The recent boom of the waterpipe cafes in istanbul has made addicts of us all. Sooner or later, one is urged to visit one and choose from a variety of types.
A few years back, waterpipe used to be served at old, traditional coffee houses to the elderly people with tombeki, the genuine tobacco type. Now, it is served it with apple, strawberry, mocca etc. flavor in new fashioned coffeehouses, with hype music playing in the background. The only thing that remains is the importance of chatting with friends during the 1-2 hours of smoking ceremony. The duration of the nargile ceremony depends on the service of the house; the embers has to be refreshed every 30 minutes; when the coffee house is full, you have to wait for the service-guy to come along and feed your nargile with a new embers. I would recommend the Mat Rock Cafe at Taksim.
As for the flavors, my favorite is the one with apple flavor, which is milder in comparison to the others. Those who would like to experiment a bit could mix the cappucino and caramel flavored tobacco and have the bottle filled with milk instead of water. But as I mentioned, chatting is more important than flavor, when you have good company, you can forget about the flavor.
And, one last thing. A new album with songs for the nargile ceremony came out: Hava Narghile. Do not mind the funny cover, it goes well with the ceremony.