Taki MaiTaki Mai

By Zane Yoshida

How To Chill Out When You Get Back To Work

With the New Year starting and many people returning to work after a long break, it can all get a bit much at times. How can you chill out in the office when all you want is to be watching your favourite movie on the couch, taking a swim, or enjoying a long, refreshing winter’s walk?

Whatever it is you’d rather be doing, there’s no need to stress out because of work. Here are a few tips for staying cool in the office:

  • Take frequent breaks

This first one is pretty obvious. Getting snowed under with work and stress is easy if you’re not prepared to walk away every now and again for a break.

There’s a point where trying to plod on will get you nowhere. Either take a walk outside, give yourself five at the water cooler, go kick a ball around, or shoot the breeze with a colleague for 10 minutes…the point is to divert your mind from the cause of the stress. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do, but music is well-proven to be a great mood changer: try listening to your favourite song a couple of times before returning to your desk.

  • Do a little redecorating

Does your desk area delight you? Or is it just another reminder of how much you hate your job? If the latter then there could be deeper issues at play!

Even so, it’s worth changing things around a bit; put up some new pictures of your family or friends (unless they are the cause of your stress J) or of your favourite holiday destination. There are studies that show that staring at pictures of loved ones reduce pain and stress! Alternatively, pin up your favourite quotes to inspire you or make you laugh. Laughter is a great stress-reliever.

  • Meditate or do breathing exercises

The full health benefits of meditation are only just becoming known. It’s not for everybody but even if you sit quietly and close your eyes for 10 minutes and become more conscious of your breathing it will help relax you.

Shutting out the rest of the world for a few minutes and then returning to it refreshed and with a new perspective will help to calm those negative emotions.

  • Have your favourite brew at hand…

You know where I’m going with this! Whether it’s kava, green tea, coffee, chamomile tea, or Tibetan yak’s hair tea (Ok – I made that one up) it’s important to keep a brew handy for those moments when nothing else will do.

Of course, with the proven relaxing benefits of kava, most people reading this will have a kava shot or maybe even some instant kava at their side ready to mix up for a quick hit to bring tranquillity and calmness to a troubled mind.

Whatever way you choose to de-stress when you return to work, here’s hoping that 2017 will be healthy, profitable, and stress-free for you!

By Zane Yoshida

How to Select Safe, Healthy, and Relaxing Kava

Kava comes in many forms. It can be confusing for newcomers to find the relaxing kava supplement they are looking for, and to feel confident about taking it.

It’s not just that you can buy kava in liquid, powder, or pill form; the quality of the kava used can vary, depending on the origins of the kava itself, how it has been processed, and where you buy it.

So how do you select the safest, healthiest, most relaxing kava to soothe and relax your body and mind after a hard day?

Below are some pointers…

  • Do your background checks

Firstly – and most importantly – check who you are buying from. If it comes from reputable health stores, established supermarkets, or mainstream convenience stores in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or other western country, then it will usually have gone through rigorous checks before it reaches the shelves.

Buying kava online can be more risky unless you are purchasing from a reputable and established supplier – so check out who they are before sending your money!

  • Research what to expect

There is a wealth of information about kava online – read a few articles on here and other places that describe what you can expect from kava, so that you know what you are getting yourself into  – what it tastes like and the effects you will experience. Then there will be no surprises.

  • Choose noble kava

When researching products, try to establish whether or not they use ‘noble’ kava. This is an elite kava variety that produces safe, healthy, and predictable effects. If it is not ‘noble’ kava, the quality may be inferior. The so-called ‘two-day’ or ‘tudei’ kava may produce unpredictable side effects, such as lethargy and nausea.

Kava bought from reputable dealers and retailers will generally be ‘noble’ kava. But, depending on where you are in the world and where you plan to buy your kava, watch out for less scrupulous dealers. They may sell cheaper, ‘tudei’ varieties that are resistant to pests and stronger than noble varieties. Some of these are responsible for damaging the reputation of kava globally.

Needless to say, Taki Mai kava shots, powder, and capsules, are all made from elite, noble kava – using root grown in our nurseries on the island of Ovalau in Fiji, known for its high quality kava.

  • Know why you are taking kava

It’s important to understand why you want to take kava supplements; this will help you find the most suitable form of supplement.

Many people just want to relax with a good-tasting shot of kava. So the kava shots mixed with juices or other natural flavours may be a good option; others will take it for medical reasons or to aid sleep – and the powder or capsule form may be more appropriate. Perhaps you need a type that you can take ‘on the go’- so, rather than the fresh or dried root (which you need to strain first) or the instant powder form that you need to mix with water, the pill form may be more convenient.

The form of kava you take largely depends on your reasons for trying it and the demands of your lifestyle.

  • You may need to pay a little more

We are not all lucky enough to have family members who grow their own kava. Most of us have to buy it and it’s worth bearing in mind that you generally get what you pay for. Paying a bit more for noble kava that has been processed correctly will ensure that it is safe, healthy, and provides all the relaxation benefits that you are expecting. You may find that, not only does the cheap stuff taste inferior, you need more of it to produce the desired effect – and, as mentioned, it’s often less predictable in its effects.

Hopefully the above helps you select the right kava for your needs. Take time to research what’s available, and how the various brands differ in taste, quality, and effects.

By Zane Yoshida

Kava Shots: Perfect For Teetotalers

Kava shots are at home in many places. They can be study aids, anti-anxiety supplements, a way to rejuvenate muscles after exercising, a way to relax before flying, or yoga supplements, to name a few.

Kava shots may also be the perfect solution for teetotalers, who like the social side of sharing a drink, but prefer to avoid pubs, bars, and clubs.


Kava is drunk by millions of people throughout the South Pacific on a daily basis. Increasingly it is also being used in the west, where it is finding ways to assimilate into our culture.

One of the potential challenges for kava is that alcohol has already cemented its place as the great ‘social drink’ in the west. But this neglects the large amounts of people who are teetotal for one reason or another.

Not everyone who drinks kava shots is teetotal, of course. But kava can fill a ‘gap’ for some people who abstain from alcohol. There are many reasons for doing so, including:

  • Health reasons
  • Religious reasons
  • Because they are on medication
  • To save money
  • To lose weight
  • To avoid hangovers
  • To avoid depression
  • To sleep better
  • To stay in control
  • To avoid alcohol-fueled problems
  • To avoid aggression
  • To avoid alcoholism
  • They don’t like the taste

…plus many others! You can probably think of a few more…

The different effects of kava

Kava is a social drink that avoids many of the problems associated with alcohol – especially in terms of health and negative behavior.

Also, there is no conflict with most religions. For instance, tea, coffee and alcohol are prohibited for Mormons, but there are no restrictions on kava!

With kava there is no hangover, you stay in control, it is easy on the liver (if you select the right noble kava), and it has quite the reverse effect to making you aggressive; it will generally relax you and make you rather passive.

If you’re a teetotaler you can seek one of the many kava bars that are springing up around the world – maybe there’s one in your local area?

Or, if you prefer to have a more portable version, try the Taki Mai shots mixed with natural fruit juices  – not only do they possess all those great kava relaxation benefits; they taste great too!

By Zane Yoshida

Kava and New Zealand: A Blossoming Relationship

Kava and New Zealand have always had a close relationship – but it is now beginning to ‘blossom’.

We reported recently about the New Zealand prime minister, John Key, arriving in Fiji to a traditional kava ceremony. But it goes well beyond this.

With the proximity of New Zealand to the island nations of the South Pacific, such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, and Tonga, it is no surprise that a large number of ‘islanders’ have chosen New Zealand as their home.

In fact, around 7.5 percent of the country’s 4.6 million people identify with South Pacific ethnic groups. This makes it one of the ‘kava centres’ of the world.

Importance of kava in New Zealand

If you know any Pacific islanders you will also know that, wherever they go, their kava follows them closely behind! Its calming, relaxing properties are seen as a vital cultural connection with the power to put people back in touch with their island homes; and drinking kava is as much of a social routine for many NZ-based islanders as it is when they are back in their ‘spiritual home’.

The kava bowl is never very far away yet, in New Zealand, like in most western countries, its use has traditionally been restricted largely to the migrant communities.

Not anymore. Kava is making inroads into other communities, crossing cultural divides, just like in the US, Australia, and elsewhere. Misconceptions still exist about kava and its effects, as well as with the importance of quality, though.

Raising the profile of kava in New Zealand

The recent Fine Food New Zealand trade expo in Auckland included kava-based products, in recognition that it has become more ‘mainstream’. This is part of an attempt to promote more Pacific-grown products in the local and global markets. Exposure at this international food trade show also helps to educate the market about the noble kava varieties available.

Amongst many other Pacific products, Taki Mai flavoured kava supplements were showcased and, we are delighted to say, they went down a storm!

Joe Fuavao, of Pacific Trade & Invest and the Produce Company, noted that the kava shots had become a ‘crowd favourite’:

“It’s been a real a winner. I think a lot of people have been quite curious about the effects of Kava. They’re used to seeing it in powder form so now seeing the product packaged and well presented is certainly generating the interest amongst a lot of the cafes and bars.

“A lot of the cafe owners, the restaurateurs that have come across our stand – they’ve seen the word Pacific and started to have a look at what we have on offer,”

So, you may be seeing Taki Mai kava shots in more cafes and bars around New Zealand in the very near future.

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How To Chill Out When You Get Back To Work
How to Select Safe, Healthy, and Relaxing Kava
Kava Shots: Perfect For Teetotalers
Kava and New Zealand: A Blossoming Relationship
Anxiety Relief in the Skies with Kava