Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kava by Rex - Tongan Pride

One of the most wonderful things about Kava is its incredible diversity. You get acquainted with a certain feeling from Kava and then suddenly find yourself face to face with something like you've never had before. A non-Kavasseur would never be able to tell the difference between a Vanuatu Kava from Tanna Island or a Fijian Kava. But a Kavasseur can tell the difference between Fijian Kava and a Tongan Kava, a Kava from Tanna Island or one from Pentecost Island. There is so much variety, and so much distinctiveness. One of my favorite weekday Kavas is Nakamal at Home's Tongan Kava, so I've learned to associate Tongan Kavas with a mellow, heavy-eye, muscle-relaxing feeling. Kava by Rex offers something that is almost the opposite of that.

Tongan Pride has a very strong taste, but one that is more sweet and creamy than piney and peppery. It is heavy, thick, and has quite a resilient sugary aftertaste. It is not the kind of "strong flavor" that you would find in a piney PNG Kava or a peppery Vanuatuan Kava. It tastes more like wood-flavored ice cream with a splash of a cashew flavor. I wouldn't call it too mild or easy to drink, but it is definitely not an unpleasant taste. After you down a shell you might feel the urge to shiver a bit, but not in a way that is entirely unlikeable. It has an interesting and unexpected flavor, but not one that I think I'll be craving too much.

The mental effect of this Kava is quite strange. It makes you really want to be around people. For anyone who feels awkward or uncomfortable in social situations, this is the perfect Kava for you. You might even begin calling friends that you've been meaning to call. Of course, if you drinking this Kava with someone else you will feel like talking, talking, and talking. It calms the nerves and makes you feel peppy. In fact, after about three shells I actually had a huge burst of energy and felt like getting up and moving around. Not exactly the kind of feeling most people, including me, associate with Kava.

One thing that surprised me about this Kava was that the effect all seemed to be mental. I didn't get any kind of significant body buzz beyond just a little initial warmth. The soreness I had in my legs from 12 miles of walking the day before was definitely gone, but I wasn't able to enjoy the full-body tingling and fuzziness that I get from other Kavas.

This Kava is a bit hard to rank, because it is so all-together different from other Kavas. How does one  compare the mental effects of an uppity Kava with those of a Kava that is more mild, sedative, and relaxing? This Kava would be brilliant for anyone who needed to feel comfortable speaking in front of public or before going to a high-nerve work party. But if you've just gotten home and want to sink into the couch, this isn't going to be your ideal Kava. I like it, but it doesn't really fit the bill. Thankfully, Kava by Rex carries a lot of other Kavas that do.

In sum: A great party Kava.

Taste - 8/10
Effect (Mind) - 8/10
Effect (Body) - 7/10
Strength - Medium

Kava by Rex's Tongan Pride - 7.6/10


  1. Kavasseur, I've enjoyed reading your kava reviews almost as much as I have enjoyed drinking the kavas you recommend. In fact, I am enjoying some stone kava right now.

    Do you ever mix anything with your kava for flavor? I tried a bunch of different stuff when I was first figuring out Kava, but by far the best I have found is ginger honey crystals. The sweetness of the honey counters the bitterness of the kava while the numbing effect is magnified by the tingling of the ginger. It is quite divine. The ginger honey crystals are pretty easy to find at an herbal/natural foods store or tea shop; highly reccomended.

  2. Thanks, and extra thanks for the recommendation! I don't normally mix anything with my Kava, but I'm willing to try.

  3. I think you hit the nail on the head with this kava. It was so different than Nakamal@Home's Tongan, but it was still Tongan in a way that other Tongan kavas aren't. It was difficult to really put into words. It's a "giddy" kava.

  4. dac, That's a good idea. I have been using ginger candy or mini candy canes (best) after a shell to clear the taste. I also tried sushi ginger, didn't work as well. Next time I'll try a shell mixed with ginger honey crystals.

  5. I've made a batch with a ratio of 1.5 cups to one gallon. I strained half of it and left the other half unstrained. I tended to like the Tudei with a bit of grit to it. Made the texture more interesting. I'm going to sample one or two shells tonight for flavor, and I'll have five or six shells later on this month or early next month to test the potential for euphoria. Nakamal @ Home Tongan was about a 9/10 for body, but the Rex Tongan is either the same cultivar or something very close to it. It "Tongans" in a way that other kavas don't.

  6. Im actually really enjoying this variety

  7. just a note on this tongan pride, it does have the "uppity" feeling to it. I had a very hard time sleeping drinking it at night. I use this variety along with solomans as a evening treat, and for that it is excellent.

  8. does this kava give good euphoria? im trying to decide weather to get a pound of this or a half pound of stone kava, which do you think would be better for more of that euphoric sorta drunk feeling?

  9. yeah i just bought 1 pund of tongan of kava by rex. Don't really know what to expect from it,because im pretty new to kava and some of the kavas that i have bought have been pretty weak.
    They do give off a sense of relaxation,but not enough for stressful days. I just hope Kava by Rex has strong enough kava to enjoy a night in,and maybe replace the alcohol that has done me damage. Yes im a recovering alcoholic.

  10. First off, if you are researching kava, keep in mind that 99.9999999% of what you will find online is pure garbage. Do not EVER purchase kava extracts, tinctures, capsules etc....in NO way do they deliver the full effects of kava!!!! Kavabyrex is one of very few legit sites out there. Rex is a personal friend of mine, I can vouch for his service. Rex's kava is some of the best I've had by far! Tongan pride and Isa are my favorites. As a daily drinker for 4 years (1 gallon or more daily) I definitely recommend buying from Rex! Great product, great price! And any questions you have, he will be more than happy to answer for you. I can help you out as well. PLEASE REMEMBER: DO NOT buy any of the kava 'supplements' online!!!!! Stick with straight root and life will be so good!!! I promise you!!!! Any questions you have, shoot me an email @ 6string42@gmail.com and ill get back to you asap. Happy mixing!


  11. Tongan is one of my favorite kavas. It's cerebral and not sedating. Rex offers great kava at an awesome price, can't be $28 for a pound.

  12. I try this kava after reading your review, and because-it was a kava to party, not too hard, but I've only had very negative effects, a very big anxiety, how this made it it gives me anxiety? then it is supposed to calm down?