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The Era of Single Cultivar Kavas Has Arrived!

Great video. Kava is really moving in the direction of fine wine/coffee. Doesn't mean there won't be a space for blends or "table kava" (just like there's always space for table wines, office type coffee etc), but it's great to have more choice, variety. Especially when it actually brings us closer to how kava was traditionally/historically consumed (with attention paid to cultivar, with natural ratio of stump to root etc).

It's worth noting that one thing that has really made this shift possible is the significant amount of investment, effort and dedication to processing. One really has to work with green, freshly harvested kava not only to guarantee it is indeed cultivar x, but also to preserve/capture its unique properties.

And obviously none of that investment and effort would have been possible (or at least desirable) if it hadn't been for the demand for higher quality kava. So all of this is driven by consumer demand and is a sign of the kava market becoming more mature. That's really awesome considering that only a few years ago kava could mainly be found in some pharmacies or dodgy head shops.
 

Artofkava

Jacksonville, FL
Kava Vendor
Very nice video! Coming from the tea world, single cultivars are pretty special. Usually denoting a much higher quality and attention to detail in the process. Which is why much of it is from Japan and is made into matcha or gyokuro (the good stuff). When I went into the kava world in 2020 (even before we started selling), I received a dm on instagram from a person asking if we will sell single cultivars, do we know what gardens they're from, etc. All the good questions. So since we started we've been talking single cultivars with our vendors in Fiji, now Vanuatu and pretty soon Solomon.
 

Kalm with Kava

Kava Vendor
Hear the good news here:

Single cultivars are absolutely the way to go! We're continuing to talk to farmers about bringing more and more unique cultivars we don't often see in the states. This progression of the industry gives a lot more power to farmers who want to showcase what makes their particular regions unique. Great stuff, Doug. Keep the videos coming!
 

Skinskava

70-80 g to 1 Liter-Day Dreamer- My Roots Run Deep-
Single cultivars are absolutely the way to go! We're continuing to talk to farmers about bringing more and more unique cultivars we don't often see in the states. This progression of the industry gives a lot more power to farmers who want to showcase what makes their particular regions unique. Great stuff, Doug. Keep the videos coming!
Your Palarasul was so good
 

Zaphod

Kava Lover
Great video. Kava is really moving in the direction of fine wine/coffee. Doesn't mean there won't be a space for blends or "table kava" (just like there's always space for table wines, office type coffee etc), but it's great to have more choice, variety.
I don't think it is quite fair to call blends "table kava" like "table wine". Some of the best wines I have had are blends by master vintners who know what they are doing. I don't think kava blends - if done for specific purpose, taste, and effect are any less than single cultivars. If done just because that is what came in from the farm that day then I guess I agree.
 
I don't think it is quite fair to call blends "table kava" like "table wine". Some of the best wines I have had are blends by master vintners who know what they are doing. I don't think kava blends - if done for specific purpose, taste, and effect are any less than single cultivars. If done just because that is what came in from the farm that day then I guess I agree.
absolutely.

I guess what I meant was that there is a place for "random mixes" or whatever the table wine/gas station coffee equivalent might be.

But yes, a conciously crafted blend of cultivars could be highly attractive and desirable. But in order to be able to expertly blend cultivars, one still has to be able to reliably access pure single cultivars:)

And it's not easy. Unless one grows the kava himself, one has to either find a dedicated 100% reliable grower, or to inspect the stem/leaves, or perhaps rely on genetic testing to be sure.
 
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Krunʞy

Chillin @ 40g
Admin
This is an exciting topic. It makes me wonder what single cultivars come from Fiji. As it is now (as someone else pointed out), Fijian kava is labeled by which part of the roots make up the contents. In my search, I found the attached file, it lists 13 distinct cultivars, with pictures and descriptions.

Yalu, Yonolulu, Qila Balavu, Damu, Qila Leka, Vula kasa Leka, Vula kasa balavu, Dokobana vula, Matakaro leka, Matakaro balavu, Dokobana loa, Loa kasa leka & Loa kasa balavu.

https://pafpnet.spc.int/attachments/article/779/Fiji-Kava-Quality-Manual.pdf
(Varieties start on page 17)
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
This is an exciting topic. It makes me wonder what single cultivars come from Fiji. As it is now (as someone else pointed out), Fijian kava is labeled by which part of the roots make up the contents. In my search, I found the attached file, it lists 13 distinct cultivars, with pictures and descriptions.

Yalu, Yonolulu, Qila Balavu, Damu, Qila Leka, Vula kasa Leka, Vula kasa balavu, Dokobana vula, Matakaro leka, Matakaro balavu, Dokobana loa, Loa kasa leka & Loa kasa balavu.

https://pafpnet.spc.int/attachments/article/779/Fiji-Kava-Quality-Manual.pdf
(Varieties start on page 17)
I would have expected Savusavu as well?

I’ve had it twice, different sources, and both were very distinctive and resembling of each other, I’d never mistake a Savusavu for any other scent of taste of kava, and vice versa.
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
Like red wine, one can taste the land in the flavor profile of a Kava. The soils and rain of Savusavu dance on your tongue and peacefully calm your limbs
What makes it distinct also, and now I consider masks it’s initial character perhaps, is the very pleasant to me smokiness, I did read about Savusavu being smoked somewhere, and both sources of it I had, KT, and an unknown, had a very definite smokiness to them.

Lovely kava to drink. I still feel KT Gourmet Savusavu is the “buzziest” heady Noble kava I have had.

GHK M’oi is much less buzzy, more mentally heady.
 
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