Spotlight on Kava: Calming Effects, Bitter Taste

A wooden spoon enters from the top right, zoomed in to take up the majority of the composition. Powdered kava in its traditional sandy color fills the spoon. The spoon rests on a woof surface that has a curved edge that leaves a shadow under it on the bottom left corner giving more depth to the photo. A slight bit of overexposure in a warm yellow glow enters the scene from the top left, contrasting the shadow below and further drawing attention to the granular, near-powdered kava. The taste of kava is bitter and earthy, and can be dramatically improved with a drop of a bitter blocker.

Bites from the Bench: Kava is a traditional drink in Pacific Island cultures and is growing more popular in functional beverages and food products globally for its calming effects. The bitter and off-putting taste notes of Kava can be masked with TruClear™.


Kava, also known as Piper methysticum, is a popular drink in many Pacific Island cultures and is consumed for its relaxing and calming effects. It is made from the roots of the kava plant, which are ground into a fine powder and mixed with water.

It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it useful for treating conditions such as arthritis and pain. Additionally, kava has been used to enhance cognitive function and improve sleep quality.

Companies are incorporating kava into their food and beverage products to provide customers with a natural way to relax and unwind. These beverages are often marketed as alcohol alternatives at zero proof.

While kava is known for its benefits, such as reducing anxiety and stress, its taste is often a topic of debate.

The taste of kava is often described as earthy, bitter, and slightly spicy. Some people enjoy the earthy flavor of kava, while many others find it to be bitter and unpleasant. One consumer on Reddit stated it tasted “like dirt.” In-house, we found the flavor quite off-putting, and bench tests show that each of our bitter blockers dramatically helps the flavor profile. Our scientists determined that TruClear™ at .2% is a great solution to clean up the negative taste attributes. To mask these bitter notes while enhancing sweetness – without additive and keeping your product clean label – use TruMask™ at the same rate.

In conclusion, while the taste of kava may not be for everyone, its benefits make it a valuable consideration in any diet. Its relaxing properties and ability to reduce anxiety and stress are just a few reasons why kava is gaining popularity in the food and beverage industry. Whether consumed on its own or mixed with other ingredients, kava offers a natural way to promote relaxation and overall well-being.

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