Kava Kulture May 12, 2015 Bootleggers & Bogarts By: Shawndra Russell This ancient root-based drink plugs in to craft culture readily since it cultivates conversation and relaxation, two experiences craft drinkers and smokers seek. Often, kava bars will be steps away from a brewery, head shop, or yoga studio, and the powers of the plant have to be lured out through grinding the root down into a fine powder, just as brewmasters have to manipulate hops, grains and yeast. To complete the process for both kava and beer, water is the key to enjoying the tranquil properties. Kava can be both served at a business or made at home, another craft characteristic. Regardless of where you drink it, the effects are what matters. With kava, the result of sipping the earthy, bitter drink is a sensation similar to a body high, yet the mind stays clear. People typically get chattier while they drink it too, and after several cups, even become a bit woozy. As Kava.com explains, “One half of a [coconut] bowl is enough to induce a state of well-being and a slight torpor which may terminate in tranquility lasting several hours.” Most botanists agree that kava originated in Oceania, likely Vanuatu, an island off of Australia. In ancient Polynesian culture, the drink was an important part of many ceremonies, and Hawaii continues to cherish this brew. The practice of carving out several hours to enjoy kava and conversation has spilled into California culture, too, but elsewhere in the U.S., kava bars are much harder to find. Cities with a strong craft industry or laid-back vibe like Austin, Asheville, Portland and southern Florida have kava bars, and kava powder, capsules, tincture can be purchased online. Try kava for yourself and let us know what you think!