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Confusion with Hookah Taste

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  #1  
Old October 10th, 2009, 04:23 AM
mali2609
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Default Confusion with Hookah Taste

Hello everyone, I've got a question or two about the taste I get while smoking my hookah. But first, a little back story to help understand my issue here.

I'm not a first time hookah user, I've been smoking for about 3 years now on a few seperate hookahs. I live in a small town where the only means of shisha is Al-Waha brand and round Mera coals.

The first hookah I used I bought from a friend and it smoked wonderfully. Very rich taste, nice thick smoke - it was great. Over time I noticed the flavors started to wane and decided it was time to pick up a new hookah. I bought a small one hose from my local shop only to find it smoked very poorly and went back to my first one.

Just recently I purchased a brand new hookah, and I made sure it was secure - no holes in the solder joints or anything. I brought it home and loaded up some expensive shisha I was sold. Deja Vu Double Apple (double apple being a favorite of mine). I found the first smoke to be insanely harsh and found a foul black licorice taste to be the only flavor i could pull. I quickly gave up on the double apple and packed a bowl of Al-Waha Nectarine flavor. It had no harsh taste, but could I barely taste the shisha - just a hint of it. But - the smoke was smooth and thick - but insanely tasteless, like I was smoking my coal.

I then hit forums and videos to see what i was doing wrong. I watched some of Sambooka's videos on youtube, to find i was packing my bowl incorrectly all along. I started breaking up and sprinkling up the shisha into the bowl - doubled up on tin foil to prevent the shisha from burning in case that was the problem. Still no dice - tasteless thick smoke.

Before being properly educated, I carelessly packed the shisha tight in the bowl and plopped the round self igniting coals right in the middle and pulled in loads of flavor. As of recent, I feel like I'm doing everything right in the set up but still pull absolutely no flavor. I would consider needing to clean it - but the hookah is brand new.

Sorry for the insanely long post, but I wanted to know if anyone could help me with my problem. I used to thoroughly enjoy smoking hookah, but now I find it to be a lost cause before I even pack the ceramic. Could this be caused by the round coals? Maybe the shisha I was sold was already bad, if that's possible? It smells very good, but absolutely no flavor.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
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  #2  
Old October 10th, 2009, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

Hm, seems like a tough one. The only things I can think of are:

Water level in the base: If it is too high the water may be absorbing the flavor of the smoke.

Shisha: Definately check the production date on your shisha, the smell can last for ever but the actual quality goes down hill fast after about 6 months.

Bowl type: not sure what kind of ceramic bowl you are using but some of them can absorb flavors in the un-polished/painted areas. Also keep in mind that a bowl that pulls through the tobacco will generally always give more flavor. Example comparison between a Phunnel and a vortex.

Hose: I dont think this could be it but its worth a quick look to see if your hose has been sucking up the flavors, this can be possible by an obstruction that lets air pass but filters the flavor our.

Hope some of these helped, try and post up some pics of your new/old hookahs, the eyes are the best things to see with :P
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Last edited by Sui; October 10th, 2009 at 05:55 AM.
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  #3  
Old October 10th, 2009, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

After buying your new pipe did you clean the stem ouut really well?

I know most pipes have a metal polish residue in the stem that will destroy flavors.
I have never had a problem with not getting
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  #4  
Old October 10th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
After buying your new pipe did you clean the stem ouut really well?

I know most pipes have a metal polish residue in the stem that will destroy flavors.
I have never had a problem with not getting
I agree with this and I'll add that you need to clean your hookah after every smoke. Quicklight coals can also ruin flavor.
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  #5  
Old October 10th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

Try some Nakhla might do the trick
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  #6  
Old October 10th, 2009, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

Are you a cigarette smoker? That can destroy your senses of flavor and scent. A lot of hookah flavors are very light and if your senses are dulled it will entirely disappear.

I don't know Deja Vu. I am not entirely sure about it's quality but from what you said it seems to suffer from the same issues with double apple that a lot of modern style tobaccos do with double apple.

Al-waha is not exactly touted for it's striking flavors and high quality.

I suggest changing out the tobacco you use. The bowl should be fine. You will get the same flavor from a funnel as you do from an Egyptian.
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  #7  
Old October 10th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

double apple is supposed to have a licorice flavor man

also i notice that if i dont clean thoroughly my hookah doesnt have a clean enough taste

also, try using better quality tobaccos, al waha isnt the best, im not familiar w/ deja vu, but try other brands, crap try starbuzz 100g even, its overpriced but strong in flavor

try using naturals

and yes, the water level is important.

try using a tighter gauged hose, seriously, flavor comes out better for me with them
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  #8  
Old October 10th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

You may feel retarded doing it, but try an inhale directly from the hose port. The flavor seems so much more intense without a hose IMO.
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  #9  
Old October 10th, 2009, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

i had this same problem for a while, but as soon as i gave my hookah a nice deep cleaning i found there was a huge blockage in it. and also i agree with photo that a smaller gauged hose will give u better flavor. i just picked up an AF healthy and i get good flavor but not as big clouds.
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  #10  
Old October 10th, 2009, 02:28 PM
mali2609
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

Thank you all so much for advice - I will try adjusting the water level and a more thorough cleaning procedure. I will post the results once the deed is done!
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  #11  
Old October 10th, 2009, 02:40 PM
JillyIsJustKidding
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

O also! Do you mix with shisha to evenly distribute the juices in the tobacco?

Because the juices carry the flavor so if you don't, that could be one of the reasons why you aren't getting much flavor when you smoke :P
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  #12  
Old October 10th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

I had the exact, exact, exact, start to hookah as you. NO flavor, huge clouds, no flavor. Cleaned as much as I could and over-engineered the leak checks. It all helped a smidge, brought some flavor, but not to the level I remembered it from lounges. In fact, by HP standards, pathetic.

So what fixed it? I found out my heat management stunk, or was non-existant . I added coals and windcover combinations until I got the shisha to burn, yep, on purpose. I then dialed back heat until I found the sweet spot and the flavor. Once I found the optimal heat and pack for one shisha, I moved to another brand/type and started working there. Then I found this forum and the work that so many before me have shared here.

My guess is fix your heat, work your packing, master one shisha before trying to work several brands at once, causing more confusion. Move to the next when ready
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  #13  
Old October 10th, 2009, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Confusion with Hookah Taste

Crappy poop flavor and smell from hose and hookah = cleaning time.

No flavor but full smoke = New tobacco

No flavor and no smoke = better heat management, or leakage.

Burned and acrid tasting at all times = you are using QL coals and should stop immediately
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