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tobacco leaf???

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  #1  
Old January 13th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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Default tobacco leaf???

Ok so there is one aspect of Shisha tobacco that we don't seem to talk much about. With the flavorings and all that I suppose it takes a back seat but I wonder a few things about it. Shisha tobacco has a tobacco leaf in it that is one of the main ingredients. The idea is to get the flavors that are added across but in actuality the tobacco comes through to a certain degree as well. Not the same way and not the same extent. My question is how important is the type and quality of the leaf? Is Virginia typical or is that unique to Al Fakher? Has anyone else noticed the subtle difference in tobacco used?

One of the first comments my wife made when we started branching out was the flavors of Al Fakher seems better but she didn't like the flavor of the tobacco itself as much as Nakhla. I can't put such a fine pin point on it but I like Nakhla better in general but to me it may be because I seem to get more of the tobacco flavor and the flavorings just kind of enhance it for me. We always talk about clouds, and buzz, and flavorings but how about the tobacco itself. Thoughts?

For the record I would probably be in heaven if I could get some of the Al Fakher flavors with the Nakhla tobacco but then that may be more of a difference in process or the fact that Nakhla is a bit dryer.
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  #2  
Old January 13th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

great topic as for the Virginia tobacco used in AF i dont think its unique to them because all the SB i have says Virginia tobacco, Nakhla isnt an American brand so they might use a different tobacco, it could also be that Nakhla is unwashed.
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  #3  
Old January 13th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Nakhla uses a blend of tobacco varieties but the main one i think is Nicotiana rustica. Virginia is the sweetest tobacco varietty around and the cheapest i think.
Virgian is golden leaf tobacco while rustica is barker and richer in flavour. It also contains about 10-20 times more nicotine. They also dont use glycerin in Nakhla which is why it doesnt have the soappy taste all the other brands have.

BTW: all the tobacco used in moassel is washed but others much less soaked. nicotiana is almost unsmokable without being washed.
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  #4  
Old January 13th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Al Fakher is made in UAE Virginia is a type of leaf that can be grown anywhere tobacco can grow. You know pretty much. Just interesting that the different tobaccos even if they are the same type but come from different farms or whatever give their own uniqueness to the smoke.
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  #5  
Old January 13th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Quote:
Originally Posted by shishaholiC View Post
Nakhla uses a blend of tobacco varieties but the main one i think is Nicotiana rustica. Virginia is the sweetest tobacco varietty around and the cheapest i think.
Virgian is golden leaf tobacco while rustica is barker and richer in flavour. It also contains about 10-20 times more nicotine. They also dont use glycerin in Nakhla which is why it doesnt have the soappy taste all the other brands have.

BTW: all the tobacco used in moassel is washed but others much less soaked. nicotiana is almost unsmokable without being washed.
Explains a lot actually.
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  #6  
Old January 13th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Virginia is also used in Fusion, and I think Sinbad.
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  #7  
Old January 13th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

So I guess the reason I like the tobacco flavor in Nakhla is because it uses a more complex blend where Al Fakher apparently just uses "the finest Virginia leaf"? Though AF seems to take or work with the flavorings better or maybe just being wetter helps.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Because Nakhla is unwashed you can taste a little more of the tobacco than washed varieties. Washing not only removes nicotine but it removes flavor as well.
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  #9  
Old January 13th, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Hmm I can taste plenty of the tobacco in just about all of them. Which is perfectly fine with me but it interests me because we find occasionally that there are flavors we don't like but we like the tobacco taste better but others we may like the flavor of but not the tobacco. Know what I mean. Like last night the Nakhla tobacco flavor was the main thing that let us keep going. The Banana wasn't terrible but it wasn't good but the tobacco was pretty good. The Al Fakher Grape had a great flavor but to me the tobacco flavor was like it was an after thought. Kind of like Nakhla put a lot of thought into the tobacco and then flavors it some I like some I don't but the base is good. Al Fakher seems like they start with the flavors and then just grab a leaf.
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  #10  
Old January 13th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Hookah Hookah uses virginia tobacco as well.
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  #11  
Old January 13th, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

theres no way nakhla uses rustica tobacco...lol youd be in a world of hurt if they did.

you also have to take into account the curing process used by different manufactures (or whoever they get their tobacco from). this is effect taste and nicotine content as well
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  #12  
Old January 13th, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
Ok so there is one aspect of Shisha tobacco that we don't seem to talk much about. With the flavorings and all that I suppose it takes a back seat but I wonder a few things about it. Shisha tobacco has a tobacco leaf in it that is one of the main ingredients. The idea is to get the flavors that are added across but in actuality the tobacco comes through to a certain degree as well. Not the same way and not the same extent. My question is how important is the type and quality of the leaf? Is Virginia typical or is that unique to Al Fakher? Has anyone else noticed the subtle difference in tobacco used?

One of the first comments my wife made when we started branching out was the flavors of Al Fakher seems better but she didn't like the flavor of the tobacco itself as much as Nakhla. I can't put such a fine pin point on it but I like Nakhla better in general but to me it may be because I seem to get more of the tobacco flavor and the flavorings just kind of enhance it for me. We always talk about clouds, and buzz, and flavorings but how about the tobacco itself. Thoughts?

For the record I would probably be in heaven if I could get some of the Al Fakher flavors with the Nakhla tobacco but then that may be more of a difference in process or the fact that Nakhla is a bit dryer.
In most Gulf and American brands of moassel the tobacco is chosen to be as mild as possible and then the leaves are washed so as to remove as much of the flavour as possible. In other words, most of what you can buy in the states is made with the goal of the tobacco giving as little flavour as possible. As a result, a great many brands use low grade tobaccos (irreguardless of the actual veriety) better suited to cigarettes.

Some brands (like Nahkla, Havana, Afzal, Tangiers & Salloum) wash the tobacco for less time and at lower tempratures (or even not wash at all) in order to preserve the flavour of the tobacco. However, the agglutinantion process all mass produced moassels go through do reduce the natural flavours of the tobacco.

Virginia leaf is the most common veriety of leaf used because it's very common, fairly inexpensive, very mild and familiar to nearly all ciggarette smokers. As a result, nearly all American and Gulf brands use Virginia leaf almost exclusively. Other verieties of tobacco used by comapnies like Nahkla, Havana, Afzal, Tangiers,Baja Salloum, Desi Merli and those not imported to the states use wide range of leaf native to Syria, Turkey, Iran, Central America and India in order to get destinctive tastes and burn charisterics you can't get from Virginian based strains.
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  #13  
Old January 13th, 2009, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Quote:
Originally Posted by shishaholiC View Post
Nakhla uses a blend of tobacco varieties but the main one i think is Nicotiana rustica. Virginia is the sweetest tobacco varietty around and the cheapest i think.
Virgian is golden leaf tobacco while rustica is barker and richer in flavour. It also contains about 10-20 times more nicotine. They also dont use glycerin in Nakhla which is why it doesnt have the soappy taste all the other brands have.

BTW: all the tobacco used in moassel is washed but others much less soaked. nicotiana is almost unsmokable without being washed.
As far as I know Rustica isn't used in any moassel. A couple of years back I talked with some big shot ast Nakhla and he said that they use a wide range of leaves (he wouldn't tell me what exactly) and that they use signifcant amounts of fire cured tobacco which is a curing method that results in a fairly robust flavour with higher amounts of nicotine then is often found inmoassel.
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  #14  
Old January 13th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Oh, we need to keep in mind that with a single species of tobacco a significant extent of variance exists in terms of taste depending on where it's grown and agricultural methods used which results in a wide range of quality "grades" so it would be a mistake to view all Latikia, Virginia, Smyrna etc as equal.

Also, a wide range of curing and fermentation methods exist which effect the flavour of tobacco dramatically. Further more, the cut of the tobacco effects burn and packing characteristics great as does the amount of stems. Stems have far more nicotine then the rest of the leaf (and roots more then either) while lacking the compounds that give natural tobacco flavour. For a smoother smooth with less nicotine carefully get rid of all the stems.
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  #15  
Old January 13th, 2009, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

I was actually told by an Egyptian guy that rustica is used in Nakhla (some percentage) but i dont think he had anything to do with The company of Nakhla. Anyway, i had no way not to believe him (i only smoke narguileh so i wouldnt be able to tell by the taste as an avid cigar smoker would).
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  #16  
Old January 13th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

rustica can have up to 20 times the nicotine as regular tobacco we use. it makes you trip out.
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  #17  
Old January 13th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

According to the head of Sales and Marketing at Nakhla which I spoke to in person, Nakhla uses Virginia tobacco in all their lines.
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  #18  
Old January 13th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Wow ok so this exploded. Interesting. Am I the only one that notices the difference in the tobacco flavors? Oh sure it is more underlying than if you had a flavored pipe tobacco but you can definitely tell that there is a difference in the flavor of the leaves the different brands use. It may have to do with location and all that and they all use the same thing but it seems different. The main difference we notice is between Nakhla and Al Fakher cause those are the ones we smoke more. We had a different one that I don't remember the name off hand but it tasted like it used cigarette leaves. Loved the flavor hated the tobacco of that one. The other two don't usually taste like cigarette quality tobacco but it just seems that Nakhla uses better tasting tobacco to me. I just wonder how much variation there is between the brands because the tobacco undertones can be quite varied and you really do get the flavor. The goal may be to get less of it but it definitely comes through.
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  #19  
Old January 13th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Its almost impossible to be virginia tobacco. Its too dark to be. Virginia is golden brown (like starbuzz or cigarette tobacco) leaved while Nakhla is much darker
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  #20  
Old January 13th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Quote:
Originally Posted by shishaholiC View Post
Its almost impossible to be virginia tobacco. Its too dark to be. Virginia is golden brown (like starbuzz or cigarette tobacco) leaved while Nakhla is much darker
Because they add black sugarcane molasses to it ... hence the dark color
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  #21  
Old January 13th, 2009, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

But even if you wash Nakhla out with water its not the golden type leaf...
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  #22  
Old January 13th, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Quote:
Originally Posted by shishaholiC View Post
But even if you wash Nakhla out with water its not the golden type leaf...
Black sugarcane molasses stains the leaves. It is a very tough stain to remove, given that they use high concentration molasses and dip the tobacco in it for long, long long time
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  #23  
Old January 13th, 2009, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
Wow ok so this exploded..
Great topic! I'm new to hookah, but I'm not new to tobacco by any means, and this subject is of great interest to me. I see it being similar to cigars, there's a lot of variation, some not so good, some spectacular (like a really awesome cigar will have certain chocolately, creamy flavors, etc.)

I have to agree that starting with a *good* base tobacco is the best place to start with trying shisha tobacco. Added flavors can enhance that base (or in some cases ruin it) but no flavors are gonna make a bad tobacco taste good (can't polish a turd.)
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  #24  
Old January 13th, 2009, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Egyptian View Post
According to the head of Sales and Marketing at Nakhla which I spoke to in person, Nakhla uses Virginia tobacco in all their lines.
I've got the email still (I think) where the products development guy from Nakhla talked a little about it. Basically her said that everything they make has some Virginian leaf but that the actual blends used are propitiatory but include various Turkish and Syrian seeded varieties gown in Egypt. I'll see if I can find the note when I get a little more time.
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  #25  
Old January 13th, 2009, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: tobacco leaf???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
Wow ok so this exploded. Interesting. Am I the only one that notices the difference in the tobacco flavors? Oh sure it is more underlying than if you had a flavored pipe tobacco but you can definitely tell that there is a difference in the flavor of the leaves the different brands use. It may have to do with location and all that and they all use the same thing but it seems different. The main difference we notice is between Nakhla and Al Fakher cause those are the ones we smoke more. We had a different one that I don't remember the name off hand but it tasted like it used cigarette leaves. Loved the flavor hated the tobacco of that one. The other two don't usually taste like cigarette quality tobacco but it just seems that Nakhla uses better tasting tobacco to me. I just wonder how much variation there is between the brands because the tobacco undertones can be quite varied and you really do get the flavor. The goal may be to get less of it but it definitely comes through.
I too am a huge fan of tobacco lore and I care a lot about what I smoke. Of course I smoked Western style pipes and handmade cigars for many years before discovering narghiles so that has something to do with it. Since I hate most of the American and Gulf brands I have gotten pretty used to better quality tobacco. Tobacco quality really comes through when you smoke stuff like Tangiers, Desi Merli, Salloum and stuff that is not as heavily washed.
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