Dehydrated kava, (proof of concept)

So this is purely just an experiment. I’ve attempted to make a base drink (vegetable and citrus) with concentrated kava. I’m not expecting fantastic results, or even a finished concept, this is purely a test to see if I’m on the right track. I had the idea to concentrate kava by dehydration, in the attempt of greater shelf-life, convenience (just add a tea-spoon to a drink) and to reduce any bitter taste… I’ll explain how I concentrated the kava first.

Dehydrated kava

So, first of all, I activated the kava using coconut cream, the cream has a fat content around 19g per 100g, and agitated through a micron bag with water half an hour before gently warming it no higher than 60°C. I then let the kava sit in a shallow pan for 10 hours, before racking off the water leaving the kava sediment in the bottom. The pan of sediment went into the oven for 6 hours at a temperature around 60°C again, until it became a thick paste. The paste was then left in the fridge to dehydrate again for 24 hours… then finely ground with a pestle and mortar. The result is a fine kavalactone powder. Here’s the kava recipe.

  • 240 ml of ground noble kava
  • 400 ml coconut cream (high fat)
  • 1200 ml of water
  • Sugar (optional)

The Base drink

I chose to use beetroot the main ingredient as a test base drink, because beetroot has many benefits, two that catch my eye are dilatation of blood vessels (lower blood pressure and speed up the kava effect) and betaine that helps prevent (or reduce) fatty deposits in the liver (may help with liver protection from kava). I confess I have no evidence that this will work or are even a “thing”. I might be way off with my predictions with this “test”. I blitzed the beets and boiled them up with some water, before straining the pulp. I then cold (froze) racked this juice to extract the water and used the concentrate as a cordial to mix with the concentrated kava. Here’s my base drink recipe.

  • 6 Beets
  • 2 Lemons or limes
  • 4 apples
  • 400 ml water
  • 3 sprigs or rosemary

Result

FAIL – the ground kava had some potency, however, it was not lasting, approx 5 – 10 mins, I suspect this was due to the granules floating on the surface after being hydrated, they did not dissolve as expected – even with time and agitation. The base drink, however, was a better result – this has the potential to make a good enough drink with more refinement. Overall dehydrating activated kava is a miss-fire.