I just got back from the farms in Indonesia. I visited 5 separate locations. They all have the same methods. I’ll try to keep it simple- but here’s the scoop on kratom strains and the production process
All of the leaves are harvested from the same trees. ALL OF THEM. Nobody is separating leaves per order. You should see the trucks packed with leaves, they’re all the same. They sell thousands of tons, and nobody is separating leaves because they have ‘horns’ or are big or small or different colored. They’re all from the same tree!!! When I approached farmers, they were so confused when I asked what strain they were picking. They’d all respond “it’s all just krah-tom” and had this look like ‘duh american.’ I’ll post photos of the trucks and leaves. Farmers grow and pick leaves, then sell them to vendors who process according to their own liking.
VEINS: The veins are generally red when they’re small and young, and if anyone says that all kratom veins are red means they are harvesting too early to meet demands. Because the veins will turn green when properly matured. With that said, the color is completely irrelevant other than for judging the maturity of the leaf.
Fact- Anything labeled ‘horn’ or whatever else to convince you of leaf differences is marketing. Every farmer and vendor told me this. Of course there will be different shapes in leaves due to climate, sun, and such, but the leaf shape does not affect mitra levels.
RED: So how do they get red? I found out and took photos. They take the fresh leaves and ferment them in plastic bags for about 3 days pending outside humidity and temperature and vendors preference. Then they lay them out to dry. Some dry indoor, some dry outdoor.
GREEN: Basic green powder comes from air drying the fresh leaves. Simple process.
GOLD/YELLOW: these are done similar to red, but only ferment for 2 days rather than 3, then air dried. Yellow typically has white mixed in to finish it off.
WHITE: here is a fun one that blew my mind. White is a mix of green and red, which creates a basic white. I know, it doesn’t actually create white color… But that’s not it- they add ‘bones’ to the mix which helps create the whiter/beige color. And the bones (veins) are stimulating. I’ll add a photo of pure white bones powder. I did get some since I’ve never seen it for sale.
BONES: bones are the leaf veins. Once the leaves are dry, they crumble them and have the skeleton of the leaf left behind which they call bones. We call them veins. Veins are not mixed up into most vendors powder except for the small amount used in white. That said, some vendors will add a small amount of bones to all their product, again it depends on their preference. In general, the bones are discarded with the exception of the small amount put into white. So that debunks popular belief about red veins making red powder. Veins are not used in red or green powder.
CRUMBS: crumbs are what’s left behind after removing the vein or ‘bones.’ The leaves are just crumbled like the leaves in autumn. Dry and flaky.
POWDER: the crumbs are mixed together and then ground to a powder using high powered flour milling machines. One vendor I visited uses a UV machine to kill bacteria. They’re now my go-to.