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A new favorite shisha blend

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This is my Four A.M. blend because that's when my sleeping pills wore off and I decided to get up and mix some shisha and so Four A.M. is what I'm calling it.

Before going to bed last night I just threw together some Nakhla Earl Grey, Golden Rose, and Jasmine and the result was simply delightful. But I knew I could do it better.

I prefer to mix regular AF Rose with Nakhla, it blends better and adds sweetness, kills the soapiness of the Earl Gray, and does it without being overpowering. But I'm out of it. If I'm using AF Rose, I can use more of it. Golden Rose is strong enough that it requires less in this mix, at least to my personal tastes.

Generally when I mix shisha I like to let it sit overnight before smoking it so all the flavors can homogenize but I had no time for this this morning. I settled for mixing it very well with my hand-a pain but totally worth the mess. A chopstick does a fantastic job of getting the initial blending started, by the way. Doesn't kick as much out of the container.

Here's the blend I came up with, it's really very very nice. Can't wait to see how it tastes after it's had time to "marry up."

I got out my little ounce scale so I wouldn't be guessing. It's hard to just guess with shish. A scale is a must if you really want to get a good blend and standardize it, in my opinion.

Here's what I mixed.

1 oz. AF Golden Rose (would have used 1.5 to 2 oz. if I'd just had the regular rose)

2 oz. Nakhla Jasmine a.k.a Jessamine

1.5 oz. Nakhla Earl Gray

The smell of this stuff after it's mixed is delightful, reminds me a tiny bit of Mixed Fruit Fakhfakhina, but only a bit.

The taste is fantastic. The Golden Rose is still a bit stronger than I like, but it might mellow by tomorrow. If not, I'll up the Jasmine and Grey each by a half ounce.

This was double wrapped in HD foil to protect the AF from burning. And because I'm using Diamante coals, which love to drop heavy chunks of ash, I only put holes through the middle third of the bowl, all the way across. Large holes poked with a toothpick towards the outer portion, smaller holes poked with a thumb tack in the center. Letting the diamante coal (a whole 3/4's of a chunk) get hot enough that it's flaming makes it very easy to split right in half with a poker. Sometimes a stress fracture will form right along the length of a Diamante when it's hot enough making splitting it oh so easy, didn't happen tonight but it still split quite easily--no crumbling. I laid the flat side down of each half on the portions of the foil that had no holes. This alone improved the flavor. I like Diamante, but it does impart a slight taste to shisha which is mild enough that I can ignore it, but by gods I'm determined to get rid of that taste all together. This method is totally working towards that end.

I don't tend to like fruit flavors so I experiment a lot with mixing flavors like Arabian Coffee, the floral flavors, and the somewhat citrus/soapy Earl Grey.

So far, this is one of my favorite mixes. Didn't think anything could beat my Nakhla Early Gray/AF Rose mix, but this beats it hands down. I'm in love.

I've been smoking it for about 15 minutes now and the AF Golden is mellowing even as I smoke it. The buzz is considerable. Maybe it will relax me enough to go back to sleep for a few hours!!!

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