What’s your flavor?

Over the past few weeks, Nan and I have been in the hookah duldrums. Neither of us was really enjoying a flavorful hookah experience. What was the reason for this? Not really sure… At first we thought we had grown tired and burned out on our beloved Argelini tobacco. Then we hypothesized that we were missing the “flavor seal” that using foil provided (we had transitioned to a pre-made topper on the bowl of the hookah). Nothing seemed to help us out with our endeavor, though – we just weren’t getting any flavor out of our hookah experience. Talk about frustrating!

My favorite hookah shop – Dream Tobacco in Anaheim – has experienced an Argelini dry-spell for nearly a month. No inventory coming in – no new, exciting or favorite flavors. Due to this predicament, I was forced to go with Fumari tobacco. I was hesitant to do so, as I had tried Fumari before and remember it being super-sweet and overwhelming.

It was the moment of truth… I mixed some Fumari Strawberry and Lemon Mint and… ta-da!!!!! We have flavor!!!!

This was an exciting moment for Nan and I. Our zest for the hookah had returned. We found that mixing the Fumari tobacco (which is quite sweet) with the Argelini tobacco (as a neutralizer) produced an excellent smoking experience. So, we’re back on track!

The moral of the story is – sometimes it just takes a little change to reignite your zest for something. In the Hookah Snobs case, this certain something is our zest for the hookah!

All In the Family…

hookah

Over the weekend, Nan and I recruited a HSIT (hookah snob in training) from the family – my brother Mark. Mark was curious about the hookah, and although he isn’t a smoker, wanted to give it a whirl. He seemed to enjoy the Strawberry Margarita / Passion Fruit Mojito mix. He claimed to really taste the mint from the Passion Fruit Mojito, which I thought was a good sign for a beginner. There was a little coughing in this initial hookah experience, but overall, Mark was a champ. Nicely done, hookah snob in training!

Snob Life.

It’s really not easy being hookah snobs.

Or so we found out last night, when we discovered that our supplies were running low. We were out of quick-lighting coals (nooooo!!!!) and were down to plain-Jane tobacco flavors (double-noooooo!!!!). After purchasing more coals (who knew it was so tough to find a smoke shop open after 8pm?), we moved on to finding a winning flavor combination. Without the zip of our fave flaves, Mojito and Wildberry Mint, the hookah experience was lacking. These snobs determined that without some minty zip, the hookah just isn’t as exciting as it should be…

We tried the following, to no avail:

* Passion Fruit Mojito – no go.
* Passion Fruit Mojito & Purple Savior (yes, it was called Purple Savior) – heck no! Don’t even know what possessed me to purchase Starbuzz tobacco. Take it from this hookah snob – it is no good.
* Added some Champagne for zip – tasted like soap.
* Passion Fruit Mojito & Rose – lacked flavor and fun.

What was missing, you ask? It is now apparent that we need some sort of mint component to make our hookah a happy one. Mojito, Wildberry Mint, any kind of mint really… So today I shall return to Dream Tobacco in Anaheim in hopes that they have received a new shipment of Argelini… Crossing our fingers for Clementina, Mojito and other fave flaves…

Because these snobs are unwilling to compromise on their hookah experience!

Sophisticated Palates

When it comes to tobacco, our brand of choice is Argelini. Not always easy to find, but worth the search, Argelini blends Virginia tobacco with honey and flavoring. It tends to be a bit stronger than some of the “smoother” brands like Starbuzz and Fumari. After all, if one is smoking hookah, do they really want their experience to be “smooth?” Not these ladies!

We have tried a number of flavors, and have settled on a few that make the top grade, namely Clementina, Mojito and Lychee. Other flavors have been tried, and will never be finished due to their nastiness (Mango tastes like soapy water, Black Currant is super-blah). Others are nice when blended in slightly (think Champagne, which can be sweet and Rose, which can be fragrant). When it comes down to it, though, it’s all about the blending of flavors. Here are some of our favorite blends:

Clementina & Mojito: You get the nice, sweet-ish flavor of the Clementina, plus the tingly, minty flavor of the Mojito. You definitely can’t go wrong with this combo.

Lychee & Mojito: You’ll notice a theme here… Mojito makes everything better! When mixed 2/3 Mojito, 1/3 Lychee, you have yourself a nice blend of minty and neutral/sweet. Good stuff.

The tri-blend (if you dare!): Try throwing a third flavor in the mix! Maybe some Champagne for sweetness, or some Passion Fruit for fragrance. Always a nice choice.

We’ve found that the secret to a great blend is placing your flavors in a pile and hand-mixing the tobacco. This guarantees a good mix, otherwise you’ll get all one flavor as it burns under the coals. By hand-mixing, you guarantee yourself a consistently great flavor.

Argelini can be purchased at Dream Tobacco in Anaheim, CA (Brookhurst at Ball). They carry about 20 flavors in the smaller portions (100 grams), but are willing to order you any flavor in the larger tin size (250 grams), for a fraction of the cost of most other shops I’ve found. You can expect to pay about $15 for a 250 gram tin.

More to come on future flavor sensations!