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Fresh Kava & It's Somewhat Mysterious Superiority.

sɥɐʞɐs

Avg. Dosage: 8 Tbsp. (58g)
Review Maestro
::kavaleaf::
Some of us may have already come across this info a few times over the years, but I thought I'd start an official thread for FRESH KAVA and how it compares to dried kava. Feel free to add any links to study's that compare the two or anecdotal reports of your own experiences between the two. Here are some blurbs from a paper that touched on the subject:

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Here's a note for any potential fresh frozen kava purchasers:
Some people buy fresh kava for the first time and are somewhat disappointed in the results. This typically stems from improper preparation and/or improper dosing measurements, it requires a lot more fresh kava (by weight) to make an equivalent brew to your typical dry batches.

On top of that, a plant that was originally low in overall KL% will still be low if consumed fresh, it's just that it would be lower if it were dried, even lower if it were dried more than once and lower yet if it has also been sitting around for a long time.

High expectations can also result in disappointment, especially considering that fresh kava will typically be significantly more expensive if you purchase it online. Your expectations might get too high when you read stories online, from people like me, who evangelize the superiority of fresh kava juice. It's good to remember that the fresh experience is very similar to dry, the main difference is that fresh kava will taste a bit better, feel a bit stronger, seem a bit cleaner and be generally be more pleasant and preferable because of those things.

#fresh #green #kava #'awa #nakamal #roots #different #stronger #better
#vanuatu #fiji #tonga #samoa #hawaii


::KavaChug::
 
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Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
Interesting stuff. Where does instant fit into this would you say? I've just ordered 4 different types of instant to try. As I've never tried fresh kava I couldn't say but I'm guessing the flavour is altered and some of those chemical parts would be lost as well. I would say that I get a very different experience with instant than I get with micro or med grind so there must be some of the good stuff left in instant?
 

sɥɐʞɐs

Avg. Dosage: 8 Tbsp. (58g)
Review Maestro
Interesting stuff. Where does instant fit into this would you say? I've just ordered 4 different types of instant to try. As I've never tried fresh kava I couldn't say but I'm guessing the flavour is altered and some of those chemical parts would be lost as well. I would say that I get a very different experience with instant than I get with micro or med grind so there must be some of the good stuff left in instant?
I haven't had enough instant kava to give a fair answer, but I have seen people report feeling like it's the closest thing to fresh nakamal kava that they've had, assuming you use a high enough dose and the instant dehydration was truly made from a batch of fresh kava.
My instant experiences pre-date my fresh experiences, but I do recall feeling very positively affected by it while simultaneously considering it to feel cleaner and easier on my stomach (or overall sense of well-being), which is a description I would also use for fresh kava.

I would still assume the dehydration process required to make instant kava creates chemical changes that differentiate the two, but perhaps it truly does preserve a little bit of the magic. If not, then the reported difference might come from the possibility that fresh kava that's dehydrated contains less fibers/makas, resulting in a powder that's easier on the gut, thereby creating a beverage that's cleaner feeling and generally more pleasant. Any time you dry kava, it loses some potency, and in it's powdered form it loses a little bit over time as well.
 
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kastom_lif

Kava Lover
Re: instant. I would imagine almost all instant is made from freeze dried kava that comes from dry kava roots.

Would instant made by freeze drying fresh kava beverage be different? Somebody please send a vacuum freeze drier to Vanuatu. You know... for science.
 

lonnyzone

Kava Enthusiast
Huh. I never really looked into this that hard, but I had no idea fresh Kava had that much of an objective difference between the dried stuff. If only plane tickets weren't so expensive...who wants to chip in for a field trip?
 

Kapmcrunk

The Kaptain (40g)
KavaForums Founder
I think Judd's instant green comes the closest to fresh that you can get in terms of instant kava. Fresh kava is for sure a different beast than dried. When I drank fresh kava for the first time, I pretty much instantly understood how people could drink it without gagging or without a chaser. It just doesn't taste bad. More like a green tea flavor than my normal grog Mississippi mud water.
 

sɥɐʞɐs

Avg. Dosage: 8 Tbsp. (58g)
Review Maestro
Re: instant. I would imagine almost all instant is made from freeze dried kava that comes from dry kava roots.

Would instant made by freeze drying fresh kava beverage be different? Somebody please send a vacuum freeze drier to Vanuatu. You know... for science.
We've been told that instant kava is derived from fresh green kava juice, but whether or not producers actually do it that way 100% of the time is unknown to us.

I would have assumed that freeze drying loses just as much, or more, of certain things within the fresh kava, since freeze drying still uses heating (after the freezing) and is supposed to dehydrate things even more so than a dehydrator. However, according to the study I posted above, they claim that freeze dried fresh kava juice still showed signs of certain unique chemicals in it, that didn't appear in the batch made with dry kava.
 
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Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
We've been told that instant kava is derived from fresh green kava juice, but whether or not producers actually do it that way 100% of the time is unknown to us.

I would have assumed that freeze drying loses just as much, or more, of certain things within the fresh kava, since freeze drying still uses heating (after the freezing) and is supposed to dehydrate things even more so than a dehydrator. However, according to the study I posted above, they claim that freeze dried fresh kava juice still showed signs of certain chemicals in it, that didn't appear in the batch made with dry kava.
I certainly notice different effects from instants than from micro or med grinds. I've bought a whole bunch of different instants and I'll do separate reviews of each and also a sort of head to head comparison including an analysis of prices per gram and roughly per shell/per evening.
 

kastom_lif

Kava Lover
From what I remember many compounds are lost due to evaporation over time and/or degrade due to UV. This means that perhaps in theory vacuum sealing freeze dried green roots could retain more compounds and higher potency most other preservation methods (clearly using hpp or ir would preserve the actual freshness and nearly all compounds though)
Freeze drying suits perishable products like bananas and strawberries where you can't just chuck them in a warm food dehydrator or spread them on a tin roof for a couple of sunny days.

Whatever dry kava lacks versus green, it loses it due to processes like UV light, oxidation, enzymatic action, and fermentation. Green kava that's swiftly vacuum freeze dried MAY more closely approximate fresh kava,...

1. As long as the drying process doesn't cause characteristic compounds (other than water) to evaporate away, and

2. As long as the root does not subsequently degrade after drying.
 

Zac Imiola (Herbalist)

Kava Connoisseur
I remember feeling overwhelmed by my first shell of fresh kava, it was Mahakea and one of the last sales this farmer made of fresh kava.
I felt as though I had gotten immediately drunk almost but with this intense rush to my head... it quickly faded and became more akin to kava I know but yes very clean and delicious ... I used pretty low doses as well. So I really wish I could have made a massive batch and had some right NOW ! I have nangol noble sooo that's equal right? Right? RIGHT ? !!!
 

Summer

mercy triumphs over judgment
I drank instant kava from GHK exclusively for about a year and those days were the absolute best kava experiences I have had.

I can't afford instant at all anymore and haven't had it in a long time, but for me it was definitely a more clean experience.
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
I drank instant kava from GHK exclusively for about a year and those days were the absolute best kava experiences I have had.

I can't afford instant at all anymore and haven't had it in a long time, but for me it was definitely a more clean experience.
I've just bought a load of instant kavas and I'm going to do head to head comparisons as well as separate reviews. One thing I'm definitely going to do is standardise the amount of kava per sell/session and work out the cost per session/day. I've always doubted that instant is more expensive than any other type but I know a lot depends on your body and how much you need. Would you say though that you may be using more instant because it's easier on your stomach and you just can get away with drinking more without feeling crappy? You're having a much better time and it's costing you more?

Just for a quick example one of the kavas I ordered was BKH Instant Green. I had it a long time ago and can't remember much about it but remember it being good. I bought 400g for shipment to the US and it works out at 44.1 cents per gram. 5 grams per shell only works out $2.20 a shell which is probably a teaspoon and a half. I would probably use 2 or 3 of those a night so maybe $6.60 a night. That's way less than what I used to spend on booze.

The other instants have averaged about 54 cents per gram even buying in relative bulk but maybe buying a bit more I could start asking for discounts?

By the way GHK instants are 47.5 cents per gram if you buy 200g so pretty well priced.
 

PsyGuru

Kava Enthusiast
I have never tried instants or fresh but have tried micro and extracts (BKH and GHK). How do instants compare to extracts?
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
I have never tried instants or fresh but have tried micro and extracts (BKH and GHK). How do instants compare to extracts?
I'm slightly concious of going off thread but it is very much related I think. I've never tried extracts myself but I've had quite a few instants. Instant kava is usually a lot easier on your stomach and can have some pretty impressive effects that you just don't get with med grind or micro. It's hard to put your finger on but it's just a more reliable experience, can be quite overwhelming. Maybe the best way to explain it is a whole body rush of relaxation. You really do need to be sitting down...
 

Summer

mercy triumphs over judgment
@Edward

For me, it was just all around better. The whole experience was easier (no kneading), standardized (didn't depend on how strong I kneaded or second washes), was easier to get down (no grit whatsoever), and hit me faster and stronger. There is a time when we all reach our limits, and that is when it would start to be a little acerbic to me - but this wasn't all the time, just after using instants for so long.

I had the BKH green instant before and personally prefer the GHK instants.

The only extract I had was the one from Paradise Kava, and I was fortunate enough to be able to try Chris' extract when he was making them. I like the instants more. They gave me more of a light and happy edge. Instants and me just mix well. I miss them.

They ended up being very expensive, way more so than medium grind, for me.
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
@Edward

For me, it was just all around better. The whole experience was easier (no kneading), standardized (didn't depend on how strong I kneaded or second washes), was easier to get down (no grit whatsoever), and hit me faster and stronger. There is a time when we all reach our limits, and that is when it would start to be a little acerbic to me - but this wasn't all the time, just after using instants for so long.

I had the BKH green instant before and personally prefer the GHK instants.

The only extract I had was the one from Paradise Kava, and I was fortunate enough to be able to try Chris' extract when he was making them. I like the instants more. They gave me more of a light and happy edge. Instants and me just mix well. I miss them.

They ended up being very expensive, way more so than medium grind, for me.
I agree with your assessment of how they are better. I think we have ascertained in the past that I need slightly less to get where I want to be than you do. If I use 5 or 6 heaped tbsps of Nene med grind I'd be quite happy but I only need 4 or 5 teaspoons of nene instant to do more or less the same which for me is a very similar cost per evening's fun.
 

nabanga

Kava Enthusiast
Another difference I notice is that I never got watery red eyes from drinking lots of fresh kava as I do every so often drinking dry med grind. I drank lots of fresh every night for 4 years and got occasional lizard skin, but nothing else. I think it is to do with fresh having little sediment as compared to dry.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

sɥɐʞɐs

Avg. Dosage: 8 Tbsp. (58g)
Review Maestro
Another difference I notice is that I never got watery red eyes from drinking lots of fresh kava as I do every so often drinking dry med grind. I drank lots of fresh every night for 4 years and got occasional lizard skin, but nothing else. I think it is to do with fresh having little sediment as compared to dry.
Another one of it superior perks! I'm trying to compile a few quotes to post from people's experiences and differences they notice with fresh, one from ex-former member @nemo said the same thing as you. Basically, that he can over indulge in Vila for weeks to no ill efect, no serious dermo, no hangovers but as soon as he starts drinking dry kava, those things appear quickly and easily.

Since you've been in Asia chugging dry kava for so long now, I'll be interested to hear you report back when you return to Vanuatu and ingest that first batch of fresh. ::KavaChug::
 

SelfBiasResistor

Persist for Resistance!
I used to use instants exclusively since they tasted better, had no prep time involved, no room for error and worked well with less side effects. They got too expensive over time, the normal 2 tsp recommendation was too little to feel any effects. I would need about 2 tbsp with most, per "shell" and would use 3 or 4 of them. The effects come on faster and stronger than medium grind but don't last as long either. Not really good for getting a krunk effect but definitely better for being out and functional while using it.

I went back to medium grind due to cost savings, the vast variety and the muscle relaxation is much stronger. I feel like instants pack more of a kavain punch. I've mostly used GHK Moi and Mahakea but also like BKH green quite a bit. I used to use a lot of Shaman and Fire Island but the Fire Island hasn't been as strong as it was a few years ago. Cream of Vanuatu was also great. The only thing I didn't like was the strength batch to batch was always different (some weaker/stronger than others) but I've found the same to be true for medium grind.
 

kastom_lif

Kava Lover
I definetely did overinduldge on my first night in Vila. Had a few big shells and then went back to the motel only to be greeted by a large bottke of takeaway kava. My vision was so affected that I couldnt walk. I crawled back to my room and had to lie down on cold floor for an hour before I could stand up. The next day I didnt have a hangover but didnt feel like even thinking about kava lol
The struggle is real.


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