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Blending Tombac

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  #1  
Old December 30th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Blending Tombac

Blending Tombac

A pretty neat thing happened recently when I went into the city that I figured I’d write about here. As I was putting a bunch of groceries into my sidecar I saw a kid about 14 wearing an Antidote t-shirt which totally surprised me. For those of you under 40 Antidote was a totally bad ass straight edge/vegan hardcore band from New York City during the early/mid 80s. Needles to say I went and talked to the kid and found out that apparently a lot kids are into old school hardcore which is pretty wild. After a few minutes his older brother saunters up wearing a Minor Threat t-shirt , they were a great straight edge hardcore band from D.C. during the early/mid 80, and carrying a narghile in a case. The little kid took off and the big brother and I started talking about moassel stuff. Since the poor kid had only smoked typical fruity stuff and since we were near a little café run by a Turkmen family I decided to treat my new friend to lunch and a smoke.

When we went in we had a pleasant lunch and were walking towards the back room reserved for male smokers when a girl that works there named Elif that works there stopped me to introduce us to her grandfather who came in from Ashgabat. We chatted a bit and he offered to show me how to prepare tombac “the old Turkman way.”

Basically, what he did is soaked equal amounts of what he calls “bright” (light, golden coloured) tombac with what called “Jordanian or Iranian blackened” tombac in two different bowls for about 10 minutes. He then took the soaked tombac, stripped out the stems and mixed it with some flake style Oriental pipe tobacco he mixed with some molasses and let sit over night in the fridge. Next, he mixed the 3 together in equal parts and drizzled on some more molasses and mixed everything. Finally he baked it in an oven at a low temp (I could pick up the plate with just a napkin) for about 20 minutes.

I said something like “why not just have one type of tombac that you squeeze out the liquid from and smoke it” and the old gent replied “that is way you smoke when you are poor and suffering. This way of smoking makes you glad to be living.”

The mixture is then placed in a tombac type bowl ( a wide, shallow bowl for smoking tombac in see http://s281.photobucket.com/albums/kk230/HFlettner/ for an example) which was covered with a metal screen like you see on a screen door. He then filled the base with a mixture of water and rose syrup. Finally he got out a massive leather hose with a very wide mouth piece made of vulcanite (just like a pipe mouth piece) and placed the coals on the screen.

And we spent a very pleasant hour chatting, drinking coffee and smoking. The flavour of the mixture was simply an amazing mix of floral, spices and sweet tones. Like nothing I’ve ever tried before. What is so great about this sorting of mixture is that anyone can do this at home and everything can be bought easily in the U.S. save the hose and bowl although I bet that vortex bowl and a Namour hose will work almost as well.

I hope some of you guys this delightful practice a try.
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  #2  
Old December 30th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

thats great hopefully i'll be able to try that later on when i have all the neccesary ingredients
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  #3  
Old December 30th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

awesome story! thanks for sharing
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  #4  
Old December 31st, 2008, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Anyone wanting to try smoking this sort of mixture can get both sorts of tombac here: http://www.hookahcompany.com/traditi...cco_42_ctg.htm . Using your favorite Oriental pipe and molasses is easy enough but remember when you mix the ingredients together to wet your fingers first and to not squeeze the tombac out after soaking. It seems that the oven temperature should about 225-250F.

Unfortunately you can't tombac bowls or hoses in the states but I guess experimenting with what you have can't hurt and who know but that it make work just fine. I know I've gotten great results with my namour hose but I have a tombac bowl so.....

The rose syrup can be gotten here: http://www.localharvest.org/wild-rose-syrup-C4207 although a lot of other good suppliers carry it. Any local market that caters to Indians, Pakistanis, Turks, Persains or Arabs will probably carry it.

As to how to smoke it i'd say it should be smoked like DM or any other strong, unwashed product.
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  #5  
Old December 31st, 2008, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Wow, sounds great. One day I'm gonna have to try some tombac myself... getting real sick of candy flavors.
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  #6  
Old December 31st, 2008, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Damn thanks hajo, i'm going to have to bookmark this for the future...if i ever do this i'll have to post results!
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  #7  
Old December 31st, 2008, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Sound amazing. Thanks for sharing. I will get interested enough to try this out eventually.
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  #8  
Old January 1st, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

I am glad to see that a few HPers are interested in giving this great concoction a try. Fruity stuff is fine as a diversion but it gets old quickly in my opinion.

I've found by fiddling about that a 4 or 5 parts water to 1 part rose syrup gives a great addition to the taste of the tombac at a reasonable cost. I have also found that you can do the same with Linden or Carraway syrup without overwhelming the taste of the tombac.

Happy new year to everyone.
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  #9  
Old January 1st, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

thats how my iranian uncle smokes his hookah
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  #10  
Old January 1st, 2009, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

very interesting, i think this new year i will have to experiment with some unusual hookah mixes like this (well at least unusual in the states) and making my own shisha

thanks for the info and story
-matt
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  #11  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

PP730, The Iranians have lots of amazing moassels, juraks and tombacs and it's a bummer that they only export to a few Arabic countries when they export at all.

So Ihope to see a few of you guys ring in the new year by enjoying some other then fruity/candy/drink style smokes.
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  #12  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
So Ihope to see a few of you guys ring in the new year by enjoying some other then fruity/candy/drink style smokes.
I was SO looking forward to doing just that, making a big hookah order with some Zaghloul, Havana pipe, and Desi Merli to get a true hookah smoking experience, i feel like i've been missing out... but this got delayed for a bit, because i now have a parking ticket to pay (dammitttttt!) so my fruity/candy flavors i'll have to make due with for just a few more paychecks :P but i'm definitely excited to try some of the more traditional-like stuff out. Traditional tombac is still a little intimidating, i'm getting there haha.

But i always find your posts interesting Hajo, thanks for sharing the story, that's what i love about hookah is that even the people who seem to know all there is to know about this little smoking device can still learn new things about it at any time.
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  #13  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Fabulous Story Hajo! I was expecting to read that the older Tombac guy would be wearing a Fugazi shirt! Keep'em rollin!
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  #14  
Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

would that kind of mix work ok with foil and something like a mod bowl you think Hajo? i know you were saying that its basically a make do with what you have but do you think there would be anything really off with trying that?

also is there a certain type of molasses that is usually used (first, second, or black strap, not sure if it really matters that much when it comes to smoking it)

-matt

Last edited by mattathayde; January 2nd, 2009 at 05:05 PM.
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  #15  
Old January 3rd, 2009, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

I think black strap is used because it's un-sulfured, but I could be mistaken.
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  #16  
Old January 3rd, 2009, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Thanks for all the kind comments guys. I've been lucky insofar as meeting amazing people goes and having wild things happen out of the blue.

Gift3d, one thing i've found is that despite my age and many years of smoking I always am running into people that know a lot more about narghile stuff then I do and that makes the whole subject even more intriguing. I Certainly agree that fruity stuff has lost it's appeal to me and these days is just an occassional choice.

kingboyb, I laughed when I saw your comment about the Fugazi t-shirt because yeah, it's a trip to meet people into old HC stuff out here. The old gent is actually super conservative socially and he doesn't like any sort of heavy music (he calls it "the sounds of braying asses") but he a great guy nonetheless.

mattathayde, when I smoke this way I use foil and either my tombac bowl, funnel & mod or vortex. I think I have a mod style bowl somewhere but I never use it. Think that the problem is that normal style bowls (mods, egyptian, syrian etc.) drip the liquid down the stem. If you use a normal style bowl i'd suggest putting a few bits of straw over the holes so as to reduce the driping and leave the mixture in the over for an extra few minutes.

The molasses used in this sort of thing is always black strap style because it gives a much richer flavour and is thought of as giving a smoker smoke with less likelihood of being scotched then honey or light style molasses.
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  #17  
Old February 10th, 2009, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

In reading this post it really makes me value this community even more. To have the opportunity to learn about different types of tobacco and styles of smoking is wonderful and really entices me to learn more and experience more tobaccos.
Hajo you are very blessed to have the opportunity to meet so many people of different ages and backgrounds. The stories you could tell! To spend an afternoon drinking coffee and smoking with you and hearing of your travels would be a true pleasure.
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  #18  
Old February 10th, 2009, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
Blending Tombac

A pretty neat thing happened recently when I went into the city that I figured I’d write about here. As I was putting a bunch of groceries into my sidecar I saw a kid about 14 wearing an Antidote t-shirt which totally surprised me. For those of you under 40 Antidote was a totally bad ass straight edge/vegan hardcore band from New York City during the early/mid 80s. Needles to say I went and talked to the kid and found out that apparently a lot kids are into old school hardcore which is pretty wild. After a few minutes his older brother saunters up wearing a Minor Threat t-shirt , they were a great straight edge hardcore band from D.C. during the early/mid 80, and carrying a narghile in a case. The little kid took off and the big brother and I started talking about moassel stuff. Since the poor kid had only smoked typical fruity stuff and since we were near a little café run by a Turkmen family I decided to treat my new friend to lunch and a smoke.

When we went in we had a pleasant lunch and were walking towards the back room reserved for male smokers when a girl that works there named Elif that works there stopped me to introduce us to her grandfather who came in from Ashgabat. We chatted a bit and he offered to show me how to prepare tombac “the old Turkman way.”

Basically, what he did is soaked equal amounts of what he calls “bright” (light, golden coloured) tombac with what called “Jordanian or Iranian blackened” tombac in two different bowls for about 10 minutes. He then took the soaked tombac, stripped out the stems and mixed it with some flake style Oriental pipe tobacco he mixed with some molasses and let sit over night in the fridge. Next, he mixed the 3 together in equal parts and drizzled on some more molasses and mixed everything. Finally he baked it in an oven at a low temp (I could pick up the plate with just a napkin) for about 20 minutes.

I said something like “why not just have one type of tombac that you squeeze out the liquid from and smoke it” and the old gent replied “that is way you smoke when you are poor and suffering. This way of smoking makes you glad to be living.”

The mixture is then placed in a tombac type bowl ( a wide, shallow bowl for smoking tombac in see http://s281.photobucket.com/albums/kk230/HFlettner/ for an example) which was covered with a metal screen like you see on a screen door. He then filled the base with a mixture of water and rose syrup. Finally he got out a massive leather hose with a very wide mouth piece made of vulcanite (just like a pipe mouth piece) and placed the coals on the screen.

And we spent a very pleasant hour chatting, drinking coffee and smoking. The flavour of the mixture was simply an amazing mix of floral, spices and sweet tones. Like nothing I’ve ever tried before. What is so great about this sorting of mixture is that anyone can do this at home and everything can be bought easily in the U.S. save the hose and bowl although I bet that vortex bowl and a Namour hose will work almost as well.

I hope some of you guys this delightful practice a try.
This is a really interesting story!!
i im gonna give this a try sometime soon because i am groing sick of sweet artifical flaviors!
would a phunnel bowl work for this or is that way off??
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  #19  
Old February 11th, 2009, 05:22 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGPOPPA View Post
In reading this post it really makes me value this community even more. To have the opportunity to learn about different types of tobacco and styles of smoking is wonderful and really entices me to learn more and experience more tobaccos.
Hajo you are very blessed to have the opportunity to meet so many people of different ages and backgrounds. The stories you could tell! To spend an afternoon drinking coffee and smoking with you and hearing of your travels would be a true pleasure.
Thanks for the kind words poppa. I suppose I am pretty lucky to get to meet the people I do and travel to the places I go and certainly i'd enjoy things a lot less without the tobacco element. As to stories, yeah I got a mountain of them and some are pretty funny/weird/scary. I can't recall if I wrote about the time I smoked with a bunch of Spetsnaz but that was pretty wild.

One great thing about tobacco is the lore behind it. It's a lot like brewing ale in that the history and culture incredibly rich and complicated.
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  #20  
Old February 11th, 2009, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Quote:
Originally Posted by rileynason View Post
This is a really interesting story!!
i im gonna give this a try sometime soon because i am groing sick of sweet artifical flaviors!
would a phunnel bowl work for this or is that way off??
I'd love to see more people take a break from the sugary/fruity type flavours and learn enjoy smoking tobacco for the flavours an textures that nothing can can provide.

When I smoke Black style moassels which are easier to get then straight tombac I always use a funnel with a mod, a vortex or a super chief. I've never had any luck with other style bowls.
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  #21  
Old February 12th, 2009, 04:36 AM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

I have really wanted to try some good tombac. I found some at a local shop but it didn't smoke right, probably my fault. I have really wanted to try some Desi too, but haven't seen it sold by the vendors I usually go through.

Side note: Fuck yeah, Antidote. Fuck yeah, Minor Threat. 90% of what I listen to is mid 80's - early 90's edge hardcore. Love me some Judge too.
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  #22  
Old February 12th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

I have 250g of zaghoul, I just didnt know how to smoke it until I read this. Thanks for posting.
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  #23  
Old February 12th, 2009, 04:22 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchard View Post
I have really wanted to try some good tombac. I found some at a local shop but it didn't smoke right, probably my fault. I have really wanted to try some Desi too, but haven't seen it sold by the vendors I usually go through.

Side note: Fuck yeah, Antidote. Fuck yeah, Minor Threat. 90% of what I listen to is mid 80's - early 90's edge hardcore. Love me some Judge too.
Tombac is available from hookahcompany.com, but they don't have a great selection, and local Arabic and Indian grocery stores. Setup is very different then the normal stuff most people in the states smoke but if you want I can describe the simple method to do it. Also, a few thread are here on the subject so check out the search funtion.

It's great to run into someone that knows about real hard core since there is only a few of us here at HP. I am huge fan of the old DC stuff the later stuff on the Revelation/Schism labels like Judge, Breakdown and Project X. The stuff is way to PC and just flat out sucks.
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  #24  
Old February 12th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sport City View Post
I have 250g of zaghoul, I just didnt know how to smoke it until I read this. Thanks for posting.
Zaghloul is a bit different then tombac which is totally dried bricks of tobacco. Zaghloul is really good stuff but it takes a little bit of effort to smoke it right. See: http://www.hookah-life.com/events_6.htm for some info on that sort of thing.
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  #25  
Old February 12th, 2009, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Blending Tombac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner View Post
Zaghloul is a bit different then tombac which is totally dried bricks of tobacco. Zaghloul is really good stuff but it takes a little bit of effort to smoke it right. See: http://www.hookah-life.com/events_6.htm for some info on that sort of thing.
i honestly didnt find the black style stuff to be very hard to smoke (kass super from nakhla) maybe im missing the flavor i should be getting but it seems fine to me, i will have to find a knowledgeable middle easterner to try it and tell me if i am wasting my tobacco or not. the black style stuff is interesting no doubt but for sure not for everyone and not an everyday smoke for me

-matt
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