My nephew, a college student, was sharing with me recently the newest craze he and his friends discovered one night while taking a break from their studies. It’s called Hookah and while it has been around for centuries and is popular in the Middle East, Westerners, in particular college students and young urban adults, are enjoying meeting up at these modern cigar-type lounges.
Hookah means water pipe and the practice of using a Hookah for smoking originated in India and Persia and later became popular in Turkey and Iran. Hookah involves putting tobacco into a glass bowl perched on top of a vertical metal stem and ignited with charcoal. The smoke is drawn down a tube into the glass bowl containing cool water and the smoke is filtered before drawn out into a flexible tube that is passed around.
You may not have heard of hookah but you probably have seen it in action. If you recall, in the movie Alice in Wonderland, Alice comes upon a caterpillar in the woods who is smoking something. Yep, it’s a hookah and you can hear a slight Middle Eastern beat in the background.
College students like my nephew enjoy the laid back vibe of hookah lounges. Because most hookah lounges serve soft drinks, coffee, tea and snacks and usually no alcohol, it’s a nice social place for them to have a smoke and visit with friends. A typical smoking session lasts around 45 minutes and guests are charged by how many people are smoking together.
The tobacco smoked in the hookah is called shisha and comes in a variety of flavors. Shisha is made by taking tobacco and adding flavor and then using a binding agent such as honey, molasses or vegetable glycerin or a combination to keep it all together. You can find shisha in a wide range of flavors such as tropical punch, guava, orange, apple mint to name a few. For a better understanding and variety, visit: http://www.bnbtobacco.com/categories/shisha-tobacco-herbal/brands/
Most hookah lounges have some Islamic décor with a contemporary flair and may include modern elements such as plasma televisions and oxygen bars. These lounges provide a relaxing experience among interesting people of different ethnic backgrounds who enjoy sharing friendship and relaxation time. For a more private experience, you can purchase your own hookah and shisha at an online tobacco retailer like us, www.bnbtobacco.com and invite your friends over for a relaxing night “in”.