King Kava was founded in 2011 by Ben Berdan and Nick Haycock (me.) Ben and I grew up together in Cambridge, Massachusetts and reunited as roommates in Brooklyn after college. I first tried kava during a family vacation to Hawaii. I instantly fell in love with the experience of drinking kava and started dreaming about bottling kava and sharing it with my friends.
Ben had worked in restaurants all of his adult life, and I knew he would have great insights on how to get started. In the fall of 2010, we began working on the project that would eventually become King Kava. We brewed the first flavors of King Kava in our kitchen, using a French press. Our first experiments were rough. Coconut and vanilla kava tasted terrible. We made some overwhelmingly ginger flavors that were too extreme for most peoples’ palettes. Eventually, we started to get a feel for the unique taste and drinking experience of kava. The flavors started getting better. Some flavor attempts turned out wonderfully, but the ingredients were hard to get or too expensive to use. Finally, we found a few flavors that tasted great, used affordable, organic ingredients and made sense from a production standpoint.
We brew each bottle ourselves in Long Island City, Queens at a commercial kitchen we rent out during brew days. We are a small company dedicated to providing New Yorkers with a delicious way to relax. We love receiving feedback. So please drop us a line.