Monday, May 15, 2017

Kavasseur Visits the Nak in Boca Raton, FL

From the 28 - 30 April, I had the privilege of visiting "the Nak" in Boca Raton, FL. "The Nak" is the official bar of Nakamal at Home, one of the premier vendors of Kava in the United States and the world. "The Nak" is the first Kava bar in the continental United States, and is packed to the gills every night with Kava drinkers. For three days straight, I drank Kava at the Nak from morning until night. I also had a chance to venture out and check out some of the other Kava bars in South Florida. By far, the Nak is the best Kava bar in Florida, and the United States.

All in all, I drank about 70 shells of Kava over the mellowest weekend I have ever experienced. While visiting "the Nak," I interviewed other Kavasseurs and tried to document what this amazing Kava bar is like.










Buy Kavafied Strainers and the AluBall here!
A life long favorite of Kavasseur! :

Nakamal at Home - Wow! (2017)




Monday, January 9, 2017

Squanch Kava - Fijian Waka


Squanch Kava’s Fijian Waka – 9.25/10
Make sure you’re prepared with an AluBall Kava maker!

Bula Kava House - Nambawan


I made mine in an AluBall, which you can get from Kavafied:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Kalm with Kava - Vula Waka


I kept drinking Vula Waka throughout the evening, getting into my third session around 9 PM. Vula Waka has a building presence in that it seems to accumulate in your muscles and really steer you towards a restful sleep. In other words, over the space of about five hours I went from a limb-numbing sedation to a more heady heaviness that gave some weight to my eyelids and eventually walked me towards my mattress. In this sense, it reminds me a lot of a Borongoru in its relaxing completeness – it’s ability to medicinally relax and provoke a deep and wholesome slumber. Another great thing about this Kava is that a little bit goes a long, long way. I consider a 4-5 tablespoon session that gets you from a body buzz to a heady sedation to be quite potent. On top of that, the “session”-like quality of this Kava is nice in that it takes you through different phases. 1-2 shells works to relax the body and calm the muscles, while 3-5 shells takes you to a headier space. It’s nice to have a Kava where you can control for the kind of effect you want.
Kalm with Kava’s Vula Waka – 9.6/10
Strength – Starts medium strength, builds to very strong within a short period
Also, check out Kalm with Kava’s Borongoru for a more “let’s get to sleep” variety:

Friday, December 23, 2016

THE 2016 KAVA AWARDS

Welcome to the 2016 Kava Awards. I'm your host, the Kavasseur.

What a year for Kava! Not only did we see some of the best Kava ever slide through our doors' mail slots, but we also never needed it more. During presidential debates, international uncertainties, turbulent tensions, and certainly election nights we were able to soothe our bumblin' tumblin' minds with shells of our favorite Pacific elixir. As a community, we have come along way.

In 2016, Noble became the standard in the Kava world. The Kava marketplace in North America has never been cleaner. When you go online to buy Kava now, it is all but certain that you will get a 100% Noble Kava. The community has demanded higher standards from vendors, and we have been rewarded with clean burning Kavas that settle us down to sleep and let us wake up refreshed. Special thanks to those who have advocated for a marketplace where Noble is the norm.

We also saw some vendors retire from the Kava business. It became official in 2016 that Paradise Kava was no longer going to be selling rare delicious Kavas or their wonderful extracts. We also saw a smaller vendor, Luna Kava, hang up their shells for at least a temporary basis. Best of luck to these individuals in their future efforts - Kava related or not.

2016 was also a tough year for many of the Pacific Island nations who are part of our Kava community. Without them, we would not exist. Cyclones, floods, and even droughts ravaged the Pacific last year, causing terrible destruction in the countries where Kava is grown. This extreme weather reminds us that we need to be conscious of the global environment and be better stewards of it, and to extend humanitarian aid to those suffering as a result of the excesses of others. We stand in solidarity with the Kava farmers of the south Pacific, their families, their communities, and their nations.

When putting together this list, I wanted to be as unbiased as possible and keep the categories to a minimum. In a year, what qualities can we identify among vendors and their Kava? I thought it would be important to look for an outstanding individual who embodies good business ethics and sells high quality Kavas - the Vendor of the Year. Who was the best new arrival on the Kava scene over the past 12 months - the Best New Vendor.  Who continued to push Kava forward with new ideas and technologies - the Most Innovative. Which small Kava vendor brought the local flavors of the South Pacific to us so successfully that you could almost taste the soil of their Kava gardens in each shell of Kava - the Best Artisanal Vendor. Which vendor keeps their fans on the edge of their seats waiting for fresh, tasty new Kavas and maintains their fan base - the Sheller's Choice. And, of course, the Kava of the Year category speaks for itself. There are so many great vendors out there now, but I thought these were really the ones who stood out in 2016.

With no further ado, I'd like to raise some shells and distribute awards to various players in the Kava world.

Vendor of the Year - Kalm with Kava

I want to raise a special shell to 2016's "Vendor of the Year." Kalm with Kava exemplifies excellent business ethics and community-based economic development through sustainable agriculture. What truly impresses me about Kalm with Kava is their emphasis on the farmers and communities who grow Kava in the Pacific Islands. Their focus on creating a better life for Kava-producing communities by going to their homes, walking with them through their farms, and sourcing the freshest, most cared-for, and best value Kava on the market is what earns them the title of "Vendor of the Year." They are doing what I believe every responsible company should do in a market that works with natural resources and agricultural products. Namely, they bypass the middleman distributors and buy directly from farmers. Their approach might be more difficult and expensive, but it means that when you purchase a bag of their Kava your money is going directly to the households who produced it. Essentially, it means that when you drink a shell of Vula Waka you are not only benefitting yourself, but you are benefitting a household in Fiji. What more could you ask for?

Excellent work, Mike Munsell and everyone at Kalm with Kava!

Best New Vendor - Kava Time

When Kava Time first came on to the scene several months ago, they seemed like a small Kava vendor who may or may not be able to get on the radar. Now, at the end of 2016, they are offering around half a dozen Kavas that are all consistently amazing. Their Savusavu Waka is the dreamy answer to many problems. The Lawena is a nerve-calming tonic that will never let you down. Having only been around for a handful of months, Kava Time has impressed as a Fiji-based small Kava vendor that takes Noble Kava seriously. Also, their Kava "bricks" were one of the most commonly talked about novelties in the Kava world. Those things are packed so tightly that you need an ice pick just to get a session going!

Most Innovative Vendor – Kavafied

What can I say? The AluBall continues to take the Kava world by storm (the good kind). I remember the early days of the AluBall, when it seemed a bit gimmicky and out of place. Well, now it is even the Kavasseur norm for Kava-making. It is quick (as in minutes), effective, portable, easy to clean - you name it. I have taken this thing with me to Ghana, Madagascar, Rwanda, and South Africa. It always does the trick. Kavafied continues to innovate with a cutting-edge online presence (have you seen their Instagram?), a great line of hats and t-shirts, amazing design, and even the upcoming AluBall XL. They also surprised us late in the year by dropping "Vanuatu Supreme" on us. It's one of the better Vanuatu Kavas available right now, and we're all lovin' it.

Best Artisanal Vendor - The Kava Roots

The Kava Roots released two main Kavas in 2016 - Tongan Reserve and Vanuatu Select. Both of these were of exceptional quality and had the finest, Noblest, cleanest flavors and effects. The Kava Roots burst on to the scene with the sedating, relaxing, anxiety-busting Tongan Reserve. In October they released Vanuatu Select, which became the reigning heavyweight champion of the Vanuatu Kava world - no small victory for any vendor, let alone a small artisanal vendor. The "localness" of their Kava and the small batch quality is what puts this vendor firmly at the top of the list of smaller, artisanal vendors.

Kava of the Year - The Kava Roots' "Vanuatu Select"

When I drank my first shell of "Vanuatu Select," it transported me back to my first brush with Kava as a stressed-out college student in 2000. It reminded me of that initial feeling of first finding something that washed my nerves clean from any anxiety or discomfort. "Vanuatu Select" is hands-down my favorite Kava of 2016 - a strong peppery Vanuatu Kava that has that perfect balance of heady and heavy strength and burns clean in your relaxation engine. The organic flavor and household level care of this Kava can be tasted in every brilliant shell and it puts you firmly where you want to be on any day of the week. Three bulas to the Kava Roots!

Sheller's Choice - Gourmet Hawaiian Kava

Gourmet Hawaiian Kava continues to be the most popular and preferred vendor of the community of daily Kava drinkers who search for a variety of Noble Kavas with a guaranteed quality and type. They have a dedicated group of loyal followers who admire the effort Gourmet Hawaiian Kava puts into understanding and preserving a large heirloom of Kava varieties. They locally run a large Kava farm in Hawaii that is teeming with seemingly endless varieties of high quality Kavas with different effects. Having direct control over the nurturing of these plants, Gourmet Hawaiian Kava can guarantee the quality and genetic cultivar type of every bag of Kava they send out. Their adherence to the Noble-only movement is admirable, and they have become a major force in the Kava world.