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How to Make Kava Coffee in a French Press

Kava may not be the most well known product in the coffee world, but it serves a purpose for people that want a relaxing alternative to the regular drink. 

Kava coffee can be made in a number of ways, including in your French press! 

So, let’s take a closer look at what Kava coffee is, where it comes from and how you can make it at home! 

What is Kava Coffee? 

Kava coffee is a low acid, relaxing alternative to regular coffee, made from ground Kava root. This is a healthy coffee alternative that has mood boosting and anxiety reducing properties. 

According to this article by WebMD, “What Is Kava Kava?”, (Melinda Ratini, MS, DO March, 2021) Ingestion the kava root has been historically used to treat anxiety, stress, insomnia and PMS. 

Kava coffee is made simply by combining ground Kava root and water, so is actually closer to herbal tea than traditional coffee. However, Kava’s earthy flavour is what relates it to regular coffee. 

For clarity, in this article I am referring to kava coffee made from ground Kava root, rather than the low acid Kava instant coffee, which contains no extract.

Why Do People Drink Kava? 

During my research into Kava root extract, I came across a number of articles explaining the health benefits of the substance. Many sources refer to Kava as a ‘drug’, however I thought it best to dig a little deeper, as technically the caffeine we all consume in tea and coffee is also a drug!

Kava is generally consumed for its relaxing benefits. Many people consider the effects of the Kava root to be similar to the buzz that alcohol delivers.

The Kava root’s full name is Piper Methysticum, which translates to “intoxicating pepper”. It has been used as a social lubricant and medicine in places like Fiji and Tonga, and is now more widely consumed in the US. 

How to Make Kava Coffee in a French Press

A French press is a great tool for making Kava coffee, as it allows you to brew the Kava powder for as long as you like, whilst not ending up with ground Kava in your favourite mug! 

Here is a step by step guide to help you brew the perfect cup of Kava coffee from home! This recipe is provided by Kava Guru, so check out their site for more information and to buy Kava powder! 

Step 1: Add Kava Powder and Water to Your French Press

Once you have purchased your Kava powder, you can add it to your French press for easy and straightforward brewing. The ratio of Kava to water is quite similar to what you would use for regular coffee when brewing in a French press, so around 1:10. For every 1g of Kava powder, use 10g of water. 

It is recommended to use a weighing scale for the most accurate results. 

You can also add a couple of teaspoons of ground coffee for an extra stimulating effect and a more traditional taste! 

Next, rather than adding hot water to your French press like you normally would with ground coffee, Kava is usually served cold. Therefore, pour over your cold, filtered water and let your Kava powder mix into the liquid. 

Step 2: Stir and Wait

Most of your Kava will float to the surface to begin with, so give it some time for the compounds to fully extract into the water and the powder to sink to the bottom of the French press. 

It is recommended that you let your Kava powder sit for around 20 minutes undisturbed, to allow all of the flavours to be extracted. 

Step 3: Plunge and Enjoy! 

Now you have created a pretty strong Kava coffee, it is time to plunge and enjoy! Simply push your plunger down to the level of your desired serving size, pour into your favourite mug and enjoy! 

Since ground Kava tends to be quite coarse, you’ll have to press your French press plunger down quite firmly to reveal the cold brewed coffee for drinking! 


Overall, Kava coffee offers a more relaxing way to start your day and opens up the possibility of stress relief in a cup! 

A French press offers a great way to brew cold Kava coffee from your own home, so give it a try today! 

Related Questions

Where Does Kava Powder Come From? 

Kava powder is made from ground Kava root, which is grown in Pacific Islands like Fiji and Tonga. 

How Else Can You Make Kava Coffee?

Kava coffee can be brewed using water and a sieve to remove some of the larger pieces of sediment, or it can simply be added to water and consumed as a tea-like drink. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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