What do you call a hookah with no flavor? Pointless.
It’s not a joke. (Not a good one anyway) It can happen and it can happen to you or someone you love. While blowing clouds and doing smoke tricks is fun, hookah is supposed to be about flavor. If you have carefully set up your hookah only to be greeted by smoke that tastes like nothing but air I have some possible solutions for you.
Ditch the Ice
If you are using ice in the vase, an ice chamber or some other device to cool your smoke I suggest you don’t. Colder smoke mutes flavors so just use room temperature water and don’t worry about getting the coldest possible smoke. If you are using ice to try and reduce harshness I suggest you take a look at my post on solving harsh smoke. Cooling the smoke is like putting a bandage on a bullet wound. You can’t see the hole but you’re still going to die. That’s not a very good simile, it’s a bit hyperbolic, but you get the point.
Smoke Better Tobacco
There are some brands and flavors on the market that are almost entirely flavorless. Not to point too many fingers but Epic is notoriously flavorless. Avoid it. Try switching out the tobacco for something known to have a strong flavor. Nakhla Sweet Melon is a flavor bomb. If you aren’t getting any flavor from Nakhla Sweet Melon then either you got a counterfeit box or your taste buds are broken. Every brand has at least one flavor that is kind of a flavor dud but Nakhla consists mostly of flavor explosions. Earl Grey, Cinnamon, rose, Mizo Watermelon and Double Apple will all rock your socks off. Tangiers has some really pungent Floral and spice flavors too. Stick to the Lucid line unless you are a very seasoned smoker. Try something new and see if the tobacco is just flavorless to begin with.
I know this seems like a silly thing to suggest on a hookah blog but bear with me.
- Cigarettes ruin your senses of taste and smell. It can recover, but if you smoke cigarettes you are going to have trouble getting the most out of your hookah session. This is just good advice in general. I’m a tobacco geek. I have too many hookahs, pounds of tobacco and more cigars than many of you may ever see. I can’t stand cigarettes. They aren’t tobacco. They’re junk. If you want to smoke, smoke real tobacco you are going to enjoy.
- Take a break from hookah. Sometimes you may find yourself just smoking hookah out of habit and not really enjoying the flavor. Maybe the flavor seems weak or just cloying. Take a week long break and give it another try. You make be burning your taste buds out and making yourself sick of hookah. After a break you may come back with renewed appreciation for flavors you found too sweet or boring. Also, your lungs can always benefit from a few days of fresh air.
If you don’t taste any flavor after trying these solutions and setting up a bowl of Sweet Melon, I suggest finding a shaman. Your olfactory bulb has been cursed by an evil spirit.