How to Choose the Best Kava

Embark on a journey to discover the perfect kava for your unique preferences and needs. In this comprehensive guide, we unlock the mysteries of choosing the best kava, from understanding the noble varieties that set the standard for quality to navigating the effects of different chemotypes. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, social enhancement, or a balanced experience, our insights will lead you to the ideal kava selection. Join us as we explore the art and science of kava, ensuring you make an informed choice tailored to your lifestyle. We believe in the art of noble kava drinking. Thus, Fiji Vanua Kava only carries NOBLE KAVA. Every variety that is found in our shop is of noble kava variety. Unlocking the Secrets of Noble Kava. Dive into the essence of noble kava, revered for its premium quality and effects. Noble kava stands out for its smooth taste and the gentle, yet profound, relaxation it offers, making it a preferred choice among enthusiasts. This blog post will guide you through identifying noble varieties, emphasizing their significance in ensuring a superior kava experience. By choosing noble kava, you embrace a tradition celebrated for its purity, setting the foundation for an authentic kava journey. Noble kava, known as the highest quality of kava, is distinguished by its species and cultivation methods. Noble kava varieties are valued for their smooth taste and consistent quality, and they adhere to strict cultivation and processing standards. This type of kava is considered safe for regular consumption when used traditionally

To help you navigate this complex landscape, we will discuss some key factors to consider when selecting the right kava for you, including the form, quality, and sources. We will also provide some top picks based on best quality.

Deciphering Kava Chemotypes and Kavalactones: 

Kava comes from the plant named ‘Piper methysticum’, which translates to ‘intoxicating pepper’. This is because the kava plant resides in the same family as the black pepper plant. It has been used in the Pacific Islands for centuries for its calming and therapeutic effects. Kavalactones are the active ingredients in kava that determine the overall effect you will get from your kava powder. Each of the main six kavalactones is assigned a number (1-6) to make up what is known as that kava’s chemotype. The amount of each kavalactone contained in a specific variety is listed in the chemotype in order of highest to lowest. Understanding kava chemotypes can be a kava art and help you understand exactly which strains of kava to drink based on the specific effects you desire.

A Deep Dive Understanding kava chemotypes and kavalactones is crucial for selecting a kava that aligns with your desired effects. Chemotypes are unique combinations of kavalactones, the active compounds in kava that determine its potency and effects. Each chemotype is identified by a series of numbers representing the concentration order of kavalactones. For instance, a chemotype starting with “426153” indicates a kava variety where kavain (4) is the most predominant, followed by DHK (2), and so on.

Here are some key points to understand about kava chemotypes and their effects:

Kava Chemotype: A kava chemotype is a six-digit code that describes the distinctive order of kavalactone densities found in kava. Chemotypes can differ greatly throughout kava plants according to their age and cultivar.

Kavalactones: Different kavalactones have different effects, and some are more potent than others. The six major kavalactones are:

  1. Desmethoxyyangonin (DMY)
  2. Dihydrokavain (DHK)
  3. Kavain (K)
  4. Yangonin (Y)
  5. Dihydromethysticin (DHM)
  6. Methysticin (M)

You can choose the best variety for you by knowing how to interpret a chemotype, which will help you identify if a variety is heady, heavy, or balanced.

The difference between Heavy, Heady, and Balanced kava

Heady, Heavy, and Balanced kava are different types of kavas that have varying effects on the mind and body. Here are the differences between them:

Heady kava

  • Heady kava has more effects on the mind than on the body.
  • It promotes a gentle sense of well-being, contentment, and happy unconcern.
  • It is great for daytime drinking as it keeps your mind not just relaxed but also quite clear and alert. 
  • Heady kavas are mind-mood-boosting, uplifting, and cheerful. 
  • They are good for socializing, studying, or doing anything creative. They are also great for beginners who want to try kava for the first time.

Heavy kava

  • Heavy kava relaxes your limbs and body, along your muscles and mind.
  • It is better suited for evening use as it is more likely to relax your body and make you feel a little sleepy.
  • Heavy kavas are much more of a bodily experience than anything else. 
  • They are great for unwinding after work or a workout, or to get a better night’s sleep.
  • Heavy kavas are not recommended for socializing or doing anything that requires mental alertness.

Balanced kava

  • Balanced kava is somewhere in between heavy and heady kava. It offers a good balance of the two types of effects, making it the most versatile and popular kava. 
  • Depending on the dosage, it is used for both daytime and night-time drinking and is considered to be great for both beginners and experienced drinkers who enjoy the full spectrum of beautiful kava effects.
  • It’s challenging to identify a single chemotype that perfectly characterizes balanced kavas because they have a distinct chemotype mixture.

In short, heady kava is mind-mood-boosting, uplifting, and cheerful, heavy kava is relaxing and sedating, and balanced kava is somewhere in between. The choice of kava depends on your desired effects and the time of day, but this information will help you choose between heavy, heady, and balanced kava. This categorization helps in choosing a kava that aligns with your specific needs, whether you’re looking for a mental lift, physical relaxation, or a harmonious balance of both

Choose the Best Fiji Vanua Kava variety

Heavy Kava Varieties from Fiji Vanua Kava

The best heavy kava varieties from Fiji Vanua kava are listed below.

Kava Vanuatu

It is a heavy kava that has the kavain kick with a quite prominent deep relaxation property. Our Vanuatu has been voted to be one of the strongest kavas in the market. This kava has a medium to thick body, and brews up dark chocolate. Overall, Kava Vanuatu is the most potent kava around with a slightly bitter taste and a hint of pepper. 

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz kava is the entire plant, compromising of the lateral roots and basal roots, resulting in a smooth and creamy taste profile. Evenings are ideal for drinking this kava. Santa Cruz is also on the really heavy side. Maybe 2nd to Vanuatu.


Bir-Kar has a slightly peppery and creamy taste profile and can have euphoric and relaxing effects. It is a unique cultivar that leans towards heady but can venture off towards heavy, depending on variables. It is an excellent choice for a “middle of the road” but strong kava that still ticks.

Birkar: Grown in Vanuatu, on the island of Espiritu Santo

Heady Kava Varieties from Fiji Vanua Kava

Below are the best heady kava varieties from Fiji Vanua kava.

Malo Tongan Kava

This kava has a well-balanced, creamy taste and potent effects. Sourced directly from farmers and is 100% sun-dried. The kava is a medium grind, it has a great uplifting effect.

Premium Lewena Powder

Premium Lewena Powder has a light color and mellow taste and is ideal for “easy-going kava lovers. The kava powder is usually considered for mind effects. Lewena is light and refreshing in taste, super easy to drink with slow mellow mind effects. Great daytime kava.

Premium Lewana: Found on the islands of Savusavu, Fiji Islands.


Kelai has a creamy taste profile with euphoric and relaxing effects and is known for its heady effects. It is an excellent variety to drink for anxiety while socializing, or just to wind down in the evening.

Kelai: A potent and fast-acting strain grown on the island north of Vanuatu/

Talanoa Mada

The more brilliant and stimulatory aspects of this root powder are enhanced, while the sedative qualities are lessened. This is a kava you can sip while conversing with loved ones late into the early morning.

Talanoa Mada: Basal roots from Vanuatu

Balanced Kava varieties from Fiji Vanua Kava

The best-balanced kava varieties from Fiji Vanua kava are listed below.

Loloma Waka 

It is a noble kava, it has a smooth and delicious taste. The effects of Loloma Waka are balanced leaning slightly heady to heavy, and it is a good middle-of-the-road noble kava for a good price.


The relaxing effects of Borogu kick in quickly and last a long time. It is a smooth-tasting kava that has a balanced feel. The kava is made from approximately 70% basal roots and 30% lateral roots.


Palasa has a smooth taste profile but is strong and quick to release the heady effects. This kava is an exceedingly noble kava that comes on quickly and doesn’t tend to hang around afterward.

Premium Old Roots Powder

The kava is grown in the lush soils of Vanua Levu. This is a single farmed, single cultivar root that has been rated as the best Fijian kava. 6-7 Years old. Matured in the ground for an additional year to two for its robust flavoring and smoothness.

Old Roots Powder: From the islands of Savusavu, Fiji Islands

Your journey through the world of kava doesn’t end here. We invite you to explore our selection, where each kava variety awaits to offer its unique gifts. For those who wish to deepen their understanding or have questions, feel free to contact us. Engage with us through our website, where you can discover more about kava, share your experiences, and find the perfect kava to meet your needs. Your perfect kava experience is just a click away

Final Words

Selecting the right kava is a personal journey, one that marries the rich tradition of kava culture with your individual preferences and needs. With this guide, we’ve aimed to illuminate the path towards finding your perfect kava match, from understanding the nuances of noble kava to navigating the diverse effects of different chemotypes. As you explore, remember that the best choice is one that resonates with your lifestyle and wellness goals. We’re here to support your exploration of kava’s calming and communal spirit, inviting you to discover not just a beverage, but a new way to enhance well-being and connection. Check out the information to find out more about Fiji Vanua Kava varieties and our commitment to offering the greatest kava in terms of freshness and quality at the most reasonable pricing with free shipping. If you’re looking for something really special and elegant, Our signature reserve line of medium grind and instant kava varieties will not disappoint. Fiji Vanua Kava only carries noble kava variety! Always. Fiji Vanua Kava, direct farm to table! Always. Fiji Vanua Kava, Free Shipping! Always.