** First, a note on Kava preparation. I typically use about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of ground Kava root to every 2 cups of water. I follow Nakamal At Home's recommendation of one teaspoon of soy lecitin for each cup, but if I am preparing a higher-grade Kava (like Wow!) I sometimes add an extra half teaspoon and use warmer water. For some reason, it just seems like the intuitive thing to do when you really want to get krunked. And it works. Once I finish kneading (I usually knead for about 30 minutes, repeating the process over and over again) I submerge the used root in an additional two cups of water overnight. The following afternoon I will then knead that Kava and try to squeeze out an additional two cups of weaker Kava. Let me leave no doubts, the second batch isn't the gravy that you get in the first batch. It is, however, perfect for a mid-afternoon session. Two shells of weaker Kava can take a load off.
After a long, stressful weekend (seems like a contradiction, no?) I decided to brew up some Nakamal At Home Stone Kava and settle into the sofa and catch up on some reading. It was my first time drinking Stone Kava and the first thing I noticed was the beautiful color and texture of the Kava. Stone has a cocoa-tint to it and is thicker than other Kavas, it has a very pleasant consistency and feels very nice going down. This seems like the perfect Kava to serve chilled. The highly palatable scent and texture, combined with a good numbing buzz, made for a very pleasant initial reaction. But the flavor was something else entirely - it raised the bar interminably for me. Until further notice, I will be rocking a quart or two of Stone in my refrigerator for guests who want to jump right in. This Kava has an amazing flavor - a bit more than mild, but a lot less than strong. It comes on earthy, which is par for the course, but slowly progresses through a nutmeg and almond taste until it leaves an extremely pleasant cashew-like aftertaste. I could easily make the mistake of drinking eight shells of this stuff just for the flavor and not be able to wake up the next morning.
The buzz is epic. This is what you are looking for, folks. It doesn't completely bury you the way Wow! does. Alternatively, it completely relaxes you and gives you a deeply satisfying, totally anxiety-relieving, nerve-calming body and mind buzz. Lately I've been running two or three miles a day, and this Kava completely relaxed my leg muscles after thirty or thirty-five minutes. It is downright medicinal. After drinking two shells, I found some Solomon Islands music I collected while doing fieldwork last summer and drifted back to the turquoise south Pacific seas. In terms of effect, this Kava is the real deal.
Nakamal At Home Stone Kava - 9.75 shells out of 10