When it comes to shisha, we are spoilt for choice as hookah smokers. First and foremost, there are different types. The most common type is shisha tobacco, which contains nicotine (obviously!). The other popular type is made up of herbal varieties like shisha teabacco, which are all-natural alternatives free from artificial and carcinogenic additives. From those main types there are thousands of brands worldwide, with unique tastes and sensations based on the origin of the plant and processing techniques. Whichever brand or type you prefer, there are then hundreds of different shisha flavours to indulge in, including fruity flavours, creamy flavours, and spicy flavours (among others). While each flavour can be enjoyed on its own, by mixing shisha types, brands and flavours you can enhance your smoking experience exponentially! * mind blown * That's all good and well, but you're probably now wondering what are the benefits of mixing shisha and how do you correctly mix shisha flavours? Never fear, all your questions will be answered below including a list of our staff selected shisha blends.
Benefits of mixing shisha
It's no secret that when it comes to taste and smell, mixing selected ingredients has the effect of intensifying certain notes while masking others. Every day we combine different food ingredients to improve the taste of meals, mask unpleasant smells with other (less offensive) smells, or mix multiple liquids into various non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages (again, for taste and smell). That being said, you can't just throw random ingredients together and expect a guaranteed improvement. For every PB&J (peanut butter and jelly/jam sandwich), there's an orange juice and milk (seriously, don't try this at home, or anywhere for that matter). Mixing different shisha types, brands and flavours is no different. Finding the right combination can bring out the best parts of each ingredient, but when you get it wrong it's just a waste of good shisha. Luckily enough, we've done the testing for you – just pick from the blends below based on flavours you normally like (or like the sound of).
Mixing similar flavours, different types or brands
For a subtle blend, mix similar or the same flavours of shisha from different types or brands. You'll notice a slightly unique taste to the hookah smoke from shisha that has been grown in different regions, and can adjust the level of nicotine up or down as desired by adjusting the split of tobacco and teabacco. At Shisha Works, we like using combinations of Al Fakher shisha tobacco (U.A.E), Al-Waha shisha tobacco (Jordan), and Heaven Leaf shisha teabacco (Sri Lanka). While it's pretty hard to mess these up, here are some of our favourites that we know are winners:
- Al Fakher Rose shisha tobacco mixed with Heaven Leaf Rose shisha teabacco
- Al-Waha HotNCold shisha tobacco (blueberry and ice mint) with Heaven Leaf Wild Berry shisha teabacco
- Al-Waha Summer Air shisha tobacco (lemon and passionfruit) with Heaven Leaf Lemon shisha teabacco
Mixing complimentary flavours, different types or brands
While mixing complimentary flavours can be a bit more hit and miss, if you follow a simple rule you should be pretty safe: if the ingredients mix well in meals and drinks, they should work well for shisha blends. These blends will be a bit more diverse, introducing new notes that aren't distinguishable in the individual flavours, while masking others. Some great combinations are:
- Al-Waha Magic Touch shisha tobacco (blueberry, lime, and mint) with Heaven Leaf Grape shisha teabacco
- Al Fakher Blueberry Mint shisha tobacco mixed with Heaven Leaf Bubble Gum shisha teabacco
- Al-Waha Orange Mint shisha tobacco with Heaven Leaf Lime shisha teabacco
How to blend shisha mixes
While it's important to select shisha that works well together, even a great mix can be ruined if not blended correctly. To avoid wastage, use your hookah bowl to measure out exactly the right quantities to fill a single bowl (or more if you know it's a blend you like and plan to have a big session). This also helps to visually control the split between the different shisha (e.g. 50% / 50% split, 30% / 70% split, 30% / 40% / 30% split etc.). Then, follow our steps on how to pack a hookah bowl. When mixing shisha, it's even more important to get a uniform cut, as the different shisha will come in different lengths. It's also very important to mix the glycerine/molasses/sugar syrup together as much as possible for a smoother, more consistent session.
Some people like “sectioning” the different shisha (like what is shown in the feature image for this blog article), keeping the flavours/brands/types separate in the hookah bowl. We have tried this method and are not fans. The bowl will not burn consistently, creating a hotter and harsher session. It's also a lot harder and time-consuming to cut the shisha to uniform lengths when you can't mix them together and cut all at once.
An alternative - shisha creams, shisha pastes, and hookah squeezes
Shisha creams are a quick and cleaner alternative to shisha tobacco and shisha teabacco. This is because there is no shisha tobacco to cut, and the toothpaste-like tube means that there is significantly less mess than when handling normal shisha (no more molasses or syrup stuck to your fingers!). Shisha creams score a mention in this blog article since many of the flavours come already blended, taking the guesswork out. Simply squeeze the paste out of the tube straight into your hookah bowl and spread evenly around the entire bowl using a teaspoon or similar utensil. Then place your aluminium foil or screen over the top as usual and you're good to go!
We hope this article has opened up a world of new tastes and smells for you and your shisha smoking friends. Once you've tried a few of our shisha blend recipes above and have gotten the hang of correctly blending the different shisha, you can start to experiment with your own concoctions. Happy smoking!