It’s the end of July and I’ve just realised that I have one more week in Qatar before I head home to Texas. It’s been a pretty fun vacation despite the heat, which is honestly beyond what anyone could imagine as being hot.
The weather in Qatar dictates the types of activities you can do; the summer months you don’t spend any time outside. You know how people say the desert gets cold at night? Well that doesn’t apply to Qatar in the summer months. It’s just two levels of hot…unfreaking bearable during the day, and too hot to move at night.
So what do people in Qatar do when they can’t go outside? They spend their days at the mall shopping, playing at game-centers, and eating at restaurants. Nights are usually spent at the movies and hookah bars. And the best part….almost every restaurant and cafe serves hookahs.
The hookah bars have been my favorite part of this vacation. In the States, I never seem to have the time to go out and enjoy smoking. I usually smoked at home or at a friends house. In Qatar, hookah culture is intertwined with socialization and fun. It’s almost mandatory to smoke a hookah when out. And I’ve had the pleasure of doing just that several times over this past month.
Which brings me to the theme of this post. Double Apple. Double Apple is the most popular blend in the Middle East and while out, I’ve taken the time to ask how many people order it. At every restaurant and cafe I’ve been to, I’ve learned that at least half the patrons order Double Apple; and each establishment keeps double the inventory of the blend.
I love this blend, and Social Smoke produces a very unique version of Double Apple. It’s a clean sweet apple flavor and just the right amount of licorice., but most importantly it’s a smooth smoke and like other Social Smoke flavors won’t knock your socks off with a massive Nicotine blast. No matter which brand you are served, you know it will be tasty and smooth. And I think that is the most important aspect of Double Apple’s popularity. Unlike most other blends, Double Apple has earned the distinction of the ‘classic’ tobacco blend. So it’s almost a no brainer to order it when you want to have a relaxing time out.
What stumped me at first though, is why do people order it so much? Yes, it’s a great flavor, but wouldn’t you want to smoke something more exciting when you are out to have a good time?
And that’s when I came to understand the most fundamental difference between hookah culture in the States vs the Middle East. In the States, for most people, going to a hookah bar is a once a month or once every few months excursion. So of course you are going to make the best of it by trying new blends and exploring exotic flavor profiles. You want to get the most out your experience, and discover new and exciting blends.
But in the Middle East, hookah smoking is interwoven into the social culture. Most people smoke several times a week. When they go out to smoke, majority of the time, they aren’t looking to try new flavor profiles, they just want a smooth smoke and a relaxing time. And Double Apple provides just that type of smoking experience without the hassle of having to look through a menu or explore flavors that just don’t work.
I’ve found myself doing the exact same thing the last couple weeks. In the beginning, I would order the most unique blends I could find in the spirit of trying something new. But after the fourth or fifth time, I found myself just wanting a familiar and relaxing smoke, and Double Apple was perfect.
In the end I’ve re-discovered what makes Double Apple so timeless and fun. It’s the perfect “comfort” smoke! One that I now know will never go out of style or popularity. What do you think? Is Double Apple one of your favorite blends? Why or why not?