Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paradise Kava - Black Beauty Blend

Enter fresh Kava.

There was a time when all we had access to in the continental United States was dried Kava, and then there was now. When I first got this stuff in the mail (see previous post for a video podcast), I let it defrost (it came frozen, packed in ice bags) and then opened it up and smelled it. I have never smelled fresh Kava before, harvested and then ground, frozen, and mailed right to my door. It has a very nutritional, green, vegetative smell that reminds me very little of what I've come to expect from dried Kava. In preparing to pen this follow-up written review, I decided to defrost the Kava, put it in a bowl, and get some good shots of it. So if you've ever wondered what fresh Kava pulp looks like, then here you go:

This time I decided to brew the Kava extra strong, and put extra effort into squeezing it. I heated up the water a little bit more than last time, in order to see what kind of difference it would make. Well, it made a huge difference. I mostly eye-balled the ratios this time, but used about 4 cups of water and 1 cup of coconut juice to a brimming fistful of Kava. I kneaded the Kava for a good 10 minutes, and then kneaded it again. In the end, this is what the squeezed, processed Kava looked like (I chewed on a big wad of this stuff and felt ready for a root canal):

The resulting Kava was a light brownish-white grog reminiscent of a Vanuatu strand. It has a chocolate-milk like color, which dances rather nicely with the flavor. Again, this Kava is sweeter than all dried Kavas that I have tried, with a full, nuttier flavor that is not unlike almonds or walnuts. Whereas a dried root Kava like Nakamal at Home's Wow! has a bitter yet cashewy flavor, this has a brighter, sweeter, and fuller flavor. It is really hard to describe because it is unlike any other Kava I have tried.

As for the effects of this Kava - they are immediate. The kavalactones permeate throughout your bloodstream rapidly, and you automatically feel any kind of stress or anxiety float away. As opposed to a "stony" feeling, this Kava gives you a kind of gentle uplifting. The two times I have tried this - the second time being much stronger - I felt a kind of full, alive form of relaxation. It doesn't make you tired and pull you to the ground, it rather fills you with a positive relaxation that is more productive than sapping. It brings about a well-rounded krunkness that is functional. I do notice a slight increase in photophobia over other Kavas, but it is not altogether disabling (I get this a lot when I brew Kava strongly). Again, this Kava is great for music lovers or musicians, readers or writers. Full-blown krunkness with a functional edge is nothing to be unexcited about.

The effect on the body is also notable. Full muscle relaxation. Any kind of headache or annoyance gone. Works really well on sore running legs. Far better on the body than any other Kava I have tried in the past.

Taste - 10/10
Effect (Mind) - 10/10
Effect (Body) - 10/10
Strength - Strong/Very Strong

Paradise Kava's Black Beauty Blend (Frozen) - 10/10


  1. I can't wait to get some of this.

  2. Thanks for the review Doug, looks awesome!

    I would love to try this but I think it's out of my price range.

  3. Kavasseur- That sounds lovely! Thank you for posting about the medicinal qualities of the kava! 2 questions: 1. what are the day after effects like, 2. Which dried kava would you rate this closest to? Thank you!

  4. This Kava is absolutely amazing! I got some last friday and immediately brewed a "double dose" (3 TBS is what the instructions say, i did 6 ;)) and fell in love. My wife doesn't like the taste of powdered kavas, but also fell in love with this one, and says its the ONLY way to drink kava! as for the day after, I felt rested and energized, no lag as i do get with most powders.

  5. cant wait just order 10lbs of the stuff and i live in the uk lol lets hope the ice lasts !!!

    and as for expensive just a few dirty nasty beers in the uk is on average £5 ($8) for 4 cans say 5 times a week £100 per month just for horrible stinky gasses hangover inducing beer

    10lbs cost me about £350 ($544 dollars) $54 dollars a pound due to the extra shipping bargin if it makes the trip unspoilt i could be the first ever to try fresh frozen kava in the uk

    and seeing as me and my wife were throwing £200 a month on alcohol as long as it lasts 1.75 months or more thats top draw in my book as i much much much prefer kava to alcohol

  6. Someone was complaining about your praise and high rating of this product on the PK png isa review but they also said that they look to get completely blasted when they consume kava. Taste, texture, smell, effect and onset of effect both in body and mind, and various other subtleties play into the experience and thus my overall enjoyment or satisfaction of the kava. this is afterall Kavasseur (ie Kava Connoisseur) so I think the criticism was very much undeserved. Unfortunately I haven't tried this yet but I'm anxiously waiting for the mail lady to drop off a 1/4 lb of each of Paradise Kavas three main varieties of ground root. I saw the fresh root for sale and had dismissed it as a marketing scheme but after your review I will have to try it. Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you thought of it!

  7. I've been getting fresh frozen Hawaiian kavas from Pinner Creek organic farms. Whole root that I have ground myself. The spotted hiwa from my first shipment (sent out two days after harvesting) was mild and pleasant. I just received a pound of select moi that really knocked me in the ground last night. I'm amazed at it's potency and the thickness of the drink. The fresh kava always has a golden tinge to it, but this stuff also had a thick milky, white substance at the bottom of the cups. Have you any experience with Pinner Creek organics?