How other kavas are usually made in the South Pacific
Other kava powders are usually made in the following way: Harvesting and drying; transfer to a pounding shop either directly or through middle-men; sale to a wholesaler; and then sale to a retailer or exported.
Harvesting & Drying
The farmer decides at what plant age he will harvest his kava. Immature kava plants provide a quicker return but result in a weak product. Once the plants are harvested the roots are sliced into chips and left to dry in the sun at the farm or in the village. This can take up to a week or more during the dry season or substantially more during the wet season. This is a cost-free method but it exposes the kava roots to mould and yeast growth.
Grinding the kava
In many parts of the Pacific farmers or middle-men bring bags of sun dried kava root chips to a pounding shop or kava processor. It is not practical – even if the necessary equipment was available – to test every root or chip in a bag to determine the variety or discover if the roots are of the same age or were dried at the same time let alone know if the washing, peeling and drying was to a food grade standard.
Importing kava into Australia
While it is open to Australian authorities to require a kava importation to be submitted for microbial testing it is not commonly performed. In other words, it is not routinely tested to ensure it is food safe. Every batch of Ozkava is tested to ensure it is food safe (see below).
How Ozkava is made
Ozkava is sourced direct from the farmer
Our kava is sourced directly from the farmer and transported to our processor without the involvement of middle-men. This ensures the farmer achieves a fair price and the kava arrives fresh at our processor for processing into kava powder within 24 hours of harvest. The farmer must provide the whole base of the shrub, rootstock and roots. This is essential for identification. This adds to the cost of transport, because the shrub takes up much more room, but this cost is necessary to enable positive identification of the kava and to assess the freshness of the shrub.
Identification of kava plant
It is vital for the consumer to know if the kava they are purchasing is noble kava. Ignoble kava, e.g. Tudei (two-day) refers to the period of time the person consuming it may feel hungover and/or ill. The Republic of Vanuatu banned the export of ignoble kava by the Kava Act of 2002.
If the kava shrub passes inspection at our processor a sample is taken for testing to ensure it is Noble kava. Single cultivars are subjected to UHPLC (ultra high performance liquid chromatography) to identify the levels of kavalactones, phenotype, chemotype, purity and strength of the sample. This is a more accurate and cleaner method than the current standard (HPLC).
The roots are then peeled and washed to a food grade standard. In the next step the roots are dried in a temperature-controlled dehydrator, not left in the sun which is the common method used in the villages (see above). Finally, the kava is ground to medium grind powder. Processing from fresh shrub to controlled dehydration and grinding within 24 hours of harvest ensures the freshest outcome.
Our processor is HACCP certified which means our customers can be assured of the highest standard of food safety. HACCP principles form the basis of food safety programs that are accepted worldwide. Our processor employs an in-house scientist to perform or supervise all necessary testing. All our kavas are subjected to microbial testing to ensure all applicable food standards are met.
Our kava is packed in foil pouches to provide greater protection from moisture and heat.
Coming soon – single cultivars & instant kava
We plan to stock single cultivars later this year. Until then we will stock our Gold Blend of noble kavas, usually a mix of Borogoru, Melo Melo and Palarusal, depending on availability and the Instant Kava version of our Gold Blend.
Established full service e-commerce store
Artisan Arcade is an e-commerce business that commenced operations in 2019. The purpose of the business is to offer products of a type, or a quality, that are difficult or impossible to obtain in Australia. We believe that Ozkava kava is of a quality that is not easily obtainable in Australia. Ozkava products are sold and supplied by Artisan Arcade Pty Ltd (artisanarcade.com) which is a full service e-commerce store that offers customer accounts, customer reviews, wishlists, gift cards and more.
Artisan Arcade has unanimous five star ratings for customer service so buyers of Ozkava products can purchase with confidence.