Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nakamal at Home's Chief's Jungle Kava - Review by Kaiden Fox


It's going to be a busy month here at Kavasseur. I'll be reviewing several varieties of Kava from Vanuatu Kava Store and Pacific Kava. I'll also be doing another review of Chief's Jungle Kava (the new batch). But before I do, here is Kaiden Fox's own review of Chief's Jungle Kava. I also put a link to a really great book I just finished reading at the end of this post - Kava: The Pacific Elixir by Lebot et al.

Krunk on, Douglas

Nakamal at Home's Chief's Jungle Kava - Review by Kaiden Fox

For Saint Patrick’s Day, I wanted to do something a little more Irish with my kava. Looking at my South Pacific map, I noticed the Madang Province, where Chief’s Jungle PNG kava originates from, is pretty much a straight shot from the island of New Ireland.

First, the taste… not bad. I noticed, when mixing up the bowl, it was very ginger smelling, with an undersmell of something I would say was anise or licorice. It actually smelled, and tasted, quite good. I drank it at room temperature. No stomach upset.

Being a perseverant researcher, I had noted the chemotype of this kava was quite different than the Borogo kava blends I normally drink. It was low in kavain by high in desmethoxyyangonin. Over the centuries, kava has been cultivated to be higher in kavain and lower in desmethoxyyangonin. Madang Short is a less cultivated variety, and in fact was originally classified not as piper methysticum but as piper wichmannii before Vince Labot demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that there were not enough morphological, chemical, cytological and genetic distinctions between the two “species.” Still, “Waeld Koniak” is a waeld variety of kava.

At first I thought, “tasty, it’s kava, but it’s nothing to write home about out.” I had experienced “powerful” effects mixing Shaman into White Sand kava, where the eyes see but do not care, and where the ears are content to “harem singsing blong kava.” I should note that I was sitting through most of this. When I did recline my body in bed, I suddenly felt much better. Posture plays a big role in helping this kava kick. I’d recommend a hammock chair, ideally. I didn’t really experience the music euphoria I normally do with kava. Eventually I did put on an audiobook, and that was better. This kava also had less of an appetite suppressant effect, but that could be just me becoming used to it.

The next morning I discovered it was, indeed, weekend-grade kava. I woke up very pleasant and peaceful. No grogginess, maybe a little clumsiness, but a definite feeling of well-being. I was keenly aware of the samsaric suffering of all sentient beings. At the same time, I felt ready to go. My fiancée called me near the point of tears. She had just wasted over 20 minutes on hold to find out the item that she ordered a fortnight ago, which the company she ordered from still shows as being in stock, is now out of stock. Being a high-quality but discontinued item, she doubted the two left at were still there. Normally, panic is contagious, but I was in my own bubble of happiness and was able to calmly hop on, find the item by visual description, confirm it was correct, and place an order.

After breakfast and a shower, the kava is starting to kick in again. I can feel a pleasant tingle and Led Zeppelin is bringing a mild music euphoria. It feels like I’ve just drunk a single shell of a good-but-not-krunking kava, like Fire Island.

As an experiment, I would like to see how long I would stay in bed if no one called and if I had no pressing concerns.

My overall bottom-line review here is that this is not the kava to be totally krunked-out on – that kava is Black Sand or White Sand made into super-kava with Shaman. While Nakamal@home markets Jungle Chief’s as nasty-tasting super-kava, it’s really a pleasant-tasting kava that has a comparatively mild but disproportionately long-lasting effect.

Taste: 8/10 shells
Effect: 7.5/10 shells
Aftereffect: 10/10 shells

Overall: 8.5 shells of ginger-licorice sleepytime goodness

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  1. I am interested in how the Kavasseur rates Vanuatu Kava Store's Quick Kava Premium. I prefer its mild, pleasant effects and flavor to the Nakamal @ Home's Shaman, which I consider a little plaster-ish in flavor. VKS' Quick Kava Premium doesn't give you any unpleasant after-effects. N@H's Shaman carries over to the next day if I drink 3 bowls. Does anyone else have Vanuatu Kava Store's QKP as his/her favorite instant kava?

  2. I will be reviewing it in the coming days. I have a sample of all VKS' Kavas coming in in the next few days. I'll try and put Quick Kava Premium at the top of my list. If what you are saying is true, then I am very excited to try it! Shaman is my favorite instant Kava right now.

  3. As much as I like the effects of Shaman, I seem to be more easily upset by loved ones saying the wrong thing at the wrong time if I have drunk Shaman, but less easily upset on any other type of kava. I cannot explain it.

    I do explain the difference between spray-dried kava juice and the stuff prepared from the dried root powder in my review of Fire Island kava. And as much as it is marketed as a friendly, happy-go-lucky, peace-inducing supplement/beverage/drug, the Gebusi are so misogynistic and violent that one really has to wonder.

  4. New kava slogan: Kava - th better you!