Saturday, March 26, 2016

Herbal Cafe Review Part I: Extracts

Herbal Cafe sent us a beautiful bouquet of ethnobotanicals, including Kava, Blue Lotus, a "Relaxing Tea Blend," Mulungu Shredded Bark (something of a rarity at this point)... and a lot of quality kratom lovingly packaged in "green friendly" rice paper bags.

As told by the review archive on the right panel of this site, we have a whopping 16 products total to cover from Herbal Cafe. It seems pretty logical to split this up a bit, and so our first review will focus on their extracts: Ultra Enhanced Indo ($32/3g), SEI Gold X ($22/3g), and Maeng Da X ($30/6g).

Despite their deceptively brick and mortar webpage, Herbal Cafe really hits its stride when it comes to presentation. Much like when at the grocery store with an aisle full of similar products, professional packaging is bound to catch your eye first. Sometimes shelling out that extra dollar to see if as much care and effort is put into the product itself can be worth the leap of faith. This goes for the Herbal Cafe. I would not hesitate to pay slightly more for this well-established company's product presentation, as this is usually indicative of quality product on the inside as well. Pristinely pre-packaged crap does exist as we all know. Fortunately this is not the case with Herbal Cafe. The "green" look is not just for gimmicks either--it is both practical and appropriate.

Ultra Enhanced Indo

At $32/3g, Herbal Cafe's UEI is comparatively more expensive than, say, Phytoextractum's UEI, a quality Indo reviewed some time ago here @ The Secret Garden Guide. It's been a bit too much time to make a direct comparison in potency, but after rereading the old review as a refresher, I'd stage these two UEIs in the same arena.

Potency: 8.8/10
Value: 7.5/10 ($32/3g)
Overall: 8.6/10

Super Enhanced Indo Gold X

SEI (Super Enhanced Indo) Gold X is something of a more mild version of UEI, with stronger sedative properties. This is a great incense to burn before nodding off. The aroma is relaxing, effectively relieves tension and sets the mind at ease.

Potency: 8.7/10
Value: 8.1/10 ($22/3g)
Overall: 8.7/10

Maeng Da X

Although MDX is the cheapest of the bunch in this particular review, it is in my opinion the strongest overall (value considered as well). Naturally, everyone will have a different interpretation, but this strain comes highly recommended.

What is Maeng Da X exactly? HC states that it is "our own in-house ultra enhanced leaf. It is a 90% maeng da alkaloid extract powder used to enhance our authentic maeng da Thai PL. It is highly enhanced (over 60/40 X to PL) giving it a potent, balanced & long lasting  essence at minimal quantities.

Potency: 8.7/10
Value: 8.8/10
Overall: 8.8/10 ($30/6g).

If anything can be gathered from this review, it should be that Herbal Cafe provides some top notch products with top notch presentation, albeit at a lofty price.

Don't let the prices stop you though: according to the owner, Jan, regulars get a "10% discount after their first order and we do higher percentage specials quite often through mailers; I also send lots of extras with every order."

This review also comes with a bit of good news: Herbal Cafe is offering 20% off to SGG readers! Simply type in the coupon code SGG20 at checkout and see what the hype is about without shelling out too much cash.

Samples generously provided by Herbal Cafe

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