Kava Kraze

By Brenna O’Dea

3pm rolls around again…you are headed for the nearby coffee cart, café, or just the abandoned half empty cup o’ Joe you spotted at the conference table mid morning. DESPERATION CALLS OKAY? This time, don’t answer. Swap in your usual afternoon pick me up for a new and exciting herbal boost that will leave you feeling fresher and lighter for the rest of the day. Maybe you will actually be able to stay awake for that midnight premiere! Okay…it’s the Angry Birds movie…the kids begged you to take them (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone how secretly excited you are). Anyway, we’ve all heard about the old “coffee or tea” battle. With the latest herbal beverage boom, picking sides will be easy.

Meet Kava. Commonly grown in Hawaii and Fiji, this root has made it’s way to the states in the form of a delectable, drink with the potential to de-stress even the busiest of bees (I’m talking to you, mama with the newborn twins). Traditionally, we see kava used in many forms. Grog, is a drink made up of sun dried kava that has been smashed into a fine powder and mixed with cold water. Bilo is a similar concoction however this treat is typically sipped from a coconut. Kava is also known for it’s medicinal qualities and has been taken for centuries as an herbal supplement for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

My favorite way to curb the kava craving? Sipping on a nice big mug of hot Kava Stress Relief tea, specifically from Yogi Brand Tea. It also doesn’t hurt to nibble on a square of dark chocolateor twoor five. This particular kava tea actually has notes of chocolate in it already, and the deep, earthy taste will leave you feeling warmed and grounded. Yogi even adds touches of cinnamon and carob for an extra sweet, soothing bite. Pick up some kava tea next time you are in the supermarket and guzzle this goodness from the comfort of your own home…maybe the kids out for the afternoon and you can even squeeze in a nap! Ah, pure bliss.

Do you prefer stepping out for a sip rather than curling up on the couch? Have no fear, the kava bar is here! Cruise on over to Tropikava Kafe & Juice Bar for a kava filled Friday afternoon that will put you in the perfect mood for the relaxing weekend ahead. Located on Hermitage Avenue in the bustling Wicker Park neighborhood, this serene spot will help you take the edge off any stressful day. Choose from an abundant menu of kavalicious creations bursting with flavors of cinnamon, coconut and coffee. Maybe you are just out on a relaxing Sunday stroll and don’t even need that stress busting boost. There is plenty of kava free fare to feast on from regular teas to ginger filled juices. And for the little ones? They will just love sipping on a sweet smoothie full of fresh fruits and healthy ingredients like oats, agave and almond milk.

So keep kalm and kava on. Whether you prefer proper tea time with cookies and crumpets, or a cool café with a mellow mood, kava root tea is a lovely addition and solution for that afternoon slumber slump. Avoid the caffeine crash by choosing tea over coffee, and share a sip with the kids to encourage early healthy habits of sipping on spices over soda. Now sit back…sip away…and sail off to paradise…I’m already halfway to Maui in my mind…

(Image by flickr member Shout at the Devil licensed under Creative Commons)

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