Tabaku - the brand, quality and details

September 15, 2020

Image of Tabaku shisha tobacco logo

Shisha Works recently added a new type of shisha tobacco to its range, and one that's quite different to traditional shisha tobacco like Al Fakher and Al-Waha; or the Heaven Leaf teabacco that our loyal customers are familiar with. We are of course referring to Tabaku shisha tobacco, where the tobacco and liquid molasses flavouring comes separated. If you've read our blog article from a couple of months back, you'll already know how to mix Tabaku shisha tobacco. This month we'd like to delve a little deeper into Tabaku the brand, as well as discussing the reasons behind this unique product.

Tabaku shisha tobacco was an idea conceived by a Sydney-based business called Izama. In Australia, tobacco products are heavily taxed by the Federal Government. Any tobacco product manufactured in Australia is subject to excise duty, and any tobacco product imported into Australia (known as excise equivalent goods or EEGs) is subject to customs duty at an equivalent rate to excise duty. In regard to imported tobacco products, the customs duty is determined by the weight of the product. This makes shisha tobacco extremely expensive to legally import since it has a much higher density than normal tobacco leaf due to the heavy weight of the molasses. Armed with this knowledge, Izama set out to create a shisha tobacco for the Australian market that is superior quality, 100% legally imported, and doesn't require a sultan's fortune for customers to enjoy. By separating the imported tobacco from the liquid molasses flavouring, Izama (and by extension its customers) only have to cover the exorbitant customs duties on the tobacco leaf, much the same as cigarette tobacco. This is how Tabaku shisha tobacco was born.

The quality of Tabaku was an area that Izama wasn't prepared to compromise on. Some of the finest tobacco leaf in the world is grown in a country on the opposite side of the world to Australia: Germany. Better known for its beer and sausages, you'd be surprised to learn that Germany has been one of the world's leading exporters of cigarettes for most of the 20th and 21st centuries. In particular, the Palatinate region of Germany has been cultivating the tobacco plant for well over 400 years and is held in the highest regard throughout the tobacco industry. Tabaku only contains German flue-cured Virginia leaf tobacco processed under the strictest quality control measures, so you won't find any stems/stalks mixed in. Virginia leaf tobacco also has a high absorption of molasses, making it a perfect tobacco leaf for shisha.

You might still be wondering why Izama would go to all this trouble when you can find well-known imported shisha tobacco brands for a reasonable price in Australia. Sadly, the majority of premixed shisha tobacco imported into Australia is done so illegally to avoid the prohibitive customs duties. These illegal tobacco products won't be sold in plain packaging or labelled with Government health warnings. If the price is too good to be true, you now know why. But the prices on imported shisha tobacco is steadily going up, as supply of the illegal imports becomes scarcer. Buoyed by new laws introduced in 2019, the Australian Border Force is clamping down on illegal importers and seizing and destroying illegal shisha tobacco in record quantities. Soon the only premixed shisha tobacco you will find imported into Australia will be at the extremely high price it should be once custom duty has been charged.

Aside from the legal/cost benefits, Tabaku shisha tobacco has many other benefits including:

  • Premium grade Virginia leaf tobacco, processed in Germany to the highest quality standards to ensure stems/stalks, artificial colours or dyes aren't included
  • Tobacco leaf is packaged separate from liquid molasses flavouring for the freshest smoking experience
  • Cleaner to smoke, and cleaner to handle
  • Security sealed plain packaging, compliant with Australian federal laws

Warning: Tabaku contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical. Quitline 13 78 48.

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