Monday, February 8, 2010

Nakamal At Home - Black Sand Kava Review

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Before I begin, let me say a few things about Nakamal at home. I have never been to their Kava Bar, and I have never corresponded with them at all. I came across their website while surfing for new sources of Kava kava. I ordered a half kilo of Black Sand Kava, a quarter kilo of Wow! Kava, and a quarter kilo of Stone Kava. I also ordered some straining bags from them, and two half coconut bowls. I ordered everything on Friday, and it was delivered by Monday. Free shipping, three days - unbelievable. Great costumer service, check.

After processing Nakamal at Home's "Black Sand Kava," I sat down to drink it and immediately indulged in the scent. I made the Kava so that it retained a nice froth, and put some ice cubes in it to give it a nice chill - I like to drink my Kava a little cold. The head is nice, earthy, and has a fresh rain smell to it. Some people don't like the taste of Kava but enjoy the feeling it gives them. I like the taste of Kava and the feeling it gives me. This Kava seems to retain the rich, deep, flavor of the black volcanic soils it is grown in. It is very spicy, and the spice seems to almost naturally dance with the numbing qualities of the kavalactones. It has an almost peppery taste, but the ginger tones of stronger Kavas aren't present. It has more of a nutty flavor than other Kavas - the clay, earthy taste is minimized by the peppery pistachio flavor. But still, you get a taste for the fertile volcanic soils it is grown in. Very pleasant, the best flavor I've tasted in a Kava. Kava is a root of the earth, so it seems obvious that it would embody the flavor of the soils it is grown in. The flavor of this Kava kava is unparalleled, unique, and on flavor alone is very high on this Kavasseur's list of Kava kava varieties.

This Kava has quite mild effects. Even though the effects are quite mild, Black Sand hits you instantaneously. I was literally already feeling the impact during my first cup - tingle, numbness, slight giggles, and then euphoria.  The dizzying numbness that Black Sand Kava produces on your lips doesn't seem to quite match the relatively mild satisfying buzz it gives your body. I'm not saying it doesn't feel good - it does. It is light and has a mellow lift to it that you can feel in your head. It gives your skin a nice tingle. Perfect for the Kava newcomer. If I wanted to really shake off some stress I'd go for something stronger - but this is more than adequate for a Monday night. If you are expecting guests and want them to have a taste of the Pacific, this is perfect.

I look forward to reviewing Stone Kava and Wow! Kava here within the next week.

Flavor 10/10
Effect 7/10

Nakamal At Home's "Black Sand Kava"  - 8.5 out of 10.

-Le Kavasseur


  1. Sounds fantastic!

  2. Douglas~~:
    ~~Not sure what I think of the Black Sand brew. 1st time I could definitely feel it but it felt nervousy mental-wise and abdomen-nervousy-sensitive as well (even my fingertips had weird nerve mini pulses at times). I had almost 4 shells which was maybe too much the first time, within an hour and a half.

    I rebrewed the cup of kava goop in another 2 cups of water that I both blended with more lecithin and then sat, covered, in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Just yesterday I ended up drinking this in the evening and enjoyed this tranquility-buzz much better than the fresh brew!; much less nervousness--and although I wouldn't call it super-potent it was nicely medium-potent and was definitely a state of alteration for a couple of hours after the initial hour of spaced-out shells. After I ate, fairly back to baseline. (But, of course, I slept very well.)

    Today I tried Black Sand with Shaman (Brewed B.Sand per Nakamal recipe, then, drank 1/2 cup (1 shell) and added 1 teaspoon of Shaman). 1st cup felt just as nervousy as the first experience. I waited a full hour, when some of the nervousness diminished, and then did a teaspoon of Shaman. Much, much better. Heady in kind of a carefree way. Again, not much muscle relaxation...but no real muscle tension either. Much, much more pleasant than Black Sand. For me, at least.

    Shaman --per nakamalathome website-- is supposed to instant Stone kava. Have you noticed the effects to be the same as Stone? That was definitely the one I wanted to try next.

  3. I wouldn't say the effects of Shaman are the same as Stone, even though that is what is claimed. Stone is in a league of it's own and is probably the best all around "weekend grade" Kava you can get. I like to drink Stone to get krunked, but I can easily drink Shaman on a weeknight and not worry about the next day. I actually drank three cups of Shaman the night before a huge presentation I had to give at an archaeological conference and felt wonderful the following morning. With Stone, I don't think that would have been possible.

  4. Hey there,

    I have enjoyed all the good info on this site. Very interesting stuff.
    As much as I love kava, I havent drunk any for the past year. I gave it up due to constant nausea.
    I love the kava effect and it would easily be my drug of choice, though I realise that many do not see it as a drug.
    What I found was that whenever I had a stop in consuming kava, even for a few weeks, for the first week of restarting a new batch, I would get the worst nausea even after one or two shells. This would subside by the end of the week and I would find that I could drink nearly as much as I wanted after that with little experiences of nausea.

    Even when I visited Vanuatu 2 years ago, I vomited the first two nights I was there from the kava (4 shells each time).

    I wonder if anyone else has similar problems? Perhaps the plant is trying to tell me its not for me? I especially like the 15 or so minutes of euphoria I get from it 10-20 mins after drinking it. Thats really the only reason why I drunk it.

    I miss kava though dont want to experience the nausea it gives me. Perhaps there is a way to avoid this? I am keen to hear the experiences of others.


  5. I was wondering if you or anyone has an idea of the kavain and DHM profiles of the Nakamalathome kavas - Stone and Chief's Jungle. With each of these, I seem to get a really strong body effect that is long lasting. This indicates to me that they're high in DHM. Any ideas? I asked nakamalathome, but they said, "We're Fijians, so we don't know anything about that." Rex is really cool about putting this information on his web page. Through this, I've been able to get an idea of how the different types of kava affect me based on the kavalactone profile. I find this really interesting. Any thoughts?

    Matt Stahl