5.156 Kava

Cycle 5 – Item 156

10 (Tue) June 2014



by JR

at his home

-Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-

with CAL, ME, MP, JR + KR, et al.

This is the first post to feature a beverage.

Kava is a drink.  The root of a kava plant is pounded/ground to extract a starchy liquid, often dried into a powder for storage, which is then mixed with cold water to make the drink.  Containing various active components, kava produces a sedative/anesthetic effect, which is why people drink it.  Popular in many island countries across the Pacific.  In Fiji, where it’s alternatively referred to as “grog” or “yaqona,” the drink is an integral part of the culture.

JR is a big proponent of kava, having learned to drink the stuff while living in Fiji.

When he heard that I’d be traveling to Fiji next month, he was eager to initiate me on kava, so he invited some people over for a kava party.

Not quite sure what to make of it.  The taste was harshly bitter, woodsy/earthy, not entirely pleasant, vaguely reminiscent of Korean traditional medicine, but manageable.  After one bowl, my tongue had become numb and tingly.  At the time, I hadn’t been aware of the potential sedative/anesthetic effects – JR hadn’t bothered to explain – so I didn’t bother to drink any more.   But now that I know what could happen, I may try two or three bowls next chance I get, maybe in Fiji.

Carmen with Carmen, Michel with San Miguel (close enough).



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