy the natural taste of kava sometimes it’s fun to pair the drink with these choices.

As such one of the most popular things that people describe kava as tasting like is ground-up dirt and grass. Some people like this taste so I recommend that you give it a try before adding anything else to it.

Some People Describe Kava as Tasting Sweet With a Little Spice

I am not going to lie, this is a rare reaction that we have seen to people drinking kava for the first time. Some people describe kava as tasting sweet with a little bit of spiciness that provides some kick.

I have personally never gotten this taste from kava and I am a bit jealous of those who have. Some of our guests have described kava as tasting like a sweet fruit that has a bit of an aftertaste of spice. These guests often love the flavor and taste of the natural kava and don’t require anything else to be added to it.

For people who like their kava like this, I recommend putting some mild chili powder around the rim of the bowl. We have seen some bars in the United States serve their kava like this and it actually tastes pretty good. It reminds me of a traditional hot cocoa drink.

Describing kava as sweet with a little spice is often a rare event. However, in the thousands of guests we have served kava to we have seen a large amount of them describe kava as being sweet. You should always ask those who drink kava what they think it tastes like so that you can improve it for them later.

Kava Drinkers Will Sometime Describe Kava as Tasting Bitter

One of the main flavors that people describe kava as having is being bitter. Most people end up getting this taste when they drink kava.

Kava by itself is a very bitter drink. It is not quite to the level of vinegar water but it’s close. This is often why you will see kava bars pairing a kava drink with some fruit to help reduce the bitterness level of the drink.

The bitterness of the kava often comes down to how it is prepared. When you are making the kava drinks you need to filter out the kava, the more times you filter the kava the less bitter it will become.

Often another trick to help reduce the bitterness of kava is to serve the kava chilled at around 62 degrees Fahrenheit. We find that this often helps first-time kava drinkers avoid the super bitter taste of kava. Serving warm kava is the traditional way of serving it but often this makes the drink very bitter to the taste for people.

I recommend always starting people off with slightly chilled and well-filtered kava. This hides a lot of the natural kava taste and allows many people to enjoy this cultural drink. However, once you have acquired the taste then you should try kava in its traditional form; at room temperature and only filtered a couple of times.


That’s about it for the 3 tastes that people describe kava as having. It really depends on the guest and their individual taste buds.

As always it is important when you are drinking kava that you respect it. This is a cultural drink that is designed to bring the local community together to spend quality time talking about life events. That is why when we drink kava we say ‘bula!’ Which translates to wishing your local community good health and fortune. So bula to you!


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