Crazy for Kava

Ithaca’s Mystic Water Kava Bar is quirky, dim and relaxing. Last semester, I produced a video package of the kava bar for my Visual Journalism class. You can check that out here.

I’ve returned to the kava bar a few times since then. For those of you unaware of kava, here’s what it is:

  • Kava is a plant native to the Pacific Islands
  • The root of the plant is chewed, ground or pulverized to make drinks and tea
  • When consumed, kava can induce feelings of relaxation, sociability and euphoria

For many, kava has a mellowing effect on the mind, putting the drinker in a place of peace. I decided to try it out myself. It tasted terrible.

Avigdor Weber, owner of Mystic Water, told me I had to have at least four “shots” of the kava before I would feel its effect. After a few shots, a person becomes rooted, or more sociable. It’s similar to having a few shots of alcohol, he said, only without the negative effects. I had five shots of kava and boy, was I feeling rooted.

I sat next to a regular as he tossed back kava shots and listened to an insomniac swear that a glass of kava was the only thing that allowed him to sleep. I chatted with a girl about the stress of her new waitressing job and we sipped tea in between her frequent cigarette breaks. After a few drinks, I felt welcomed into this eclectic bunch.

Mystic Water provides a relaxed, calming atmosphere for its community to come together to drink kava and experience its natural properties. Furthermore, it offers live music, local art showings and a yoga studio to its customers. Check out their Facebook page for more details.

I know I’ll be making a trip back soon.


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