In a time when new vendors are popping up out of nowhere, Luna Kava comes to us with a solid trio of medium grind Kavas out of the gates – a Vanuatuan Borogu, a Fijian Lawena, and a Blend. They also have an Instant Kava available which I’ll have to review further down the road.

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I wanted to review the Borogu first because it’s a pretty solid point of reference in any Kava vendors’ arsenal. In the video, you’ll notice that I have an initial kind of startled reaction to the taste. As explained in the video, it’s because I used a new preparation method I wanted to try. Namely, (lightly) boiling about a cup of water to five tablespoons of Kava root and mixing until it gets a greasy sheen. Then dumping in another three cups of room temperature water and squeezing it through a sieve. This makes the Kava taste pretty bad, but it certainly stretches out the beat of the kavalactones. You can feel the Kava resin properly drip through your hands as you squeeze. If you’re ever tight on cash and want your krunks’ worth, you might want to take a close look at this method.

I followed up the next day with the AluBall, and this stuff tastes just fine that way. Like I said in the video review, it is reminiscent of Nakamal at Home’s Black Sand Kava, or Kalm with Kava’s Borogu.

The effects are exactly what you would expect them to be from a Borogu – head and body buzz spread pretty evenly out, with a nice stoniness in the eyes and a deep, euphoric anti-anxiety buzz. Definitely a night time Kava or a weekend Kava. A good one to use to initiate Kava-doubters who claim they don’t feel anything.

Head-8.5/10

Body -8.5/10

Flavor -8/10

Strength – Medium-High

Best for: End of the day relaxation, getting krunked on a week-night, weekend day Kava

Luna Kava Borogu – 8.3/10

Kalm with Kava’s Fiji Loa Waka comes from a farmer that the folks at Kalm with Kava personally know in Taveuni, Fiji.  There is nothing more reassuring to me as a farmer’s advocate all over the world than to hear that Kava vendors are developing meaningful relationships with Kava farmers. I believe this is the next frontier in the Kava world – turning the world’s best medicine into a social enterprise that can help give farmers in the Pacific Islands better incomes and opportunities.  I’ll be making a big announcement very soon on my own initiative to engage with Kava-growing communities in the South Pacific.

Fiji Loa Waka is divinely delicious, with a smooth milky texture and fresh taste. My first impression of this Kava was “wow, this stuff smells like it was just harvested and dried within the last few weeks!” This stuff goes down the hatch very smoothly and has a crisp finish that wouldn’t create a gag effect even in the greenest Kava drinker. I kneaded this stuff several different times and making it with chilled coconut milk was absolutely euphoric.

Fijian Kavas are known for being light, bubbly, and subtle. Loa Waka isn’t really like that at all. Loa Waka is made from 100% lateral roots and packs a 12% kavalactone content. The chemotype for this Kava is 463251 and its effects are immediately noticeable.

  • Strength (Mind) – 9/10
  • Strength (Body) – 7/10
  • Flavor – 10/10
  • Overall Strength: High – Strong

 

I appreciate a good trailblazer, or an entrepreneur coming out of nowhere and reinventing or reintroducing something. I feel like I kind of did that myself with the Kavasseur blog – helped fuel a soothing revolution to quell the nerves of those of us willing to sling back pond water tasting sludge on a regular basis.

Squanch is a newcomer to the Kava world, and I have never seen anything like them. They have some mysterious connection – I picture handshakes in coconut groves as baskets of Fijian Kava aggregate on a sago palm mat – to Kava farmers. And the quality of Kava is extremely high. It is soft, soothing, and very good to keep around as a daily Kava. It is the essence of an anti-anxiety Kava.

If you want to have a heavy session with Squanch Fijian Kava, you’re more than welcome to do so. I brewed a huge bowl (1 cup of root to 3 cups of water) and drank the whole thing within a day. The first few shells had me smiling and rocking away. The last few shells put me out. So you can gauge your own level of intake and make this a soothing or a shelling Kava.

Oh, and it tastes great 🙂

You can only buy directly from Squanch. Email: samsquanch1972(at)gmail.com

Effect (Mind) – 9/10

Effect (Body) – 8/10

Taste – 9/10

Strength – Variable and easily manipulatable into a nice relaxing Kava to a laying-down-on-the-bench getting stoned with islanders Kava. Medium strength

Good for – anxiety, social anxiety, stress, winding down, getting krunked

Squanch Fijian – 8.6/10

In a low risk move, I decided to venture back over to the Hawaiian Kava Center website to see what kind of potions Jonathon Yee has brewed up over the past months. After enjoying his Moi, Hiwa, and Nene, I decided to try something completely different – Pana Ewa.

This Kava squeezes out unusually dark – an almost chocolate-covered almond hue. But don’t let the color fool you. This stuff goes down as smooth as silk. It is delicious and has the perfect suite of smoothy, nutty, earthy tones.

While this Kava might come across initially as anti-anxiety warrior, it creeps in and sets you running for the nearest easy chair. It it what I would consider a jumpy Kava – hurtling you from complete relaxation and calmness to total giggliness and creativity. Don’t underestimate this Kava by throwing back too many shells before you’ve felt the first one. You might very well wake up in Port Villa laying on a bench (wait, that would be a good thing, right?)
Effect (Mind) – 9/10
Effect (Body) – 9/10
Flavor -9/10
Strength – Initial Medium Strength with a Strong Creeping Effect
Best for – Complete Relaxation at the end of the day, Weekend Kava, No next day efects
Overall – 9/10

Big Kava, a new player among many new players in the Kava world, comes out of the gates strong with a Premium Waka from Fiji. This Kava is a fine ground made from lateral roots. It is very fresh, very potent, and hits the spot as a daily Kava. This is probably the ideal anti-anxiety Kava, because it provides a very strong relaxing effect and puts your nerves to complete rest.

Effect (Mind) – 8.5/10
Effect (Body) – 7.5/10
Flavor – 9/10
Strength – Medium/Mildly Strong and very effective against anxiety
Best for – Relaxation, Anti-Anxiety, Sleep Aid

Big Kava Premium Waka – 8.3/10

Buy this Kava:

Premium Grade Kava Root Powder (1 lb) By Big Kava – USA Certified Noble Grade – High Quality – Super Relaxation – Bonus Kava Guide

See the video review of this Kava here.

This kava, named after a traditional bungee jump ritual in Vanuatu, is a blend of noble kavas that will leave you glued to the couch with a broad smile on your face. It is absolutely fantastic, and mildly overwhelming when it first washes over you. Drink this kava with a bit of care and keep it away from lightweights. If strength is what you’re looking for, then look no further. This is a root blend that competes with many others for the rank of most potent, heady, stony, and pain-killing. Enjoy it!

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A spoonful of Nangol Noble powder is very floral and fragrant. The smell of the powder alone is bright and stimulating.

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The color of the Kava is a lightish brown. But don’t let it deceive you. It’s strong in flavor and potency.

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Effects (Mind) – 10/10
Effects (Body) – 9.75/10
Flavor – 9/10
Strength – Very strong/Extremely Strong. This represents the most extreme place on the spectrum of “strong.” Certainly a weekend Kava.
Best for – Stimulation, creativity, sociability

Bula Kava House Nangol Noble – 9.58/10

This is my first “double review” and it comes with mixed results.

First, the AluBall.

This product is absolutely fantastic and I can’t imagine life without it – and I’ve only had it for about one week! You can brew about two tablespoons at a time with the AluBall, which is a small ball that screws in half. You spoon Kava into it until it is half full, screw it closed, and drop it in a plastic thermos that closes tightly at the top. The ball is surrounded by small holes with little metallic sieves. Once the ball is in the water, you shake the container vigorously for about one minute until the water becomes saturated with the Kava. So far, I have seen no weaknesses in the AluBall or the container it came with.

The greatest thing, in my opinion, about the AluBall is that it makes really frothy Kava. I love frothy Kava. And a shell will just foam over with frothy Kava after a great shake.

The AluBall and container make a relatively small batch. I get about 300 ml of strong Kava from the first shake, and 300 ml of middle strength Kava from the second shake. In other words, you need to shake a new batch for each shell that you make. I made some Kava for my friends with the AluBall and this got a bit tiresome. I’m not sure how this can be addressed in the future but it would be helpful if there was a way to make stronger batches with this method (without having to put in too much effort).

In terms of portability, this is where the AluBall is a grand slam. I can keep this in my car and shake a batch out really quickly. Most importantly, there is no mess at all to speak of. You can simply take the whole thing home, wash it out, wash the AluBall, and then let it dry so you have it the next time you walk out the door. Drinking Kava in the car or on the job has never been easier! I used to have to carry a whole prep kit around with me. Not any more with the Aluball!

Now, for the Kavafied Tonga Tongatapu.

For such a delightfully delicious Kava, this is a bit of a disappointment on the effects side. I brewed a strong batch of this on an empty stomach and really only got a mild body effect. I doubled up with an extra two tablespoons (four in total) and again really enjoyed the mild, creamy taste of this Kava. It has a pretty decent anti-anxiety effect but doesn’t totally take the edge off. The bottom line is that the effects just don’t compare favorably with other Tongan Kavas I’ve had. On top of that, it comes in a pretty small 200 gram bag so taking it to the next level just wouldn’t have been a good economic choice. I don’t want to dwell too much on this, but I was hoping for more.

AluBall
Product Review: 9/10

Kavafied Tonga Tongatapu
Effects Mind: 5/10
Effects Body: 8/10
Flavor: 8.5/10
Strength: Weak
Best time to drink: Ideal day-time Kava

Overall: 7.2/10

Buy here:

http://www.getkavafied.com?rfsn=196136.a265

**NOTE: The second time I ordered this Kava it made me feel very ill for 48 hours and had “two-day” like effects such as nausea and dizziness. This product seems inconsistent or it might have been moldy or somehow spoiled**

 

 

You can view the video review here.

 

As a newcomer to Gourmet Hawaiian Kava, my expectations have been built up in an unparalleled fashion. They have been celebrated for taking a kind of revolutionary approach to ensuring a pipeline of certified Noble Kava that is grown in Hawaii and harvested fresh, packaged, and delivered directly to a very solid base of customers. By cutting out the international dimension of buying and selling Kava, Gourmet Hawaiian Kava guarantees a product that they know from the inside out. And boy does it show.

I chose to order Hanakapi’Ai as my first Gourmet Hawaiian Kava for no particular reason. I just scanned the available Kavas and grabbed the first name that jumped out. I have been told great things about the Hiwa and Nene Kavas that are sold by Gourmet Hawaiian Kava, but you can often tell how good a vendor is by buying some of their less talked-about stuff. I made a good choice.

Hanakapi’Ai has a silky smooth, almost almond milk taste when squeezed to medium strength. I’d say  three heaping tablespoons to one cup of water should get you a fine tasting strong Kava. If you overdo it, it has an overwhelming peppery flavor that might cause you to shake a bit. But if you aren’t in it for the taste and want to be blown away quickly, you might want to opt for a cup of Kava to two cups of water. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Of course, you can see how this stuff hits just by watching the video above. But I’ll try to walk you through it. A heavy numbing taste on the palate radiates out to the limbs pretty efficiently, letting your muscles kind of droop away from any stress that has inflated them. This Kava is particularly felt in the eyes. I got a kind of heavy stoniness behind my eyes that made me feel like there literally wasn’t a care in the world.

Hanakapi’Ai not a “down” Kava. Don’t drink this before going to sleep, because it provides some entertainment in the form of humorous thoughts, creative ideation, and absurd observation. I wanted to get to sleep early, but instead got myself into a writing frenzy.

  • Strength (Mind) – 9.5/10
  • Strength (Body) – 9/10
  • Flavor 8.5/10
  • Overall Strength: High – Very Strong
  • Best time to drink: Evening Kava or Weekend Kava

The chemotype for GHK Hanakapi’Ai is 423651 with an overall kavalactone content of 9.13%.