So what is this magic concept? It’s the kava drink, my friend, the answer to all your dreams.
Kava is a root that is dried and ground into a powder which can be mixed with water into a drink. It has been described to taste like “a bitter mud puddle.” Although kava has historically been a traditional daily drink for the Pacific Ocean cultures, it is now making it’s way over to the U.S. and ending up in fancy kava bars in New York and Portland.
So why would the hipsters of Portland want to drink mud? Because, kava combines the best effects of the best drugs. Kava drinks give a sensation of relaxation similar to alcohol, relieves anxiety similar to a few hits of weed, and the biggest difference is you can retain your mental clarity, kind of like coffee. Kava tea is used to reduce anxiety and has been used to treat mild depression.
Kava root contains kavalactones, which are the active component of the plant responsible for the plant’s pharmacological activity. Consumed in moderation, there does not appear to be adverse effects. The Pacific people have been consuming kava for thousands of years without problems.
The New Yorker describes kava as a socializing alternative. It is a real life chill pill.
Despite the growing popularity, most large cities still do not have a kava bar. New York’s East Village only has three amongst its hundreds of coffee shops and bars. Most new kava bars are trendy and create a laid back vibe, enhanced by couches, candles, and even rolling nature documentaries. Most try to honor the culture and tradition that comes with the kava drink. The earlier kava bars revolve more around the spirituality and ambiance of the drink.
What should you do about this? Venture into one the next time you’re in San Franciso or East Village. And hope with all your heart that a kava bar opens close to you.