The first five years or so that I smoked shisha, the selection of tobacco was very lacking. As the industry has progressed, we have seen more and more tobacco brands appear from the shadows. International and national taxes on tobacco have caused most hookah tobacco companies to specialize in their country of origin. While there is nothing wrong with this, it means that most of us are limited to try our own countries shisha. In the US, there are many new and old shisha brands that are leading the industry. Some brands that come to mind are Hookah-Hookah, Starbuzz, Social Smoke, Fumari, and Al Fakher, among many others.
For me personally, Haze tobacco is a newer player on the field. Not only are they new to me, but they possess the energy of a young company, which is a pleasant experience. The packaging is compact, but solid. They include a small instructional card for how to pack their tobacco into a traditional bowl. The graphic design is bright, colorful, and makes you want to buy more. The metal can closes and opens with ease, but unlike other metal cans on the market, these actually stay shut. The cans are also stackable, as they have a notch on the bottom of the can to fit another can onto it. I have actually found this to be useful in my collection of shisha, if anything to just stay organized.
The cans are not sealed on the outside, which means when browsing Haze’s tobacco flavors in a store you can smell each flavor to your heart’s content. The shisha comes double bagged, which is convenient considering their cut is very wet. Other than being very wet, the cut is broad, thick, and holds the flavor well. Haze tobacco also seems to handle excessive heat from coals much better than most tobacco. I did, however, find too many stems in my batches. which is not a big deal, but an extra annoyance that is not needed.
I tried out their “Orange Swirls” flavor. I used a Kaloud Lotus with the Samsaris, and two Ecocha coals. The flavor comes out excellent in the first half hour of smoking; very smooth with hints of orange dominated by a creamy flavor. Clouds do not linger, but are huge with this cut. Towards the second half of the session, the orange flavor dominated while the cream flavor was heavily diminished. That being said, the bowl could have handled another set of coals and still provided ample flavor. The “creamsicle” flavor was very accurate, with an emphasis on a tart sour orange, which was very enjoyable for me as I love citrus flavors.
In conclusion, I find Haze tobacco to be a quality shisha product. The only problem was an abundance of stems, which can of course vary batch to batch, so I will chalk that up to bad luck. That being said, I will be buying more of this flavor; it has a certain longevity that is perfect for a long smoking session.