How to series: Packing Darkside Tobacco
Hello everyone and thank you for joining us in this new series where we show you not only the basics of hookah, but dive into the complexities that make this lifestyle interesting. Our first subject tackles something that has stumped me for the last few months running and until only recently understood, that is none other than the packing method for Darkside Tobacco.
Darkside Tobacco in itself is something we here at Masonshishaware would recommend to everyone as an experience to try at least once. The flavor profiles are not only exotic and can only be found through this brand, but also boast a significant buzz while providing an intense flavor from start to finish. With flavors like Basil Blast, Supernova, Polar Cream, Bananapapa, and Nutz, it’s easy to find something you’ll enjoy so long as you can source it. As with every brand on the market there is a way to get it smoking at its true potential and we hope to provide you with those methods here today.
The Russian Method
The first method we are going to dive into comes from the mother land of Darkside Tobacco; Russia. This method seeks to give you the full experience of just what this brand can offer and as you’ll see is vastly different than what you may know with other brands, especially of those that are black molasses based.
To start you are going to need an Egyptian bowl that is moderately shallow with sheer walls. The shape of the bowl you choose will matter drastically when it comes to not only tobacco conservation but overall preparation of this method. Begin by mixing your Darkside flavor of choice thoroughly prior to any packing. This tobacco is extremely saturated and by doing this you’ll ensure that each leaf is coated in the same consistency while promoting flavor strength. It’s imperative that you do not blot the molasses away.
After you have mixed the tobacco completely, start by fluffing it into the bowl with a light hand. Due to how saturated it is, it’s very easy to begin adding density to it before you’ve even finished packing the optimal amount. While packing, ensure that the holes of the bowl aren’t being blocked in any form as the molasses will need room to expand once you’ve applied your heat.
Once you have got the tobacco nearly to the rim gently start moving it away from the walls of the bowl and center it as best as you can. It’s alright to leave a little touching but the point here is to have your heat cycle through the tobacco as opposed to Tangiers style of pack where you let the bowl cook through the tobacco from the outside in.
Once you’ve done this step, gently clear out the center hole of the bowl through the top or use a hole poker to do so through the bottom. Finally, add your favorite HMD on top while ensuring the device is either barely touching the tobacco or the tobacco is just below.
As for heat management of this method you want a generous amount of charcoal to get it going. It’s important to note that Darkside blossoms with heat so long as you go through the paces of packing it correctly. We would recommend three cubed charcoal to start and tempering it down to two with a lid once it’s fully heated up.
As complicated as all of this may sound, it becomes very easy to do once you’ve done it a few times and the results will fully speak for themselves. Just be sure to rock your Ushanka while smoking to get the full effect.
The Mason Method
With anything here at Masonshishaware we strive to give you the best and packing Darkside Tobacco is no different. There has been some extensive behind the scenes testing to understand what this tobacco calls for and how to convey treating to all of our readers out there. We’re confident that following this packing method will bring just as much satisfaction that we’ve found with the brand but take it from us that this method is best served by packing some Basil Blast, Supernova, and Virgin Melon. We’ll accept Red Tea and Lemon Blast as consolation mix as well.
Begin by grabbing your favorite phunnel bowl. You want something that isn’t too deep (keeping conservation and heat temperament in mind) that you have a proven track record of having a great session with. Pick something you know well and enjoy using since smoking is all about the enjoyment factor. For this session we’ve gone with the Helyx bowl because, it’s a Helyx bowl.
Once you’ve chosen your weapon start by thoroughly mixing your tobacco and ensuring that all the leaves are saturated with the flavoring uniformly. As simple of a step that this may be it’s important not to overlook it. After everything is mixed up grab a small amount of the tobacco and begin fluffing it up to the rim. You can go over the top for the time being as we will be showing you the ideal density in the next step.
Once you have it packed to the top start to compress it down lightly while making sure that there is still ample room for the molasses and flavoring to expand while smoking. Ideally this is a standard kind of pack that you’ll be used to with most blonde leaves, although it should be noted that you want it to borderline a semi-dense pack more than the standard. It’s somewhat of a fine line that you’ll no doubt cross the first couple times but will get the hang of what to look for in no time.
In regard to final preparation we leave the tobacco just under the rim so virtually nothing is stuck to the foil after the session which also facilitates the heat to transfer through the bowl as more can permeate into the flavor. After all of these steps are complete add your foil and charcoal. This method works with either direct contact to the foil or through means of a buffer like the Provost. HMDs will work as well, but we’ve found the flavor to be more enjoyable with the classic way of smoking.
Finally, for heat management three cubes has been the golden rule with the exception of the Provost which only calls for two higher heat coals to get going. Feel free to add or subtract accordingly as your bowl starts up but for the most part it is cut and dry when it comes down to managing your session. The one tip we have here is that you do need the heat to get it going, Darkside is very different than other dark blends in that aspect.
Thank you for stopping by the first entry in this series and joining us on the Darkside. With either of these methods you’ll be sure to be sitting amongst Darth Vader in Cloud City. Just pray he doesn’t alter your pack any further.
Feel free to drop us a comment on what your findings were with either of these applications or if you have your own method for packing this brand and we’ll see you on the next one!