The latest health and wellness product in Western holistic health circles, Kratom has historically been used by communities throughout southeast Asia. It was used as a part of everyday life to combat fatigue, much in the same way as we use coffee today.
The broad, veined leaves of the Kratom tree were traditionally consumed raw, either chewed like tobacco or brewed as a tea. However, most modern methods for consuming Kratom use a refined powder or capsule form.
For many users, the naturally pungent herbal taste can make it unpleasant to ingest raw dried leaf or powder. Brewing Kratom tea can help to dilute the bitterness of the plant. This method also offers a wide range of opportunities to add flavors and sweeteners to make getting your daily dose of Kratom more palatable.
What is Kratom?
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tree native to Southeast Asian countries which has been used in traditional medicine and religious ceremonies for centuries.
This unusual plant can grow in almost any condition from dry, open plains to river banks. It grows rampantly in the tropical climates of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Borneo because the ample heat and sun promote the growth of its lush foliage. This environment also promotes the development of the powerful alkaloids that give the plant its benefits.
What Does Kratom Taste Like?
The climate and soil quality of the location of the Kratom plantation has a direct effect on the flavor and potency of the botanical. When the Kratom is harvested and how it is processed also impacts the flavor.
In general, Kratom has a bitter, earthy herbal taste. The young leaves of white Kratom strains have a more intense flavor than the mature leaves of red vein Kratom varieties.
How Does Kratom Work?
Kratom contains potent chemical compounds called alkaloids that may directly interact with receptors in your brain to enhance your overall wellness, boost cognitive function, and induce a sense of calm.
The various strains of Kratom contain different alkaloids in various ratios contributing to the vast spectrum of benefits seen in users. However, the two most prominent alkaloids found in all strains of Kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Mitragynine accounts for approximately 60% of the alkaloid content of Kratom leaf. The indole alkaloid structure of mitragynine has analgesic properties and may interact with neurological systems that regulate serotonin which is responsible for mood, sleep, appetite, and nerve cell communication.
The 7-hydroxymitragynine, although present in much smaller quantities, is also responsible for many of the effects induced by Kratom. It is an active metabolite of mitragynine and mediates its analgesic activity, influencing receptors in the brain.
Kratom preparation has a significant influence on the presence, potency, and activity of these active compounds. While raw Kratom leaf and concentrated powder preparations may offer the purest form of Kratom, they are often unpalatable.
Kratom tea offers an easy way to consume Kratom, and you can customize the flavor to suit your taste and add extra ingredients to potentiate the alkaloids for a more powerful Kratom experience.
Making Kratom Tea
The most common modern way to consume Kratom powder is the toss-and-wash technique which involves directly ingesting the powder immediately followed by a large glass of water or juice. While this is a quick and effective way to get your daily dose of Kratom, it does little to mitigate the unpleasant aftertaste associated with pure Kratom and can be off-putting for new users.
Brewing Kratom tea is a simple solution to reduce the bitter flavor while still obtaining the powerful benefits from the plant. When brewed correctly, Kratom tea has a similar taste and acidity to strong green tea. You can also brew Kratom tea ahead of time and store it in your refrigerator for a refreshing beverage that you can consume on-the-go.
Kratom tea is easy to make, and there are various methods that you can use to create an enjoyable and potent beverage packed with the health benefits of Kratom.
Brewing Kratom Tea
Measure your dose of Kratom powder into a teapot or French press. Bring water to the boil, then allow it to cool slightly before pouring over the Kratom powder and stirring vigorously to create a consistent suspension. Leave the tea to brew for 5 - 7 minutes.
Hot water helps to release the alkaloids in the plant into the solution, but overheating Kratom can deteriorate the powerful compounds rendering the tea less potent.
Once the residual Kratom powder has settled at the bottom of the teapot, strain off the liquid and discard the dregs. You can consume the tea as it is, or add your preferred sweetener.
Using a Coffee Pod
Kratom tea can be brewed in your coffee maker using a reusable K-cup. Ensure that all elements of your coffee machine are cleaned before use. Fill the reusable filter with your dose of Kratom, and place the pod inside your coffee maker. Run the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
A standard coffee machine can also be used to brew Kratom tea. However, you should be wary of the concentration of Kratom present in the resulting tea. A regular coffee maker produces enough liquid to fill an entire coffee pot. If you only use a single dose of Kratom in the filter, the tea will be extremely dilute and you will need to drink the whole volume of liquid to obtain the same effects.
You can put a double dose of Kratom, weighing no more than 2.4g, in the filter to compensate. However, you should not consume more than two doses within a 24-hour timeframe.
Kratom Iced Tea
Brewed Kratom tea can be stored in the back of the fridge for up to a week. Store the tea in an air-tight container to prevent the growth of mold, minimize oxidation, and prevent the brew from absorbing fridge odors. For long-term storage, you can pour freshly brewed tea into ice cube trays and keep it in the freezer indefinitely.
Kratom iced tea is a refreshing way to kick start your day. Mix a cup of chilled Kratom tea with fresh citrus juice, sweetener, and ice cubes. Or blend 8-10 Kratom tea ice cubes with water and fruit to create a delicious smoothie.
Get the Most Out of Your Dose of Kratom
Once you’ve decided on your favorite kind of Kratom tea, there are several ways to make sure you get the most out of your dose.
Potentiate Your Kratom Tea
Kratom comes in a variety of strains, each of which elicits different benefits in your daily routine. Over time, users may find their Kratom routine becomes stagnant. Potentiating your Kratom tea can help you to experience longer-lasting results.
There are numerous ways to potentiate Kratom, but for Kratom tea drinkers one of the most delicious methods is with citrus juice. Fruits such as grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime give your Kratom tea a zingy, refreshing taste while the enzymes present in the juice enhance the alkaloid activity.
Chamomile tea is another powerful Kratom potentiator, and the mild floral flavor works well with the herbaceous taste of Kratom. Using the teapot method, brew your Kratom tea as usual but add a teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers or a chamomile tea bag and allow the mix to steep together. Add a slice of lemon and honey to sweeten.
Chamomile works best with red vein strains of Kratom to calm an overactive nervous system. Drink a cup before bed for a soothing way to ready your body for sleep.
Take the Correct Dose
Dosing is an important part of consuming Kratom because many of the benefits experienced by users are dose-dependent. Higher doses of mellow Kratom strains are associated with a sense of calm, while smaller doses of more potent strains may boost your wellbeing.
Finding the right dose for your body takes time. If you are new to using Kratom, it is best to start slow and document your experience so you can carefully gauge the correct dose for your needs. Begin with a quarter- or half-dose brewed as a tea to make it more palatable.
The standard dose for Kratom is 2.4g and you should not exceed 2 doses within 24 hours. Take your dose of Kratom on an empty stomach first thing in the morning or at least 3 hours after a meal. This can help you to feel the full, undelayed benefits to better determine how Kratom interacts with your specific body chemistry.
Just as your body becomes used to the effects of your morning cup of coffee, your metabolism also becomes accustomed to Kratom. One way that experienced users use to prevent stagnation so they can continue to enjoy the benefits of Kratom without increasing their dosage is to rotate strains.
The alkaloid makeup of the different varieties of Kratom causes your body to respond differently to each strain. Try brewing a White Bali or White Maeng Da Kratom variety to kick start your morning, and sip on a cup of Dark Red Malay tea in the evening to wind down.
For users who dislike the bitter taste of Kratom powder or raw Kratom leaves, brewing Kratom tea is a delicious alternative with the pleasant herbal flavor of green tea. You can customize your tea with a variety of potentiating ingredients that not only enhance the flavor of the brew but also increase the bioavailability and action of the potent alkaloids contained in the plant.