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What Is The Difference Between Dark Leaf And Blonde Leaf Tobacco?

Dark Leaf vs. Blonde Leaf Shisha Tobacco

Over the years the hookah market has grown by leaps and bounds resulting in a smorgasbord of different tobacco brands, flavors, cuts, and styles of shisha. While this may seem like shisha heaven for experienced smokers, for those new to the hookah world all of these options might be a bit overwhelming at first.

When deciding on a new shisha flavor to try out most hookah smokers start by considering the shisha brand or what the flavor itself might taste like, but something that is often overlooked is whether it is a blonde leaf or a dark leaf tobacco.

Each of these types of tobacco has its own distinct attributes and may require a different bowl packing method to get the best results, so today we're going to cover some of the distinct qualities to both dark and blonde leaf tobaccos as well as some great recommendations for each style as well.

 Dark Leaf Shisha

Dark Leaf Shisha (a.k.a. Black Leaf) - This type of tobacco is produced by using unwashed tobacco leaves, meaning that the leaf has its full natural nicotine content, and is most commonly flavored by using molasses. This results in a dark colored shisha with a high nicotine buzz factor and earthy tobacco notes will be present in the flavor. 

Note: Due to its high nicotine buzz level dark leaf shisha is recommended for experienced smokers

Bowl Pack Recommendation: Most dark leaf tobaccos smoke best when dense packed in to the bowl, and in our experience Phunnel style bowls work best with this type of tobacco.


Now let's take a look at 3 of the most popular dark leaf shishas! 

Tangiers Hookah Tobacco

Tangiers Tobacco - Tangiers was the first dark leaf shisha tobacco on the market and paved the way for all other dark leaf shishas that would follow, and it is still the king of the hill of dark leaf tobaccos today. This is one of the strongest tobaccos on the market both in terms of flavor potency and buzz factor and Tangiers offers a huge menu of unique flavor options as well.

Available in 100g and 250g sizes.

Trifecta Hookah Tobacco


Trifecta Dark - Trifecta Dark is a finely chopped dark leaf tobacco coated in a very generous amount of flavoring molasses meaning that this tobacco has very potent flavor and excellent cloud production. Due to its strength of flavors, cloud output, and its menu of distinct flavor options Trifecta's Dark line has become one of the most popular choices for dark leaf shisha on the market. 

Available in 250g or 1000g sizes.

Starbuzz Vintage Hookah Tobacco


Starbuzz VintageStarbuzz is one of the most well known shisha brands in the hookah world, and their dark leaf Vintage line is another excellent entry from this brand. Starbuzz Vintage is extremely juicy and a bit more of a choppy or chunky cut of tobacco when compared to other dark leaf shishas making this one a bit more versatile in how it can be packed in the bowl. 

Available in 200g size.

Note: While we could only highlight 3 brands here for the sake of time, we also carry a ton of other excellent dark leaf shisha tobaccos options that are well worth checking out here: Dark Leaf Shisha Tobacco Flavors

Blonde Leaf Shisha

Blonde Leaf Shisha (a.k.a. Golden Leaf) - This type of tobacco is produced by washing or rinsing the tobacco leaves during the production process to reduce the amount of natural nicotine content in the leaf, though it will still contain nicotine, and is typically flavored by using honey. This results in a lighter colored tobacco that is lower on the nicotine buzz factor scale while maintaining full flavor and cloud output.

This type of shisha is recommended for new smokers or those looking to keep the buzz factor to a minimum.

Bowl packing tip: Typically a loose or "fluff" pack works best with blonde leaf and this type of tobacco smokes well in any style of hookah bowl.