Top 3 Containers to Drink Your Kava Out Of

Kava Culture
Also Check OutThe 3 Steps To Preparing Kava At Home

When preparing kava one of the most common questions people ask is “what container is best for drinking my kava?” This is because kava is not a typical drink, it will contain tiny particles of kava that will settle on the bottom. Your ideal drinking container will account for this. Here are the top 3 containers to drink kava out of.

Across the world, there are 3 types of containers that people use to store and drink their kava in. First, traditionally people would drink their kava out of plant shells of coconut, palm, or bamboo. Second, today people use glass mason jars across the United States and parts of Europe. Third, some kava bars across the United States are starting to make kava cocktails using cocktail glasses.

The team here at Kava-Bula normally drink their kava out of their individual coconut shell. We often take a shell and cut it in half and then sand it down to make a smooth bowl that can be customized to the drinker. However, when we travel around the United States we will use glass mason jars to serve kava as it is easier to clean up.

The Traditional Container to Drink Kava Out of Is Coconut, Palm, or Bamboo Shells

The first type of container that people use to drink their kava out is going to be a traditional shell. These shells are made out of coconut, palm, or bamboo plants and can last for many years if taken care of.

Normally each family has their own shell on our island. These shells serve community roles and often are used to bring the local family together to enjoy kava together and share stories. The only downside to using one of these traditional shells to drink your kava out of is that they can be a pain to clean.

The coconut shell is by far the easiest. If you polish a coconut drinking shell then the kava will wash right out of it. Just make sure you dry the shell properly after using it. After this store it in a dry environment and you’re golden.

Palm shells and bamboo shells can be a huge pain as well. Often these shells will only last for a little while unless they are made exceptionally well. You will often find people drinking out of this style of container in the far west of Hawaii. We have tried to replicate the process here but often fail.

However, that is the first type of kava container that we have seen people drink out of; the traditional shell. Just make sure that you wash them thoroughly and you are good to go.

Across the United States and Europe People Use Glass Mason Jars

Across the United States and Europe people in kava bars are starting to use glass mason jars to drink kava out of. This is a good combination as it makes the cleaning of the jars significantly easier.

Getting traditional shells of kava in the states is hard. This is because of the process of making the traditional drinking shells is extremely hard and costly. Many people and places don’t want to pay to drink kava out of one of these unique kava shells.

Instead, people are gravitating to glass mason jars. These jars are great because they are easy to clean up after a kava session. On top of this people have the added benefit of putting an airtight lid on top of the kava drink to store it in the refrigerator for later.

As such the second type of container that people use to drink their kava out of is a glass mason jar. These jars are great for cleaning up and storing kava for later use. However, they are not the final form that people are now drinking kava out of.

People Are Starting to Build Kava Cocktails and Use Cocktail Glasses

In some parts of the United States, we have run into kava bars that are using cocktail glasses to serve kava in. When I first encountered this I was taken aback, I grew up on the islands and with coconut shells and now people are using cocktail glasses.

However, some of the cocktails that people make using kava are absolutely amazing. In Los Angles, I had a margarita-flavored cocktail with chili powder on the rim that was amazing. As such when you visit a kava bar in the future you might find that they are starting to use cocktail glasses to serve their kava in.

However, using cocktail glasses for kava comes with several problems. First, cocktail glasses are expensive. If you or one of your guests drops the glass then it sends tiny glass shards everywhere. Now you have to pick up these glass shards and buy a new glass which can go up to $10.

On top of that cocktail glasses are a pain to clean by hand, especially with kava. Many people don’t know this but kava will leave a residue on the glass that must be cleaned off after every kava session. This kava residue can attract bacteria and will start to smell if not cleaned properly.

As such, I don’t recommend you use cocktail glasses to serve kava unless you are a kava bar and want to make things fancy. You will find people using cocktail glasses as the kava drinking container across the United States at some kava bars however.


That’s about it when it comes to the 3 types of containers that people use to drink their kava out of.

It really comes down to you. Some people like to use normal drinking cups for their kava but these are a massive pain to clean. For first-time kava drinkers, I always recommend using a glass mason jar as you can easily seal it and store it for later.

As always, we here at Kava-Bula say Bula to you and your local community. (it means good fortune and health)


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