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Kava varieties adapted for America’s unique microclimates


We are innovators of the world’s first Kava varieties that have been adapted to grow in mainland America’s unique microclimates. Through acclimation, adaptation and an accelerated natural selection process, we’ve created unique varieties with unique genetic expressions that make them well-suited for growing in America’s 9B-11A USDA zones that are found in region such as Coastal Southern California and South Florida. Our goal is to produce the finest Kava varieties on Earth and establish America as the next specialty Kava growing region.

“Quality Kava is a process. It’s not a ‘Noble’ cultivar or the specialized terroir of the South Pacific, nor is it the secret traditional growing methods. It’s an entire process that starts with genetics and ends with the finished beverage. Everything in-between these two endpoints, determines the quality of the Kava.’

-Kali Kava™ Founder

We're Growing the Dream!

Jeffrey Bowman

Founder of the American Kava Bar Industry - Nakamal At Home

I grow Kava in

Boca Raton, FL

USDA Zone 10B

Read about my journey here!


Does Kava Grow in America?

Yes! Until recently, Kava was never grown within the continental United States and the consensus had been that kava is a tropical plant which requires tropical conditions. The first statement is true, Kava is a tropical plant. However, like many other topical plants such as hibiscus, bougainvillea, bananas, among others, Kava can indeed tolerate climates outside of the true tropics provided that the plant is healthy and not suffering from diseases. It is through the decade long works of Kali Kava™ and its growers to restore the kava plant's vigor and vitality, that it can now be firmly stated: Kava can be grown in certain regions of the United States for a dedicated grower that is familiar with the Kava plant and if care is taken to choose the proper zone and cultivar.

Certain cultivars of Kava such as Kali-Isa™ can be grown outdoors in Southern Coastal California from San Clemente south to San Diego near the coast where there is ample humidity. Other cultivars such as Myakka #1 and Kali-Hiwa™ can thrive in Southern Florida’s climate from Tampa and Melbourne, southward.

Growers outside of optimal hardiness zones can generally push a full zone upwards through the use of simple unheated high tunnels which open new regions to kava growing such as Northern California, Central Florida, Southern Texas and beyond.

Is Kali-Kava™ the same as Kava that's grown in the Pacific Islands?

Over the course of 30 generations of American Kava plantings, our Kali-Kava™ varieties have undergone extensive changes due to decontamination protocols, acclimation, adaptation and an accelerated selection process which has lead to significant alterations in gene expressions in over 138 genes. The result is the creation of vigorous varieties that are easy to grow as houseplants, in the garden, or on a commercial scale. Kali Kava™ tolerates temperature extremes from 38F to 115F in 10% humidity and full sun in Northern California and down to 28F freezes and Category 4 hurricaines as far north as Tampa, Florida. Experts agree, Pacific Kava cannot survive these conditions.

Our varieties are characterized as having altered phenotypes, with a multitude of shoots at the base which help them survive the different environmental stresses of mainland Amerrica. Our varieties also present altered chemotypes, often presenting as 462 and 11% Kavalactones instead of 426 and 8% Kavalactones, and similar small but significant changes in chemotypes.

Is Kali Kava™ Genetically Modified Kava?

The short answer is “No”, Kali Kava™ is no more genetically modified than any other Kava that has come before it. We aren’t “Playing God” (creating a new species), we’re not Monsanto (genetically engineering), and we’re not creating Frankenstein Kava with werewolf DNA in it (transgenic organism). We’ve simply done what every other kava culture has done before us – We’ve introduced kava to a new environment, allowed it to adapt, and selected for favorable genetic expressions over generations.

What is the yield of Kali Kava™ and what is the quality?

Depending upon the varieties and the environmental fluctuations of the growing season, 24 month old plants planted in double density (10,000 per HA) and grown in full sun generally yield 1-2kg of fresh green kava with high potency lateral roots making up more than 60% of the total root mass. The most conservative estimate equates to 10,000kgs of FRESH GREEN kava per hectare in 18 months. That’s the power of Kali-Kava™ !

Is it quality Kava? Thanks to a longstanding partnership with HPLC labs and KavaLytics™, we have been able to track the quality of our cultivars over the course of 10 years and have only selected cultivars that deliver consistent high quality roots. Our varieties generally produce 10-15% Kavalactone Lateral roots and 5-6% Kavalactone basal stump. Since Kali Kava™ Cultivars have roughly 60% lateral roots, the average dry weight end product is 6.8-7.5% Kavalactones. Excellent quality indeed.

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