For me, this Kava is something of a return to Vanuatu. In J. Marteen Troost's "Getting Stoned With Savages" he discusses the intense competition between Melanesian islands in trying to boast the "strongest, best Kava." I feel like I've been, at least mentally, running around the south Pacific looking my own favorite Kava. My own strongest, best Kava. Papau New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, the Solomon Islands, and Samoa. There are so many island nations with so many different kinds of Kava. Creamy, delicious and fresh Fijian Kavas. Hypnotic, deep, and sensual Solomon Island brews. Naughty, rough, and primal Guinean shells. But Kava drinkers must remember that it all started in Vanuatu. Or maybe Papau New Guinea.... well, it's up in the air. But one thing is certain - Vanuatu is the beating heart of Kava Kava.
So I was delighted to try not only a new Vanuatu Kava, but a new Kava vendor. I had heard great things about "Kava by Rex." One of these great things included being able to brew 16 oz. of grog with only a tablespoon. Wait, really? Yes. Indeed.
I know I say this a lot, but this Kava tastes really great. Owing to its totally different consistency from other Kavas available on the market - once again, 16 ounces of water to 1 tablespoon of Kava - it is slightly lighter, milkier, and creamier. No really spiciness to it, nor grittiness. But it also has a complete taste, and doesn't taste like "watered-down" Kava. It has a very "soft" taste which temps the drinker into making the somewhat presumptuous decision to drink a lot of it. I drank about six shells, pushing myself to make the not-too-difficult decision to brew a second bowl.
But the best thing about this Kava is that it didn't really get me krunked. It just got me.. well... happy. After all, it had been a long day, and I deserved it, right? I... think.. I'll.... have.... another....
Well, nevermind that. Maybe I was krunked after all. My legs felt quite heavy, nay, like two heavy logs attached to my thighs. My eyes felt deep, strong, and acute. My muscles felt warm, un-coiled and massaged. My mind grew steadily more relaxed. I was able to really enjoy the book I was reading on the post-colonial Congo (don't ask) with a nice rumbling jazz soundtrack to guide the narrative along. Shell after shell, I grew more and more content. About three hours later I was able to crawl into bed, put on some music, and become enveloped in great warmth.
This is really good Kava.
Really, at $25.00 a pound and 1 tablespoon to 16 ounces of water, how could you refuse?
Kava by Rex - Vanuatu 3 Special Edition
Effect (Mind) - 9.5/10
Effect (Body) - 10/10
Strength - Medium-Strong
Vanuatu 3 Special Edition - 9.5 shells out of 10