A Kava Vendor Who Cares
So I got some of the good stuff from Kalm With Kava in the post today. I know from experience that Mike over at KWK cares about what he sells. I’ve never had a bad product from them. His commitment to his customers and guarantees of quality are definitely what is needed in an online world of Kava that leaves a lot to be desired at times in terms of adulterated kava or just plain old Tudei packaged as Noble. All his Kavas come with the “Certified Noble” sticker that is given out by the True Kava Labs after stringent testing for Tudei.
Having laid off the kava for a while, and knowing that Mike has just recently been on a trip out to Fiji and Vanuatu (Part 2 here) I just knew I had to taste some of his latest wares! This is what I mean when you can tell the real provenance of a kava. Mike cares enough to go all the way out to the Pacific Islands, meet with the farmers, inspect the crops and review the processing procedures that they’re using. After testing and hand-picking the kava cultivars that he likes (it’s an awful job but somebody’s got to do it!), only then will he decide what he wants to stock in his online store and use for his products (as well as the dried root, they make a nice flavored kava concentrate drink, also, that rivals the taste of kava candies).
I’d tried many of KWK’s Kava products before from Tongan to Fijian and Vanuatan ground root, but never one of his instants, so it was with great anticipation that I opened the package and pulled out the jar of Premium Loa Waka from Fiji.
The Brand and Packaging
First things first and the packaging is nice on the eye. The instant jar was of a lightweight, but amply strong blue plastic that keeps the powder fresh, but the shipping weight down. I don’t know what typeface they use on the word “Kalm” but it very much does what it says in the branding. Even looking at the packaging brings a calmness (probably because you know you have just bought something that you know is going to be good!).
Notes of the Sea
I always like to have a sniff of the goods before trying it. The jar was brimful to the top (8 oz) and the colour was a nice golden brown. There’s nothing really quite like the smell of Kava, but I always seem to get notes of the seashore in a good kava. Not fishy, but more that ozoney, sweet seaweed smell you get when you’ve been away from the sea for too long and it puts a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Before I start getting carried away singing sea shanties, I’ll try to get on with the rest of the review.
So I mixed 3 heaped teaspoons in my favourite instant maker (an old aluminium mini vacuum flask) that doubles as a kind of Kava cocktail shaker for me. Haven’t gotten around to getting one of those Aluballs yet, although with instant it’s not necessary anyway. I mixed this with about one cup of water. I really don’t like the taste of mixing any kava with anything other than water but that’s just my preference. The jar says to mix 2 – 4 teaspoons in a beverage of your choice, so I opted for the smaller amount as I hadn’t partaken for a while and this is the middle of the day, after all!
Chugging The Instant
The kava powder mixed well, no clumps or lumps. It’s sometimes hard to keep kava down at the best of times but to hit a lump at the bottom of your chug does one no favours at all. This time it was all good. The consistency was quite thick (probably due to my mixing ratio) but the instant went down nicely. A little chalky, as most instants tend to be, but pretty mild and inoffensive.
The Effects of The Fijian Loa Waka Instant
I know Fijian Kavas are supposed to be lighter tasting than their Vanuatan counterparts, and this certainly tasted so, although I also know that the Loa Waka is known as a heavy hitter in Fijian Kava circles (that’s why I picked it – ha!). I definitely got quite a strong after-taste in the mouth and throat and this was followed by the familiar start of the numbing sensation. Always a good sign… I could have taken some kind of fruit chaser at this point but I resisted, preferring instead to savour the rich but pleasant, spicy taste. There are variations on strength of flavour, bitterness and spiciness with kavas in general, but this was actually easy to drink, but stronger tasting than I’d expected. Instants never produce the full fresh Kava taste of squeezed dried root, but this was getting pretty close.
After ten to fifteen minutes, I was starting to feel the kava relaxing my legs and the Kalm started to descend on me. I’m not a particularly frantic or stressed out person, but I can totally see how taking this drink would settle the nerves of somebody with anxiety. I didn’t feel any particularly mad-rush euphoria, as I have done in the past with other Kavas, but with the small amount I had taken and with the good effects that it had given me, I felt this could have been easily achieved had I wanted it. But there was a definite switch to a pleasantly fuzzy and sedating state – a slowly descending blanket of bliss and tranquillity that I expect from quality kava.
I wanted to write this up, so didn’t go for more at this stage. I feel clear-headed, calm and happy and that is a nice state to be in during the daytime. The sun has just come out after morning rain and the green garden is beckoning. I think the kava brings out that connection to all things green, I’m off to tend to my Chilli plants.
Kalm With Kava have definitely delivered another great product with their latest Fiji Loa Waka Instant. It’s very easy to use and gives the desired results exactly as I’d wanted. I also received some of their traditional grind Loa Waka which I will partake of tonight and hope to review over the next day or so. Here’s to a very relaxing weekend!