Pineapple Delight!

The hookah snobs’ eyes were opened to a whole new world of hookah fun during our fieldtrip to the Titanium Hookah Lounge in Anaheim last month. We were introduced to their “Ultimate Paradise Hookah,” which was comprised of half a pineapple mounted on the hookah, covered in tobacco, with an orange juice filled hookah base. Paradise, indeed! It was a delicious smoking experience! The hookah master who worked there took time out to show us how to make our own – bless her! Here’s a tutorial on how to make your own!

Step 1: Cut a pineapple in half

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Step 2: Core the pineapple. Make the hole a little smaller on the bottom, then widen as it reaches the top (inside) of the pineapple.

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Step 3: Mount the pineapple on the hookah

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(Oh – don’t forget to have filled up your hookah with orange juice and ice – instead of plain old water).

Step 4: Cover the core/hole with a small piece of foil. Secure it in place with two toothpicks, snapped in half. Use a pin or toothpick to make small holes throughout the foil (just the portion covering the core/hole).

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Step 5: Take your tobacco of choice (I used Argelini Blue Legend – they used Starbuzz Blue Mist at Titanium Hookah) and sprinkle it straight onto the pineapple, around the foil. Do not allow it to cover the foil.

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Step 6: Cover the entire kit and caboodle with foil. Don’t wrap the foil too tight – allow the tobacco to sit on top of the pineapple without being too squished. Use a pin or toothpick to make small holes around the pineapple rim that covers the tobacco.

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Step 7: Place five coals around the section of foil with the small holes.

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Step 8: Enjoy your pineapple delight!!!

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I would love to hear your experiences with your own pineapple delights! Let me know how it goes – or better yet – share other ideas you have tried for mixing up your hookah experience!

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It’s a hookah snob fieldtrip!

Welcome back after a lengthy break from the hookah snobs! Not to worry – we haven’t stopped our hookah endeavors. I was just particularly lazy in my writing. 🙂

What better way to kick-off the blog again than with a hookah snob fieldtrip? Being the Groupon-obsessed person that I am (yes, I recognize that I have a problem), I felt it necessary to purchase a Groupon to a local hookah lounge – Titanium Hookah Lounge in Anaheim (corner of Ball and State College). Nan and I decided to venture to Titanium last night, as my Groupon was about to expire. We walked in early, but were cheerfully greeted by the Titanium staff. We soon found out that my Groupon set us up with a Paradise Hookah – basically, a hookah with half a damn pineapple mounted on top of it, sprinkled with delicious tobacco flavors and an icy tip that keeps the smoking experience smooth and delightful. Holy smokes! What a treat!

Half a damn pineapple!

Half a damn pineapple!

In addition to the amazing pineapple-infused hookah, we were treated to a particularly friendly DJ with a penchant for country music. Pineapple hookah while being serenaded by Kenny and Dolly? Let’s just refer to this as “heaven!”

We also had the pleasure of meeting some gentlemen who excel in hookah appreciation – one who smokes hookah, and one with his own website dedicated to selling all things hookah (www.ultimatehookah.com). I highly recommend checking out the site, whether you’re looking for a new hookah, coals, tobacco or tips. Neiman – the President of Ultimate Hookah – was super-friendly and nice. Check out his site!

Overall, the Titanium Hookah Lounge experience was exceptional. Everyone was so nice and accommodating. The Hookah Mistress (or so I shall call her) gave us a mini-lesson on how to prep the pineapple for smoking. You know I’m going to have to give it a whirl at home! They kept the coals warm, made us feel very welcome, and answered our bevy of hookah-related questions. Definitely worth the school night outing!

Eureka! I found it!

As you well know, it has been over a month (heck – maybe even two?) since the Hookah Snobs have been able to find their tobacco of choice — Argelini. We have found some flavors here and there, but nothing amazing. The two tobacco shops that we frequent – Dream Tobacco in Anaheim and Quik Stop Tobacco in Orange – have yet to receive new deliveries, leaving the Snobs sad and dissatisfied with their hookah experience…

Enter A and A Tobacco in Orange (at the corner of Chapman and Main). I went to pick up some Thai Food last night, and decided to jump into A and A Tobacco before picking up the food. Sure, I’d called and tried numerous shops for Argelini (to no avail), but there might just be a glimmer of hope, right? Well, what I saw put a spring in my step… those beautiful little black tins beaconed to me from the shelves… Eureka! I found it!

I was able to get a tin of Lychee and Pomopolitan (do not judge), both worthy mixing flavors. They did not have our beloved Calamantina in stock, although the gentleman working there claimed to carry it often. They, apparently, have not suffered the lack of Argelini. Which means the Snobs have a new Argelini source – close to home, slightly more expensive than Dream (but worth it), and well-stocked with our favorite delights.

Life is good again!

The Quad – do you dare?

I have referred to a variety of flavor combinations on this blog – from mixing two flavor treats, to going so far as mixing THREE flavors together (the “tri-blend”). Last night Nan and I got real crazy, making the move to the “QUAD BLEND.” That’s right, folks, we blended four flavors together for what ended up being an exemplary taste sensation.

Not only was it a good tasting hookah, the smoke it gave off was consistent and plentiful. In Nan’s words, “This is a good blend. A smooth smoking experience.” Well said, Nan.

So what, you ask, did we blend? I’ve found that blending some Fumari tobacco, which tends to be quite sweet and flavorful (yet lacks a punch) with some Argelini tobacco (which is more neutral tasting, yet can give you a good head rush), you end up with a well-balanced smoke. So, I blended some Argelini Cool Mint, Argelini Champagne, Fumari Strawberry and Fumari Mint. The result? Deliciousness.

Tune back in soon to learn more about our flavor mixing experiments!

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!

Hookah Evolution

Over time, Nan and I have worked our way through a number of hookahs… always looking for a better smoking experience (as proper hookah snobs are bound to do). Here lies our hookah evolution:

large1

We begin with Large Marge, a 2-foot Syrian hookah that had staying power. Purchased on Mother’s Day 2012, Marge stuck around for nearly a year before meeting her unfortunate demise at the paws of Cheeky. Marge gave a great smoking experience – little effort needed, lots of smoke provided. The Syrians know how to make a good hookah! Marge was purchased for approximately $80 from Wonderland Smoke Shop in Santa Ana.

Rating: 4 Coals

topsy1

Next up is Topsy Turvy. Purchased after the untimely demise of Large Marge, Topsy was an impulse buy. She was half-price, but still nearly $40. Poor quality. Got clogged a lot. All glitz and no quality.

Rating: 1.5 Coals

beach 2

And now for the grand dame – our current Mya hookah (Egyptian) – Beach! Beach is just grand. Named after my sweet grandma (she loved blue sea glass), this hookah has it all. A compact body for a high-quality, safe smoking experience. Very smooth. Beach cost $70 and is worth every penny!

Rating: 5 Coals

We hope to keep Beach going for awhile, since she is such a gem. Please leave feedback as to your favorite type or brand of hookah!

It is official!

Mother, Nan and daughter, Carlye are officially hookah snobs.

Did they used to be satisfied with merely one flavor of tobacco at once? Yes. Now they require unique mixes and blends.

Did they used to smoke the same bowl of tobacco for hours on end? Yes. Now they require hourly(ish) refreshers.

Join Nan and Carlye on their daily hookah adventures.
The hookah snobs have arrived!