Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paradise Kava - Southern Fiji Premium Kava

Nothing is more exciting in the Kava world than the debut of a new Kava seller online. I learned about Paradise Kava some months back - through casual internet browsing - and arranged to have a sample of their up-and-coming line of Kavas delivered to me prior to November 1, the launch of their website. I just received two of their Kavas - 100% Hawaiian Awa and southern Fiji Premium Kava - a few days ago and finally got around to brewing one up tonight.

As you can see from the picture, this Kava literally came as a small sample in a sandwich bag. There was about a full cup of Fijian dried root, and I wanted to save some for a second brewing. Upon opening the bag, I encountered one of the freshest smelling Kavas I have ever encountered. I don't know why, but everytime I open a bag of Fijian Kava I think to myself "now this is why I continue to drink Kava." This reminds me a lot of Pacific Kava's Waka Kava, which I reviewed some months back. It just smells great. I mixed 1/2 cup of Kava with 2 cups of water and let it sit for about 15 minutes before squeezing it through twice. The final product was a clean, milky Kava with a smooth texture and wonderful scent.

I don't pretend to be impartial about this - I love Fijian Kavas. Although I typically rate Vanuatu, Solomon, and PNG Kavas higher on rankings, I actually prefer to drink Fijian or Tongan Kavas. It is like the difference between a relaxing, tasty wine and a shot of whiskey. On most nights, you're going to want to reach for the wine. That is how I feel about Fijian Kava. It's a Thursday night and I'm a bit wound up after a hard day of work - time for some Fijian Kava.

Paradise Kava has sourced out a fine dried root powder that is fresh, tasty, and potent. It has that clean, smooth quality to it that permits you to put back several shells rather casually. As someone who has tried more than 20 strains of Kava, I want to emphasize that this Kava tastes absolutely wonderful. It has a low, soft, and creamy texture with a refreshing high bite to it. If you have had a good Hawaiian Kava - like Hawaiian Kava Center's "Hiwa" - you will know exactly what I'm talking about. The finish is smooth and the aftertaste has a pleasant chalkiness to it. Yes, I said "pleasant chalkiness."

The effects are most pronounced on the de-stressing and muscle relaxing fronts. Yet as with most Fijian Kavas, you are not going to be bowled over by an overwhelmingly strong punch. These Kavas are celebrated for their casual nature, for their sociable qualities, and for their medicinally mild stress-soothing properties.

A winner indeed.

Taste - 10/10
Effect (Mind) - 8/10
Effect (Body) 8.5/10

Paradise Kava - Southern Fiji Premium Kava - 8.8/10

Strength - Mild-Medium

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vanuatu Kava Store - Tanna Marang

This is a great, mild, weekday Kava that will ease your stress while letting you relax reassured that it won't be too challenging to wake up the following morning and head off to work.

The taste is similar to Tanna Kaolik, though with a little bit of an added peppery flavor that probably also signifies its increased strength. It goes down very smooth and would be an ideal Kava for a first time drinker - good taste, mild effects, great for long Kava sessions. I made 2 cups of Kava/6 cups of water and shared with a friend. We drank through it slowly and by the end of the night were in the absolute ideal state of mind to part ways before heading home for some sleep. I would suggest serving this Kava with ice as it compliments the flavor quite well.

The mind effect is a mild, heady buzz that is most pronounced around the temples. Has a nice gentle effect on the eyes that is "stony." I would say this is an ideal Kava for its anti-anxiety effects and would be perfect for a weekday night. However, if you are a fan of Malekula Magic it would probably be best to stick with that delicious, consistent blend. Not too powerful on the muscles and limbs, which left me a little wanting, but still very nice overall.

Flavor - 8/10
Effect (Mind) - 9/10
Effect (Body) - 8/10
Strength - Mild

Tanna Marang - 8.5/10

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kule's Kava Farm - Fiji Kava

What can I say, this tastes and feels pretty much like any Kava I've had from Fiji, with the single exception of Waka Kava from Pacific Kava. No hard feelings towards this Kava, or Nakamal at Home's Fiji Kava, but it is just not a buzz that I crave too much. Pleasant, tasty, and mellow? Yes. Mind-blowing and extra stress-relieving? No.

Of course, Fijian Kavas taste wonderful. Very refreshing and easy to put down, perfect for sitting around with friends. You could easily take down five or six shells of this stuff by yourself and still feel like drinking more. Very light, creamy, and smooth. Has quite the nice anesthetic effect on the lips, and doesn't cause any kind of serious gag effect or upset stomach. This would be the ideal Kava for a newcomer or for a Kava party. Probably even more ideal would be a cold pitcher of this at a Kava bar.

The effects are nice, with a mild stimulating buzz and a pleasant body high. Fijian Kavas - again, with the exception of Pacific Kava's Waka Kava - always strike me as being very utilitarian. You can brew this stuff up and just drink all night without having to worry about being blasted too far off. Imagine downing five or six shells of Solomon or Wow, that would take you pretty deep into the jungly heart of Kava-world. Fiji Kava allows you to be yourself with a little added buzz; it's a nice Kava that likes to be neutral in a world of extremes. Like I said in earlier reviews of Nakamal at Home's Fiji Kava, this stuff is good to keep around for Sunday and Monday nights. No excuse to get krunk, but you still need some Kava. I like it.

Flavor - 7.5/10
Effect (Mind) - 7/10
Effect (Body) - 7/10
Strength - Mild

Kule's Kava Farm Fiji Kava - 7.2/10

Kule's Kava Farm Fiji Kava, PNG Kava, and Vanuatu Melomelo can all be purchased from for a good price. Plus, you'll get 'em really quick: