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Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

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  #1  
Old October 21st, 2008, 01:03 PM
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Default Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

I have seen a bunch of Herbal Shisha in the stores around here. What is it? Is it any good at all? What is the point of it? If you have tried any good ones what were they?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

I have been told that they are not very good. There were a few flavors that were tolerable but mostly they were avoid avoid avoid. But they seem to be popular enough around here that it is about all that is carried in some stores.
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  #3  
Old October 21st, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

I stay away from the stuff. I've only tried Soex and it was horrible. There might be some other brands that are not as bad. I smoke because of the social experience with friends and to get the buzz, so there is no point, for me, in smoking something that is sub-par flavor wise and gives no buzz.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

Saalaam or nothing!
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  #5  
Old October 21st, 2008, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

I have had High Life, Black Label and Soex and all of them are absolutely horrible although I have been told that BL has been improved lately. Since there is no reason to think that smoking crush sugar cane, flavourings and and glycerin is any safer then smoking tobacco flavourings and and glycerin it seems to me that you ought to smoke what ever tastes best and that is tobacco.
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  #6  
Old October 21st, 2008, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

My philosophy with Cigars was whatever tastes best to me. Usually that is premium cigars. So usually it is pretty rare that I have one. My Pipe isn't so much a premium thing as I don't like flavored tobacco. I think it goes back to a bad experience with a wood pipe and vanilla and a few days of feeling really sick. So with my pipe it is more does it smell good and I only smoke in a meerschaum except when I am smoking one my Father-In-Law gave me or rather "sold" my wife to give to me. I haven't tried un-flavored Shisha tobacco yet but it seems to me that the whole mixing with honey or molasses lends itself to flavoring and therefore I don't see why I will be all that traditional along those lines. I may think differently if I ever try it. Herbal doesn't sound like it would make sense. I just wonder if you guys have experience with it very much because it seems to be all over the place here. I have been warned about it but wanted to get a few more opinions.
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  #7  
Old October 21st, 2008, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

So called "Herbal" moassel has nothing herbal about it.

As to tradition keep in mind that narghile smoking is not the same as Occidental style pipes. Personally, I hate flavour casings used with drystyle dry pipe tobacco.

narghile smoking until farily recently in historical terms has meant smoking tombac which has no honey/molasses or glycerin. You can try it if you wish but it is very different then Western style tobacco and it is an aquired taste. I like it but it's not for everyone.

What we commonly concider to be narghile style tobacco for past 130 years or so uses molasses as an agglutinant and often has herbs and spices but no fruit/drink/candy type flavourings added. When you smoke this style of tobacco (which can be either a moassel, tobamel or jurak depending on how it is made) you don't literally burn the tobacco but instead vaporize the liquid content off of it using indirect heat. What you taste is a mixture of the tobaccos, molasses and herbs used.

The fruit/candy/drink flavoured style moassel is a recent development that has been around less then 30 years.
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  #8  
Old October 21st, 2008, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

I forgot to add that if you want to try unflavoured or black style moassel you don't have very many options in the U.S. You can get Salloum Plain, Nakhla Zaghloul, Desi Merli Plain and Hookah-Hookah Cavendish. The last is the easiest for a beginer as you just set it up normally and it's not as rich and heavy in taste and texture as the others.
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  #9  
Old October 21st, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
So called "Herbal" moassel has nothing herbal about it.

As to tradition keep in mind that narghile smoking is not the same as Occidental style pipes. Personally, I hate flavour casings used with drystyle dry pipe tobacco.

narghile smoking until farily recently in historical terms has meant smoking tombac which has no honey/molasses or glycerin. You can try it if you wish but it is very different then Western style tobacco and it is an aquired taste. I like it but it's not for everyone.

What we commonly concider to be narghile style tobacco for past 130 years or so uses molasses as an agglutinant and often has herbs and spices but no fruit/drink/candy type flavourings added. When you smoke this style of tobacco (which can be either a moassel, tobamel or jurak depending on how it is made) you don't literally burn the tobacco but instead vaporize the liquid content off of it using indirect heat. What you taste is a mixture of the tobaccos, molasses and herbs used.

The fruit/candy/drink flavoured style moassel is a recent development that has been around less then 30 years.
So with the historical type were those direct burn like a pipe or were they indirect heat as well? 130 years is good enough and while flavorings weren't so much added except for spices I gotta say i see how it got there. I am sure the stuff now would be an abomination 130 years ago. Still for me personally it would be much more appealing. Though I am intrigued by the more traditional methods. Herbal just doesn't sound right to me.

I guess the pre 130 years ago stuff goes as far back as tobacco being introduced to Europe?
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  #10  
Old October 21st, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

When you smoke tombac (a dried, block of cured tobacco) you soak it in water and squeeze out the excess moisture before smoking. You apply the coals directly to the tobacco (no foil) as you smoke it through your narghile so although it's filter via the water it's not indirect heat. In much of the rural Arabic, Iranian and Turkic world that is way tobacco is typically consumed. The black and spiced style moassels and tobamels are still common in rural areas but they are loosing ground commerically to the bigger, more modern style fruit enhaced type products.

You're right that the modern stuff is basically hated by the old school smokers. As to when the balck and spiced style stuff started I can't say as the Turks, Iranians, Syrians and Egyptians all claim to have made the first commerically produced moassel. Personally I think it was the Turks but that is just my opinion.

Anyway, outside of the stuff I already mentioned I you can't really get any traditional type stuff in the states. However, I can get a friend of mine to post you a a sample or two of some old fashioned black or spiced moassels and a bit of tombac as well. Just shoot me a PM with your contact info.
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  #11  
Old October 21st, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

I've heard mixed results about herbal shisha. People seem to recommend it for scenarios where they may have friends who want to smoke, but who don't want to worry about getting addicted to nicotine.

I've heard the most negative things about Soex, less so about Black Label, and even less so about Saalaam. I've never heard of High Life before today, so no reviews have filtered my way.

If you want a bunch of opinions, though, go to the reviews section of the forums, or else just type in "herbal shisha" and a bunch of threads will come up.
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  #12  
Old October 21st, 2008, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Herbal Shisha - Your thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
I forgot to add that if you want to try unflavoured or black style moassel you don't have very many options in the U.S. You can get Salloum Plain, Nakhla Zaghloul, Desi Merli Plain and Hookah-Hookah Cavendish. The last is the easiest for a beginer as you just set it up normally and it's not as rich and heavy in taste and texture as the others.
and I can supply you with Nakhla Qass, Nakhla El Bata, Nakhla Zaghloul or Nakhla Khan El Khalili ..... in exchange for some US-exclusive tobacco like SB or Fusion
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