As long-time kratom consumers, we know how it feels when you’re getting started with kratom tea. There are many places to buy crushed-leaf kratom tea out there, as well as countless different recommendations on how to prepare kratom tea. You may find yourself wondering, out of all of these options, what’s the best way to make kratom tea?
So, we’re here to help you get started with brewing kratom tea, the right way!
Whether you want to drink kratom tea as a pre-workout, or want to sit down and relax with a soothing cup of kratom tea before sleep, we’ve got pro tips for making the best kratom tea imaginable. We’ve developed brewing techniques from three-hundred-year-old traditional kratom brewing practices and modern kratom research, and we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about how to make kratom tea better—if not—the best.
- What is kratom?
- Historic kratom traditions
- Kratom tea serving sizes
- How to make kratom tea – tools & ingredients
- Stovetop kratom brew
- Kratom tea thermos brew
- Specialty kratom recipes
New and Improved
The tea ritual has been celebrated and treated as sacred in almost every culture it exists in. In the Japanese Shinto tradition, the art of correctly extracting tea leaves is mythologized in a ceremony that holds the movement of the body and setting as sacrosanct. In Amazonia, many plants are decocted into a psychoactive potion that demands the lifelong tutelage of a shaman to serve. Even in the UK, a capitalist regime governed by productivity and output, there is a dedicated hour in the middle of the workday for tea.
People have consumed tea for generations for medicinal, recreational, and productivity-heightening reasons across the globe, including Thailand and Southeast Asia. So let’s narrow in on traditions and best brewing methods for our particular Thai tea. We’ll explain how to make kratom tea, from a basic brew to an expertly crafted specialty tea that’s strengthened and flavored the way you like it best.
We wrote our first “How to Make Kratom Tea” post in late 2019. Since then, we’ve made thousands of cups of kratom tea and are continually improving our brewing techniques. Keep on reading to learn how to prepare kratom tea like a pro!
What is Kratom?
Kratom is the colloquial term for the Mitragyna speciosa tree and its leaves. M. speciosa is an evergreen tree that naturally grows in Southeast Asia. In the wild, it can grow to be over 80 meters (over 250 feet) tall and have a trunk with a circumference in excess of 4 meters (13 feet).
Kratom leaves can grow larger than a foot from tip to petiole. These leaves have had a social impact so large that it dwarfs the giant trees themselves.
Kratom is close botanical cousins with coffee, both belonging to the Rubiaceae family. Its historic and current use also closely mimics that of coffee. People have been making and drinking kratom tea daily for its energizing effect.
However, kratom tea does not contain caffeine. Rather, kratom tea contains a myriad of different alkaloids, the most common of which is mitragynine.
Historic Kratom Traditions
Kratom has been a part of Thai life and culture for at least 350 years (if you look at the oldest temple inscriptions), and some historians speculate it has been used for over 8000 years.
In the traditional kratom context, people have rarely swallowed kratom leaf material. The two most common methods for accessing the alkaloids within the leaves are by chewing leaves and spitting them out or – you guessed it – brewing them into a tea.
Kratom is a wild-growing tree. The quickest and easiest way to feel its effects has historically been to pluck and chew the leaf whenever you come across a tree. Kratom “quids” are still a common way to consume kratom in regions where the trees grow. This practice has persisted in Thailand despite the widespread destruction of kratom trees in the country from 1943 to 2020, due to a law banning kratom.
Chewing quids is most common among laborers who spend over 12 hours per day working in extreme heat. They frequently chew the leaves to stave off exhaustion and hunger, which allows them to increase their productivity.
If You Don’t Chew, Brew
Kratom tea is used for multiple purposes that go beyond what people usually chew kratom leaves for. However, both methods for consuming kratom – brewing tea and chewing leaves – have similar physiologic effects. People drink kratom tea as a work-enhancing tool during the day, and they also drink in the evenings after work has concluded. Different methods for brewing (and the resulting differences in the strength of the tea) are used in each context.
Historically, various types of tea have played a vital role in socialization, with a variety of compounds found in Camelia sinensis teas providing psychological benefits. Although kratom tea is lesser known in the West, more and more people are enjoying making kratom tea for socialization. They use it to enjoy time spent with friends and family, just as a drink at a modern kava/kratom bar might make you (and the crowd!) start to unwind and get chatty. People also enjoy making kratom tea for its relaxing qualities.
Fortunately, with the proper serving size, drinking kratom tea in the evenings won’t keep you up. Furthermore, if you know how to prepare kratom tea like a pro, you can make a number of delicious recipes infused with other herbs for relaxation.
Kratom Serving Sizes
The only difference between daytime and evening tea is the amount and strength of the tea you drink.
When you have a smaller serving of kratom, the effects are energizing. On the other hand, when you have a heaping serving – equivalent to 3 or more tea bags (9 or more grams) – the effects are more calming.
There haven’t been many scientific studies on this curve of effects. Some kratom experts have hypothesized that it’s related to activity at the receptor site that mitragynine binds with.
Another hypothesis points to the lesser-known alkaloids. Researchers believe the effects of ingesting kratom tea could change when the solution reaches a critical point in the concentration of the peripheral alkaloids.
Yet another hypothesis is that when making kratom tea, the rate at which different alkaloids dissolve into the hot water of the tea varies. Consequently, the different feelings result from the longer steep time. Some also say that the temperature of the water may contribute to the degradation of kratom alkaloids into even more powerful lookalikes.
Figuring Out What’s Right for You
Whatever may be the cause, the phenomenon is well documented. In terms of 3-gram tea bags, depending on your body weight, one to three can promote an energizing sensation. Three or more tea bags can promote a relaxed body composure. Everyone is different, though, so we always recommend starting small to see what works best for you personally. Hopefully, science will catch up to traditional knowledge soon!
We can’t spend all our time wishing for science to catch up, however. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Dr. Oliver Grundmann, Dr. Charles Veltri, and the scientists at Santé laboratories to conduct a revolutionary study comparing the survey responses of kratom tea drinkers to the varying concentrations of eight different alkaloids in that tea. While research is lacking regarding kratom overall, researchers have been trying to unravel the different effects of kratom’s alkaloids, both on an individual level and how the alkaloids interact. So, when it comes to knowing how to prepare kratom tea the best way, you can’t downplay the science behind it!
How to Make Kratom Tea
Finally, now that we have the background information out of the way, we can dive into the how of “how to make kratom tea!”
First, you’ll need your kratom. You’ll want to shy away from micronized kratom powder. No matter how hard you try, making kratom tea from powder will almost always produce a gritty, bitter tea as your end product.
Stop the sludge, brew kratom tea with a little more care, and you’ll be rewarded tenfold!
Whole Leaf, Crushed Leaf, or Kratom Tea Bags
Spring for crushed leaf kratom, or, if you can manage to get a hold of any, dried whole kratom leaves. These larger particle sizes are a lot easier to strain out, ultimately giving you the best brewing experience.
You’ll have to use specialty equipment if you’re using whole-leaf kratom or bulk-crushed kratom leaves. If you have crushed-leaf kratom in tea bags, you’re almost ready to go!
To make kratom tea out of whole-leaf or loose-leaf kratom, you’ll need some sort of straining device. Anything will work, from a standard tea ball to a mesh strainer in a teapot to a thermos with a removable metal strainer.
The tea bags can be brewed either on the stovetop or in a thermos, whichever best suits your situation! If you’re brewing it in a teapot or in a tea ball strainer, you’ll need to brew your kratom tea over the stove. If you’re using the thermos with a filter to strain the loose-leaf tea, you’ll only need to pour boiling water into the thermos and cap it.
Fortunately, there are a number of useful kratom teaware products for sale to help make preparing kratom tea easy and fun!
Kratom Tea & Boiling Water
Once you have your kratom in a vessel and ready to be brewed, you’ll next need your hot water. As we stated above, you can either brew your kratom on the stovetop by simmering it, or you can pour boiling water into your thermos and let it sit.
And considering how many kratom tea guides mess this up, we’ll repeat it one more time: you can make kratom tea with boiling water! We have a paper coming out this year that will add some much-needed context to the myth about boiling water destroying kratom alkaloids.
How to Make Kratom Tea On a Stovetop
The stovetop brewing method is the process that most closely resembles the traditional preparation technique. Historically, most kratom tea has been prepared by simmering a mixture of water and leaves over a fire for three or more hours (scroll down for a speedier method).
The kratom leaves have to be simmered for a long time due to some of the alkaloids’ relatively low water solubility. If you make the water acidic by adding lemon juice or another food-safe acid, the solubility will increase. This will reduce the total brew time necessary to make a strong kratom tea. For this reason, we recommend adding a dash of lemon juice to your stovetop brew to reduce the time it takes to finish.
There are a handful of reasons why you wouldn’t want to brew your kratom tea with lemon, however; if you simply do not like the taste of the lemon, if you want to follow the traditional technique exactly, if you want a lighter tea, if you’re making a latte or other creamy tea recipe, or if you want to store the pre-brewed kratom tea for a long time. If that’s the case, just omit the acid.
No Acid, No Problem
Without the acid, your tea might be slightly less intense; if that’s your preference, perfect! Leaving out the lemon is a great way to play around with smaller serving sizes, and you can always re-steep your teabags. If a lighter tea isn’t the goal, keep your kratom steeping for longer than 20 minutes. If you plan on storing your kratom tea in the refrigerator for a while, you won’t want to add an acid because mitragynine is acid-labile. This means acid slowly breaks down the alkaloids into different, inactive molecules. You can also make larger batches of kratom tea in advance to save time!
While not a big problem if you’re going to drink your tea within 24 hours, it may result in a gradual loss of potency in the tea over time.
In summary, if you are brewing your kratom on the stovetop, you have two ways of going about it. The first is to add lemon and bring your pot to a boil with the kratom in it, and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
To extract more alkaloids from your tea leaves without lemon, you’ll want also to bring your water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and leave it simmering for another 10-20 minutes, depending upon your desired strength. Be careful, and add a bit more water if your pot starts to get low! Are you making kratom tea in a thermos? Just leave your kratom tea bags inside the insulated tea thermos to steep for longer before you drink it.
Using a Kratom Tea Thermos
We think it is important to recognize the tradition from which the process of making kratom tea originates. However, we shouldn’t confine ourselves to the technology of the past. The first modernization of the traditional brewing process is adding acid.
Making the water more polar (lowering the pH, aka, making it slightly acidic) shortens the steep time needed to make a strong cup of tea. The second modernization is using a vacuum-insulated thermos.
Lastly, learning how to boil kratom tea bags on the stove is much easier than working with loose-leaf crushed kratom.
The Best Way to Make Kratom Tea:
- Add your tea bags or whole-leaf kratom to your thermos.
- Squeeze half of a lemon (at least 1 tbsp) over the tea bags.
- While the kratom is soaking in the lemon juice, bring your water to a boil; once your water is boiling, immediately pour it into your thermos and cap it.
- Let it steep for at least 20 minutes,
- Sweeten to taste, cool, and enjoy!
When you brew with a thermos, there are a couple of ways to get more bang for your buck:
First, to make kratom tea stronger, you can let your tea steep longer than 20 minutes. We love to brew a white vein kratom tea at night and leave it steeping in a thermos at our bedside table to enjoy first thing in the morning.
Second, stick to a shorter initial brew and simply reuse your tea bags. Pour and drink the tea from your first thermos after 20 minutes of steeping. Leave the tea bags in your thermos, and then repeat the process above. The second thermos of tea will be slightly weaker than your first one, but it will be active nonetheless. If you are using three or more tea bags, you can even repeat this process a third time!
Specialty Kratom Recipes
Following the above brewing instructions will leave you with plain kratom tea. It would be equivalent to a black cup of coffee or even a shot of espresso (if you make it strong enough). While some people enjoy the taste of kratom tea without any additives, others want to figure out ways to make kratom tea taste better. So, now’s the time to spice it up!
When thinking about adding ingredients to your kratom tea, you can use coffee and tea recipes as your inspiration – from hot drinks to iced teas to tea-based mocktails. You can add some almond milk and sugar like you would in coffee, and you can also add agave and fresh fruit or herbs like tea. You can, of course, pour your tea over ice to make iced kratom tea as well!
- Kratom chai latte
- Mojito mocktail
- Speciosa sangria
- Kratom golden milk
- Kratom apple cider (krapple cider)
Love to brew up teas from whole spices? Check out our kratom chai latte! Love making refreshing mocktails? Try kratom mock mojitos! Want to try something carbonated? Try making your own kratom seltzer!
Download the Summertime Kratom Tea Recipe Book
Kratom with Other Herbs and Spices
Even further, kratom tea mixes wonderfully with many herbal blends. In the morning, you can add green tea and yerba mate to give you an extra energizing kick or use chamomile and valerian root in the evenings to unwind.
One great and easy way to inject flavor into your kratom tea is by using herbal kratom tea blends. These blends are a mixture of crushed leaf kratom and an assortment of complementary functional herbs. Using an herbal kratom blend tea bag in addition to or instead of a raw leaf kratom tea bag can transform your plain kratom tea into a delectable medley of rich flavors.
That’s all for now! Follow some links through the blog for more in-depth information on each topic we’ve covered here. We hope you have a great time exploring new brew methods, recipes, and flavors.
Cheers to better brewing!