Kratom Tea-Making – Brewing and Dosing Ideas for the Rest of Us
Because kratom isn’t FDA tested or approved, kratom can only be sold in the United States for burning as incense – it does burn quite nicely, with smells reminiscent of a crisp fall day. I cannot condone the ingestion of kratom or kratom tea, but for those who are looking for an all-natural, effective, legal means of attenuating chronic pain – say from Lyme Disease or spinal cord issues, Kratom is an amazing leaf, and may offer the relief you seek.
Kratom is the dried and crushed (or powdered) leaves from the species Mitragyna speciosa, a tree which is native to Southeast Asia. The kratom tree is in the same botanical family as the coffee tree. It’s been used as a medicinal & recreational herbal drug for thousands of years, and offers stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at higher doses), analgesic, and (yes) euphoric, opiate-like properties. Kratom contains similar alkaloids as the pharmaceutical, synthetic opiates, but is said to be much less addictive. In-fact, sometimes kratom is used as a means to lessen opiate addiction withdrawal symptoms. If you are going to use it for pain relief, however, please be careful and treat it with respect.
After 2 back surgeries and years of occasional, yet severe discomfort, I’ve come to realize that I needed a non-addictive means of controlling the spells of severe back pain that creep-up from time-to-time; kratom fits that bill perfectly. Kratom is an all-natural solutions that really works for me. Frankly, I’m not sure if it actually dulls the back pain, or whether it makes me just not care about it (because, frankly, it gives a really wonderful opiate-like buzz that feels just GREAT!). I guess it really doesn’t matter; I occasionally use kratom, I feel better… period. Life is good!
Now, there are some who actually enjoy the age-old ritual of boiling-dipping-stirring-straining-repeating, in order to make a batch of kratom tea. Indeed, some also savor the alkaline-bitter, green-grass taste of kratom tea… but personally, I don’t care-for either. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the smell of fresh kratom buying kratom in bulk leaves & powder, and I love the pain-relieving and attitude-altering effects of kratom, but that bitter alkali taste – the very ingredient that makes kratom so special, just turns my stomach. Kratom tea preparation isn’t ritualistic for me, but instead a necessary evil, a real pain-in-the-butt chore that needs to be accomplished in order to enjoy the benefits of the leaf.
BREWING THE BREW: I’ve discovered that using an old-school coffee percolator takes the pain out of brewing kratom tea. I purchased an old glass Pyrex 8-cup percolator on eBay for 15 dollars, and it makes really great kratom tea. I’d stay-away from the automatic, plug-in coffee or tea makers, because you’ll want to brew your kratom tea much longer than the typical automatic coffee percolator cycle. I really like my clear glass percolator for kratom brewing, so that I can watch the tea darken as I go. Find a reliable source of kratom… remember, kratom is usually sold as incense. Personally, I feel it’s best to stay-away from extracts and adulterated “enhanced” mixtures – I stick with standard, all-natural kratom leaves.
Here’s my simple brew technique, you’ll need: – Half-ounce of crushed-leaf kratom. Some use powdered kratom, but I personally don’t like it, because it makes for a muddy kratom tea. – 2 Litres of water (for two 1 liter brewing cycles). – OPTIONAL, Lemon Juice (see amount below) – A stovetop percolator. – Another container – such as a 2 qt. pitcher, to mix both brew cycles together
LET’S GET STARTED!
1- Place the kratom into the percolator basket, and pour 1 liter of water through the basket and into the percolator before placing the upper strainer on, to dampen the kratom leaves. I then like to be sure that the kratom is evenly distributed in the basket after pouring. Some believe that adding up to 25-percent lemon juice with the water aids in extracting the alkaloids from the kratom leaf – this is a judgment call that only you can make.
2- Once the water heats-up & starts to percolate, start the clock – and let your kratom tea brew for at-least 15 minutes… 20-25 minutes is more to my taste. Keep as low a flame as possible, a really hard boil makes for terrible-tasting kratom tea!
3- After the 1st brew, leave the kratom in the basket (you can press them with a tablespoon if you like, to extract more liquid, but it’s not necessary), pour your brew into a 2-quart container, then pour the 2nd liter of clear water (or lemon-water) through the kratom filled basket and brew it also, just like the 1st. brew… again, 15 minutes or more.
4- You’ll notice that the 2nd brew cycle produces a lighter tea, because you’ve extracted all of the good things from the kratom leaves, thereby exhausting them.
5- Once finished I discard the leaves (some people eat them – YUCK!), I then mix the 2 brews together in the 2-quart container to cool. Some boil the mixture down farther, to make a stronger tea… I don’t.
6- After some cooling, I pour the kratom tea into cleaned-out plastic iced tea bottles, refrigerate what I’ll use in a few days, and freeze the rest. Refrigerated kratom tea will only last about 5 days, frozen tea will last months.
MASKING THE FLAVOR: As I mentioned above, I hate the taste of kratom tea. While I’ve never been able to totally mask the bitter flaver and aftertaste of kratom tea, I’ve discovered that a half-teaspoon of a commercial flavoring extract per 16 ounces of tea will really help. My favorites are raspberry & peach, but spearmint & peppermint also work quite well. I also add 2 teaspoons of sugar, Splenda or Stevia. I drink my tea cold (iced tea), and usually with a straw, because I don’t like that mouth-numbing sensation, and the straw helps bypass the old taste buds.
OTHER OPTIONS OUT THERE: I’m a big fan of capsules… because there’s hardly any tastes at all. “Toss-N-Wash” is another option… place a teaspoon (or tablespoon) of kratom toward the back of the throat, and quickly wash it down with a liquid – a big swallow. I use orange juice, but others claim that there’s actually benefit in using grapefruit juice – a reaction to the acids in grapefruit juice.
Believe it or not, “toss-n-wash” can sometimes leave less aftertaste then tea, but the big problem with toss-n-wash is that occasionally, the kratom gets “stuck” in the throat – which is not a pleasant experience! I haven’t tried “tossing-n-washing” anything other than powdered kratom – I can’t imagine trying to swallow crush-leaf kratom!
So there you have it… an “easier, gentler’ method of kratom use. I certainly hope that my experiences and observations with this amazing ethnobotanical might help you and others gain the beneficial effects of kratom. Again, please use kratom responsibly. Don’t drive while under it’s effects, be sure to give yourself the time needed to enjoy kratoms’ benefits; count-on the effects of kratom to last over 4 hours, and be sure that you are in a safe, relaxing environment before using kratom.
Jon Chew is owner of CafeKratom.com [http://cafekratom.com]. We at CafeKratom sell only premium, hand-harvested Commercial Bali Kratom, Red & White Vein Thai Kratom, and the ultimate Maeng Da Kratom incense, all varieties in capsules, powder and crushed leaf forms.