The aromatic tendrils of shisha smoke, drifting lazily through the air, have captivated the senses and ignited social gatherings for centuries. As we delve into the captivating history of the hookah, or shisha as it’s widely known, we uncover a tale of tradition, culture, and enchantment that continues to thrive in Calgary and beyond.

Shisha History: Unearthing the Origins

Shisha, a word derived from the Persian word “shīshe,” meaning glass, traces its roots back to ancient India. While the exact timeline remains elusive, it is believed that shisha made its debut over 500 years ago. Its invention can be attributed to the ingenious mind of Abu’l-Fath Gilani, a physician who designed the first hookah in the early 16th century. Initially used for the consumption of tobacco and medicinal herbs, the hookah quickly gained popularity among the elite of the Mughal Empire.

The Evolution of the Hookah

Over time, the hookah evolved, becoming more accessible and diverse in its forms. Its central design remained constant, featuring a water-filled base, a bowl for flavored tobacco (often referred to as “shisha” or “hookah tobacco”), and a series of tubes and hoses. The intricate beauty of the hookah’s design, combined with the delightful ritual of preparation and smoking, has made it a cultural icon in many societies.

Shisha in Calgary: A Modern Twist

Today, Calgary is a vibrant hub for shisha enthusiasts, offering a modern twist on this ancient tradition. Hookah services have flourished, allowing Calgarians to experience the rich history and flavors of shisha in a contemporary setting.


Hookah catering has emerged as a popular choice for special events and gatherings in Calgary. Whether it's a wedding, corporate party, or private celebration, hookah catering brings an exotic and communal experience to your guests. Skilled hookah artisans prepare and serve a wide array of shisha flavors, ensuring a memorable and aromatic ambiance.

Exploring the Flavors of Shisha

When the hookah first emerged in India centuries ago, it was primarily used for the consumption of tobacco blends infused with a variety of aromatic herbs and spices. These early hookah blends were often a mix of sweet and savory flavors, including ingredients like molasses, dried fruits, and exotic spices such as cardamom and cinnamon. These combinations not only added a delightful taste but also created a captivating sensory experience.

Over time, as hookah culture spread to different regions, the art of flavoring hookah tobacco continued to evolve. In the Middle East, where hookah smoking became deeply ingrained in the social fabric, tobacco was often flavored with ingredients like rosewater, jasmine, and mint. The flavors became more diverse, reflecting the local culinary traditions and the preferences of hookah enthusiasts.

In the modern era, the world of hookah flavors has expanded exponentially. Today, hookah enthusiasts can enjoy a vast array of flavors, from traditional fruity blends to innovative combinations that cater to diverse palates. The evolution of hookah tobacco flavors mirrors the global fusion of cultures, offering a journey through time and taste that continues to captivate enthusiasts worldwide.

The Shisha Experience:  A Social Ritual

Sharing a hookah session is more than just inhaling flavored smoke; it’s a social ritual that fosters camaraderie and relaxation. The act of preparing and passing the hose, engaging in conversation, and savoring the flavors creates a unique bond among participants.

Embrace the past, savor the present, and relish the future of shisha in Calgary – where history meets modernity in a cloud of fragrant smoke.