Kava Kwik: Instant Kava Drink
Kava kava is traditionally drank out of half of a coconut shell in Fiji and is also consumed in other Pacific nations. It's known for it's relaxing effects.
The first time I heard about kava, it was from one of my friends who bought some in powdered form online. He said it was supposed to have a relaxing effect. Long story short, he and my other friend decided to mix it into a protein shake and chug it. I'm not sure what the reasoning was for this method, but I was a bit reluctant to try kava after they both got sick from it.
I wanted to wait to visit Vanuatu and drink it in the traditional way, but I'll leave that for another post. Curiosity has gotten the best of me and I decided to order some kava online instead.
By the advice of my aforementioned friend, I didn't buy the same kava he did - I tried one that seemed a bit easier to prepare, called Kava Kwik from http://www.realkava.com/instant-kava.html . It turns out that this was a great move.
A week or so later, the Kava Kwik arrived in the mail. It comes in a powder in a small pouch which contains about 20 servings. The instructions say to use one teaspoon with two cups of water. I just estimated, adding a semi-heaping teaspoon. In retrospect, I may have added too much because it didn't dissolve completely the first time.
It's sortof a putrid green color, and smells really earthy, kind of like a bale of hay. Weird reference, but that's the closest thing I can think of. When mixed with water, the taste is actually very mild. It tastes like grass, nothing really special or offensive about the taste, but not delicious either. It's a little bit tanniny and dry.
I could drink it straight, but I've heard that it's much more enjoyable with a fruit juice added in. Lemonade seemed like a good mix, so I added that in after a few tasting sips. At this point, it's a pint glass with about half water, half lemonade, and a teaspoon of instant Kava Kwik. The lemonade doesn't totally mask the grassy taste since it's diluted, but it does make it much more enjoyable.
After a few sips, the tip of my tongue and roof of my mouth in the front have a slight numbing sensation. After a few more sips and about 10 minutes, I feel the same sensation in the back of my throat. It's strange but not too unpleasant. From reading about it, I found that this is normal and to be expected when drinking kava.
Even though the instant Kava dissolves quickly, it also settles quickly, so you have to keep stirring it every few minutes. I think this is just related to the fact that I put too much of the powder in.
8:52 - I've drank about 1/5th of the glass so far. It's making my tongue a little numb, but that's about it. It says that it could take 20 minutes to take effect, so I'm drinking it slowly.
9:10 - By now I've drank half of it and am feeling a bit more of a tired feeling in my face. The taste isn't bad, but I'm going to fill it up again with lemonade to dull the grassiness some more and give it some more flavor. mmm thats better
9:30 - about a third down after filling it back up with lemonade. I am feeling relaxed, legs feeling a bit tingly, and having a little difficulty focusing because I'm zoning out a little bit.
10:30 - I've been drinking it leisurely and feel a little bit relaxed, a little tingly in my legs from time to time. It's noticeable but subtle. As I finish the glass, I have to stir it more and more because the powder settles quickly. Since I drank one glass over 2 hours, I presume the effects are less than if I drank it all at once.
From my experience, the affects are just mild relaxation and perhaps some tiredness. It's probably best if you drink kava with friends as you're winding down for the night, not before you go out or need to do anything. While you do remain clearheaded, I find that I had a hard time focusing on tasks for an extended amount of time. Mostly because I just wanted to hang out and talk.
One thing is for sure though: if you want to feel the real effects of kava kava, definitely go with a real kava drink rather than something which claims to contain "kava extract" such as Mary Jane's soda. Kava Kwik has a much more significant effect than most of those "relaxing drinks." If you're drinking it for the taste though, kava powder might not be your thing and you should try something more commercial.