How to Take Kratom

Savor or Suffer?

There are two types of kratom tea. One you savor every sip and comfortably share with friends. And another that tastes like you landed mouth first in a pile of dirt.

Personally, we enjoy the first variety. So what is the difference between the two? Sludge. Read on to learn how to make the perfect kratom tea, without the sludge!

If you’re new around here, or are interested in learning more, read on! If you’re just interested in how to make kratom tea without the sludge, skip to the bottom for recipes, directions, and brewing tips and tricks!

What do you know about kratom?

Today, we’re committed speciosa advocates. We have a greenhouse with 60+ kratom trees in the United States. We’re partnering with two of the leading kratom researchers in the world to conduct a groundbreaking kratom tea study.

We’ve conducted the most rigorous, commercial alkaloid tests on our tea bags. Hamilton Morris, the chemist/journalist who wrote, directed, and hosted the science television series that turned on the most people in the United States to kratom routinely partners with us on activism.

Yet we started our relationship with this evergreen tree leaf completely ignorant of what it really was. In fact, as first time kratom users, we didn’t even know it was a leaf! We just knew that it worked. Respectively, at Top Tree Herbs we came to kratom as a study aid, or as a way to help boost our energy before workouts.

In fact, it wasn’t until we’d discovered the usefulness of it as a preworkout, for romantic encounters, or as an alternative to alcohol at social occasions that we looked further into this amazing green powder.

And that’s when we learned that it wasn’t a green powder at all!

So, What Is Kratom?

Our kratom education was a pleasant surprise. To be honest, we started using kratom, first, in the form of gel-capsules purchased at dingy NYC smoke shops.

After being pleasantly surprised at the plant’s profound effect, we returned and purchased a bag of kratom powder.

Now convinced that there was something special about mitragynine speciosa, we started to do some research.

Our Findings – Kratom Facts

“Kratom” is one of many Thai words for both the tree and the leaf of the evergreen tree that westerners refer to as Mitragyna speciosa. It also goes by the names gratom, kutum, mambog, and biak. The multitude of names for it are telling.

It suggests that many different cultures discovered kratom, deemed it worthy of naming, utilized it so often as to make each name commonly recognized, and have a long history of engaging with it. In our globalized world, however, the moniker “kratom” has been adopted into our lingua franca.

Kratom is the botanical cousin of coffee. Both are in the Rubiaceae family. In fact, the leaves are used traditionally to the same utility as coffee is in other cultures.

Thai farmers have been picking and chewing the leaves off of wild growing trees for well over 350 years. They chewed on the tree’s leaves to stave off hunger and work hard in the beating sun for endless hours.

Our afternoon coffee pick-me up is acting upon the same impulse to increase productivity. For us, these revelations revealed that we had only scratched the surface of the enigma of this amazing plant!

Traditional Kratom Tea

If kratom has been appreciated by millions of people across several centuries, wouldn’t that suggest that there are some tried and true methods of using it? The answer to that question is quite simply “yes.”

For the majority of people throughout most of its traditional context, speciosa leaves have either been chewed straight from the tree or brewed into a tea. When chewing kratom, a farmer will go up to a tree and pluck a leaf. Then, he or she will carefully remove the stem from the leaf so as to make it less abrasive in the mouth.

The destemmed leaf is then rolled into a small quid and put into the mouth. The quid is then gently chewed before being spat out and discarded after a few seconds to a minute passes. None of the leaf is swallowed if done correctly.

When not chewed, it’s leaves are boiled into a tea. Today, we know that many of the alkaloids are fairly insoluble in water. That means that it is difficult to extract what you want from the leaf into the water of the tea. (More on how to overcome this later!)

While perhaps the chemistry of solubility wasn’t understood by the traditional tea drinkers, they knew you had to boil it for a long time. When brewing tea, it is not uncommon for the leaves to be boiled for over three hours. This guarantees that they’ll enjoy a strong brew once it is finished.

Why Tea?

When you look around the kratom marketplace in the United States you notice that none of the traditional, tried and true formulas for making the most of the kratom leaf are represented. Instead, what you get is a market flooded with bagged powder, encapsulated powder, or highly  concentrated extract from powder.

The reason behind this is largely economic. Kratom grows a long way from the United States. (Unless you’re talking about our kratom greenhouse.) Today, the vast majority of imports come to the United States comes from Indonesia.

In Indonesia, West Kalimantan AKA Borneo specifically, kratom has been replacing rubber plantations as a cash crop. Yet it’s not just the tradition that convinced us to create a kratom tea bag offering. There is data to prove it!  In 2017, friend of Top Tree, Dr. Oliver Grundmann conducted the largest kratom user study to date.

Among the interesting revelations uncovered by his work, we learned that only 15% of people who consume kratom brew their purchased powder into a tea. About a quarter of users (21%) reported some sort of stomach pain or nausea.

Red Kratom Tea Bags
Chai Red Vein Kratom Tea

Tea Bag Advantages

We wanted to create a better option for the tea brewers, who, using powder, would by and large be drinking sludge filled teas. It’s time we put our foot down — #stopthesludge!

We also wanted to help those that were experiencing stomach issues. When you unnecessarily consume grams of a dehydrated, hydrophobic leaf you may want to expect stomach issues.

Not to mention that the leaf is rarely swallowed in the traditional context! Finally, we believe that tea is just the downright tastiest way of consuming the leaf.

There are many reasons for traditional tea to persist. For starters, it works. Secondly, it’s actually enjoyable to drink! No grit. No sludge. Just a smooth, golden tea.

Enjoy the Taste of your Kratom Tea

Kratom tea is a food. You don’t have to choke it down or pinch your nose. It’s meant to be sipped, savored, and shared. The bare minimum tea, hot water, lemon, and a raw kratom tea bag has the aromatic, bitter palette of an espresso.

Of course, like an espresso, it can be dressed up into a plethora of beverages. One of our favorites to take out on hot summer days is our kratom tea Arnold Palmer.

It’s half lemonade and half strong kratom tea. It’s hydrating, delicious, and easy to make. Check out the time we sold kratom tea Arnold Palmers at a music festival for the recipe!

Herbal Blends Synergize and Compliment

2022 Update: check out our exciting new line of kratom herbal blends here!

Sometimes you won’t have time to spruce up your kratom tea in the kitchen. We get it. Life is busy and sometimes you have to run out the door in the morning. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you have to compromise the taste of your kratom tea.

To enhance the flavor and add therapeutic benefits to your tea, we’ve come up with three functional kratom tea herbal blends. 

The Thai Energy kratom tea, a functional tea that supports focus and energy, is one of our most popular items. Our tea sommelier created a delicious flavor loaded with additional herbal benefits.

When it comes to an afternoon tea, you can’t beat our peach & mango green kratom tea blend. It is jam packed with highly regarded, adaptogenic, and antioxidant-rich herbs like holy basil and rooibos.

If you haven’t already heard, when it comes to kratom: red = bed. Kratom tea has a plethora of functions, and our latest blend slides right into the bedtime tea niche.

Our Bali Balance turmeric, ginger, and kratom blend is a classic ensemble of bedtime tea mainstays. Not only is it 50% red maeng da kratom, but it also has chamomile, valerian root, lavender, rooibos, ginger and to top it all off, a natural peach flavor.

Herbal Blend Brew Tips

When you’re making a kratom tea with our preformulated herbal kratom tea blends, the process couldn’t be easier! Since our herbal blends are 50% kratom and 50% supplementary herbs, we like to add one or two of our 3 gram raw kratom bags to our brew to give it more strength.

So, simply add your splash of lemon, boiling water, and tea bags to your thermos and let them steep for 20 minutes. Boom! A delicious kratom-based functional tea that only takes a couple minutes to prepare and then just 20 minutes to steep.

Kratom Tea Recipes


  • Half a lemon, squeezed. (Feel free to substitute the fresh lemon with about a tablespoon of lemon juice. You can also use lime juice or even apple cider vinegar depending on your palette. The important thing is having a food safe acid.)
  • Boiling Water
  • 1 or 2 Raw or flavored Top Tree Herbs 3 gram kratom tea bags
  • A Top Tree Herbs Herbal Kratom Tea Blend tea bag

Optional Ingredients:

  • Ginger slices
  • Fresh turmeric
  • Citrus Slices
  • Mint Sprigs
  • Sugar, Stevia, Agave, Honey, or your favorite sweetener

Brewing Teaware:

Recipe Directions:

  1. Place your desired amount of kratom tea bags into your thermos. Remember, if you’re using more than one you can repeat this process twice before throwing out your tea bags. And if you don’t have a thermos, use a mug or vessel that will keep your tea hot for the whole 20 minute steep time.
  2. Slice your lemon and squeeze half of it over your tea bags. You can save the other half for your second brew with the same tea bags. If you’re using lemon juice instead of fresh citrus, add the juice to your thermos over the bags just as you would with fresh lemon.
  3. While the lemon is soaking into the tea bags, begin boiling your water.
  4. Once water is boiling, pour directly into your thermos and cover immediately. You will want to keep your tea almost boiling for the whole 20 minute steep time. (If you want to know the science behind this step, read our post here.)
  5. Let steep for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Pour and enjoy!  Watch out, it’ll be hot if you use a thermos. Sweeten to taste.
  7. If you used more than one tea bag, repeat steps 2-6 to get an equally delicious tea that is only a little weaker than your first.

Enjoy Your Tea!

When coffee, tea, and chocolate were introduced to Europe, they quickly became luxury products. We believe that kratom has the same amount of promise, if not more, than coffee, tea, and chocolate. The only thing preventing its association with luxury is the vast ignorance of what kratom tea really is.

Would green tea be as popular if it was taken in capsules? How about if you swallowed coffee grinds whole? Would you still crave chocolate if it was only available as baker’s cocoa powder?  Of course not, there is a right way to consume these delicious herbal beverages. 

Kratom tea is no different. If you’re only just starting out, we congratulate you on being better educated than we were when we started. If you regularly toss and wash, then you’ll notice a distinct improvement in your experience by switching to the traditional kratom tea preparation.

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Soren Shade
Soren Shade is the Founder and CEO of Top Tree Herbs. He was the producer for Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, and continues to produce the Hamilton Morris Podcast. He writes with a holistic look at natural and synthetic pharmacology, traditions-of-use, and a love for freedom of consciousness. You can find Soren rock climbing or advocating for sensible drug reform and anti-prohibition.

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