As long-time kratom consumers, we know how it feels when you’re getting started with kratom tea. The crushed-leaf kratom options are endless, and countless recommendations on how to make kratom tea vary greatly.
You may find yourself wondering, out of all of these options, what’s the best way to make kratom tea? The Top Tree team has dedicated thousands of collective hours answering to this question.
Kratom leaves and their active compounds differ from other herbal teas and coffee, so there are specific tips and tricks you should know to make kratom tea that is actually effective, not to mention great-tasting.
- What is kratom?
- Historic kratom traditions
- Serving sizes for kratom tea
- How to make kratom tea: tools & ingredients
- Pro tips & tricks
- Easy brewing instructions
- Specialty kratom recipes
Don’t Brew Kratom Like You Would Other Teas!
Some kratom brands or forums will advise you to brew kratom tea the same way you would brew chamomile tea or tulsi tea, but this isn’t well-informed advice!
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, there are expert tips you can use to make the best kratom tea imaginable.
The brewing techniques explained below were developed from a combination of three-hundred-year-old traditional kratom brewing practices and modern kratom research.
Making kratom tea can be an incredibly easy process, with few ingredients and little time or effort. By learning a few things about kratom trees and tea-brewing techniques, you’ll become an expert before you know it.
Read on for an in-depth exploration of where kratom tea traditions come from and comprehensive instructions for how to make kratom tea. From a basic brew to an expertly crafted specialty tea, you’ll find out how to make tea that’s strengthened and flavored the way you like it best.
Tea-Brewing Rituals in Southeast Asia and Beyond
Making tea has been a celebrated and sacred ritual around the world. People have consumed tea for generations for medicinal, recreational, and productivity-heightening reasons. 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. Alternatively, in the UK, a capitalist regime governed by productivity and output, there is a dedicated hour in the middle of the workday for tea.
And of course, there are centuries-old tea traditions in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia. These involve many different plants, but there is one that is, of course, particularly interesting to us: the kratom tree.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a 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, kratom trees can grow over 250 feet (80 meters) tall and have a trunk with a circumference in excess of 13 feet (4 meters). Kratom leaves can grow larger than a foot from tip to petiole.
In Southeast Asia and now globally, the products made from these leaves have had a social impact so massive it dwarfs the giant trees themselves.
Kratom belongs to the same botanical family as the coffee plant: the Rubiaceae family. Like coffee, kratom produces alkaloids that have psychoactive effects
People consume kratom in part for the same reasons they drink coffee—for moderate energizing effects. However, you can also consume kratom for rest and relaxation, depending upon how much of it you consume.
Unlike coffee, kratom tea does not contain caffeine. Rather, kratom tea contains a myriad of different alkaloids, the most prevalent of which is mitragynine.
Kratom Traditions in Thailand
We know from temple inscriptions that kratom has been a part of Thai life and culture for at least 350 years. Some historians speculate it has been used for over 8000 years, however.
There are two primary traditional ways to get the benefits of kratom. The first is just chewing the kratom leaves and spitting them, and the second is—you guessed it—brewing the leaves into a tea.
In modern-day America, most kratom consumers swallow micronized kratom powder. Yet in Thailand, people have rarely swallowed kratom leaf material.
So, if people there don’t just swallow the leaf material, how do they access the alkaloids within the leaves?
How Do the Traditional Methods for Consuming Kratom Differ?
There are two primary traditional ways to get the benefits of kratom. The first is just chewing the kratom leaves and spitting them, and the second is—you guessed it—brewing the leaves into a tea.
Kratom is now cultivated on farms, but was originally just a wild-growing tree. In Thailand and other regions where kratom trees grow naturally, farmers and other laborers could simply pluck a leaf off of a tree whenever they needed a boost of motivation. They would chew the leaves to stave off exhaustion and hunger, which allowed them to increase their productivity.
Traditionally, Kratom Leaves Were Never Swallowed
They would remove the stem and roll the leaf up into a “quid,” put them in their mouth for about a minute. Then they’d spit it out, not swallow it.
This practice has persisted in Thailand despite the fact that the Thai government mandated the destruction of kratom trees in most of the country from 1943 to 2020.
If You Don’t Want to Chew Leaves, Brew Teas!
On top of enhancing productivity, chewing leaves can also support relaxation or sociability. However, in traditional settings, most people would make kratom tea to get these benefits instead of chewing leaves. People both drink kratom tea a daytime work-enhancing tool and drink tea in the evenings to unwind.
Great Uses for Kratom Tea
Socializing while drinking tea or coffee is a common custom across the globe, whether it’s Earl Grey in the UK or masala chai in India.
Kratom tea is a lesser-known option outside of Asia, but more and more people across the globe have started to brew it. It’s great to drink with friends in situations when you might otherwise have a cup of coffee or a beer.
Even more, kratom tea is also a great tea for rest and solo relaxation. A lot of people brew it at bedtime and drink it while they prepare to get a good night’s sleep.
Traditionally, people in Southeast Asian communities prepared kratom tea by simmering leaves in water over a fire for two or more hours. However, it’s possible to make a strong cup of tea in much less time by following the brewing instructions below.
There are different methods for brewing in each context which result in different tea strengths, and thus different effects. To get each distinct benefit from the same box of kratom tea is easy—you just have to know how to make it!
Kratom Tea Serving Sizes
In general, when you have one to two servings of kratom, the effects are energizing. On the other hand, when you have a larger amount, typically three to five servings, the effects are usually more calming.
There haven’t been many scientific studies on this curve of effects. Some kratom experts have hypothesized that it is related to activity at the neuronal 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, each alkaloid dissolves into the hot water at a different rate. Consequently, a longer steeping time would provide different effects.
Some also say that the temperature of the water may contribute to the degradation of kratom alkaloids into even more powerful lookalikes. Whatever may be the cause of these variable effects, the phenomenon is well documented.
What Type and Amount of Tea is Right for You?
The amount of tea that you should consume can depend on a number of factors. These include your body size, to the context in which you brew tea (such as with an empty stomach, after a meal, or during exercise), and your experience level with kratom.
Common Kratom Tea Varieties and Their Typical Effects
There are also different types of kratom recommended for different purposes. Keep in mind, though, that everyone’s experience with kratom is different, and the type of kratom isn’t always the most important piece of the puzzle.
- Red vein tea: Often consumed for relaxation and relief, great for unwinding with friends or resting after a hard workout.
- White vein tea: Typically the go-to brew for staying motivated and upbeat. You might like white vein tea as a coffee alternative or pre-workout.
- Green vein tea: For many people, green vein kratom provides a balance between the energizing effects of white vein kratom and the relaxing effects of red vein kratom. Great as an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening on the town.
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!
While there is a need for more human clinical trials with kratom, researchers have successfully started to unravel the different effects of kratom’s alkaloids.
There is ongoing research into the effects isolated kratom alkaloids, the interaction between many kratom alkaloids, and even the impact of marketing on a consumer’s kratom experience.
Methods for Brewing Better Kratom Tea
Now that we’ve covered the basics of kratom tea serving sizes and uses, we can dive into the how of how to make kratom tea!
We think it is important to recognize the tradition from which the process of making kratom tea originates. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use modern brewing techniques and equipment to make the process easier and more convenient!
First, you’ll need your kratom. We always recommend whole leaf or crushed-leaf kratom, loose or in tea bags, to make the best kratom tea.
There are ways to make kratom tea with powder, but we really don’t recommend doing this. It’s difficult and time-consuming to make kratom tea from powder, and oftentimes you’ll still end up with 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!
Should You Use Whole Leaf, Crushed Leaf, or Kratom Tea Bags?
Dried kratom leaves, either whole or crushed, are the best option for making great tea. These larger particle sizes are a lot easier to strain out. This ultimately gives you the best brewing experience.
For the most convenient brew, you can get crushed-leaf kratom in tea bags. These are already packed in the recommended serving size, so you don’t have to do any measuring before you brew. Brewing with tea bags is far less messy than brewing with loose leaf kratom.
Should You Use Boiling Water?
Unsurprisingly, the main ingredient you’ll need aside from the kratom is water. But just how hot should the water be?
Some kratom tea guides claim you shouldn’t use boiling water, because it’ll cause the alkaloids to degrade. This is a myth!
In fact, Top Tree Herbs’ founders partnered with kratom researcher Dr. Oliver Grundmann to study this contentious topic. Dr. Grundmann found that the amount of alkaloids extracted with water is significantly higher when the water is boiling instead of just very hot.
How Long Should You Steep Kratom Leaves?
Grundmann found that there were more alkaloids extracted from the leaves when they were steeped for a longer amount of time.
To make a lighter cup of tea, you can steep your tea for around 10 to 15 minutes, or use a smaller amount of kratom. For a much stronger cup, you can steep your tea for 30 minutes or longer. Alternatively, you can do a shorter steep with a larger amount of kratom.
Kratom’s long steep time is why we recommend you either simmer your kratom on the stove or steep it in an insulated thermos.
Recommended Brewing Equipment—Don’t Brew in a Regular Mug!
There are countless blog posts on how to make kratom tea out there. A lot of them instruct readers to brew their tea in a regular ceramic mug. This is not well-researched advice!
As we’ve mentioned many times, kratom isn’t like coffee or other teas. Caffeine, the primary active alkaloid in coffee and black tea, is highly water soluble. On the other hand, mitragynine and other kratom alkaloids are not highly water soluble.
While you can steep coffee or tea for just 2-7 minutes to make a strong brew, this won’t be long enough to make a strong cup of kratom tea. You want to keep your kratom hot for the duration of the steeping time. Therefore, you need to steep it in something that won’t lose heat quickly.
So put down your coffee mug and instead grab a thermos, an insulated mug, or a small pot.
If you brew with kratom tea bags, you won’t need any other equipment. If you brew with loose leaf kratom, you’ll need to strain the tea once you’ve finished steeping it. You can use a thermos with a removable strainer, a French press, a tea ball, or a regular mesh strainer.
Here are some inexpensive specialty teaware options for easy brewing:
- Insulated Thermos: the Trekker thermos is a vacuum-sealed stainless steel thermos; it has a removable strainer so it is perfect for both tea bags and loose leaf.
- Double-Wall Glass Mug: the Office Hours mug has double-wall insulation along with a bamboo lid, so it keeps your tea hotter than a regular mug; it’s best for brewing with tea bags, but you can use it to steep loose leaf if you have a tea ball.
Use Lemon Juice to Make Strong Kratom Tea Quicker
In the study on kratom tea brewing methods, Dr. Grundmann also found that the amount of extracted alkaloids was higher when using water that was slightly acidic. At home, you can make your water acidic by adding lemon juice, lime juice, or another food-safe acid.
Why does increasing the acidity help you make stronger kratom tea? As we mentioned, kratom alkaloids have a relatively low water solubility. Adding lemon juice increases the solubility.
This will reduce the total brew time necessary to make strong kratom tea.
Don’t Like Lemon? Prefer Smaller Serving Sizes?
Without the acid, your tea might be slightly less intense. If that’s your preference, perfect! If not, there are ways to make effective tea without adding extra acidity.
Leaving out the lemon is a great way to play around with smaller serving sizes. Plus, if you decide you want a larger serving, you can always re-steep your teabags.
What should you do if lighter tea isn’t the goal? You can make up for the lack of lemon by keeping your kratom steeping for longer. Some people steep their tea for 30 minutes, and others leave it to steep for a few hours (or overnight).
Batch Brewing and Storing Leftover Tea
You can make a large batch of kratom tea to share with friends or to save time by brewing a few days’ worth at once.
If you plan on storing your kratom tea in the refrigerator for a while, you might not want to add an acid. Mitragynine is acid-labile. This means acid slowly breaks down the alkaloid into different, inactive molecules.
It probably won’t make a big difference if you plan to drink your tea within 24 hours. However, more research is needed to determine exactly how quickly this degradation process happens, with or without the added acidity.
Batch brewing is easiest in a large pot on the stove. Just follow the stovetop directions below and increase the recipe to make as many servings as you’d like. Alternatively, you can read this comprehensive guide on how to make large batches of kratom tea.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Kratom Tea
No matter which way you brew your kratom tea, there are a couple of ways to get more bang for your buck. There are also a few hacks to make the process convenient and fun.
- Re-steep your tea bags for a second or third cup
- Make iced tea for less-bitter flavor
- Use a thermos for convenience and for on-the-go ease
- Prep tea before bed to have it ready first thing in the morning
- Try adding other flavors like ginger, vanilla, or cinnamon
First, you can reuse kratom tea bags! Drink your first cup of tea after steeping the leaves for 15-20 minutes. Then, add more water and steep the same tea bags a second time!
The second cup of tea will likely be slightly weaker than the first one, but it will be active nonetheless. You may even be able to get a third cup of tea out of the same kratom tea bags depending upon how long you steep them!
Next, try iced kratom tea! Chilling your tea can really help mellow out the natural bitterness of the kratom. Pour your tea over ice, or leave it in the fridge to chill for a few hours.
Reasons to Brew in a Tea Thermos
One of our favorite tricks for easily brewing kratom tea is to use a thermos. This is the most convenient way to make kratom tea. There’s no open flame and no mess, and you can brew on the go.
Third, you can brew overnight! Want to drink a strong cup of kratom tea as soon you roll out of bed in the morning? Prep your tea in a thermos before bed. Then, leave it on your bedside table so you can enjoy it first thing in the morning!
Finally, try adding exciting flavors to spice up your tea! You can add fresh ginger, a hint of vanilla, or a sprig of mint. The possibilities are endless! Keep reading to learn more about specialty kratom tea recipes and using premade kratom herbal blend tea bags for the best-tasting kratom.
Now that we’ve dug into the details for making the best tea with kratom, let’s put all of this information together in an easy-to-follow recipe.
How To Make Kratom Tea
Prep time: 3 minutes
Brew time: 15-25 minutes
- Insulated thermos, insulated mug, or small pot
- Strainer (if using loose-leaf kratom)
Kratom Tea Ingredients
- 1-2 kratom tea bags or 3-6 grams of loose-leaf kratom
- 8-16 oz water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (about half of a small lemon), more or less to taste
- 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice, more or less to taste
- Add your tea bags or loose-leaf kratom to your thermos.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the tea bags.
- While the kratom tea is soaking in the lemon juice, bring your water to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling water into your thermos and cap it.
- Let the tea steep for at least 15 minutes.
- If you are using loose leaf tea and your thermos does not have a built-in strainer, pour the tea through the fine mesh strainer into a mug.
- Sweeten to taste, allow to cool, and enjoy hot or over ice.
- Add your kratom tea, lemon juice, and cold water to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
- Continue to heat at a low simmer for at least 15 minutes.
- If using kratom tea bags, remove them with a spoon then transfer your tea to a mug. If using loose leaf tea, carefully pour the tea through a fine mesh strainer into your mug.
- Sweeten to taste, cool, and enjoy hot or over ice.
Specialty Kratom Tea Recipes
Some people enjoy the taste of plain kratom tea with just lemon or a hint of sweetener. However, others might want to figure out ways to make unique and great-tasting brews. So, now’s the time to spice it up!
Here are some of the best specialty kratom tea recipes:
- Kratom Chai Latte Recipe
- Soothing Lemon Ginger Kratom Tea
- Kratom Mojito Cocktail Recipe
- Holiday Kratom Sangria
- Kratom Golden Milk Recipe
- Kratom Apple Cider (also known as Krapple Cider)
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.
Ingredients that Go Well with Kratom
You can add some almond milk and sugar like you would in coffee, or you can add agave and fresh fruit or herbs like you would use in tea. You can, of course, pour your tea over ice to make iced kratom tea as well!
In the morning, you can add green tea and yerba mate to give you an extra energizing kick. When you’re ready to unwind after a long day, use chamomile and valerian root to make kratom tea that’s relaxing and soothing.
Love to brew up teas from whole spices? Check out the kratom chai latte recipe! Love making refreshing mocktails? Try kratom mojitos! Want to try something carbonated? Try making your own kratom seltzer!
Try Kratom Tea Bags Pre-Blended with Other Great Flavors
One great and easy way to make delicious kratom tea is to use herbal kratom tea blends. These are tea bags that contain both crushed leaf kratom and a blend of functional herbs and spices.
Top Tree Herbs crafted herbal blends with the specific goal of sourcing herbs and spices that can be brewed for the same amount of time as kratom leaves. Here are Top Tree’s flavored kratom tea options:
- Chai Unwind: a blend of red vein kratom tea with rooibos, chamomile, and warm chai spices
- Tulsi Balance: a blend of green vein kratom tea with tulsi, rooibos, peach, and mango
- Cacao Uplift: a blend of white vein kratom tea with cacao shells.
Using an herbal kratom tea blend instead of a plain leaf kratom tea bag can transform your kratom tea into a delectable medley of rich flavors.
Cheers to Better Brewing!
As you now know, kratom tea offers a unique experience that diverges significantly from typical herbal teas or coffee.
Its roots are deeply embedded in Southeast Asian traditions, and we can learn a lot about how to make the best kratom tea by understanding how Southeast Asian communities traditionally brewed it.
Now that you have a more nuanced understanding of kratom leaves and their effects, you can adapt your tea to your exact needs. All it takes is a little practice!