A strange stigma seems to have arisen in the hookah community that Tangiers tobacco is in some way special and above mixing. There is an idea that to mix Tangiers flavors would ruin the session or insult the tobacco. I’ve been doing it for years and I’ve had great success. I’ve been asked about how I pack my Tangiers tobacco and it’s fairly simple.
I’ll be using a Tangiers Small Funnel, Birquq Rangoon Sunrise and Noir Dark Plum for this session and I’ve decided to have the rangoon sunrise as the top layer. Why? Because it’s a lighter and fruitier note while dark plum has never been much more than a kashmir flavor with a little dark fruit that I anticipate being lost in this mix anyway.
As always, mix your tobacco properly and make sure the liquid is evenly distributed. If you think you need to acclimate your tobacco, do so and make sure to acclimate both flavors.
I like to use an oyster fork because it fits inside the funnel bowl nicely and allows me to pack the Tangiers tobacco down rather than using my fingers. I just load up the oyster fork, plop it in the bowl and spread the tobacco into a uniform layer with the same density that I normally use for Tangiers. The ratio of flavor is almost always 50/50 when I do this because I’m not looking for just a combination of the flavors, but a transition from one into a blend of the two. To that end, I just fill the bowl halfway and call it good.
The second layer goes on just like the first, but now I have to pay attention to my edges. I get my density right and then use the tines of the fork to make a small depression along the rim of the bowl and the spire, which I hope you can see in the following pictures. These help to prevent burning and I do them with every bowl of Tangiers I pack.
After this point it’s just a matter of adding foil, poking holes and placing your coals. Treat the bowl how you would if it were packed entirely with the tobacco used in the top layer. The bottom layer is going to heat up so slowly and evenly that it wont contribute much to the smoking properties of the bowl. This technique works wonders if you layer Lucid on top of Noir. You still have to deal with the acclimation woes of noir, but the smoking trouble is greatly reduced.
At some point in the future I will need to go over my other method of layering for packing Tangiers shisha, which is a partial fluff pack that works best with the Lucid/Noir combo, but you’ll just have to wait for that one.