Monday, October 1, 2012

Paradise Kava's Fijian Kava (2012)

As you likely know by now, there are many different kinds of Kavas. Heavy and woozy Kavas, light and uplifting Kavas, hypnotic and transcendental Kavas, and Kavas that just give you the right feeling to get through a difficult situation. Of course, different Kava drinkers are going to prefer different kinds of Kava. Some people reach straight for a Papua New Guinean Isa or a bag of Nakamal at Home’s Wow! and sputter off into a different world for a couple of days. Others seek out Kava from the Solomon Islands – a root that is essentially psychedelic in its effects. But I have always preferred the steady hitters; the mid-strength Kavas that you can drink from the early evening until late at night. These brews look like bleached coral and have a smooth, creamy taste that matches perfectly with their sedative effects.

Paradise Kava’s latest Fijian batch is interesting because it doesn’t have that white hue to it, but rather a typically light brown color for Kava. But when you brew it (or even just give it a whiff) you get that familiar Fijian scent and flavor. It has a creamy and cashew-like flavor that makes you think twice about having to treat each shell like its some kind of pure grain alcohol. When I brewed this Kava for the first time I found myself sipping my coconut shell like it was full of rare Irish whiskey or cognac. In other words: this is a great Kava to have around for people who get squeamish about the scents and rooty notes of most Kavas. Of course, it doesn’t taste like vanilla ice cream or garlic-drenched lobster – but in the Kava world it is one of the better flavors I have come across.

This is probably the only Kava that I have ever had that launches you off immediately, brings you to a comfortable place, and then creeps up again and drives you through the night. In some ways, it is way more powerful than most Kavas – 5 hours later! If I had to describe it in a nutshell, I would say that this root sends you to space, turns you into a socialite, and then winds down like you’ve just taken 50 mg of valium. The two times I brewed this batch up I sat around a table from 4 P.M until around 11 P.M telling stories about random adventures I’ve had in Africa. It is perfect for mellow-minded ice-breaking and removing the static between you and those you are talking with. An uplifting, light, and delicious social Kava.

One very interesting thing: Kava dreams. I have never had a Kava that gave me such deep, vivid, and compelling dreams. I think this might be slightly connected to its creeping qualities – I woke up from a dream feeling krunked and then drifted back into that technicolor world of psychological manifestations. Even as I type this, the morning after I brewed up 3 litres (5 tablespoons total) and shared amongst friends last night, I still feel a bit krunked. But I don’t feel like I’m coming down off a mind-warping Isa flight. I feel like I’m being gently delivered back into a more gentle world. But the dreams! If you are into the more spiritual qualities of Kava, this might be the one that you buy stock in (literally).

Bula! A new Fijian strain is here…

Flavor – 9.75/10
Effects (Mind) – 10/10
Effects (Body) – 7.5/10
Medium Strength-Long Lasting

Paradise Kava's Fiji Kava (2012) - 9.1/10