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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/09/2014 in Blog Entries

  1. 3 points
    There are a lot of questions about Tangiers shisha tobacco floating around on the forums, and I thought it high time to create a series of blog entries, titled Understanding Tangiers. The Basics: All Tangiers tobaccos come packed in an air-tight bag/pouch, which is then wrapped in an instructional guide with the product label on it (hand-written), and then all contained in another bag. Most Tangiers tobaccos are unwashed and, because of their molasses blend, will need to be acclimated before use. They will also need to be stored in their own container. Tangiers tobaccos all require a different packing method than most modern tobaccos - fluff packing does not work here, or you'll get a very harsh smoke. I will not be going into acclimation or packing in this entry - we'll save that for the next post. For now, just know you can't just pull it out of the pouch and fluff pack it in your favorite Egyptian bowl. As a quick aside, don't buy Tangiers unless you have a phunnel bowl of some sort. I'd recommend the Alien Mini bowl or a Tangiers Pico/7ico (#8 size) bowl. There are other phunnels on the market, but most are much too large for Tangiers, especially for personal sessions. You can also use Egyptians or Vortex bowls, but I would not recommend using them. I can't say enough good things about the Alien Mini - you can get 45 minutes to an hour out of modern, wetter shisha tobaccos, but, for Tangiers, I've had 3 hour long sessions. Now, on to the lines: Tangiers Noir - Noir comes packed with a yellow label, and is the most known style of Tangiers tobacco. IMO, it is the most successful of their product lines. This has a pretty high nicotine level, and is not recommended for hookah beginners. You can also find the most flavors in this line. Tangiers F-Line - I was originally under the impression that this line of tobacco was no longer in production, but that's not true. F-Line comes packed with an orange or red label that specifies "F-Line / Caffeinated" on the label. F-Line, short for "Flat Line," is essentially Noir + Caffeine. While I have not personally tried out F-Line, everything I've heard is this is a line of tobacco that will knock you backwards if you aren't careful or used to high nicotine or caffeine levels. This is not recommended for hookah beginners. Tangiers Burley - Burley is the newest of the Tangiers lines of tobacco, and it is the strongest. Burley comes packaged with a purple label that states "Burley Noir / Very Strong" on the packaging. It's an even higher nicotine level than Noir, and really isn't recommended for anyone that has nicotine sensitivity or hasn't smoked Noir for a pretty good amount of time. If you're not used to high nicotine levels, expect to be giving regurgitated offerings to the gods that sit atop the ceramic throne. Tangiers Lucid - Lucid, which is technically no longer produced, can still be found online, which is the only reason I list it here. It comes packaged with an orange label, and says "Lucid" on the label. Lucid is a lighter blend, the only line made with washed tobacco, and typically requires less time to acclimate. However, even though it is washed, it's still on par with something like Nakhla when it comes to nicotine. If you're used to smoking Starbuzz and AF and want a little more buzz, or Nakhla doesn't bother you, Lucid is a good line for you, if you can still find it. Tangiers Birquq - Birquq (pronounced bir-kook) is another new line from Tangiers. It replaces the Lucid line, but makes some changes to the formula. It comes in a package with a green label, with no other markings. The main difference between Lucid and Birquq is that Birquq is unwashed tobacco. Birquq is said to take less time to acclimate, but I tend to disagree - in my experience, it took longer to acclimate a package of Birquq Horchata than it does with any Noir flavor I've ever had, but I expect that was an odd, one-time occurrence. Birquq is also very temperature sensitive - you're supposed to only use 3/4 of the coals you would normally use for other Tangiers lines for better flavor and a better smoke. In my experience, it's not as buzzy as Noir. I would recommend Birquq for someone that wants to get into Tangiers and might be a little more nicotine sensitive or doesn't want a huge buzz, but expect a little more buzz from this line than from Lucid. I'd recommend getting Birquq over Lucid, primarily because you will not be able to find the Lucid line for much longer. On Flavors: Every line has their own set of flavors, though some overlap. You'll get a similar flavor out of Birquq Cane Mint as you will from Noir Cane Mint, but they will differ slightly, and the buzz will be different. Your First Tangiers: If you're trying to decide what line to purchase from, it really depends on what you're used to smoking and how often. If you smoke a couple times a week or less, I'd recommend Birquq. If you smoke a little more often, Noir will give you a good buzz and you should be able to handle it just fine. Before I tried Tangiers, I was smoking a lot of Nakhla, which has a higher level of nicotine than typical modern shisha tobaccos, like Fumari, Fantasia, Starbuzz, AF, etc. Trying Tangiers for the first time did give me a buzz at first, but it went away pretty quickly. If you've never tried Tangiers before, stay away from F-Line and Burley. My next post will go into depth several methods of acclimating and packing bowls. Until next time, ciao.
  2. 3 points
    This is my first review on here. I don't have any pictures or videos to add but I'll be sure to do that next time. I used the template WolfDen made up. Al Fakher - Peach Amount Purchased: 250g How Packaged: Non-Resealable Bag First Impression Smell: Smells like peach ring candy, the most delicious you can imagine. Shisha Feel: Typical Al Fakher cut, choppy but not too choppy, good amount of juice but not too much. Hookah: No Name Egyptian Bowl: Alien Mini Phunnel Foil: Kaloud Lotus Wind Cover: N/A Type of Coals and Amount: 2 Coco Naras(bigger than average) Clouds: Typical AF, thick and fluffy. Not hard to achieve with good heat management. Buzz: Depends on tolerance level, I don't get a buzz from AF but know people who do. Its a decent medium strength I would say. Flavor: Delicious. Doesn't taste as sweet as it smells, which is a good thing. You can't mistake this for anything other than peach. It's one of my favorite AF flavors and probably one of my favorite flavors overall as well. There isn't a whole lot to say about it other than it's great. If you like candy peach then its for you, if you want natural peach, not so much. Length of Session: A little over an hour, but I was using a small bowl. A bigger bowl will last longer. Overall Impression: Like I said, one of my favorites! =)
  3. 2 points
    First impressions: The box seems smaller than most boxes of coals i’ve tried of the same amount. I think that’s because coals like coco Jamras, Social Smoke, coco Mazaya and others pack their coals vertically. The Never Xhale coals are packed horizontally. When you first take them out of the box, right away you will notice a huge difference in density compared to other coals. Never Xhale is way lighter than any other coals i’ve tried. I associate the density with how good the smoke will be and how long the session will last, and I was proven correct. I wish I had some other coals to compare them to, but I really ran out of coals and was just down to my emergency stash of quick lights. One thing I noticed is that the top layers of the coals were in “fingers” of 3 cubes that was scored almost all the way through for easy separation. Upon checking the majority of the box, I found that not all of them were like that and most were already separated. Another thing I noticed and found weird is that the bottom of those “fingers” of coals, there was a silver coating kind of of like scratch off paint. (Check the pics). My first thought was that maybe these were coals used in Japanese styled coal with the silver coating on it. The box of 108 pcs of coal came to a little over $10 with the shipping included. Great price for when you are in need of coals and you don’t have extra money to buy the good stuff. For testing purposes I decided to load my Social Smoke Hemi bowl with Nahklah Strawberry because that brand of tobacco is a bit more heat resilient than a lot of other tobacco. This was going to be my first bowl of two. I wanted to test the coals with a wet shisha as well to see how well it handle both types of tobacco. So I loaded my rig, I loaded the coals, and I loaded a movie on my iMac. Then things started to go horribly wrong: When you light these coals there’s hardly any smell at all which is a great thing, and that’s where all the great things end with these coals. First thing I noticed is that the coals are not strong at all, and just two cubes were not enough to enjoy a session where I normally would with any other coal. Second thing I noticed is that the coals didn’t get very hot until about 20 minutes into the session which is very strange. The flavor of the smoke did not get affected by the coals at all, and it was very enjoyable for all of the 25 minutes before the coals started to die down. I figured no big deal, I would just start on round two with three cubes instead of the normal two I use. Same thing happened. Now there was a bit more heat, but it didn’t last as long as I wanted it. At the end of the second round I checked the bowl to find that most of the shisha was still untouched and could be reused, so I loaded another 3 cubes into the burner to finish off that bowl. A couple of things started happening by now, First I noticed the unbelievable amount of ash on the tray, and I started to get a terrible pounding headache. So on round three it was the same thing as the first two rounds. Took a while for the coals to get super hot and it didn’t last as long. I found myself puffing more than normal just to get a decent smoke. by the end of the third round I was out for the count. My headache was pounding so hard that I decided to take a break and let the hookah rest. Now for the best part. Around two in the morning I was in front of the computer now watching a new movie when one of my alarms started going off. My girlfriend half-groggily came out of the bedroom asking what was going on. It was my carbon monoxide alarm going off. At first I thought that maybe it needed to the batteries changed since it had been a while. So I changed the batteries and it was still going off. Then it hit me; there was CO2 rampantly causing havoc in the apartment. Even worse, I realized that the one and only reason the alarm would be going off is because of the new coals I was trying. So my girlfriend and I opened all the windows in the apartment, all six of them, cranked up both air conditioners and stepped outside for 30 minutes and left the door wide open to make sure the apartment was aired out. Just to make sure that it was CO2, I had my super inspect the stove to make sure gas wasn’t leaking. It wasn’t. Conclusion: Stay the hell away from this coal. If you are that broke that you can’t get good coals, then you shouldn’t smoke Hookah that night. Seriously, do yourself a favor and wait until you have enough money to get better coals that are not going to try to kill you. You’ll be safer smoking with quick lights than with a coal that’s going to set off your CO2 alarm. This box of coals went the way all my starbuzz shisha, into the trash.
  4. 2 points
    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. 2 points
    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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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): 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. 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. 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. Wait. An hour's a good amount of time. So is 4 hours. 30 seconds isn't. 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): Grab your fork and mix all the tobacco up in the bag. 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. 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. 1 point
    [Brand] - [Flavor]: The King Shisha Watermelon Amount Purchased: Quarter pound (about 112g) How is it Packaged: In a very strong, resealable, branded black bag First Impression Smell: Watermelon bubble gum Shisha Feel: Very wet and juicy, but not too wet that you can’t use the Minzari Crown with it Bowl: Minzari crown AND a funnel for testing Foil: 2 layers of regular foil Hookah: Social Smoke Izmir Hose: Namoor Washable Wind Cover: Social Smoke Tall Type of Coals and Amount: 2 Ecocha coals Clouds: Dragon clouds Buzz: None Flavor: Amazing watermelon flavor, but not too strong. The first few drags is like biting into a watermelon before it mellows out a bit. Overall Impression: I am now 5 deep into testing the new flavors of The King Brand 2.0* and I have to get serious for a moment. Some might know that I’m a big fan of watermelon no matter what brand I get it from. Sure everybody’s watermelon flavor is very different from one another, but I look at it as a flavor that you just can’t get wrong. To me watermelon is a “safe” flavor, do you know what I mean? Is one of those flavors that you always keep around because when done right is just perfect - this is such a flavor. Even before I opened the package I told myself that I would be fair, rigorous, and unbiased when tasting this flavor. I was definitely ready to put this one through it’s paces only because I love watermelon so damn much. This flavor was smoked numerous times, using different bowls (Sorry Minzari had to cheat on you for the sake of the review) and with different mixes, and all the trials were successful. With the Minzari I had no trouble using 3 coals, but with the funnel only two pieces and a wind cover treated me lovely. The sacrilege was mixing this flavor with another brand and it was still an amazing results. Yes I will be mixing this one more often with… that other brand because they complimented each other very well. When you first open the package you a very distinctive watermelon bubble gum smell. There’s no guessing it, the smell is watermelon bubblegum. Such a nice smell but no worries, this was not candy. The cut of The King Brand Shisha is just like all other flavors I’ve tried so far. nice medium cut that looks like… like wood chips really. It’s wet enough that you will enjoy hours and hours of flavor, but not so wet that you can’t use the Minzari Crown with it. If you were to use a regular Egyptian bowl the juices won’t run down the stem like with other brands. As with the other The King Shisha flavors, please mind your heat when dealing with this flavor. Although this one is a bit more resilient, you still need only two coals and using three is really pushing it past the burning point. I was able to enjoy three rounds of coals in my sessions with this flavor. By the fourth round it just didn’t have the same flavor, but that’s a very long time. The smoke is amazing! You get super dragon clouds as you should with any great brand. They are puffy white clouds which I like. The flavor is a mild watermelon compared to others but it’s a very distinct real watermelon. When you take your first drag you immediately get hit with that awesome watermelon flavor. Not like processed watermelon, but the REAL fruit. As I took some more puffs I realized that this flavor would be GREAT with Mint. So I did that, I mixed it with The King Shisha Mint and it was really a great soothing combination of flavors. So if I was forced to give it a numerical rate, what would I rate it? well, this is just my opinion because for my taste and smoking style, I really couldn’t find anything wrong with this flavor. Trust me I was looking, and I tried really hard but couldn’t find anything wrong. I even smoked it once with my non hookah smoking girlfriend in the room and she loved the smell. There’s no fuss during the session. You set your coals and forget them. Just smoke and relax and let the flavor take you away. So numerically I give it a 10. I’m sorry but if you can find something wrong with this flavor I dare you to do your own review and be unbiased. This is saying a lot from me given that their Pineapple is so far my favorite flavor and it only got an 8 rating. So there you have it, a rigorous and unbiased review. 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 *disclaimer: The King Shisha does NOT use the monicker “2.0”. This is just something I like to call it because I’ve had both iterations of their flavors, and to me calling it 2.0 indicates a drastic improvement.
  7. 1 point
    I'm not sure if you're like me, but I like to bring my hookah everywhere - friends' houses, parties, church... "ok, maybe not church." I have always been searching for the perfect bag with all of them falling short of the things I need/want from a carrying case: - Durability (I had a Fumari bag that lasted less than 1 month) - Lots of storage space (I have a lot of crap, and I want it all in 1 place) - A way to secure my hookah in place (I have a lot invested in my hookah and the last thing I want is to hear it flopping around in a case potentially getting damaged) - Different ways to carry (shoulder straps, handles) After many failed attempts at cases/bags that were sold specifically for hookahs (I've tried soft cases, hard cases, branded cases and bags), I decided to take matters into my own hands and search for something outside of the box... That's when I came across the most brilliant idea in Hookah case history! A guitar case! I know this sounds a little crazy at first, but hear me out. Guitarists need to transport a fragile/valuable piece of equipment that is long/awkwardly shaped, and they need a lot of storage for extra parts and pieces - sounds familiar, right? I bought a full-sized soft guitar case for my 34" KM and it worked so well that I decided to get another for my 22" KM Mini Beast (I bought a ukulele bag for my mini)! Here's how the guitar bag stacks up with my wants/needs: Durability: The case I chose has the thick zippers that you'd see standard on most heavy-duty gym bags. All of the straps are well-secured with thick clips and double/triple stitching. This sucker is made for the long-haul. Storage Space: I cannot describe to you how perfectly this has worked. The shape of the bag is impeccable. The interior of the case is well-padded, and there are TONS of pockets to store some of or even all of my gear. I even store up to 3 hoses inside! Securing Hookah: Wider near the bottom, narrower near the top, and it even has an internal Velcro strap that secures the stem right near the center. I leave my hookah fully-assembled (even with the bowl in tact) and it is a nice, snug fit so it doesn't move around. Carrying: The large case that I chose has 3 methods to carry. Briefcase handle (A handle to carry the bag briefcase style the long way) Should strap (Similar to a gym bag strap) Backpack Straps (Ergonomic and very comfortable for longer distances) Overall Rating 10 out of 10 Here are links to the 2 that I bought: This is the one for my large hookah (pictured below) http://www.bestbuy.com/site/skb-gig-bag-for-most-electric-guitars-black/9901505.p?id=1218191877087&skuId=9901505 This is the ukulele bag for my 22" http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lanikai-hss613-tenor-ukulele-gig-bag/1306807256.p?id=mp1306807256&skuId=1306807256 Follow us on Twitter @HookahNinjas Check out the photo! I hope you enjoyed my blog!
  8. 1 point
    Hookah 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
  9. 1 point
    Fumari: Orange Cream Amount Purchased: 100g How Packaged: Shisha is packed is a small(ish) bag, the bag is resealable. High quality bag. I really like this packaging First Impression Smell: This is an interesting one, it starts off with a light to medium orange scent that easily transitions to a cream scent. Very reminiscent of a orange cream popsicle. Shisha Feel: Very moist, feels a bit chunky. The cut is small with very little to no stems. 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: Great clouds, they are not filling the room but they are not light. They are not as big as I expected for such a juicy shisha but good nonetheless. After 30 minutes the clouds got much better. Buzz: I feel a very light buzz. It should be noted that I am used to higher nicotine content shisha, so that may change how I feel. Flavor: The flavor is on point, there is no undernote or second note. You can immediately taste the orange cream flavor, neither over powers the other. Longevity: First round of coals lasted for an hour, currently on a second round. Depending on how juicy this is it may last for a third round. Overall Impression: 19/20 This was a great flavor, the smell and taste were very accurate with great longevity. I highly recommend this flavor. If it was cheaper, it would be a go to flavor.
  10. 1 point
    [brand] - [Flavor]: Nile Tropicana Amount Purchased: 50g How is it Packaged: wrapped in cellophane like Naklah and in a cardboard box First Impression Smell: Very chemical, very artificial and not at all like any fruits of any kind. Honestly it smelled a bit like piss when you unwrap the cellophane. Shisha Feel: Wet but very sticky rather than juicy Bowl: Social Smoke Vortex Foil: Social Smoke Heavy Duty Hookah: Social Smoke Izmir Hose: Social Smoke Pro Lounge Washable Hose Wind Cover: Social Smoke tall wind cover Type of Coals and Amount: 2 Starlights Clouds: A little Weak Buzz: None Flavor: Very artificial and chemical with no taste of any fruits at all. Overall Impression: I picked this one up at the same time that I picked up the Nile Peach and Voodoo flavors. I thought that if it was at least like the peach flavor that it was going to be bearable. That was wishful thinking. The flavor is like smoking plastic or something very artificial. It was not enjoyable and it’s just sitting there in the back of my cupboard waiting to be handed down the sentence that will ship it out to the federal dump. Their peach flavor is bearable, but this one is not. If I have to rate it from 1 to 10 I’ll probably give it a 1.
  11. 1 point
    [brand] - [Flavor]: Kasbah Jewels Margarita Amount Purchased: 50g How is it Packaged: Large tin can with free mouth tips First Impression Smell: awful, like damp butt Shisha Feel: Wet like a modern tobacco but more sticky than juicy Bowl: Social Smoke Funnel Foil: Social Smoke heavy duty Wind Cover: Social Smoke tall wind cover Type of Coals and Amount: 3 starlights Clouds: decent Buzz: mild to none Flavor: tasted like a real Margarita drink that you get at the bar Overall Impression: I didn’t know what to make of this brand given that I had never heard of it and didn’t know anybody that had it before. My vacation to Myrtle Beach was definitely an adventure because the only hookah tobacco I found was not even remotely close to popular with the exception of Al Fakher. I’m an adventurous soul so I’ll try anything at least once. 
 I was fooled by the size of the tin can because it looked like a 250G tin but in reality it was a 50g re-sealable single bag and about 5 free mouth tips for your hose. Nice touch Jewels. 
 Now the smell in the can was, honestly, awful. My first thought was: “oh my god I’m going to have to throw this out”. after preparing the bowl with coals it wasn’t getting any better. The smell radiating from the warming bowl was just not pleasant at all. It wasn’t a chemical smell, nor a fruity smell, it was just a… a stench, a bad stench that permeated through the apartment even the next morning when my girlfriend woke up and asked me what the hell was I smoking the night before. I braced myself and inhaled the first pull and everything changed. The flavor is amazing!. it just really tastes like a margarita drink that you get at the bar. There was definitely a hint of sweetness citrus to the pull from lemons or lime, but not overwhelming. Not only that but the flavor lasted through a second round of coals. 

The clouds are very decent but not something you would get from smoking some of the more modern tobaccos where you would get dragon clouds. 
 Now this particular flavor is very heat sensitive, so you will have to finagle with your wind cover and coals in order not to burn it. If you manage that, then the flavor will definitely treat you very well. If I had to rate this brand on a 10 point scale, I will give it a solid 7. I’m taking one point away from the awful smell in the bag, one point for the awful smell while is burning in the bowl, and one for the not so huge clouds. It gets double points for taste, affordability, and ingenious packaging with the free mouth tips. I recommend it for the taste, but not for the smell.
  12. 1 point
    [brand] - [Flavor]: Voodoo Sinful Strawberry Amount Purchased: 50g How is it Packaged: Tin can and a single, thin plastic bag. First Impression Smell: Perfect strawberry smell. Not candied and not artificial. Shisha Feel: Look and feel of social smoke or Starbuzz tobacco, but very juicy like fumari or more so. Bowl: Sahara Vortex Foil: Social Smoke Heavy Duty Wind Cover: Social Smoke tall wind cover Type of Coals and Amount: 3 Starlights extra large Clouds: HUGE, I call them "The Dragon" Buzz: None Flavor: Strawberry with nothing else added to it. Overall Impression: I couldn't smoke this one the night that I purchased it as I was traveling through North Carolina on my way to Myrtle Beach. I couldn't smoke the night that I arrived so I spent 2 days smelling the tin until I was able to smoke. When I opened the tin I noticed the very strong strawberry smell that came out of the bag. My thoughts were: "My god if this tastes as well as it smells then I'm in heaven". The second thing I noticed was all the juice in the bag. I've never had fumari, but I'm sure this is just as wet or wetter. I also noticed that the tobacco is very red like Al Fahker but a brighter red. So when it came time to setup the bowl, I had to use some paper towels to clean my hands because it really was very juicy. My hand was coated in red juice and I had to make sure to wipe the bowl from the excess juices. The smoke was great. It lasted a long time. It didn't die down with a second round of coals. It didn't get harsh. It probably could have handled a third round of coals. My impression was look and feel of social smoke or starbuzz, smell of a very fruity and earthy Naklah, and taste stronger than Naklah strawberry but not as sweet or candied as Social Smoke strawberry. I will definitely smoke this one again and often. CONS: After a few sessions with this shisha I only have two things that I don't like much. The tobacco is really really juicy so even using a vortex, the juices dripped down to the stem. Not a bad thing and I didn't notice until I was done smoking it. The session went better with a funnel bowl but there was still plenty of juices on the grommet when I was done. The second thing that I didn't like much at all was that because is very wet and sweet, the aftermath on my bowl was a hell of a lot of charred juices caked on all over the ring and the spire, and I still haven't been able to clean it off. I'm sure I'm going to have to take the rough pad of a sponge to try and clean it. NOTE: when I got home from vacation I was able to take a green sponge to it and clean away the charred juiced caked on the bowl.
  13. 1 point
    Nakhla Cherry Amount Purchased: 250g How Packaged: Nakhla comes in a box, the shisha is inside of a plastic wrapping that is sealed inside of another foil lined bag. It is not resealable. Another container might be needed. First Impression Smell: It has a hint of cherry cough syrup with a bit of a candy smell. Hard to place what the taste will be like. Shisha Feel: More moist than typical Nakhla but it isn't dripping wet. It is red coloured and could stain your hands. Stems are typical of Nakhla. 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: Thick, large clouds Buzz: Slight to moderate Flavor: In my opinion it tastes like how a cherry should taste. No hint of cough syrup, but not candy like either. Longevity: Roughly an hour and 20 minutes. Another round of coals can be used Overall Impression: 17/20 I really like this flavor. It isn't overpowering and it doesn't taste like cough syrup like other brands. It would be great to mix with other flavors.
  14. 1 point
    Nakhla Banana Amount Purchased: 250g How Packaged: Nakhla comes in a box, the shisha is inside of a plastic wrapping that is sealed inside of another foil lined bag. It is not resealable. Another container might be needed. First Impression Smell: Without unwrapping or opening the box you can smell this flavor. It smells very sweet, candy like. Reminds me a lot of Laffy Taffy. Shisha Feel: A little dry but it seems some of the molasses is at the bottom of the bag, no big issue here. Uniformly cut and small stems. 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: Dense clouds, typical of Nakhla. Buzz: Low buzz Flavor: The taste is not as sweet as the smell but still accurate. Longevity: Lasted for roughly an hour an 20 minutes. Overall Impression: 17/20 An amazing flavor, tastes just like it should. I'll be getting this again.
  15. 1 point
    Fumari – White Peach Amount Purchased: 100 g How Packaged: Fumari comes in a thick resalable bag which works really well. There is no need to repackage this tobacco. First Impression Smell Wolfy – Candied / Caramelized peaches Manda – Very fruity, very peachy Shisha Feel: Very wet, even consistency with very few if any stems Hookah: Khalil Mamoon Fifa Ice Bowl: Harmony Foil: Kaloud Lotus Wind Cover: Kaloud Lotus Type of Coals and Amount: 3 Coco Mazaya Clouds: Dense full clouds, there are brands that have bigger but there is nothing lacking here I made some videos to really show off the smoke, but for some reason they would only load upside down. But… it doesn’t matter that I’m upside down, you can still see the smoke and that’s what it is really all about. By the way I’d love any tips or tricks to upload videos or how to edit them (hopefully a free program). Clouds just started: http://s704.photobucket.com/user/aw_mutts/media/WhitePeach1.mp4.html Clouds after 1 hour: http://s704.photobucket.com/user/aw_mutts/media/WhitePeach2.mp4.html Buzz: On an empty stomach Wolfy – Slight to moderate Manda – Slight Flavor: Wolfy – Light and fruity Manda – Fruity almost a candied peach taste Longevity: Just under 90 minutes Overall Impression: 15/20 Wolfy – Nice one of our favorites Manda – Good flavor, not a true peach but reminiscent enough to be enjoyable
  16. 1 point
    Nakhla Orange Peach Amount Purchased: 250g How Packaged: Nakhla comes in a box, the shisha is inside of a plastic wrapping that is sealed inside of another foil lined bag. It is not resealable. Another container might be needed. First Impression Smell: Quite citrusy with undertones of a sweet peach(reminiscent of candy peach rings) Shisha Feel: Very wet, especially given the fact that Nakhla is typically a drier shisha. There are stems and they are small to large sized. 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: Dense, large clouds. Typical of Nakhla. Buzz: Slight to moderate. Nakhla is an unwashed tobacco and contains more nicotine than most other shisha, be careful if you haven't smoked it before. Flavor: Strong. The citrus is the first thing I tasted, then an after taste of the peach. They should have lowered the strength of the orange. Longevity: Roughly an hour and ten minutes, a second round of coals could be added. Overall impression: 14/20 It was quite delicious but the orange overpowered the peach.
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