Tangiers: Instant Acclimation Is All In The Wrist
All mu’ assel (otherwise known as shisha or hookah tobacco to Westerners) falls in to two different categories based on the nicotine content of the mixture. There is “washed” tobacco, like Starbuzz and Al Fakher, which as a result have little to no nicotine content, and there is “unwashed” tobacco that has considerably more nicotine and also tends to have a more full bodied tobacco flavor. Whether the tobacco is actually “washed” is a trade secret.
Tangiers Tobacco makes a line called “Noir” that also goes by the name “OG Tangiers”. This is an unwashed tobacco that has full bodied flavors and a buzz that will sneak up from behind and clock you in the face if you’re not used to it. These nicotine levels in the tobacco actually change the chemistry of the tobacco. The nicotine level leaves the tobacco calling for some TLC to get the desired smoke.
What The Heck is Acclimation
Acclimation is simply the process of letting the tobacco adopt the humidity levels of the local atmosphere. The owner of Tangiers, Eric Hofmann, has always told people to acclimate his Noir line after receiving it. Acclimation is done so that the optimum balance of mando flavor and those sought after thunder clouds can be achieved. If the tobacco is not acclimated properly the shisha will smell like barbecue sauce and yield thin clouds clouds that are very harsh and nearly impossible to enjoy. Keep in mind, this information does not pertain to most of the big name tobacco out there. For now, this is a process that is pretty much exclusive to the Tangiers brand.
The “420” Acclimation Method
Since the tobacco is processed and packaged in San Diego where the climate is dry, the smokers are told to treat the tobacco with the “420” method. This is done to get the tobacco’s chemistry in order for the best smoking session. The first step of the”420″ method consist of emptying the vacuumed sealed bag in to a shallow air tight container. Next, the tobacco is left out for four hours while stirring every hour. Then, after the initial four hour period, the container is to be sealed for 20 more hours. All of this is done because the humidity in San Diego is most likely not similar to that of where the smoker lives. I’m no chemist and I can’t really explain why this works, but who really cares… (more here)
The Low Down
Here is the whole point of all this. There is a new, simpler, quicker technique, that has seen success (by myself and others) to instantly acclimate Tangiers Noir Tobacco. Before removing the tobacco from the sealed bag, massage the bag for 4-5 minutes. This completely mixes the tobacco in its “San Diego” climate controlled bag. Then, empty the tobacco in to your shallow air tight container, and let it sit for another 5-10 minutes.
I did this last night with Noir Guava and it worked perfectly. This process is still under discussion and testing, so each flavor may react differently and as of now, no one can guarantee that it will work every time for every person on every continent. And, if it doesn’t work out the first time, just fall back on the tried and true “420” method. No harm, no foul.