White Maeng Da Kratom Tea Explained

White Maeng Da Kratom

White Maeng Da Kratom is one of the most popular and well known varieties of kratom available. At Top Tree, it’s our go-to strain for all morning teas. If you’ve heard about white maeng da kratom and want to learn what the hype is all about, read on because this is the post for you!

What is Kratom?

Kratom is the Thai word for the leaves of the evergreen tree related to coffee which grows in South East Asia. This tree, Mitragyna speciosa, has been consumed for hundreds of years throughout this region.  Popularly, it is used by Thai laborers who chew on the fresh leaves or brew them into a tea. They use this brew to sustain their energy levels while farming in the hot sun for hours each day.

Unlike its close cousin coffee, kratom doesn’t have any caffeine. Nevertheless, due to it’s high alkaloid content, white maeng da kratom is often used in herbal teas for those looking for energizing, refreshing, and uplifting effects. The perfect brew to sustain hard physical labor!

Since coming to the United States, kratom has undergone a number of revisions from it’s traditional usage. For starters, in the US kratom has gained a lot of popularity among white and blue collar workers alike. The energizing effects are great for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake yet maintain strong energy levels.

Secondly (and in our opinion) perversely, kratom use in the United States revolves around the practice of tossing and washing the micronized powder. Since kratom is predominantly sold as a powder to consumers without much educational information provided about the traditional use, US consumers are left in the dark and end up swallowing the powder with some water. In our view, kratom tea is a much better way to use kratom throughout the day. Remember, traditional kratom leaf was never actually swallowed. It was either chewed and spat, or steeped into a tea.

The question, however, is white maeng da is the best kratom tea for energy?

What Is Maeng Da?

Maeng Da is a popular strain of kratom. “Maeng Da”  is a thai slang phrase used to denote excess. It “literally” translates to “pimp grade.”  In other words, it is like the informal English phrase, “that’s some good sh*t!” Instead of referencing the genetic makeup of a specific variety of kratom tree, it is a subjective grading scale used to denote strength. Typically, the best batch from every harvest is called the maeng da, and there’s usually one for each vein color.

Kratom trees do not produce a consistent spread of alkaloids in set proportions. The concentration of varying alkaloids vary depending on when the leaves were harvested; how much sun they receive; the soil nutrient content; threat of predation; the presence of endophytic fungi; etc. Thus like all plant material, it is impossible to sustain a consistent amount of each alkaloid from batch to batch. Instead, recognize maeng da kratom as a stronger variety of kratom, but do not expect perfect consistency from batch to batch.

Strain Myth

Now that we understand what “maeng da” means, let’s dig into the “strain.”  In brief, kratom comes in three distinct kinds. Each is named after the color of the leaf.  Basically, there is green vein, white vein, and red vein.  As we’ve written about in past blog posts, kratom strains are a largely invented category utilized to market and sell kratom to westerners unfamiliar with the tree.

In the wild, kratom trees all grow similarly colored leaves. For example, in our greenhouse nestled in the Appalachian mountains, our leaves are a dark green with a rusty red vein running down the center. In South East Asia, to get the distinct green, white, and red coloration, the leaves are left in zip-lock bags after harvest to ferment for a few days to a couple weeks.  The longer the leaves stay in the bags, the darker red they become. 

Similarly, white veins are produced via a longer drying process with little to no fermentation.  Likewise, green veins have the least amount of “processing” following harvest.

If you’ve been in the kratom space for a while, you’ll have heard of the simple colorized categorization of the vein colors.  White veins are recommended for energy. Red veins are known as the best kratom strain for sleepy time tea. While greens are somewhere in between, sought for their balanced uplifting elements. In truth, vein colors only offer a small window into the effect of the particular variety of kratom. Spectrometry tests are needed to accurately and consistently predict the alkaloid content.

Growing Region

In most cases, kratom is named after the country or region it is grown in.  While this is not necessarily the case for white maeng da kratom, many other varieties employ this nomenclature. For example, Borneo veins are grown in Borneo. Bali in Bali. Sumatra is Sumatran, etc. Most kratom found in the US today, however, is imported from Indonesia, so we’re always a little suspicious of vendors that have 50+ strains from around the world. That said, this naming system is a good way to think about kratom.

It can be meaningful in regards to the soil conditions, weather pattern, sunlight exposure, and other environmental factors which affect alkaloid production. There may even be distinct genetic qualities for each location, although that hasn’t been well explored in the scientific literature. Overall, you will still find distinct differences between different harvests, even if they are from the same location. Since white maeng da kratom is categorized via subjective tests, i.e. its strength, the region it is grown in is less important.

Alkaloids Percentage

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this post, the most important distinguisher when it comes to determining the effect of a kratom strain is its alkaloid makeup. Commonly, you will find rough estimations of the amount of two important alkaloids: mitragynine and 7-oh-mitragynine (7-OH). MItragynine is the most abundant alkaloid in kratom leaves. As a result of its abundance, many focus on it alone.  This, however, has recently become disputed. Many points are often overlooked, such as the varying strengths of the 40-plus kratom alkaloids.

7-oh-mitragynine is found only in trace quantities in kratom leaf. It’s increased potency, however, has brought it to the forefront of many kratom consumer’s minds. A little bit of 7-OH goes a long way.

Still, these two alkaloids can only go so far in painting the picture of the effects one will get from kratom. Over 40 different alkaloids have been discovered in kratom plants. Most are found in trace quantities. Not every kratom tree produces every alkaloid. But compounded together, there is reason to believe that they exert an entourage effect. Some alkaloids may potentiate others by slowing metabolic processes or by competing for receptor sites.

Survey Work

We are strong believers in the need for further research and understanding of kratom alkaloids.  This is the reason we have paired with Dr. Oliver Grundmann to conduct a survey of kratom tea drinkers. The results of the survey will be paired with a groundbreaking, comprehensive eight alkaloid panel. In sum, we’ll be able to pair the effects of each strain as reported by hundreds of kratom tea drinkers to milligram sensitive analysis of eight different kratom alkaloids.

In our white maeng da kratom tea bags, we tested for eight alkaloids.  Those alkaloids are: mitragynine, paynantheine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, 7-OH-mitragynine, mitraphylline, isorhynchophylline,  and corynoxine.  See the photo at the top of the blog for the average amount of alkaloids contained in each 3 gram tea bag.

Flavored Options

Unlike other kratom vendors, we have more than just white maeng da kratom micronized powder. In fact, we don’t carry any micronized powder! You never swallow kratom leaf in the traditional setting. At Top Tree, we try to learn from traditional practices. Our white maeng da is premium, crushed leaf kratom packaged into 3 gram tea bags.

Uniquely, our kratom comes in a variety of different flavors. We have natural passion fruit flavored kratom tea bags, which have a light sweetness to them and really cut back on the typical bitterness. First, we lay out our crushed leaf white maeng da kratom leaf in our GMP certified facility. Then we spritz the crushed leaf with passion fruit essential oil with the natural sugars still present.

Alternatively, we have a white maeng da kratom tea herbal blend. This blend is made from our flavored crushed leaf kratom and mixed with supplementary herbs. It is 50% kratom and 50% herbs. These blends have a delicious taste, and a mild effect. We recommend using one blend bag with a regular 3 gram bag if you want stronger effects.  Our Passion Fruit Maeng Da Morning Blend has white vein maeng da kratom leaf, sencha green tea, yerba mate, ginkgo biloba, and lemon myrtle.

Effects and Serving Size

Although we just spent a good chunk of this post discussing the variability of the alkaloid composition of each kratom batch, let’s discuss the expected effects of white maeng da kratom. In general, drinking kratom tea results in quicker effects than swallowing the leaf powder. This is due to not having to break down the plant material in the stomach. Digesting the plant matter slows the absorption of the alkaloids into the bloodstream. 

With kratom tea bags, you can steep the same tea bag twice for two roughly equipotent cups of tea. This means that the first cup will be a little weaker than the equivalent amount of kratom leaf powder swallowed. However, after your second steep, most of the alkaloids should be out of the leaf and into your water. After drinking the second steep, it is just as strong as any other kratom preparation.

To summarize the common description of the generic category of white maeng da kratom, the effects are touted to be uplifting and energizing. White maeng da is usually selected from subjectively potent trees. Therefore, it is a sought after variety among kratom enthusiasts seeking strong tea. We use white maeng da kratom for our morning functional tea blends. This is because we found it to be energizing in our test kitchen.

Best Way to Take Kratom

Brewing kratom tea is different from brewing your typical Camellia sinensis tea. Kratom tea has a unique brewing process. In order to optimize the effects we recommend you follow the steps laid out below.

First, you should always use lemon juice or another form of food safe acid. Some people use lime juice, apple cider vinegar, vitamin C, and even citric acid isolate. An acid is needed to make the kratom alkaloids more water-soluble. Once mixed with an acid the alkaloids are better able leave the kratom leaf and mix with the water.

We recommend that you first put however many tea bags you want into your thermos and then add your lemon juice. In general, at Top Tree we like to use two (mild tea) to four tea bags (strong tea) with a tablespoon of lemon juice concentrate or about half a lemon.  While the lemon juice is saturating the tea bags, bring your water to a boil.

Once boiling, pour your water over your tea bags and close your thermos. Keep your tea hot for 20 minutes while it steeps. Then, add your sweetener of choice, let cool, and enjoy!

PRO-TIP: repeat this process 1 or 2 times with the same tea bags before tossing them in the compost (our tea bags are all biodegradable!).


You might have come into this blog with the assumption that white maeng da kratom was a monolithic strain. After reading this blog, we hope you now understand the complex and helter skelter structure of kratom naming conventions. In truth, the most important thing to consider when picking strains for effect is the alkaloid content.  At Top Tree, we’re excited to offer you the most comprehensive alkaloid overview for white maeng da kratom out there. 

Knowledge, as they say, is power.