Thomas Paine once said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” Tobacco is a temperamental mistress. One method might be appropriate for one type, but will be completely wrong in another scenario. There are many different cuts, and many different preparations.

A major factor with packing tobacco is the type of bowl you use to enjoy your smoke. Cut, consistency, and the bowl used are all critical parts of having a quality hookah session. Today we will talk about the basics behind packing a specific tobacco into a specific bowl.

The Vortex is a bowl that serves many different tobacco preparations well. With its deep bowl, and its spire with side intakes, you make sessions last longer by preventing the juices from flowing out of the bowl. With the shape of the Vortex, you also ensure that airflow goes around the edge, underneath the tobacco, and then goes to the intake holes. This helps the shisha burn more evenly.

Most packs with a Vortex bowl are relatively straight forward, but with some tobaccos, you have to use some specific techniques. Tangiers is a small tobacco company based in the United States, and is relatively hard pressed to cope with the demand they produce. Tangiers focuses on a lot of natural flavors. What I mean by this is that Tangiers rarely goes after any flavor that one has not experienced in everyday life. I think this is a great approach to shisha flavors. Their cut is finely chopped, and they use a very thick base. Unlike most shisha tobacco, Tangiers is unwashed. This adds to the flavor profile, but more importantly, it means the tobacco is stronger than what most are used to.

Packing Tangiers has always been a highly debatable topic. Some years ago, a video surfaced of the creator of Tangiers showing how to pack their tobacco. Since then, people swear by certain methods, while damning others. The key to packing Tangiers, in my opinion, is patience.

Packing Tangiers in a Vortex bowl is simpler than most would realize. When stored, Tangiers is tightly packed, which should correspond with how you pack it in a bowl. Start by placing a rubber grommet around the Vortex spire. This way, you assure that you do not clog the intake holes, and give ample space for the tobacco to burn. Start with a generous amount and start packing. The pack needs to be denser than most shisha tobaccos, as it holds its flavor better by doing this. Only pack to slightly below the top line of the bowl. With a thick unwashed tobacco, packing lower is better. From here, you should have a density that is quite compact to the touch. Be sure to mix Tangiers evenly before packing, to distribute the flavors, and do not forget to acclimate! Once the hard part is over, all you have to do is pull off the rubber grommet, leaving a nice space for air in your bowl. From here, foil or a heat management system is fine, just be sure to use a lower amount of heat. Two coals should be plenty for Tangiers. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Tangiers while breaking all the rules!

tangiers shisha tobacco