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Fresh kava vs dried kava

markosheehan

Kava Curious
For those of you who live in the south pacific or drink fresh kava regularly how much stronger is fresh kava compared to dried kava and
could you compare the overall effects of the two or are they the same?
 

Krunʞy

Chillin'
Admin
Think of it as drinking powdered milk mixed with water versus a glass of fresh cold milk. Fresh kava doesn't taste like dry kava, it tastes like fresh cucumber water, effects are considerably better and more pronounced. At least that's been my experience.

Fresh Hawaiian kava is one of the best things in the world. Worth trying.
 

Michael Nielsen

Kava Enthusiast
I can't stress this enough. It is worth spending the money and trying fresh kava at least once. Yeah it is a bit costly but YOLO and it should not be missed.
The main issue is to find someone who can forward the parcel with fresh kava. At least if you live outside USA.
 
a while ago i freeze dried a batch of fresh green kava while paying a lot of attention to temperatures etc and vacuum sealed it straight away. it took a few experiments but i figured out how to make it. it was pretty close to the actual green juice (in that case the juice itself was a bit oxydised sadly). @Kapmcrunk and @Alia tried it and I think both liked it. So perhaps others can do a similar thing in the future. It is quite a lot of work and requires careful attention to detail so unlikely to be commercially viable,but an interesting experiment.

BTW, the kava we source from vanuatu for the kava society is not too far from green in potency, though perhaps not necessarily texture of aroma
 
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Michael Nielsen

Kava Enthusiast
a while ago i freeze dried a batch of fresh green kava while paying a lot of attention to temperatures etc and vacuum sealed it straight away. it took a few experiments but i figured out how to make it. it was pretty close to the actual green juice (in that case the juice itself was a bit oxydised sadly). @Kapmcrunk and @Alia tried it and I think both liked it. So perhaps others can do a similar thing in the future. It is quite a lot of work and requires careful attention to detail so unlikely to be commercially viable,but an interesting experiment.

BTW, the kava we source from vanuatu for the kava society is not too far from green in potency, though perhaps not necessarily texture of aroma

How much would freeze dried kava cost?
 

Elmanaro

Port Vila, Vanuatu
Kava Vendor
For those of you who live in the south pacific or drink fresh kava regularly how much stronger is fresh kava compared to dried kava and
could you compare the overall effects of the two or are they the same?
Fresh kava is on another level of strength. The taste is also stronger. I have heard it may be due to the lactones in dry kava degrading when exposed to sunlight.
 

Orz[EST]

Kava Enthusiast
Kava is already expensive. Henze freeze drying would not increase the cost per kg too much. If the increase in quality is a factor, maybe it is the future thing?

Freeze dried strawberries are being sold to the generous spenders in our tiny People's Consumerist Republic :)
 

markosheehan

Kava Curious
a while ago i freeze dried a batch of fresh green kava while paying a lot of attention to temperatures etc and vacuum sealed it straight away. it took a few experiments but i figured out how to make it. it was pretty close to the actual green juice (in that case the juice itself was a bit oxydised sadly). @Kapmcrunk and @Alia tried it and I think both liked it. So perhaps others can do a similar thing in the future. It is quite a lot of work and requires careful attention to detail so unlikely to be commercially viable,but an interesting experiment.

BTW, the kava we source from vanuatu for the kava society is not too far from green in potency, though perhaps not necessarily texture of aroma
what equipment did you use for this?
 
I used an industrial/pilot sized freeze dryer at a research facility in Auckland. I had some green kava juice left from my experiments with bottling kava and decided to freeze dry some just for fun/research. Took me a couple of attempts and playing around with the settings, plus using some additional tools, but I think the end result was fairly close to the taste/smell/texture of the actual green juice. In that case the juice itself was quite oxydised and made from less than perfectly prepared kava, so the end result wasn't spectacular, but still not much was lost in the process. One advantage of freeze drying over standard dehydration is that it makes the powder a lot easier to rehydrate (literally a quick stir and everthing is rehydrated with no clumps).

Freeze dryers are quite power hungry and the whole process is quite labour intensive. Another problem with freeze drying is that it can't possibly kill or even reduce any mirobial content, so you either have to start with pristine roots or need to take a couple of extra steps to ensure you end up with a clean product.

I'd say it's all fairly easy to do, but ultimately makes little commercial sense outside of the kava growing regions. Making instant kava (with or without a freeze drier) makes far more sense when youv'e got access to freshly harvested roots than when you have to send them across oceans. It takes around 10-12kgs of fresh green roots to get 1kg of instant if I remember correctly. In general, all kava processing should best be done as close to the kava gardens as possible*. And it is already done. Our supplier of green instant (instant made from green, but without a freeze drier) processes it all into powder within literally hours of receivign freshly harvested roots. The end result is fantastic. I guess they could maybe try using a freeze drier if there was a lot of demand for it, but I am not sure many people would be keen to pay, say, 10-20% more for instant kava for it to taste a bit more like green. Especially when it's hard to avoid oxydising the juice when you prepare it for freeze drying.


*The only possible exception is bottling kava made from dry powder, as this effectively involved adding a lot of water (and weight) to the product and it's likely much cheaper to do so closer to customers than closer to the gardens.
 

Michael Nielsen

Kava Enthusiast
Especially when it's hard to avoid oxydising the juice when you prepare it for freeze drying.
But can't that be avoided if the process is setup accordingly? Using inert gasses or nitrogen instead of exposure to air.
Having a close circut process to avoid exposure to oxygen.
 
But can't that be avoided if the process is setup accordingly? Using inert gasses or nitrogen instead of exposure to air.
Having a close circut process to avoid exposure to oxygen.
maybe. not sure about the initial stages though. in any case, this would make it really quite expensive.
 
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