Our founder, Matt Masifilo, invented the AluBall Kava Maker after the 2014 NFL football season concluded. Matt, at the time, a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saw a need to develop a simple and quick way to make Kava after years of sharing it with his teammates. During an NFL season, time is of the essence and although constantly craving a relaxing cup of Kava after a long practice or workout, there was just no time for it.
What struck Matt more than his lack of time to make Kava was the insight that new users were very skeptical of their ability to make a cup of Kava the traditional way (kneading a strainer bag of Kava roots and water over a bowl). He found that this deterred new users from enjoying Kava on their own. He also realized that the sight of making Kava the traditional way appeared out of the norm enough to deter potential new users from trying Kava.
With these needs in mind, Matt put his engineering degree from Stanford to work and developed the now Patent Pending AluBall® with the hopes of making Kava more accessible to the masses. It is our belief that the AluBall® will help the Kava industry grow by simplifying the process of making Kava and presenting it in a format that is already socially accepted.
"Sharing Kava with the World one shell at a time"
Our family hails from the village of Ha'atu'a (Kolo Maile) on the island of 'Eua, Tonga. A big part of the Tongan culture that carried over with us is the ritual of drinking Kava. In the village of Ha'atu'a (Kolo Maile) you'll find an appreciation for the very simple things in life. Materialistic things are not of much use in this self sustaining village. Water is collected from tin roofs for drinking and food is farmed on the land. The one prized possession though is Kava. Every night after a long days work, most men gather in the town hall to drink Kava, sing church music, discuss village politics and relax. If Kava is not in demand to be consumed by the village, it is sold to fund school for the children, weddings and funerals.
While much has not changed on the island of 'Eua, the Kava culture in America changes with every generation. In our case, how Kava is consumed. Growing up in Hawaii, Matt remembers watching his father partake in a Kava circle with his friends on many occasions. When he started to drink Kava in his early teens, he started off mimicking the strict traditional ways of his culture but with a modern Polynesian twist that evolved into our company today.
Stories of our past and the evolving Polynesian culture in America are big reasons for starting this company. Generations will pass by and cultures will get intertwined, but Kava will always be there linking a rich cultural past to an unforeseen future.