A few countries lay claim to the creation of this elegant pastime, but the consensus is that the water pipe originated in the North Western regions of India around 500 years ago. Invented by the physician Hakim Abul-Fath Gilani, who apparently wanted to find a “healthier” refinement to smoking believing that the tobacco would be purified if it passed through water before being inhaled.
In the 17th century, as the water pipe made its way through Persia and into Turkey, its shape and components started to develop and resemble the shisha as we know and love today. The Ottomans developed a larger and more sophisticated pipe, replacing the wooden base with glass and added a clay bowl above the head.
From Turkey, water pipe smoking migrated south into the Arab world to Lebanon and Syria where it became known as nargile. Then spreading further to Egypt and Morocco where it was called Shisha (the Persian word for glass)
Over the centuries shisha has steadily made its way to the rest of the world, famously becoming part of mainstream western culture in 1865 when Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
It remains unclear when flavours were introduced to the shisha smoking experience, but we believe this chapter is only just beginning. There are many flavours still to be tried and we will be sure to share them with you as we continue on our own journey to discover the best of them.