Drinking Kava in a tropical environment definitely intensifies most aspects of the experience. When I first moved to Ghana six months ago, I brought along a couple bags of different Kavas (Paradise Kava 100% Awa, Nakamal at Home Wow!, and Kava By Rex Tongan Pride) and then a few different kinds of instant Kava (Shaman, Vanuatu Kava Store Instant, and Paradise Kava Pure Kava Extract). I brewed up a big batch of dried root Kava and shared it amongst the chief and elders, who really got a kick out of the numbness but honestly didn’t have enough (nor over a long enough period of time) to really “get it.” For me, being in humid rainy weather really enhances the mellowness of Kava, and really gives it an “in context” feel. I know not every person can hop on a plane and head down to the equator, but trust me when I say it’s a nice way to enjoy a shell or four. One day I will try to farm the holy root here, but until then I have to depend on orders from half-way around the world (quite literally).
It is hard to find Kava distributors who will ship to Ghana, and even harder to assure that the Kava will arrive, but I have finally got a new batch of Paradise Kava, so let the reviewing begin!
About 7 or 8 months ago I tried Paradise Kava’s Solvent Free Kava extracts for the first time. The two flavors – Honey Lemon and Chocolate & Orange – have maintained their names, but I’m almost positive that they have been somehow improved upon. The Honey Lemon, which I am reviewing now, has a slightly improved texture. Once you get it under your tongue it has a nice grittiness that dissolves more slowly than the previous incarnation. The flavor really disseminates throughout your palate, and complements the numbness that the kavalactones bring out. I’d say the lemon flavor dominates the honey flavor, but I think the intention is to let the honey supply the sweetness to the lemon. It certainly accomplishes that mission! It is not overly sweet, yet sweet enough to be – in my opinion – very addictive. The side of the jar tells you to limit your intake to 2 grams per day. Impossible!
According to Paradise Kava, the new solvent-free extracts contain a standardized dose of 120 mg of kavalactones per dose. The previous incarnation of the extracts was 60 mg per dose. To me, this stuff feels about three times as strong as the previous batch, and it really has some unique qualities that make trying it a very special experience.
When I first opened my jar of Honey Lemon and fished out a pea-sized glob of Kava Extract, my first concern was that I hadn’t had Kava in a long enough time – nearly 4 months! – and that I wouldn’t feel a thing. Well, I was very wrong. This stuff infused my body within seconds, and I actually paused, closed my eyes, and just the warmth take me home. Ah, that sacred wave of relief that only Kava can provide! In my review of the previous version of this extract, I said four pea-sized doses would put you on par with two shells. Well, four pea-sized doses of the new version would put you on par with four shells! I didn’t know this going into it, and needless to say had a very relaxing night playing my guitar under the West African stars.
Another great thing about a stronger dose per serving is, obviously, that a jar of this will last a long time. I have barely scratched the surface of my Honey Lemon jar and have been taking it ever day for nearly two weeks now. Since I gave the previous version of this extract a 10/10, and can’t go much higher, I’ll have to maintain my previous rating.
Give this stuff a shot, you won’t regret it!