We've all done it - perhaps while swiping away on our smart phones we've wondered "How did I ever live without one?" Perhaps a couple of seconds' research on the internet answers a question that's been on your mind for ages and mused "I don't know what I did before I could Google things". How could I possibly smoke my hookah back before there was washed, flavored tobacco? The answer is simple: after a bowl of traditional Tombac, the smoker probably didn't care about how it tasted. "Tombac" most often refers to whole leaf, unwashed, unprocessed, unflavored tobacco. By today's standards, a bowl of tombac would most likely render a smoker unable to care about anything except a strong buzz from the large quantities of nicotine.
By request we now carry Sultan Asfahini Tombac in a 500g bag, a type of hookah tobacco that is popular in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and India. This type of tombac is called "Isfahani", and because of the phonetic translation from Arabic you may see different spellings on the package elsewhere ("Asfahana", "Isfahani", etc.). "Ajami" is another name for Tombac, which is what you'll see on the packaging we carry in our store. What you'll first notice when opening the package is that it's basically a brick of pressed large tobacco leaves:
How to Use Tombac: Soak the tombac in water for a few hours. Once they have been soaked, CAREFULLY wring out any excess water by gently squeezing the leaves.
There are basically two ways to smoke Tombec: The leaves can be either shredded with a knife, placed in a hookah bowl, and smoked like normal shisha tobacco. Or, a more recommended method is to take strips of the squeezed-dried shisha and wind it around the bowl stem of your hookah until it eventually looks something like a vertical cigar (see picture below). Just as one would light a cigar, the hookah coals are placed on the top and smoked downwards throughout the session.
This is a fair warning that tombac is VERY strong, and may leave a strong tobacco taste in your hookah and hookah hose. It is recommended to wash out your hookah immediately after smoking, and have a dedicated hose for use with tombac. For those of you that are so bold, enjoy, and happy smoking!