Every now and then, even Le Kavasseur gets it wrong. I initially tried a one shot packet of Shaman Instant Kava on a dry afternoon, just to quickly get a taste of it and write up a hasty review. What can I say? I've grown an aversion to instant Kavas, they are normally bland, thin, and diet-tasting. They seem to lack the depth and earthiness that we all love in a good Kava. Something that goes down viscous, spicy, and deeply numbs is what a Kavasseur longs for. What people typically fear about Kava - what normally brings on "Kava anxiety" - well, that's what a Kavasseur has grown to love. Pour a shell, stare at the horizon, and gulp it down slowly as the numbness drains from your brain to your toes. I never got that from instants, until now...
I decided to get a tin of Shaman Instant Kava because, well, I get a little lazy sometimes. Although my initial experience with Shaman Kava was underwhelming, I still thought it was good enough to keep around for a "quick dip" every now and then. After all, it's not everyday that we find time to knead, and knead, and knead again until we have a nice frothy bowl of Black Sand Kava. When I got the tin, I was blown away by its appearance - an extra thick hockey puck with a transparent lid and dried Kava juice just bursting from the seams. "How convenient," I thought "I can just dip a teaspoon in here and mix this with water to get a shell of Kava!" One of my original complaints about Shaman Kava was how much I would seemingly need to justify keeping it around. I've had this for a few days, gotten krunked a few times, and the tin still looks pretty damn cool. Le Kavasseur is pleeeeased. Tres bien, Nakamal.
Well, my previous review of Shaman Instant Kava needs desperately to be disregarded. I was wrong in almost every way, except for the fact that it's instant and that it's terribly easy to prepare. I just drained a shell about three minutes ago, and I am currently in a state of bliss. I don't know whether this batch is better than the one I tasted before, but hot damn this stuff tastes fine. Sure, it's a little bit thinner than what we would expect from Black Sand or Wow!. But the flavor contains a lot of sophistication, a lot of depth. It's a bit on the clayey side, with undertones of cashew or almond, and definitely stands in stark opposition to the peppery, spicy, thick Kavas that are kneaded tirelessly before they are ready for consumption. But this stuff is very nice, very balanced, and very ready. It is so instant that it makes Nescafe look like a chore. If you are not blown away by the flavor, you will be blown away by the impact. It's what you need if you are low on time and need a good Kava fix. I, for one, will be drinking Shaman Kava after a long day of work where I don't feel like kneading some ground roots.
Keep this stuff around, you won't regret it.
Flavor - 7/10
Effect - 8/10
Nakamal at Home Shaman Instant Kava - 7.5 shells out of 10