Written by Jacob - Hookah Enthusiast
Finding the best shisha brands can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re a newbie in hookah smoking. There are a vast range of different shisha options and finding the right tobacco for hookahs will certainly demand a bit of research and exploration. Shisha brands differ in the type of products they can offer, certain interesting flavors that they specialize in, price, and a lot of other factors that you probably want to be aware of before making the right choice for you.
If you’re already gained some experience smoking hookahs, that’s great! But perhaps you think it’s time to take things to the next level and truly start experimenting with different hookah tobacco options. To help you make the right decisions and become familiar with different shisha brands, I’ve created a list of some of the best hookah tobacco you could try.
Top well-established shisha brands – Complete List
When you search for a decent shisha flavor to try with your hookah, chances are that you’ll find yourself at a crossroad. So many flavors, strengths, and effects that you can get. But how do you know which brands can be trusted?
There are so many companies that produce or sell shisha tobacco. While some are legitimate, reliable, and proven brands, others are relatively new and just starting to make their way into the diverse world of hookah smoking.
To make things a bit easier for you, I’ll share my list of top shisha brands to try:
Adalya is one of the well-established hookah tobacco brands out there, offering a rich diversity of flavored shisha. With more than 280 options to choose from, Adalya is one of my favorites. However, the flavors are not the only thing that I found interesting about the brand. It’s actually created by a tobacco professional with a true passion for providing his cafe’s clients with some of the best hookah and shisha flavors.
You can see the commitment and attention to detail in the created products. Today, Adalya is the biggest nargile tobacco producer in Turkey, but the company also takes second place on the global shisha stage.
Regular Adalya Flavor Line
Some hookah smokers around the world associate Adalya with strong shisha tobacco. For me personally, this is not the case but I’m an experienced smoker, which could explain why. A lot of people call this line the regular one as it’s the first that was ever released. It offers hookah smokers about 150 shisha flavors and it’s certainly the brand’s largest product line.
You can expect regular packaging and 50g boxes. Although the line’s main focus is fruits, you can also expect to see some shisha alternatives like the Lady Killer, Lemon Cocktail, Ipanema, and the Lychee Blue. True masters in mix and match, Adalya offers something for everyone’s senses.
Adalya Blue Horse Flavor Line
Adaly’s Blue Horse Flavor line offers hookah smokers some great fruity flavors and mixes like the Baku Nights, North Lights, Rio Ks, and the Coldest Green. If you’re fond of light fruity mixtures, you’ll love this line. It’s not too heavy and some of its flavors include a tiny scent of spices like cinnamon or peppermint, which completely change the hookah adventure altogether.
Adalya Aqua Mentha Flavor Line
The Aqua Mentha and Black Flavor lines are the brand’s two recent releases. In fact, the two new lines are quite similar to Starbuzz and if we compare the two, it’s evident how they directly compete. As the name suggests, the Aqua Mentha Flavor line is an amazing journey for menthol-lovers and cold and refreshing hookah flavors. I was instantly attracted to the packaging, which greatly represents the experience you’re about to have via the use of blue and cool colors. I would definitely recommend this line for the hot season or for anyone looking to enjoy a nice refreshing smoke.
Adalya Black Flavor Line
This is the most common stop for hookah experts who are after a flavor that is rich in nicotine and rather strong. With its stylish black packaging, the Black Flavor line includes the regular fruity flavors but in an enhanced and stronger version. You can try the Black Peach, Double Apple, Black Dragon, Black Tea, or Horchata. Everything about the use of words suggests more and stronger.
Adalya’s Favorite Flavors
Every brand is popular for a few flavors that truly stand out. For Adalya, the flavors that most hookah smokers talk about are the:
- Mango-tango with ice (new name MNG TNGS)
- Love 66
- Berlin nights
Starbuzz is a name well-known around the world for its creative shisha flavors. The brand made its entrance into the US market in 2005 and has since then gained popularity in different countries and regions. The release of the BOLD line in 2010 made the brand even more attractive and popular for Starbuzz. Today, there are more than 120 amazing flavors and mixes you can try. Apart from shisha, Starbuzz also sells hookahs, charcoal, and other hookah-related accessories.
Starbuzz BOLD Line
The Starbuzz BOLD is one of its best and most recognized lines. Considered a true masterpiece, it offers unmatched and creative tobacco lines that represent mystery, audacity, and spice. This line is perfect for those fond of strong tastes and lasting hookah sessions.
Starbuzz Vintage Line
Before releasing the Vintage line, Starbuzz spent two years in research and tests. The line uses unwashed dark leaf tobacco and opens the doors to a world of juicy fruits, cream, mint, and spices. You can find the Starbuzz Vintage line in 200g which is enough for 10 to 15 bowls.
Starbuzz Serpent Line
The Serpent is Starbuzz’ latest shisha tobacco line with a dark leaf composition, giving a strong and exclusive experience. The line is also produced using kettle cured tobacco leaves that can cope with heat better. You can expect a slight buzz and rich flavors. The Serpent line is also different with its unique pouch-style packaging.
Starbuzz Exotic Line
A line that offers hookah smokers 70 unique flavor blends, produced using the golden tobacco leaf. The Exotic line will give you a slight buzz and it’s popular for giving you the opportunity to dive into rare flavors and enjoy dense smoke clouds.
Starbuzz Favorite Flavors
Without a doubt, Starbuzz differentiates itself from the rest. The top three Starbuzz flavors are:
- Blue Mist (most popular ever)
- Pirate’s Cave
- Apple Cinnamon
Described as the Rolls Royce of the hookah tobacco world, Tangiers’ shisha flavors are a perfect match for experienced hookah smokers because of the specifics during use. The production happens in California, USA but the brand is popular on the global hookah tobacco market.
Tangiers is placed on the market as an ultra-premium shisha brand for those who are able to truly appreciate the delicacies of quality shisha. To explore its full potential, experts advise that you use a specific funnel bowl designed by the brand for an optimal experience.
You won’t be able to find the Tangiers Lucid line easily as it was discontinued once the brand launched its Birquq line. The Lucid line offered smokers an alternative with the lowest amount of nicotine compared to the rest of the brand’s lines.
Another line characterized by large and unmatched clouds, the Burley is nicotine-heavy and, in fact, has the highest nicotine content when compared to other Tangiers lines. All the flavors from this line offer strong aromas and are extremely rich and dense but the setback is that there aren’t a lot of options to choose from.
Tangiers Noir Line
The Noir line is the Tangiers’ traditional or regular tobacco lines created by the company. Noir is created using unwashed tobacco and offers a medium concentration of nicotine. After testing it, I’ve placed it between the Burley and Birquq line in terms of heaviness. You can find a diverse range of flavors from the Noir line but remember that it does require certain heat management skills to get the most out of it.
The F-line is a caffeine-enriched line and of the options recommended for advanced hookah smokers. It requires specific care and adjustment in terms of packing, heat management, and has a powerful buzz. Smokers are fond of this line due to the big clouds and strong smokes.
Tangiers BIRQUQ Line
Тhe Birquq or M-line can be compared to the Lucid line that is no longer officially available. The main similarity between the two is the low levels of nicotine. However, the Birquq line has maintained lasting and extraordinary flavors. The Birquq is considered a suitable choice for smokers who are just starting with the Tangiers brand. Try more than 30 amazing flavors.
Tangiers Favorite Flavors
Just like with any other brand, the best shisha flavors are usually those that are hard to compare to what others have to offer. The top three names that hookah smokers are excited about when it comes to Tangiers are:
- Cane Mint
- Kashmir Peach
Fumari and Tangiers share one thing in common – they’re both produced in San Diego. Fumari is considered premium tobacco that uses Virginia tobacco leaves to provide a light, tasty, and aromatic smoking experience. The brand offers more than 30 flavors that can be purchased either in 100g or 1kilo sizes.
You’ll enjoy a thick shisha juice and a set of delicious original flavors. Smokers are encouraged to try new mixes and combinations of original flavors to explore new sensations. The brand is also very open to creative ideas and encourages smokers to share their flavor ideas.
You won’t experience the typical buzz or pleasant dizziness from smoking a Fumari flavor but it still offers a brilliant smoking journey. You may notice that its prices are a bit high-end but from experience, I think it’s worth it. Fumari provides a full range of products aim to make your hookah smoking complete and satisfactory. They offer hookah bases, bowls, hoses, stems, coals, and more.
Fumari Favorite Flavors
Fumari hookah tobacco quickly made an impression on the hookah market and won the hearts of smokers in the USA and not only. The blonde leaf, new-age American style shisha comes in a zip sealed pouch, offering maximum protection and maintenance for the product. The top three flavors that hookah smokers (and me) are crazy about are the:
- White gummy bear
- White Peach
Argelini is another premium and classy hookah shisha tobacco produced in Jordan. Hookah smokers were introduced to Argelini’s flavors in 2011 and since then, the brand has only moved forward. The tobacco and different flavors have been impeccably handcrafted and the brand puts a great emphasis on natural results and extraordinary tastes. The tobacco aims to offer a truly natural and yet rich smoking experience thanks to the tobacco infusion with both natural and manmade flavors.
The blend is created using Golden Virginia tobacco leaves, enriched with food-grade vegetable glycerin and honey produced by Argelini. Smokers enjoy a long taste and a wide variety of cuts suitable for everyone. You can find the flavors in 100g, 250g, and 750g cans. Areglini’s shisha flavors don’t use any chemicals, have no artificial coloring, and are tar-free.
Argelini Favorite Flavors
Although there are no specific shisha lines released by Argelini, they offer around 50 tempting flavors that are all based on fruity aromas that are either all-natural or mixed in with a creamy addition of refreshing tastes.
According to my personal experience, Argelini tobacco is one of the most pleasant ones to smoke in terms of taste and smoke but it’s rather very difficult to find locally. The top three Argelini flavors popular among hookah smokers are:
- Icy Grape
Originating from the United Arab Emirates, Al-Fakher is among the most experienced and oldest shisha brands in the world. It offers a truly unique smoking experience that combines traditional hookah elements with modern-day taste preferences. Al-Fakher has been a leader in the hookah tobacco space for more than 20 years. You can find their shisha products in more than 100 countries. The brand is dedicated to evolving and offering innovative, lasting, and rich tastes to consumers.
There were two main lines of flavors that Al-Fakher was well-known for – the Golden line and the Special Edition.
The Special Edition introduced around 20 new flavors and it offered smokers thicker clouds, richer juice, and bowls that lasted for longer.
On the other hand, the Golden line created new mixes and premium flavors using popular flavors like the Strawberry, Grape, Orange and Rose, and others.
However, the brand is constantly evolving and adjusting its offering to the new market trends. Currently, the Golden and Special Edition lines are not easy to find. Instead, Al Fakher has focused on keeping things simple and offering the flavors that they know are loved among consumers.
Al-Fakher Favorite Flavors
Al-Fakher is one of the leaders in the hookah tobacco market and there’s no coincidence in this. They know exactly what they’re doing and can certainly offer a shisha flavour that will tickle your senses. Some of the best hookah tobacco flavors from the brand are:
- Two Apples
- Lemon and Mint
- Blueberry Mint
7. Khalil Mamoon
You may have come across the brand name Khalil Mamoon if you’ve searched for any type of product related to hookah smoking. The company is not only one of the leaders in shisha tobacco but is also a manufacturer of hookahs and hookah accessories. Khalil Mamoon or KM is an incredibly experienced company that was created in the 19th century in Egypt.
Hookah smokers can try different shisha flavors and the best part is that the brand offers a taste of the traditional hookah smoking, yet incorporates some of the most modern and attractive flavors today. What differentiates them from the rest is that they offer outstanding quality for standard grade shisha tobacco and they keep their prices low, making the product accessible to all.
Anyone can benefit from the diversity of flavors, no matter how experienced they are. The natural flavors presented by Khalil Mamoon are made using natural honey, glycerine and mysterious molasses, and natural extracts. The brand definitely promises a brilliant hookah smoking experience.
Khalil Mamoon Favorite Flavors
You may notice that Khalil Mamoon is more often associated with hookahs rather than shisha tobacco. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t great at producing some high-quality hookah tobacco too. Three shisha flavors that stand out from the rest and are the best-selling and favorite ones for smokers are the:
- Ice-cream Blueberry Vanilla
- Ice Cinnamon
- Black Orange
8. Social Smoke
Originating from Dallas, TX, USA, Social Smoke offers hand-crafted shisha tobacco in rich varieties. Everything from production to flavoring and packaging is done by Social Smoke’s employees, ensuring full control over the creation process. The brand started in 2003 and is now recognized worldwide as a premium shisha tobacco manufacturer and provider.
With a slow start due to no previous experience, Social Smoke gradually researched and developed every shisha flavor available today. They remained committed to creating their own recipes and offering hookah smokers something new and innovative. The hookah tobacco created by the Social Smoke contains the lowest levels of nicotine compared to other manufacturers.
The use of a tobacco leaf that is difficult to find, pricey, and short in supply gives Social Smoke an undoubted advantage.
Social Smoke Favorite Flavors
There are more than 60 premium hookah tobacco flavors to try with Social Smoke. They’re available in sizes of 50g, 100g, 250g, and 1kg. You can find flavors that have never before been tested and released in the hookah tobacco space. Popular flavors include Pear Chills, Banana Foster, Baja Blue. However, the top three for smokers are considered to be the:
- Watermelon Chill
- Absolute Zero
- White Gummy Bear
Darkside is a hookah tobacco brand that is on the “must-try” list of most hookah lovers. However, it’s not available in the USA, unless you’re ready to pay a ton of money for delivery from Russia or Germany. I’ve tried some flavors from Darkside and can only share an incredible experience. The smoke quality is exceptional, the taste is full and rich, and the thickness is perfect.
The brand becаme popular in 2015 thanks to its raw materials, German flavors, natural taste due to the fact that no chemicals are used, and the full diversity. Darkside is available in four different lines and all of them are easy to prepare and consume. If you’re having a hard time finding Darkside in the USA, it’s often compared to Tangiers, which offers similar quality and similar tastes.
Tangiers BIRQUQ Line
The Base line is early soft and includes some of the lightest and soft blends. Despite the lightness of the line, the intense aromas are not lost and there are a number of rich and tasty flavors to try. You can dive into a world of raspberries, juicy pears, sweet chocolate ice cream, and more.
Darkside Core Line
Darkside’s core line is early-medium tobacco, characterized with perfect balance and medium-bodied. It’s rich in nicotine and recommended for more experienced hookah smokers. The flavors from the Core line are specific, authentic, and spicy. If you’re not fond of the buzz effect of smoking shisha, it’s best to try another line from Darkside.
Darkside Rare Line
We’ve come to the strongest blend. When compared to Tangiers Noir line, Darkside Rare is considered stronger. The Darkside rare is one of the most recently released lines of unwashed tobacco. There are both original mixes and mono tastes that you can try. Some of the flavors include the Polar Cream, Grape Core, Sweet Comet, and one of Darkside’s most popular tastes – the Cola.
Darkside Shot Line
The Shot line offers a range of ready-mixed shisha flavors with limited levels of nicotine strength and available in 30gr packs.
Darkside Favorite Flavors
You don’t need to have a special bowl to smoke Darkside’s amazing flavors. You can try different berry tastes, ready-mixes, and a variety of original ideas. When talking about the best hookah tobaccos from Darkside, these three options are the most popular:
If you want to get massive hookah clouds, Haze is one of the best options. The shisha tobacco company provides various juicy and rich shisha flavors that will leave behind delicious memories. They’re certainly a known brand on the hookah tobacco market and have distinctive and memorable packaging.
Compared to other shisha tobacco providers, Haze is considered rather wet and very receptive to large amounts of heat. This is where the enormous hookah clouds come from.
It’s best to use more coal than you normally would when smoking Haze tobacco. Haze is also a rather affordable option in comparison with other brands. Smokers say that the flavors aren’t the only thing attracting them to this brand. The whole experience is rich, fulfilling, and relaxing.
Haze Favorite Flavors
Haze flavors are creatively labelled and you’ll notice that the choice is not only between the typical tropical fruits.
You can see flavors like the Sinful Mint, Seduction Flavor, Blazen Blue, Jazze Pha Oh Boy Explosion, Skills On the Rocks, and more. When it comes to favorites, these three truly stand out:
- Cheech and Chong Double Bubble
- Cheech and Chong Nice Dreams
Fantasia is another global player offering hookah products globally. They specialize in hookah tobacco, herbal shisha, E-liquids, E-hookahs, vapor stones, and more.
They offer smokers unique hookah flavors that are produced in California, USA. Fantasia doesn’t rely on imported tobacco flavors but controls the full manufacturing process.
Fantasia flavors smell delicious and have a strong flavory smell that tempts smokers. A lot of smokers share that the taste isn’t as good as the smell but this is really up to personal preference. Frantasia is often compared to brands like Starbuzz, Social Smoke, Fumari, and Al Fakher in terms of cut and consistency. Others rate Fantasia better than Starbuzz in terms of smoke quality but worse than Fumari.
You can expect a nice buzz from the diverse flavors and the brand is good for newbies and experienced hookah smokers alike.
Fantasia Favorite Flavors
With more than 20 flavors to try and an affordable price, Fantasia is a popular brand among smokers. The top three flavors that have gained the most popularity are:
- Wild Mango
- Cuban Mojito
O’s hookah tobacco started at a dinner, where a few people gathered together to share their insights and opinions about different shisha flavors, types of tobacco, and more. With a lot of research and tests into perfecting shisha tobacco, O’s now offers a range of delicious flavors that are worth a try.
The only problem is that it’s difficult to find in the USA. It’s mostly sold in Germany and Americans who’ve tried it are often on the lookout for ways to buy O’s tobacco.
O’s Favorite Flavors
Some of the most talked-about flavors include the African Queen, African King, and Bonnie ‘n Clyde. However, the three top favorite flavors from the brand are:
- 2 Candy
- 1 fig
- Fruit Mix
Nakhla shisha tobacco comes straight out of Egypt to add a whole new level of pleasure and satisfaction to shisha smoking. The company is an original shisha manufacturer and created hookah tobacco flavors using long cut, mid-grade unwashed tobacco.
Hookah smokers around the world are absolutely in love with it due to its consistent flavor and bold hookah smoking style. Nakhla originated in 1913 and they’re among the oldest and best shisha tobacco producers.
There are several hookah tobacco lines worth exploring.
Nakhla Original Line
As the name suggests, the Nakhla line is its original and first-released shisha tobacco offering. If compared to Starbuzz, we’ll discover that Nakhla’s original assortment is dry rather than juicy. It’s very rich in nicotine, has a large cut, and it’s not excluded that you’ll find a lot of tobacco stems.
Nakhla Scheherazade Line
Another line of sharp tastes and dry tobacco, Scheherazade is appreciated as Nakhla’s best line by many. It’s like a balance between the Mizo line and the Original line, with the only difference being the unique flavors and the stronger experience. In comparison to other lines from the brand, the cut is also smaller.
Nakhla Mix Line
The Mix line was created to fulfil the desires of modern shisha smoking and provide a product that can compete with other innovative shisha tobacco producers on the market. The Mix line also offers unwashed tobacco but with a slight enhancement. The experience is juicier and tastes better than ever. You can find two variations of the Mix line – the Nakhla Mix and the Nakhla Ice Mix.
Nakhla El Basha Line
The El Basha line is quite similar to Nakhla’s Original line, it’s almost the same, in fact. With a large cut, the same nicotine levels as the Original line, and flavors that have been created milder.
Nakhla Mizo Line
When compared to the Original line, the Mizo line offers a juicier, rich smoke and an outstanding taste. This is mainly due to the moistness and it’s highly recommended for both smokers who are just starting to gain experience in the hookah world and pros who’ve already tried different things. The Mizo line has been around since 1913 and offers a vast range of flavors.
Nakhla’s Favorite Flavors
Nakhla offers shisha smokers more than 50 flavors and as we saw, they’re available across five different shisha tobacco lines. Smokers enjoy a nice buzz and a strong experience as Nakhla offers one of the strongest tobacco in comparison to other brands. The three favorite flavors from Nakhla are:
- Two Apples
14. Ugly Hookah
Ugly Hookah is a hookah tobacco manufacturer from Illinois, USA. Their rich, mouthwatering shisha tobacco flavors are truly extraordinary and worth trying. The brand name cleverly uses the slogan “ugly never tasted so good”. Ugly Hookah offers premium Virginia tobacco cut mixed in with flavoring extracts and oils that are hard to ignore.
Their mixes are created using premium, natural honey, and molasses. The company doesn’t use any dye, bleaching, or color boosters.
Creating new and rich flavors is of utmost importance to Ugly Hookah and they travel the world in search of the best flavor extracts. With more than 30 shisha tobacco flavors to try from, affordable prices, great packaging, and unique tastes, Ugly Hookah is suitable for even the most experienced hookah smokers.
Ugly Hookah’s Favorite Flavors
The varieties of shisha tobacco tastes provided by Ugly Hookah are unique and yet traditional. From speaking to friends, research, and personal experience with the brand, I’d say the top three flavors are:
- Blue Magic
- Watermelon Mint
- Hit Me
The Mazaya hookah tobacco brand is truly different from the rest thanks to its unique ingredients. They use high-quality French tobacco, medical glycerin, natural honey, and natural flavors that are free of alcohol and food-grade. Throughout the whole process, from hand-picking the tobacco leaves to stick removal and cut, Mazaya strives for professionalism and the best results.
The brand has been a leader in hookah tobacco in the Middle East for more than a decade. Mazaya’s mission is to offer revolutionary products in the shisha tobacco space, to provide a diverse and innovative selection of tastes and flavors, and provide a solution for everyone. Smoking most Mazaya’s flavors is definitely a rich and tasty experience. The packaging is also great and reliable.
Mazaya is perfect for hookah beginners as it’s lighter and weaker compared to other hookah tobaccos. You can enjoy big clouds, extraordinary tastes and rich aromas. In my personal opinion, they definitely deserve their leading position on the market.
Mazaya’s Favorite Flavors
If you browse around Mazaya’s flavors, you’ll notice more than 80 flavors to choose from. Some of them are relatively standard while others are truly unique. The top three Mazaya flavors for most smokers are:
- Blueberry Mint
- Lemon Mint
Which shisha brand is best for you?
The best shisha brand according to the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily have to be your personal favorite. When it comes to choosing shisha tobacco, the factors to consider are infinite. Do you like your hookah clouds big and puffy?
Are you looking for a mild taste or do you want to go on a journey of rich flavors and lasting tastes? Believe it or not, the type of hookah you have may also impact the way you experience a certain hookah tobacco product.
To understand which shisha brand is best for you, the best option you have is to try as many different alternatives as possible. After a few tests, you’ll have your mind set on some of the things that you like and don’t like, which will help you make the right choice.
And after all, there’s a reason why there are so many different shisha tobacco brands. Don’t limit yourself to one or two and explore the full beauty of the hookah world.
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