Since I first reviewed Chief's Jungle last March I have warmed up a bit to the taste. Sure, it isn't the best tasting Kava out there. But it at least presents something of an alternative to the plentiful thick, creamy, peppery Kavas that are all over the market. Other than Niugini (not surprisingly), Chief's Jungle has a stand-alone flavor that is even - dare I say - somewhat refreshing. If you go back to my original review, I think I actually commented that this Kava tasted like "hell." Well, that was partially due to the fact that I was using Nakamal at Home's recipe - 1 cup of Kava to 3 cups of water (or was it 2 cups of water?). Anyhow, tonight I brewed 2 cups of this with 3 tablespoons of Chief's Jungle. The result was a much thinner, sweeter, and mildly piney Kava with a nice, fresh-mountain-air hued aftertaste.
In preparing this Kava, note the wonderful frothiness that bubbles to the surface. I'd be interested to know why this happens and what it means. I've heard from different sources that froth is a sign of freshness or potency - I can't figure out which one. I have drunk a lot of Wow!, and though it is potent it typically doesn't have the froth. My hypothesis is that it is somehow connected to the degree of fineness that the Kava is ground to. Chief's Jungle is twiggy, airy stuff and I feel like when I'm squeezing it air bubbles are bursting to the surface. Along with possibly bringing the froth, the grind of this Kava seems to retain some of the earthy, planty, or "grassy" flavors that are so typical of this blend.
The fact remains that this stuff will still absolutely obliterate you if not consumed in moderation. I tried a batch a few months ago that was pretty weak, but this batch (packaged on 12/14/10) is stunningly strong. Perhaps even a bit stronger than the very first batch I tried. After three shells, I have a pleasant, high-buzzing krunkness dominating my mind and body. In fact, the feeling is spreading throughout my body and growing stronger as I write this. Earlier today, my team was knocked out of playoff potential (San Diego Chargers) and I was quite unhappy about that, but after a few shells of this I feel like saying - for the [being on Kava] record - "better luck next time." My lips are buzzing and my eyes are heavy, my legs are mostly immobile, my mind at ease, and music is sounding quite nice. I can say I am doing quite better than I was about one hour ago, and I am definitely happy that I made the choice to brew up this Kava tonight. As I stated before, this Kava has much more of a "cannabis" feeling to it, whatever that means. It lifts your mind up and makes you feel high, rather than giving you the sinking, heavy, and slow feeling. Many have told me that Chief's knock them out, but this must be because they are making it to strong or drinking a lot at once. At any rate, if that is the feeling they are going for then more power to them. Kava Gods know that sometimes I'm looking for that vibe too.
Bottom line: Reconsidering the taste and feeling the potency again, I am convinced that this is still one of the best Kavas out there.
Same score/ranking as given in March, 2010.