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  1. [Brand] - [Flavor]: The King Shisha Apple

    Amount Purchased: Quarter pound (about 112g)

    How is it Packaged: In a very strong, resealable, branded black bag

    First Impression Smell: Real Granny Smith apple

    Shisha Feel: Wet and juicy, Might have some issues using a Minzari Crown

    Bowl: Both the Minzari Crown and a Funnel for testing purposes

    Foil: 2 layers of regular foil when using the funnel bowl

    Hookah: Social Smoke Izmir

    Hose: Mystique Ice Hose without the Ice Tips

    Wind Cover: Social Smoke tall when using the funnel bowl

    Type of Coals and Amount: 2 Ecocha coals

    Clouds: Dragon clouds

    Buzz: None

    Flavor: The best apple flavor and smell I’ve ever tried

    Overall Impression: you know, I start writing a blog post but then I get distracted by another good flavor from The King Brand and I loose track. Not to say that I have A.D.D. but, oh look something shiny. 

    This should be short and sweet; a rating of 10 all around. Good night folks and have a great week. 

    What? You want to know everything about it? well aren’t you a needy bunch!. 

    ok well here’s the review. If you need to know how good of an apple flavor it is, then go to your local grocery store and buy a green, Granny Smith apple and enjoy it because that’s the smell and flavor you will get when you load a bowl of The King Shisha apple flavor. 

    What? that’s not a review? well damn!.

    So in all seriousness, go eat a Granny Smith apple and you will know what you will get when you smoke The King Shisha apple flavor.

    The look and feel of the shisha is the same as all their other flavors, slivers of sugar cane and REAL fruit chunks. Now I’m not an expert but I think that having actual fruit in the shisha helps the flavor of the smoking session. 

    The shisha is wet enough that I can use my Minzari Crown without any issues, but only I don’t mix the shisha around with a spoon. When I mix it well from the bottom of the bag, the juices are a bit much to handle and it drips on the coals. So just like their pineapple flavor, this shisha is better smoked using a funnel bowl. 

    So a numeric value would be a perfect 10! This shisha lasts a very long time so as soon as I’m out I will make sure to order more, because honestly I think everybody should have this brand in their rotation. 

    If you want to get a taste of The King Shisha for your own reviews, you can email them at [email protected] and you can also visit them at wwwTheKingBrand.com 

  2. blog-0585488001430062472.jpgMazaya - Orange with Cream

    Amount Purchased: 250g

    How Packaged: Mazaya comes in a box, which contains a round cardboard container. In which there is a resealable bag, that has another bag inside of it similar to Nakhla. Too much packaging honestly but the resealable bag is a huge plus.

    First Impression Smell: Wow! This smells amazing. The perfect mix of orange and cream. Similar to the Fumari Orange Cream.

    Shisha Feel: Very, very moist. My fingers were down right soaked after packing this bowl. Cut evenly and with little to no stems was great.

    Hookah: Khalil Mamoon 1001 Nights Ice Double

    Bowl: Generic phunnel

    Foil: Reynold's Heavy Duty

    Wind Cover: Yes, used to regulate heat.

    Type of Coals and Amount: Starlight Natural Coconut, 2 coals.

    Clouds: The wetness of the shisha lets it smoke amazingly with thick billowing clouds.

    Buzz: The buzz is almost non-existent in my opinion. It contains only 0.05% Nicotine compared to Nakhla that has 0.5%

    Flavor: This is spot on to what it is trying to be. The orange is subtle and allows the cream to make a smooth relaxing flavor. Every hit until the last round of coals was fully flavored.

    Longevity: Holy cow! This shisha can last for quite a while. In my phunnel bowl it was easily able to go through 3 rounds of coals without losing flavor or volume of smoke.

    Overall Impression: 20/20 I believe this is one of the first flavors I have had that can get a perfect score. Everything about it was amazing. The flavor and smell were accurate with impressive clouds.
  3. blog-0396613001427395050.jpgHookah Ninjas are back with another review of a quickly growing accessory - the Kaloud Lotus (Heat Management System), and the Kaloud Samsaris (Silicone shisha bowl).

    Overview:

    I purchased the Lotus heat management system because I wanted something that I could use to maximize my hookah sessions, and that's exactly what this does! I get an average of 1-1/2 to 2 hours per session using only 2 Coco Nara coals (occasionally I'll add 1 more coal to increase the heat after an hour).

    The Samsaris bowl is a perfect compliment to the Lotus - I would even recommend the bowl over most traditional clay bowls. It fits perfectly into my need in trying to maximize my sessions. It holds 15-20 grams, and the flavor holds for 2+ hours!

    The Good:

    • Heat Management - I've used this 12-15 times now, and I've never had issues with harshness. This makes heat so very easy to manage - just simply give the top a 1/4 turn to open the chambers to cool, and 1/4 turn to close the chambers for more heat! It is ideal for inside or outside smoking. The Lotus acts like a built-in wind cover!
    • Taste - Since the coals are not sitting directly on top of the shisha (with only a thin layer of punctured foil separating ash from tobacco) you never get the ash taste, nor do you get the burning shihsa taste from heating up the top layer of the tobacco too quickly.
    • Handling - The Lotus has a very convenient rubber cover on the handle that is used to manage the heat. Since the bowl is made from silicone, it is always cool to the touch! This makes it much easier to handle the bowl post-session for take-down.
    • Aesthetics - Looks amazing! I have many different types of bowls, some exotic, some traditional, and this one by far gets the most compliments. It has a simple, yet futuristic look to it that really compliments any type off hookah size or style!
    • Functionality - I'm anal about my hookah gear purchases, so naturally I read a TON of reviews on this guy before purchasing. I was skeptical when reading that no grommets are required for the bowl to secure, so I was delightfully surprised when I tried it for the first time and it is a perfect fit! I tried it on my 16" hand-made chrome Egyptian hookah, my 20" Caravan, my 22" KM mini-beast, my 36" KM Blue Pear, and in every case - it fit perfectly and air tight. Very impressed.
    • Another major win is that I've tried a few different brands of coals to see if they would all fit in the chamber with the top on - and once again in every case, there were no issues. I've used Coco Nara coals, Fumari coals, Lavoo XL coals, and more! The only style coals I would forsee issues with is larger circular coals like Starbuzz Premium Instant Light coals.
    • Finally - it is important to note that this bowl/device is shisha-universal. I've had some bowls and setups where certain shisha brands did not work so well. This one can run them all perfectly from the wettest of wet to the finest of cuts. I've personally Tried Fumari, Al Fakher, Starbuzz, Fantasia, Haze, Social Smoke, and Tangiers with zero issues.

      The Bad:

      • Clean-up - I wouldn't say this is necessarily a bad thing, just that it isn't good. The Lotus sits pretty low on the Samsaris bowl, and this can cause it to touch the tobacco (depending on how you've packed it). After a full session, the tobacco can essentially melt onto the bottom of the Lotus. I've tried a lot of different things to clean up some of these spots, and it is very difficult. The spots do not harm the functionality of the setup, they just aren't pretty to look at (since it's on the bottom, you can't see it while smoking anyway). The Samsaris has a lot of negative reviews on its cleanup, although I have not found it to be so difficult to clean. When compared to a traditional clay bowl, it's a little more involved - but it really isn't terrible. The trick is to use a cloth or paper towel to wipe out all of your shisha before rinsing.
      • Price - Not cheap. I've seen the Lotus priced anywhere from $35-$45, and the Samsaris $35-$45 as well. The best deal I could find was at signaturehookah.com. I purchased both as a combo for $59.99. Even at its best price, it is still much, much more expensive than most typical bowls.

      Overall:

      Awesome. Easily one of the most important hookah accessories that I own. With how many coals, and how much shisha I'm saving per session with this, it will more than pay for itself after a year of use when compared to a larger egyptian-style clay bowl. This device is easy to use, but complex enough for the most experienced smokers. I've been smoking hookah regularly for more than 10 years, and I am amazed at how much better everything tastes, and how much longer everything lasts.

      " 10 out of 10, a must-own for any Hookah smoker regardless of experience level"

      - Hookah Ninjas

  4. Brand/Flavor: Al Fakher Cherry with Mint

    Amount Purchased: 50g

    How Packaged: Small box with a non-resealable bag inside.

    First Impression Smell: It smells like a Ludens cherry cough drop with menthol added in and with less of the medicine aspect. To me, it smells good, because I love those things.

    Shisha Feel: Dyed super red like most AF, finely chopped and not overly juicy, just enough to smoke well.

    Hookah: Nammor Furat

    Bowl: Vortex Bowl

    Foil: 2 layers of regular foil

    Wind Cover: On and off, for heat management purposes.

    Type of Coals and Amount: 2 Coco Naras

    Clouds: Not huge, but not tiny either. Nice and thick though.

    Buzz: I got a little bit of a buzz but thats because I lost a lot of my nicotine tolerance.

    Flavor: The mint is the strongest part, the cherry is lighter and stays in the background.

    Length of Session: A little over an hour.

    Overall Impression: It's good. Would I buy it again? No. But thats simply because I would prefer to buy the two flavors(cherry and mint) separate and mix them myself. This was too minty for my tastes. Being able to mix it on my own means I can make it exactly how I like it. But, the flavors on their own are both great.

  5. Today, I'm going to get into the what, why, and how of acclimating Tangiers tobacco.

    First off, what is acclimation? Merriam-Webster defines acclimation as a physiological adjustment by an organism to environmental change. In this case, the tobacco needs to adjust (or acclimate) to the environment in which it is in. When opening a bag of Tangiers for the first time, you will, more than likely, notice a rather unpleasant odor. Usually the tobacco doesn't smell like that wonderful-sounding "Other Breakfast Cereal," but instead, it has an odor not unlike soy sauce, smoky barbecue sauce, or even a wet cigar. Tangiers is made in San Diego, California, so most buyers in similar climates (80 all day, every day, with low humidity) tend to need less, if any, time to acclimate their tobacco, because they may not even notice this odor. People in climates where the humidity varies quite significantly from day to day may have a harder time keeping their tobacco up to par, even from session to session.

    In my personal experience, most times I will open my bag of Tangiers and it smells wonderful. But other times, it smells like someone dumped a bottle of Kikkoman inside the pouch. I can't say, with any confidence, that your results will be consistent, especially if you purchase online and have the product shipped. Either way, you should acclimate your Tangiers tobacco every. single. time.

    So, why should Tangiers be acclimated? And why every time? Why is it needed? If you haven't guessed, acclimation makes that gross smell go away. Even if you don't notice that distinct smell of soy sauce, I still recommend acclimating your tobacco. If your nose isn't 100% on its game - whether it is because it is stuffed up, the weather's off, allergies, etc. - you may not be able to detect the faintest of odors. And when that odor is still present, it will absolutely ruin your bowl of tobacco. Guaranteed.

    Tangiers is made with a very different blend of molasses, flavorings, and tobacco than any other manufacturer on the market, and it is made with unwashed tobacco. Any shisha tobacco that's made with unwashed tobacco can benefit from acclimation (though I've even heard of people acclimating Fantasia, believe it or not), though your Nakhla and Social Smoke should smoke just fine out of the package. The tobacco blend in Tangiers is very temperamental to changes in humidity than any other, and when it gets humidity shock, it emits that Soy/BBQ Sauce smell. By letting it acclimate, you're basically letting the bad smells and the extra moisture that may be present to get out into the air, leaving your tobacco smelling glorious.

    Now, for the part you've all been waiting for - how to acclimate your Tangiers!

    The sad thing about acclimating Tangiers is there is no single right way of doing it. The directions on the insert says to basically open the bag and leave it out until it's fine. And while this may work, there are better techniques that trick the tobacco into acclimating faster. The following is how I typically acclimate Tangiers, but I would encourage anyone interested to visit YouTube and spend 15 minutes watching a few videos. You might find something else you like better. YMMV. For my technique, you'll probably want a fork or an oyster fork. You can do this with fingers (as I have), but be prepared to wash your hands and dry them very well.

    As one final note, be sure to acclimate where you will be smoking. Don't acclimate your Tangiers at a buddy's house and bring it home - you might find you need to acclimate it all over again.

    blogentry-9286-0-41786600-1403244189_thu

    1. To start with, I perform the "instant acclimation" technique. In my opinion, this provides a better smell straight out of the bag. Basically, I pull the tobacco pouch out, and, before opening it, lay it out on the table. I then take about a minute or two and knead the tobacco. It works well if you use the base of your palm to really get into it, but you can pick up the bag as well and use your fingers to move it around. Regardless of how it's done, your goal is to touch or press down on every shred of tobacco you can.
      blogentry-9286-0-72655800-1403244199_thu
    2. If your tobacco is now up to all of the edges of the bag, push the tobacco down on one side. You'll want to cut the pouch all the way open, not just a slit on one of the corners. I tend to avoid kneading too close to the side where there isn't tobacco to start with, just so I can avoid this problem from the start. Cut that one side of the bag all the way across and open it up.
    3. Take a whiff of the tobacco. Notice if there are any of those unpleasant odors. If there are any large chunks of tobacco stuck to the sides of the bag, push them so they'll fall down to the bottom.
      blogentry-9286-0-83444100-1403244207_thu
    4. While you won't really want to knead the tobacco now (it'll all fall out of the bag, creating a big mess), squeeze and move the tobacco around inside the open pouch. Do this for a minute or so, and be careful not to get too aggressive, lest you lose what you spent good money on.
    5. Smell the tobacco again. The smell should be similar to before, but it will probably be a little less unpleasant (if it was at all, to start with).

    That first part of the process is called the "instant acclimation" technique. I don't think it's really "instant" in all cases, but it can help significantly to "even out" the tobacco in the bag.

    At this point, I determine when I want the tobacco. If I'm acclimating in the morning and I want it sooner rather than later, then I'll do the following (Scenario A):

    1. Grab a piece of aluminum foil of a pretty decent size. A 1 foot x 2 foot rectangle should be enough, but larger is better.
    2. Pour out all the tobacco onto the foil. If you have to, go get more foil. Use a fork to scrape all of the juices and loose tobacco out of the bag.
    3. Stir the tobacco and spread it out as evenly as possible across the sheet. Try to break up any large chunks and flip as much tobacco as possible.
    4. Wait. An hour's a good amount of time. So is 4 hours. 30 seconds isn't.
    5. Repeat 3 and 4 at least once, and until you no longer notice an odor. This shouldn't take longer than 2-4 hours, but depending on your local environment, could take up to 36 hours.

    If I'm being lazy about the tobacco (which I usually am) or don't need it for a while, I usually do the following instead (Scenario B):

    1. Grab your fork and mix all the tobacco up in the bag.
    2. Set it in the corner. Stir it a few times, whenever you think about it, and let it just hang out for a while. It doesn't need a lot of love, but a few stirs over the course of a few hours is plenty.
    3. The next day or so, check the smell. You should be good to go. If not, continue stirring occasionally until ready. This shouldn't take longer than about 12 hours, but could take up to 36. Use your nose as a guide.

    When you're done with either Scenario A or B, move the tobacco to a sealed container (it does not need to be air tight). I'd recommend using glass tupperware containers instead of plastic containers or bags so that the flavor doesn't ghost the container. However, many people use plastic containers and are very content. I wouldn't recommend bags, just because of the unique packing method of Tangiers. It can be done, but it will probably be more of a hassle than its worth.

    Remember, you don't have to do all or any of the steps I listed above. These are just what I do to get Tangiers acclimated a little faster. Any time the tobacco is exposed to outside air, it is acclimating. If you don't want to do either scenario, or you don't want to do the "instant acclimation," you can skip them. The most basic technique is to just open up the baggie, throw it in the corner, and wait for it to smell nice, but know that could take significantly more time than using the steps above.

    Acclimation After Acclimation

    You have now acclimated your tobacco! It should be good to go forever and ever now and never need any more love because it is all rainbows and horsies and unicorns, right? ... right?

    The truth is, the climate in your home, even if you're in a home with brand new, double-paned windows, can vary from minute to minute. The air temperature varies based on the outside temperature and how your air conditioners function, and with that comes changes in humidity. Anytime someone opens a door, humidity can leak in or be let out.

    But fret not! You've already done the hard work. If the temperature has drastically changed, it's gone from dry to monsoon, etc., leave your tobacco out for an hour or so before you smoke it. You'll be good to go. Your climate hasn't changed so drastically that none of your Tangiers is no longer good! But it's changed enough that setting it out for an hour can make your session just a little better. And, don't we all want that?

    That's it everything for this post. I hope you find that acclimation really isn't a difficult process. The only hard part is just learning the way you wish to do it. Once you get the hang of the technique, it's something you can just do without thinking about it.

    The next post will be the third and final entry on this topic, where I will go into how to pack Tangiers in your bowl. Until next time, ciao.

  6. Designed after the UC Davis 20 point scoring sheet for wine I have created the 20 point scoring sheet for hookah.

    The most important thing to remember about using this sort of form is that it is unbiased. A shisha may score very well and it might not be something you particularly like and vice versa.

    If you have any ideas about anything that needs changed or updated let me know I am more than open to it.

    Shisha Score Sheet - 20 points Brand: Flavor:

    Shisha Texture

    Cut uniform in size with little to no stems 4

    Mostly uniform in size with little to no stems 3

    Mostly uniform in size with lots of stems 2

    Cut not uniform in such a way that hinders packing 1

    Smell

    Distinct characteristics of labeled flavor 3

    Simple characteristics 2

    Little to no smell of labeled flavor 1

    Defective or off odor 0

    Flavor

    Strong flavors that are correct to the advertised flavor 4

    Light flavors that are correct to the advertised flavor 3

    Flavors that are reminiscent to the advertised flavor 2

    Flavor is incorrect to what is advertised 1

    No flavor / Disagreeable Flavor 0

    Sweetness

    Sweetness is appropriate for advertised flavor 2

    Slightly off either too sweet or not sweet enough 1

    Completely off, cloyingly sweet or bitter 0

    Clouds

    Large fill a room clouds 3

    Medium clouds 2

    Small clouds 1

    Longevity

    120 minutes + 4

    90- 120 minutes 3

    60-90 minutes 2

    30-60 minutes 1

    Less than 30 minutes 0

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