Virtual Tour of a Californian Kava Facility

Vinaka vaka levu Travis and Tyler ( for giving up your time, knowledge and taking us behind the scenes to tour your GMP Compliant and FDA Approved Facility. In addition to paying hommage to the South Pacific culture which was reiterated by Bruce who had the opportunity to get a physical tour of the facility and kava bar. Massive respect to the work you've done to date and also the new age of kava, leading the way by setting the standard and supporting others in the industry.

The facility itself is essentially to import, quarantine, test the kavalactone, microbiological and heavy metal content to ensure it's clean and pure, adherence to processes and measures to follow state and federal guidelines for the protection of their business and consumers, there is a food grade wet room, clean room

Notes that I took away from the virtual tour if you don't have time to view it in it's entirety:

  • Communication, Record Keeping and Traceability: the need to communicate the regulatory measures throughout the facility to ensure that it's in compliance with all GMP guidelines which results in a lot of record keeping. Recording of every lot and batch that comes in to ensure traceability back to the source.
  • Documentation: maintaining an expansive SOP/Hassett plan which is essential to a food or dietary processing facility. 
  • Quarantine Area: all kava passes through this area
  • Wet Room: food grade set up with a high standard of cleanliness with the use of stainless steel equipment, sterilisation station, clean air, storage area for barriers to partition off various sections of the facility
  • Clean Room: this section of the facility is only entered after going through the wet room processes and there are hepa micro-air scrubbers in the ceiling.
  • Testing Room: analytical equipment for in-house testing to determine microbiological consistency, chemotypes and kavalactone levels. UV steriliser and heat machines to remove any possible microbiological contaminants. Kava samples are tested for e coli, staph, chloroform, salmonella, plate count, gram negative bacteria, mould and yeast. It was important to note that mould and yeast cannot be treated, once they fall outside of acceptable ranges the kava has been rendered unusable. The nature of mould is that it spreads by spores which are heat resistant and like seeds which produce more mould, which creates micro-toxins.
  • Production: kava is only moved here once it's been through testing.   
  • Repetition: the compliance can be overwhelming but you take it by degrees/stages and break it down, ensure you maintain your record keeping and you'll get there. 

Also thanks to those that joined us on Zoom:

    • Amena - Fijian Kava Farmer (Tailevu) and Civil Servant based in Suva
    • Ava (@kavaqueen808) based in Hawaii and living that kava lifestyle
    • Bruce (@ofaskava) based in both Utah and California
    • Charles (@uovkavafarm) based in Auckland and importing Tongan Kava
    • Manase based out of Auckland and an avid kava consumer
    • Maka who is also an importer of Tongan Kava into New Zealand
    • Politoni (@chasingmoana/@moana_kava) based in Sydney and farming kava in Tonga
    • Sam (@bigg_kava_bowl/@bigtokoz_kavareview) based out of the Bay Area
    • Mike (@bayviewkava) based in Australia with a farm in Fiji


  • Owen, The vast majority of vendors in and out of the US are operating in their homes and garages – Out of compliance with cGMP requirements. The reason why you never see anyone else ever post their facilities is because they don’t exist. For whatever reason, there has been a tremendous effort on behalf of computer-nerd trolls on various internet forums to continuously promote these vendors who are running illegal operations and to try and smear long standing “Big Kava” operations that follow the rules. Their pathetic tactics are to control a forum, constantly instill consumers with fear and doubt about any vendor that is actually legitimate, censor any positive praise, and continuously promote their friends bacteria-ridden diarrhea-causing micronized kava as the only safe kava. Pretty cool huh? If you see a vendor praised over and over again on a forum – ask some questions like “Who owns this forum?”, “What relationship do they have to this vendor who is constantly promoted”, “Are these vendors operating in actual facilities?” Etc..

    Randy Savage
  • So do these guys process everyone’s kava or does each vendor have one of these facilities? I’ve never seen anyone else that sells kava in the states post anything about having a facility – so how does everyone else do it? I’d like to think that the vendors that I buy from are following the rules. Maybe these guys are just next level?

    Owen Leadford
  • Vinaka Tyler and Travis for your generosity in allowing us to see how it’s done in the USA. Fiji (and the islands) will be moving toward this, so its good to have a ‘heads up’. Also to Sai at Wakavanu, vinaa vaalevu sara Taciqu for setting this up!!

  • Thats a lot of work just to be able to legally process some roots. Nice one boys!

    Rick Masterson

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