Yesterday¬† I travelled to Jerusalem to do a few things and had in mind to also try making my own shisha tobacco from beginning to end.
I knew I needed to buy liquid¬† glycerine anyways to have around as an additive for dry shisha, (which is rare). The price in a pharmacy was¬† 41 dollars for a large liter bottle. A liter is quite a lot, and IF I would have wanted that much, I’m sure that it could be bought online cheaper by far.
I bought in the end 2 small bottles of¬† 100 milligrams. I notice that there is a date on it that it “goes bad” , which is one of the reasons that tobacco shisha will get rancid 2 years past its stamped date.Each 100 milligrams¬† were $4.75.
The first experiment I did was to take a cherry flavoured Nakhla brand shisha which I like¬† very much and added about¬† 1/8 of a teaspoon to an average size bowl ammount of shisha¬† and mixed it. I waited around 4 hours for it to acclimatize to the¬† room’s atmosphere which is the minimum ammount of time to wait. I¬† usually open a new pack of shisha and let it acclimatize for 12-20 hours. The flavour of this good shisha with a bit extra glycerine was quite disapointing.For sure I had added too much. Now, why did I pick Nakhla brand? It is the driest of shisha brands. Usually you see how “wet” a shisha is, and feel it on¬† your fingers. like this
Nakhla is dry and crumbly where for example, Al-Sultan brand is¬† wetter and hold together .The nice cherry flavour was almost non existent, but I got an oily kind of taste on my tongue which stayed even when I changed hoses, brushed my teeth and tongue with¬† baking soda and mint. Later I even drank tea with lemon, but the taste stayed. In my opinion, this means that Nakhla stands alright as it is.
The second experiment was taking¬† nakhla melon, my favourite melon brand and added much less glycerine and put¬† in a good ammount of nutmeg and cinnamon in the shisha and mixed well. I waited around 5 hours for it to acclimatize and tried. Also oily tasting but I can’t be sure if that was an after effect of my first¬† bad experiment or not. I have taken straight¬† Nakhla melon and mixed with these 2 spices before in the past.Upon smoking the mixture it did not burn even though the spices had absorbed a good ammount of the glycerine in the mixture, but I couldn’t taste much.I’ll try the new mix with glycerine and spices again since like mentioned, maybe the first experiment¬† coated badly my tongue for hours.
¬†I didn’t know how much to use with glycerine so I poured about 2 teaspoons of glycerine into a plastic container and added a good ammount of cigarette tobacco. As I saw the mixture was quite wet, I kept adding more and more tobacco, slowly making sure that the tobacco had a chance to absorb the glycerine completely. I had to do add and re-mix at least 15 times? The glycerine went a long way. The tobacco mix was left out for around 12 hours and I tried a tiny bit in a small shisha bowl. Now, I haven’t smoked cigarettes for about 32 years. Is rolling tobacco stronger than the average cigarette? Boy was that strong to inhale. I inhale a lot¬† of regular shisha, but this was way too strong for me. I’ll¬† have to borrow a cigarette from someone and compare the taste and strength.Its mentioned online that people roll their own to get by paying the high price of tax on cigarettes(?) and probably do it for the same reasons we prepare shisha for smoking!
(Just¬†now after going online to one site, the guy writing bought a same size pack of “Drum” tobacco which is standard fare for $3.57 -40 gram pack. That’s in California with a high tobacco tax, while in Israel I paid $7.50 more than twice as much).One thing is for sure, the mixture was perfect. If I had to much glycerine in it, it would have been oily which it wasn’t. Too little glycerine and it would have burnt instead of dissapating into gas into the water as shisha does. So the mixture was a succsess but its too strong for me. What I plan to do is add tiny ammounts of it to other shisha’s like vanilla or other bland types to give it more taste. I did like the taste, it just was too strong.
How much did it cost me? I have here what looks to be 70 grams shisha, maybe 80. Lets do a rough guess and call it 80, since a regular pack of shisha which you buy will be¬† 4o grams, so I have 2 packs here. It says on my tobacco bag 40 grams .That cost me $7.50 brought from America to Israel, and we do have a high tax on tobacco besides the price of shipping etc. I used around $1.00 worth of glycerine¬† and around¬† $2.50 for the tobacco. I used no sugar , honey or molasses. So lets say it was $3.50 total for 8o grams being $1.75 for a 40 gram homemade pack.
I normally pay $1.60 in Israel for a pack online but the street price on literally every place cigarettes are sold is $1.60-$2.00 for a 4o gram ack of NAKHLA shisha in Jerusalem ,Tel Aviv,Haifa,etc.
Yesterday at this store I went into which sells trinkets, indian clothes and hookahs they had a sale on NAKHLA. 10 packs of Nakhla of your choosing for 35 Israeli shekel. That is 3.5 Shekel a pack and I get it online for 6.5 a pack . 87 cents a pack!!!!! I looked on purpose for the date figuring it could be old shisha, but it was brand new, and after I left it out for 14 hours, it smokes wonderful. I think they had around 12 flavours or more to choose from. Hardly worth the price of¬† buying an airplane ticket to come here, load up and buy shisha. You’d pay customs in the U.S.A.upon returning.No? But if you would come to see the country, tour and have the idea to buy a hookah here, they are so cheap,even the very good quality hookahs, and tobacco if you buy it like I did on a sale in the very center of Jerusalem’s business and store area, well you could have the time of your life save on shisha. If you are here long enough you would be able to have a good portion of the ticket paid in shisha savings. Especially if you come from Great Britain¬† where they pay so much as twice American prices!