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Art of Kava

Kapmcrunk

The Kaptain (40g)
KavaForums Founder
Art of kava is an interesting vendor in that he comes to us from the world of Tea.


I'm curious. How does one in the tea industry find themselves interested in the kava world?

Bula!
 

Artofkava

Fiji Kava: Koro/Kadavu
Kava Vendor
When I started Yum Cha, I wanted to start a company that carried tea with bold flavors that also had a variety of desirable health effects. Throughout my life prior to the company I've had a multitude of hard times. Mostly dealing with deaths in the family. That created anxiety, depression, caregiver stress, along with a bunch of other issues I couldn't really identify but "felt", if that makes sense. Most of my family and friends noticed the change before me of course. In 2014 (pre Yum Cha) I started working with a pretty cool fitness company that created backpacks. I became friends with a guy there that was dealing with the same types of feelings, just different causes. He would come in to work with a Nalgene bottle filled with a substance I hadn't hear of called kratom. We talked and kava came up quite a bit in our conversations , but he was more into kratom at the time. Me being the rabbit hole research nerd about herbs etc, I took a deep dive into both. Sources, Effects, Regulation. All the good and the bad.

With only information at hand, I made a loose decision that I was more of a fan of kava than kratom. He disagreed and we talked more about it, so I gave it a try. Still wasn't a fan. Fast forward to 2016. Still working with the company and started Yum Cha. I'm an accountant so i know business and I've been researching herbs and the interaction between them for a long time. All the while kava in the back of my mind. During those two years I also tried CBD, started talking through my issues and made some great relationships I hadn't tried to make in years. Basically I became more of myself, with the help of CBD and all of that. It helped calm me down and break the cycle of stress vs. reactions. I became more and more aware of these changes after 2016 and what caused them. So I became very interested in CBD, Kava, and other herbs that combined can have a calming or sleep inducing effect. I created some tea blends for customers that would rival the sleep inducing effects of kava without tasting like feet. For whatever reason a lot of sleepy time related roots smell like feet (like valerian).

After being established a bit in the tea industry, I quit my full time job and decided to sling tea for a living. In late 2019 I finally decided to give kava a shot. Mostly because I wanted someone to make it for me that knew what they were doing. To say the least, it was a pretty cool experience. My wife and I went to a newly opened kava cafe and got two vanuatu doubles, blended with a little pineapple and coconut. It was earthy, it made my mouth numb and it was pretty smooth.

This prompted me to take a deep dive into the kava industry. I bought kava from vendors you all are familiar with and got a solid base line of the differences between kava from different places, costs, etc. From that point I gave it a little thought (not too much) and it seemed like a very clean addition to our tea business (with kava being a root/herb and all), but should be separate. Kava is its own thing. I wanted something simple, clean, small batch etc. Basically I wanted to start a kava company and not make the early mistakes I made as a new tea guy. At some point I may add some of our tea to the website if it can increase the kava experience. Think Orange Creamsicle or Strawberry Macaron herbal tea as the water portion of your kava prep.

I buy large amounts of tea from an auction in Kolkata, farmer direct from some intermediaries in the U.S., dried fruits and chamomile from Egypt, vanilla from Madagascar (the closest processes to some of the kava processes) and now kava, farmer direct from Fiji. Hopefully soon to be Vanuatu, Solomon, and Tonga as well.
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
I'm loving the latest batch of Koro Island. One of those lovely cocoa like heavy Fijians. That's something really special to me. Hopefully you will be able to continue sourcing such good quality kavas.
 

Artofkava

Fiji Kava: Koro/Kadavu
Kava Vendor
I'm loving the latest batch of Koro Island. One of those lovely cocoa like heavy Fijians. That's something really special to me. Hopefully you will be able to continue sourcing such good quality kavas.
Thanks bro and sorry for the late reply!

Yah the koro will be back in stock soon as well as some new ones to round out the selection.
 
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