Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Effects of Various Kavas

There are different camps of Kava drinkers. Some are into the aesthetics of Kava - the taste, the smell, and the way it tickles the mind and body. Others are into the deep chemistry and medicinal value of the brew - the jargony breakdowns of the chemotypes and their various impacts. These are obviously not mutually exclusive categories, and they definitely intermix - so it seems to come down to those who really like Kava and those who really like Kava and know a ton about it. I drink for smell, texture, and taste and I judge by, well, smell, texture, and taste. But we all feel the same effects of the same Kavas, so what is your favorite Kava when it comes to the effect?

Here, I will group my favorite Kavas into two camps of effectiveness - krunkness and mellowness. Again, these are two categories that I have arbitrarily created. I would like to know what your categories are and how you chose them. One will be the best and five the least (of the best, mind you). So here goes...

Krunkness (heavy, gravity body effect and strong attitude change *excited, sociable, and emotionally liberated*)

1. Nakamal at Home - Chief's Jungle
2. Nakamal at Home - Stone Kava
3. Nakamal at Home - Wow! Kava
4. Nakamal at Home - Shaman Kava
5. Nakamal at Home - Niugini Kava

Mellowness (nice, overall numbing body effect and anxiety-relief, with low pressure in the eyes and increased sociability. In general, you can drink more of these Kavas on a regular basis without going "out of orbit.")

1. Nakamal at Home - Tongan Kava
2. Kona Kava - Mahakea Kava
3. Nakamal at Home - Fiji Kava
4. Nakamal at Home - Black Sand Kava
5. Vanuatu Kava Store - Pentecost Pride


  1. Fire Island has a remarkably strong "Krunkness" attitude change, as far as inducing sociability. Shaman, on the other hand, is one of the kavas that influences me to withdraw from sociability and harem singsing blong kava.

    Black Sand kava is "not bad." I don't mean the effects aren't bad, or the taste, but rather after even a rather week shell of it, I am filled with a sense that the world, (or at least my corner of it) is not nearly as dreadful as I imagined it an hour ago.

  2. This isn't a response to this post- feel free to delete or whatever, I just couldn't find a link to contact you directly.

    I am a long-term regular kava user, and while I have grown to almost like the taste, too much grit in the brew triggers my gag reflex.

    I found a new favorite way to strain kava, and I thought you might like to know about it. After soaking and blending/ kneading the root powder, I push it through a tamis, or drum sieve. Right now I use a 9" from Fante's Kitchen Wares with a small silicone scraper. It works like a charm, and is much easier to clean than a straining bag. It even gets grit out of a very fine ground powder, like Nakamal @ Home's White Sand. I am charmed.

  3. Thanks, Joe! This looks like the sort of thing I'm looking for.

  4. Just thought id throw in my two cents here,
    I think ill rate them in 5 best weekend(strong) and five best weekday(mellowness.

    1. WOW kava-nakamalathome
    2. Chiefs jungle-nakamalathome
    3. Stone kava- nakamalathome
    4. Tongan kava-nakamalathome
    5. Shaman instant-nakamalathome

    For some reason tongan hits me pretty hard, and I like the WOW effect better than chiefs although only slightly. Stone is always great, and so is shaman. These are what I use when the goal is "krunkness"

    1. Black sand-nakamalathome
    2. Nuguini kava-nakamalathome
    3. Fiji kava-nakamalathome
    4. Mahakea- Kona kava farm
    5. White sand-nakamalathome

    These are my after work but I do have work the next day kavas.

  5. Wow, great information. Been looking for a summary like this that really explains the differences between some of the products out there.
    I'm to the point where I'm contemplating the pleasures of Kavasseurship after dabbling in various forms of the root, including liquid extract, paste, and instant, all of which had a pleasant enough effect, but I somehow felt I wasnt getting the true Kava experience. So I tried my first root powder, some Kona Farms Mahakea, which I liked more than all the other stuff, more well rounded buzz, mellow, nice. Looking forward to trying some other varieties, specifically from Nakamalathome, so thanks for the resource!

  6. :-) No problem. Glad people are getting a lot out of the blog.

  7. Douglas, have you tried tanna kaolik from its supposed to be there most potent strain. Could you do a review? Really enjoying reading your blog

  8. Hi ... just discovered your blog and love it. I ordered Fiji Kava and International Instant Kava (starter package) from ... any tips for a first time kava user? Thanks.

  9. When I return to the US, I will try and get some other Kavas reviewed. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  10. Hey, I have enjoyed kava for the last two years, and previously tried Kona Kava's dried kava root, liquid extract, and paste. Now I drink Vanuatu Kava Store's Quick Kava Premium and Kava Kordial (when on the go). I strongly recommend that kava enthusiasts read Lebot's Kava: The Pacific Elixir.

    I am curious about how VKS' Quick Kava Premium weighs in against Nakamal at Home's Fire Island and Shaman instant kava powders. Could the Kavasseur do a taste-off?

  11. I will be doing a taste-off once I decide to try more of VKS' products.

  12. Now that I've tried Solomon Kava, I'd have to rank it on top of krunkness

  13. Yes soloman island is so great! Definitely one of my favorites...ever. Im drinking WoW! right now and oh my amazing. Thank goodness im off tommarrow haha. By the way, I dont really even like the effect of cheif jungle, I feel too crappy when i wake up. Stone is muchhhhh better IMO.

  14. And Douglas, I appreciate your blog, you make it so much easier to find worthy kava. Even tho certain people prefer certain types of kava, your insight is VERY helpful. Thank you ever so much. :)