Sunday, July 4, 2010

Nakamal at Home's Solomon Kava - Reviewed by Kaiden Fox

The first thing I noticed about this kava was the smell. It smells pretty much like “WOW” Kava, only with WOW Kava, I have to bring my nose very close to the bowl to smell it. With Solomon, it pretty much smells like pepper. If you don’t like black pepper, don’t drink Solomon kava. If your ideal beverage would be to take a few tablespoons of peppercorns ground up and made into tea, then drink as much of this stuff as possible.

This is pretty much the worst tasting kava I’ve ever had the displeasure of gulping down. Thankfully, it has a rather high quantity of crown roots to help take some of the edge off.

My best advice for anyone trying to drink this kava is to put it in the freezer for about an hour. The colder you come to ice cold, the easier it will be to drink. This is probably true of all kava, but especially true of Solomon Islands Kava. In the Solomon Islands, nakamal owners do serve their kava very cold – probably for that reason.

With that in mind, don’t be fooled. This is strong kava. One of the surprising effects is a rare talkativeness combined with a sort of pseudo-honesty. In situations where I would normally say the polite version of “none of your business,” I said a metaphorically true version of very personal things. I felt like John Cusak’s character in 1408 saying “My brother was eaten by wolves on the New Jersey Turnpike.” Now that I’m aware of the effect, I suspect I can exert more conscious control.

The emotional side of this kava is potentially not fun, depending on stimuli. I’ve found this to be true of other kavas as well, especially Shaman. While I normally take kava to deal with the stresses of daily life (sometimes immediately after) I’ve found that if I drink a bowl of Shaman instant kava and then someone starts doing or saying something that would normally upset me a moderate amount, that I am likely to lash out with what appears to be excessive anger. Solomon kava amplifies the “sad” stimuli more. So far, since I started writing this review, I’ve watched a short news broadcast about the BP spill and how they’re using dispersants to hide the oil, rather than to make any real effort to clean it up, and listened to two rather sad songs.

I’m especially sad because my brother was eaten by wolves on the New Jersey turnpike.

Seriously, this would probably be an excellent kava for bonding with others via self-revelations.

One of the things about this kava that I’ve never really noticed with other kavas is that bananas taste divine. Having never experienced the effects of cannabis, I can only compare it to the food appreciation based on second-hand experience, but it seems pretty close. Music euphoria is also prominent.

The physical effects are also pretty strong. Numb lips, of course, but also it appears to numb the hands with fewer shells than other kavas I’ve drunk, but perhaps I am simply loosing my tolerance. While I’ve heard reports that this kava has a strong stupefacient effect, other than the massive disinhibition, I don’t notice any. Then again, when I first drunk it, I was either too distracted, too demotivated, or perhaps too stupefied to actually write a review.

I didn’t notice any major after-effect like I did with Chief’s Jungle Kava.

My overall impression would be that I would enjoy this kava most while watching a Shakespearean tragedy, as part of a group confessional, or when performing minor surgery on myself.

Taste – 6/10 shells
Effect – 8/10 shells
Overall – 7/10 shells


  1. Could someone clarify something for me please. How many shells would you guys get out of a 500g bag of kava? 1 shell holds roughly 4oz of liquid. If you follow what they recommend on the nakamalathome website, 2 to 1 water to kava, you dont get much out of 500g. How much in grams would you say you use for say 4 shells. Great review by the way

  2. Great review, I just thought Id share my thoughts on this kava. I tried this kava two nights in a row, and now Im at it again. This stuff is very good. For me it had a very dreamland-ish effect, I didnt really get any of the sad feeling, and maybe its just me but this kava was easy to drink and I actually liked the taste, which is odd because I have trouble with other kavas. I felt this kava was a little more mind than body, and the music euphoria was very nice. I seemed to think about life and things more than I usually do, and would love to share this with friends. I feel like I will be switching between this and Tongan for my weekday kavas.

  3. "I seemed to think about life and things more than I usually do." This is probably the root cause of my sadness. Life is pretty crappy, but it still beats the alternative. As I've been going through this kava, I've noticed a stronger aphrodisiac effect.

  4. Nice thoughts Chris... I just tried this Kava and was blown away by it. It may become my next go-to Kava if N@H secures a steady supply of it. My own review will be up in the next few days.

  5. Kaiden, "This is pretty much the worst tasting kava I’ve ever had the displeasure of gulping down."

    I'm curious on how you prep this kava? I used 1 cup root and 2.5 cups water with some coconut oil and it was very easy to get down. I would rate it just below WOW! in drinkablility.

  6. Agreed. I think it tastes pretty good myself.

  7. I find that 12 to 13 level tablespoons per 3 1/2 cups of water to be an excellent recipe for most of Nakamal at home brands as a full 16 tablespoons is unpleasant and less than 12 tablespoons is not enough, I've found what works for me.

  8. I usually mix 2 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of milk with a tablespoon of exra virgin olive oil some may think the olive oil is unconventional or even gross but I hardly notice the taste over the kava, blend it several times over course of about 30 minutes, refrigerate for an hour or two, or not, then strain and drink, knockout.