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Trying a Hookah?


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#1 deaddybear

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:04 AM

I noticed in one of the smoking threads mention of someone smoking a hookah (I think it was Shai?). I having been thinking about giving a hookah a try and would appreciate any "newbie" suggestions on a good way to start. Thanks!

#2 Martin Lake

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:17 AM

What kind of suggestions were you looking for? If you're unsure about it, the first thing I'd do is go to a hookah bar or a middle eastern restaurant where they serve them and try one there. For starters, that way you can figure out if you really like them. Also, it'll give you an idea of how they are prepared.
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#3 deaddybear

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:22 AM

Sadly I live in hicksville central california...no smoking in restaurants! Smoked one a couple of times in college - with a friend's dad, really enjoyed the smoke as I recall. I am not sure of a good starter hookah - are they usually found in traditional smoke shops or is it a specialty thing? Any good sources online?

#4 Martin Lake

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:30 AM

I've never really heard of a "starter hookah." They're not such complicated apparatuses that you need to start out with a simple one and then graduate your way up. This site has a lot of hookahs, but they seem a bit pricey, in my opinion. The junior 17" is what I have, and it serves me well.
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#5 Chris

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:07 AM

I am in no way an expert but I have one and the wife and I really enjoy it. They definitely can be pricey, and while they're not complicated there are a lot of cheap, poorly made hookahs out there so be careful. One suggestion if you do end up getting one: use natural coals not the pressed ones that are normally sold, I get mine from a local Aribic smoke shop, the pressed ones end up giving a lot of people headaches.
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#6 Bluescat

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:33 AM

Wow........all of our hookah experiences were way back in the '60's and '70's-some great memories...............
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#7 Sonny Mann

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:38 AM

They might be talking about some other substance. ???

Always fun to be able to remember.
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#8 Joe Legate

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:54 AM

Why, as I read this thread, did I hear the gentle sounds of sitar?

#9 Brooks

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 11:10 AM

They might be talking about some other substance. ??? Always fun to be able to remember.

"To be able" being the operative phrase.

#10 printmkr

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 11:38 AM

Wow........all of our hookah experiences were way back in the '60's and '70's-some great memories...............



Oh yes! I remember my girlfriend at the time was taking a pottery class, and made one for me for my birthday! My housemates affectionately referred to it as "Stoney Curtis" from Flintstone's fame. And I don't hear sitar, exactly, T73... perhaps more like Hot Tuna. Alright, I am dating myself and getting off topic...
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#11 LeRoy

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 02:53 PM

I've never tried the Hookah. Kind of strange this thread started, because last weekend I saw a Hookah bar in Chicago.

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#12 OMG_Bill

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 02:56 PM

I'm in the Bluescat, SonnyMann and T73 bunch. I messed with them in the 70's but nothing as serious what you may be looking for in regards to info. Sorry, just had to space out for a minute.

I can hear the Sitar as well. Mmmm :heart:

Ok, back to the topic.

:cheers:
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#13 Hans Conried

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:11 PM

I've always been a non-smoker, but we ducked into a hookah bar in N.O. a few years ago (pre-Katrina). I tried some double-apple tobacco, it was very pleasant and went well with belgian ale. A Mediterranean deli near here sells them and tobacco and I have also been tempted...

#14 peridot

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:33 PM

I'm a hookah smoker but I am pretty uneducated about it. I've got a nice little 21" one.

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#15 Joe Legate

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:40 PM

I bet you say that to all the girls.

#16 Nymphadora

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:52 PM

I smoked a lovely apple tobacco from a hookah at a medieval event. I was surprised by the smoothness.
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#17 Brian Robinson

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:28 AM

This is the site I use to get my shisha.

They have a ton of great flavors. One that is a MUST try is the rose flavored, by Nakhla. As a starter, I wouldn't recommend getting the Zhagloul shisha. It's some harsh stuff.

My hookah is similar to the Pyramid style they have online. When you're shoping for one, make sure to get one where the entire shaft is one piece. Ones that have several pieces tend to leak air, which dampens the experience.

I'd also highly recommend the ceramic shisha bowl. They require a bit more cleaning, but they tend to regulate the temperature better.
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#18 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:54 AM

... I don't hear sitar, exactly, T73... perhaps more like Hot Tuna.

"That ain't puddin' baby, that ain't pie, it's that stuff that got you by..."

Jonathan Edwards sets the tone of the era for me.

Back on topic: I have an old 60s-era Turkish narghile, but unfortunately it's in sad shape. Thanks for the link Shabba.

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#19 Brian Robinson

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:55 AM

Anytime :cheers:
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#20 peridot

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 08:06 AM

Bookmarked. I need to do some hookah supply shopping soon.

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#21 Professor Push/Pull

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 02:38 PM

Yes, thanks for the site Shabba. Great to have a variety of choices in all things. Don't forget the Padron Madura if you are in a tight spot. :cheers:

#22 Mindshifter

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:41 AM

I'm a non-smoker, but I just had to try shisha when we're in Egypt this winter. As said earlier, the smoothness was very surprising (and pleasant). We both loved a tobacco which had a nice liquorice taste; unfortunately I can't remember the name of it.

In the maze-like bazaar of Khan el-Khalili, one could buy a beautiful large shisha (with a solid metal shaft and all accessories) for not more than 60 LE. (I think that's about $10...)

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#23 Martin Lake

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 10:22 AM

That's delightful. I haven't brought my hookah out in a long while, but it makes a fantastic accompaniment to an after-dinner drink.
Ah, la petite mort; such beautiful suicide.

#24 deaddybear

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 10:25 AM

Thanks Shabba! That is a great site with tons of info - exactly what I was looking for...

Of course, this is almost as bad as trying to figure out what to get on that first absinthe order. What a great problem to have.

#25 Ryan

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 07:09 PM

A Mediterranean deli near here sells them and tobacco and I have also been tempted...


I think I know that place!

I'm a non-smoker, but for some reason I've been thinking about trying shisha lately. I have enjoyed reading this thread, but I'm hoping to avoid picking up yet another vice.
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#26 TheSixthRing

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 12:54 PM

I've got years of experience, and have owned my own hookah since 2002. If you're looking into getting into it, here's some tips based on my experience to help you along:

* The best deals on hookahs can be found on ebay, but use caution. Look for ones made with stainless steel.

* Several of my friends have purchsed 3 and 4 hose hookahs, and have later wished they'd purchased a 2 like myself. Anything more than 2 hoses, and it becomes harder to suck out the smoke, sometimes to the point where it becomes more a chore than it is a joyful experience.

Shisha brands I recommend: Al Fakher, Havana, Al-Qemah, Fumari Romman (though slightly overpriced), and Al Waha (for the price).

Best to avoid: Al Amir, Nakhla (same price as Al Waha, but the later is higher quality)

I've found olivewood coals to be the best in bringing out the most in your shisha flavor. They smell a bit funny when being heated, but there's no denying they allow the best smoking experience. Problem is they're hard to find. The next best alternative, IMO, are the Nour coals.

Whatever you do, avoid ALL Self-lighting coals. The taste produced by these coals is downright wretched!
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#27 sabrina

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 02:45 PM

a little wormwood added in with your shisha makes for an extra nice treat... :yahoo:

#28 AlyssaDyane

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 02:56 PM

Are we back to this topic again?
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#29 Brian Robinson

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 04:56 PM

Oh boy...
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#30 Joe Legate

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 06:04 PM

a little wormwood?

Hi Sabrina! Allow me to direct you here so that you can introduce yourself. There are a lot of good folks wanting to Welcome you to the Forum. :cheers:


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