Since I have been getting back into kava over the last 3-4mo, I have found traditional prep to be the best, for me anyway. Better than blender and AluBall, which are the only other methods I have tried, I guess micro too if you consider that. I think traditional prep really embraces the kava "spirit" and sort of primes you for mindfulness and peace. 10 minutes of kneading the root out on a beautiful evening relaxes me but also provides a sense of intention with the kava, and I find I respond better each and every time I traditional prep. It seems like almost 1/4-1/3 of the experience is that ritual, again, for me anyway. I'll make very strong kava with aluball, judging from the taste and numbness, but I still don't have as complete or enjoyable of an experience as traditional. It almost seems to fly in the face of kava, though I also understand the convenience and not being able to traditional prep in certain situations. Just a thought as I finish another few shells. What do you think?