Gourmet Hawaiian Kava: Are They Trustworthy? [2020 Reviewed]

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If you want to take a trip to what the internet looked like in the 90s — visit Gourmet Hawaiian Kava’s website. You’ll find repeating tiled backgrounds, text that’s nearly impossible to read, and a lot of empty product descriptions.

With the poor website aside, can we trust Gourmet Hawaiian Kava? What’s the quality of the kava coming from this online shop?

In this review, we’ll explore Gourmet Hawaiian Kava and its products. We’ll break each product down — describing the effect profiles, potency, and more.

Let’s get started.

About the Company

Gourmet Hawaiian Kava has been selling kava within the United States for a long time now. The earliest reference of the company we could find was from 5 years ago via the company’s Youtube channel, but we suspect they’ve been in business for longer than that.

Gourmet Hawaiian Kava is owned and operated by a man named Chris Allen — who has been researching and cultivating kava for over 25 years. The photo section of the website features images of Allen with other experts in the field cultivating, harvesting, and drinking Hawaiian kava.

The company specializes in single-strain Hawaiian kava (Awa). Allen and his team are closely involved in the production and processing of kava — which is certainly a great sign, since most kava resellers purchase the raw kava second or third-hand. The further away from the cultivation of the kava, the more room there is for issues with quality.

Gourmet Hawaiian Kava offers kava strains you’re unlikely to find for sale anywhere else online. Most strains in this company’s product lineup come from varieties we’ve never seen anywhere else. If you’re a true kava aficionado, we highly recommend you check this company out.

Let’s cover each product in more detail.

(Gournet Hawaiian Kava founder, Chris Allen featured on the right & revered kava expert, Ed Johnston on the left)

1. Awa Hiwa

Rating

4.5/5

Best For:

  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Anxiety

Positive Effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
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Technical Details:

Origin Hawaii
Total Kavalactone Content Not Listed
Effect Profile Heady
Strength Strong
Grind Medium – Ultra Fine
Flavor Profile Fresh, Strong Bitter, Strong Pepper
Kava Code Not Listed
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Dizziness

About This Kava:

Traditionally, Awa Hiwa was reserved for the Kahuna (priest) of the community. Although there’s likely another reason for this reservation, we found this heady kava to be excellent for meditation.

This strain is the darkest colored kava plant you’re likely to find on the Hawaiian islands — it has dark black-colored stocks and dark green leaves.

The flavor of this kava is quite strong, sharing a mixture of bitter and spice flavors.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Awa Hiwa $30 – $57 $1.30
Awa Hiwa — Micronized $53 – $105 $2.30

2. Fiji Kava

Rating

4.5/5

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Mental Clarity
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Technical Details:

Origin Fiji
Total Kavalactone Content Not Listed
Effect Profile Balanced
Strength Strong
Grind Medium
Flavor Profile Fresh, Smooth, Mild Bitter
Kava Code Not Listed
Recommended Experience Level Experienced Users
Most Common Side-Effect Nausea

About This Kava:

Not all kava sold on the Gourmet Hawaiian Kava website is Hawaiian — this particular kava is a Fijian strain. However, we believe the kava you get when you order this product was grown on Hawaiian soil.

This is a particularly strong kava with a balanced effect profile. Some of us testing this kava felt nauseous during the first hour after drinking, but the sensation quickly faded in the second or third hour. It’s likely this kava takes a little bit of playing around with to get the right dose for each person individually.

We recommend this kava for more experienced users.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Fiji Kava $30 – $57 $1.30

3. Ikaika

Rating

4/5

Best For:

  • Muscle Relaxation

Positive Effects:

  • Muscle Relaxant
  • Sedation
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Technical Details

Origin Hawaii
Total Kavalactone Content Not Listed
Effect Profile Heavy
Strength Strong
Grind Medium – Ultra Fine
Flavor Profile Mild Bitter, Mild Pepper
Kava Code Not Listed
Recommended Experience Level Experienced
Most Common Side-Effect Grogginess

About This Kava:

Ikaika Kava is well-known on some of the rural islands of Hawaii. It’s perhaps the strongest heavy kava available in the region. A few cups in a row of this kava is sure knock you out within an hour or two.

Lower doses of this kava deliver powerful muscle-relaxing effects. Be very careful with dosing this. It doesn’t take much of Ikaika to start inducing heavy sedative effects. Once asleep, Ikaika Kava keeps you in a deep sleep for a long time. A lot of people who use this kava report sleeping a few hours longer than normal.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Ikaika $30 – $57 $1.30
Ikaika — Micronized $56 – $112 $2.47

4. Mahakea

Rating

4/5

Best For:

  • Social Drinking

Positive Effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Social
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Technical Details

Origin Hawaii
Total Kavalactone Content Not Listed
Effect Profile Balanced
Strength Average
Grind Medium
Flavor Profile Mild Bitter, Mild Pepper
Kava Code Not Listed
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Grogginess

About This Kava:

Mahakea Kava from Hawaii is a great all-purpose kava option from Gourmet Hawaiian Kava.

This kava starts out with a strong euphoric feeling in the first hour, before gradually fading into a heavy effect profile — sometimes causing users to feel sleepy. Other times, they remain in a state of calm euphoria.

This kava is excellent in social environments because it makes people feel sociable and relaxed. It’s very easy to find a comfortable position when drinking this kava, making it a good option for casual movie nights or afternoons spent lazing around on the beach or at a park.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Mahakea $30 – $57 $1.30

5. Moi

Rating

4.5/5

Best For:

  • Stress

Positive Effects:

  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
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Technical Details

Origin Hawaii
Total Kavalactone Content Not Listed
Effect Profile Heady
Strength Mild
Grind Medium – Ultra Fine
Flavor Profile Smooth, Fresh, Mild Pepper
Kava Code Not Listed
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Dizziness

About This Kava:

Moi is a mild heady kava suitable for just about everybody. We really like this kava while at work because it’s not too strong but has excellent calming effects. As Moi Kava kicks in, stress levels begin to fade. As the stress fades, we’ve found it much easier to enter productive flow-states or enter creative mindsets.

If you’re a freelance writer, designer, or developer, we highly recommend keeping some of this kava around for rainy days, whenever you hit a creative roadblock, or need to get yourself into a flow-state.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Moi $30 – $57 $1.30
Moi — Micronized $53 – $105 $2.30

6. Nene

Rating

3/5

Best For:

  • Meditation/Relaxation/Anxiety

Positive Effects:

  • Sedation
  • Relaxation
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Technical Details:

Origin Hawaii
Total Kavalactone Content Not Listed
Effect Profile Heady
Strength Average
Grind Medium – Ultra Fine
Flavor Profile Mild Bitter, Mild Pepper, Smooth
Kava Code Not Listed
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Nausea

About This Kava:

Nene Kava is another heady option that’s a little bit stronger than Moi Kava.

Nene is better for anxiety and muscle aches than Moi but still offers the benefits towards supporting a creative thought process. The difference here is that it’s much easier to take too much Nene, which can result in side effects like nausea or dizziness.

So while Nene is more well-rounded than the similar Moi, it’s important to be slow and thoughtful about how much you take. We recommend testing this kava out at home first to get the dose right before taking it at work.

We also found Moi very useful during meditation in low doses. Higher doses is excellent for supporting sleep if taken at least 2 hours before your intended bedtime, so the kava has enough time to take effect.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Nene $30 – $57 $1.30
Nene — Micronized $52 $5.20

7. Papa Kea

Rating

4.5/5

Best For:

  • Sleep

Positive Effects:

  • Social
  • Mental Clarity
  • Euphoria
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Technical Details:

Origin Hawaii
Total Kavalactone Content Not Listed
Effect Profile Heavy
Strength Strong
Grind Medium
Flavor Profile Mild Bitter, Mild Pepper, Smooth
Kava Code Not Listed
Recommended Experience Level All Levels
Most Common Side-Effect Dizziness

About This Kava:

If you’re looking for a strong kava with very noticeable effects, this is the one.

You don’t need much of this Papa Kea Kava to begin feeling the effects. Despite being very strong, it’s difficult to take too much of this kava — We’ve found that no matter how much of this kava you drink. The first 2 hours feel like you’re floating on a cloud, completely free from stress, but around hour 3 or 4 you begin to feel the urge to sleep.

This kava is best used in the evening a few hours before bed.

Cost Breakdown:

Name Total Cost Rough Cost per 10 Gram Dose
Papa Kea $30 – $60 $1.3
(Source: Gourmet Hawaiian Kava)

(Source: Gourmet Hawaiian Kava)

Final Thoughts on Gourmet Hawaiian Kava

Gourmet Hawaiian Kava is a small local company based out of Hawaii, USA. They’ve been in the business of selling kava long before most of their competitors ever entered the market.

As a small company, there are some key elements of business the company is missing. The company website is very poorly constructed and difficult to navigate — something that matters these days as the rest of the world obsesses over having seamless user interfaces. The company also lacks testing and analytical information about their kava products — like the kava chemocodes and kavalactone content.

With that aside, the founder, Chris Allen and the rest of the team behind Gourmet Hawaiian Kava is clearly passionate about the work they’re doing. The kava we received was top-notch in quality, despite not listing any lab results. Everything we tried from this company tasted fresh — just as advertised.

Most products offered on the company website are rare strains of kava you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.

We hope to see Gourmet Hawaiian Kava update its business operations with a new website, improved packaging, and more extensive information about its products in the future because the actual kava the company is offers is top-notch.