Where can I find kava (aka kava-kava) in Sacramento?
February 14, 2011 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find kava (AKA kava-kava) in Sacramento?

A couple year back I went to a little cafe/bar place in Santa Barbara and had some crazy "kava" drink--I've heard kava described a couple different ways so I'll be specific about what I'm talking about: I was told it was "what people in Indonesia drink instead of liquor", it was muddy looking and watery, and tasted the way really rich soil smells. It made my mouth numb, and it had a sedative, euphoric effect. Bottom line, good times. It was my understanding that this stuff was totally legal but it was recommended that someone of my size (small) not have more than two servings and try to drive.

Anyway, that place in SB closed shortly after I went there and I haven't seen this stuff anywhere since. Does anyone know where I can get it in Sacramento? I've asked around and have been told either the natural food co-op, or random Asian grocery stores, and that I'd probably find it in tea form. But is the tea form as strong as whatever I had before? I want exactly what I had before, not some weaker, watered down version I'm imagining you'd get from a tea bag (but what do I know)....
posted by lovableiago to Food & Drink (5 answers total)
I've noticed it is much more difficult to buy kava in the usual herbal remedy outlets since it was found to potentially cause liver disease.
posted by reverend cuttle at 11:16 AM on February 14, 2011

Another vote for the Yogi brand, which I've enjoyed, and which seems to be readily accessible in any grocery store that carries the Yogi line (I've seen it at Safeway, for instance.)

It also looks like you can buy ground kava leaves to steep your own tea here, if you're not opposed to buying it online.
posted by superfluousm at 11:21 AM on February 14, 2011

As a general note be careful as above said in concerns with liver toxicity. I've bought kava online and ordered it I believe from hawaii where the grower resided and farmed the roots.
a quick google shows a plethora of options.
posted by handbanana at 11:41 AM on February 14, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the info everyone. I was aware of the liver issues, but I'm pretty healthy overall and I wasn't planning on making a habit of it--just a different treat for a group that would normally stick to beer. :)
posted by lovableiago at 11:46 AM on February 14, 2011

Best answer: Expat Fijian Indians drink it quite often, so if you have any sort of Indo-Fiji market in your area, that's probably the best place to get it.

Here's what Yelp comes up with, looks like India Maxx might be the place to go

Some history, and notes on preparation (including strength)
posted by bodaciousllama at 3:05 PM on February 14, 2011

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