Ybor City is excited to welcome SpookEasy inside of the Stone Soup Company to the neighborhood! It opened on Halloween and is serving both Kava and Kratom teas for their guests to try and enjoy! It's the first speakeasy in Ybor City that's hidden behind a bookcase; to enter, you must pull the correct book out of the shelf for the door to swing open!
Upon entrance, you'll catch the vibe of this new hot spot very quickly. There are spooky decorations and a light board with spooky images that move with you as you across the lair that's SpookEasy. The bar is beautiful and haunting at the same time, but the staff is friendly and willing to educate you on Kava and Kratom teas if it’s your first time them.
Kava is a tropical evergreen shrub blooming with heart-shaped leaves and woody stems. For a long time, Pacific cultures have used Kava during rituals and social gatherings as a ceremonial drink to promote a state of relaxation in anyone who dares to try it!
To make Kava tea like the ones served at SpookEasy, the roots are ground into a paste and mixed with water. The water is then strained, making the drink is smooth so it can be consumed like any other drink would be.
Kava has effects on the body and on the mind. At SpookEasy, you can choose the tea based on how it will affect you. The Morticia strain is for the body, the Zombie strain is for the mind, and the Jekyll & Hyde effects both!
How does it make your body or mind feel? Well, it's known to be a relaxant and reduce anxiety, but it also may aid sleep if you're an insomniac or have trouble sleeping at night.
SpookEasy reminds those who try Kava that it should never be mixed with alcohol, and the recommended dose is an 8 oz. glass for a first-time user.
SpookEasy also sells Kratom teas, which is from the leaves of a tropical tree from Southeast Asia. It’s known for the compounds in it that have psychotropic and mind-altering effects.
To make Kratom teas like the ones served at the SpookEasy in Ybor City, the dried or powdered leaves must be brewed and served with caution. If users drink too much of the substance it can cause effects similar to both opioids and stimulants.
Because the SpookEasy servers are attentive and cautious, they will only serve you small amounts so you feel the more positive effects of the plant. When it's taken in smaller amounts, users say it gives them an extra bit of energy, sociability, and alertness instead of sedation.
SpookEasy sells three different strains of the botanical tea: Frankenstein's Monster, Vampire Blood, and White Witch. Each has different effects on the body and mind, similar to the Kava teas.
The recommended consumption for a first-time user is 8-16oz.
When I went to the opening of the SpookEasy, I tried Kratom for the first time. My boyfriend and I split a 16 oz. cup of Frankenstein's Monster, which is known to affect both the body and the mind. Go hard or go home, right?
The tea itself was bitter, but because I ordered the Raspberry Frankenstein’s Monster Tea, it was also sweet. (The bartenders explained to me that if you’re drinking Kava tea, you want to stick with the more decadent flavors, and Kratom is better with fruity flavors.)
I enjoyed my cup of tea but it didn’t affect me like I thought it was going to. I had a small burst of energy right after consuming it, but I don’t think I drank enough to get other effects that other users have mentioned. I can tell you that I had the best night of sleep after drinking my Kratom tea; I fell asleep at 9 p.m. and woke up around 9 a.m.
I can understand why people drink these teas, but I do want to warn you that they can be addictive. Be careful and understand the risks, side effects, and health effects of using these teas.
Photos courtesy of author