Hookah is a smoking apparatus comprising the glass base, clay bowl, stem, hose, etc. The water pipe or hookah isn’t the tobacco that you smoke. Also, what everyone knows as shisha or hookah tobacco isn’t the same stuff you find in cigarettes and cigars.
Thus, you may wonder what hookah tobacco exactly is. Also, there are distinct types of hookah tobacco. Furthermore, there are scores of shisha flavors. Naturally, hookah tobacco perplexes many beginners. So, let’s explore everything you need to know about hookah tobacco.
What Is Hookah Tobacco?
Hookah tobacco contains leaves of the nicotiana plant. The same nicotiana plant is the source of the leaves used to make tobacco for cigarettes and cigars. Of course, there are many species of the nicotiana plant, so you have plenty of varieties with different characteristics.
However, the nicotiana leaves are processed, dried, and powdered to form the tobacco inside a typical cigarette. Also, cigarette tobacco contains several chemicals. Cigars have comparatively fewer chemicals. Some cigars may have only the tobacco leaves that are somewhat processed.
In contrast, shisha tobacco doesn’t have chemicals. But the leaves are washed and infused with natural additives to have the distinct flavors. Before we get into the flavors, let us understand the types of hookah tobacco.
Types of Hookah Tobacco
There are three main types of hookah tobacco:
- Dark leaf
- Blonde leaf
The nicotiana plant has around seventy species throughout the world. So, there are different species of both dark and blonde leaf tobacco. However, the origin aside, the characteristics of one species are similar. Hence, the eventual hookah tobacco has specific traits.
Dark Leaf Tobacco
Dark leaf tobacco is rich in nicotine. Thus, the black leaves are bolder than other varieties of tobacco. Also, the dark leaf tobacco used in shisha flavors is not washed extensively, as that would get rid of the nicotine content.
In effect, dark leaf hookah tobacco offers a stronger hit with a more pronounced flavor profile. However, that doesn’t imply other tobacco varieties don’t have a distinct flavor, texture, or kick.
Blonde Leaf Tobacco
Blonde leaf tobacco has a lighter color, a concoction of orange and brown. Of course, the exact shade varies, depending on the source or origin of blonde leaf tobacco. In the United States, the most popular type of blonde leaf tobacco is known as Virginia tobacco.
In comparison with dark leaf, the blonde variant has less nicotine and a milder flavor profile. So, this variety is more suitable for numerous flavor infusions. Also, the milder hit and less nicotine content make blonde leaf tobacco a favorite among hookah users.
Tombak - Turkish Tobacco
Tombak is Turkish tobacco that has a much bolder flavor and high nicotine content compared to blonde leaf. Even the dark leaf tobacco used in shisha flavors is not as bold as tombak. But the Turkish tobacco is not infused with any flavors, as the users prefer it for the raw boldness.
Also, tombak doesn’t have much molasses, glycerin, and other such agents to process the leaves so that they develop the juicy and moist characteristics that shisha tobacco flavors are known for. That said, let us now get to the most important elements of hookah tobacco.
Hookah Tobacco Flavors
Both dark leaf and blond leaf tobaccos used to make shisha flavors are processed with glycerin and molasses to varying degrees. The precise proportion depends on the manufacturer and the recipes for every distinct flavor. But molasses and vegetable glycerin are the two most common ingredients used to moisten, soften, and enrich hookah tobacco, whether dark or blonde.
Some hookah tobacco varieties have honey. The honey may be a flavor enhancer in some recipes or used as an ingredient to complement the glycerin and molasses. Either way, the use of honey makes some of these shisha tobacco flavors a tad costlier than the regular varieties.
Additionally, hookah tobacco has distinct flavors. Like cigarettes, hookah tobacco has a menthol variant. Beyond that, hookah tobacco has more than a hundred flavors. These flavors include a variety of fruits, herbs, spices, natural extracts of many edible ingredients, and special blends.
So, hookah tobacco is not even remotely the chemical substance used in cigarettes. And the tobacco leaves used in cigars are different from the moist, juicy, and flavor-infused shisha tobacco.
Hookah Tobacco Without Nicotine
Blonde leaf shisha tobacco flavors have very little nicotine compared to the darker and bolder variants. However, you can get hookah tobacco without any nicotine whatsoever. Many brands produce shisha flavors that use washed hookah tobacco leaves to eliminate the nicotine.