The different types of hookahs
Hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke tobacco. They have been around for centuries, and there are many different types of hookahs available today. The most common type of hookah is the Egyptian hookah, which features a tall, elegant stem and a large bowl for tobacco. The Egyptian style is more than likely the type you’ll find in all the shisha bars and restaurants. Another popular type of hookah is the Syrian hookah, which is smaller than the Egyptian hookah with the main difference being in the way they are constructed. The Syrian hookah pipes have been designed to us a ‘male’ tobacco bowl that sits inside stem whereas Egyptian shishas have a ‘female’ bowl that sits around the stem, which makes it easier to use and provides a more consistent heat transfer. Nowadays, luxury hookah pipes are often made with more expensive materials, decorated with brightly-colored glass beads, intricately painted, or embossed making them nice to handle and look at. However whatever the style, all hookahs share a common purpose: to provide a smooth, relaxing smoking experience.
How to fill the vase
First of all, you need to fill the main vase of the hookah with water. You need just enough water to overlap the downstem by just 20mm to 30mm or 3/4″ and no more than 50mm. Alternatively, you can be more adventerous and use crushed ice and fresh fruit to infuse the flavor of the smoke. Woring out how much water to put in your hookah vase can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
How to pack the tobacco in the bowl
Packing your pipe bowl doesn’t have to be a difficult task and with a little practice you’ll find it quite easy. The key is to use the right amount of tobacco. If you pack too tightly, it will be harder to pull and the smoke will take time to develop and produce a weak flavor. Pack it too thinly and the tobacco will quickly burn hot and fast, and possibly feel harsh on the chest. The best way to find the perfect packing density is to experiment a little bit. Start by filling the bowl about halfway with tobacco. Then, gently push it down with your fingers or tamper if you have one. Take a few test puffs and see how the smoke feels. If it’s too hot or harsh, it’s maybe too loose and too much air is getting around the tobacco causing it to burn fast – so you can push and compact the tobacco down a bit, adding a little more tobacco, and try again. With a little trial and error, and once you’ve found the perfect packing density, you’ll be able to enjoy a consistently great smoke every time.
How to heat the coals
In order to heat the coals, you can heat them on a stove until they are glowing red hot. Either gas, or electric ring hob will work. Or you can place them in the oven.
Using tongues, to avoid burning yourself, place the coals into the hookah heat chamber which will be attached to the pipe just above the tobacco bowl. By sucking or ‘pulling’ through the pipe the heat of the coal will be drawn down and ignite the tobacco causing the tobacco to burn.
The best way to smoke a hookah
There are many different ways to enjoy smoking a hookah, and the best way is often a matter of personal preference. However, there are a few key tips that can help to ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience. First, it is important to choose the right tobacco. There are many different flavors available, so experiment until you find one that you like. It is also important to properly pack the bowl of the hookah. Too much tobacco will make the smoke harsh and difficult to draw, while too little will make it weak and flavorless. Once the bowl is packed, use a natural charcoal briquette to heat the tobacco. Don’t overdo it – the goal is to produce a steady stream of thin, white smoke. Finally, take your time and enjoy the experience.Smoking a hookah is meant to be relaxing, so kick back and savor the flavor of the tobacco.
Tips for keeping your hookah clean
Hookahs are often considered a more sophisticated way to smoke, but they also require a bit more maintenance than other smoking devices. In order to enjoy the best possible smoking experience, it is important to keep your hookah clean. The most important part of the hookah to keep clean is the stem, as this is where the smoke passes through and so oily tobacco residue can build up in the stem causing staining and eventually blockage. Be sure to clean out the stem regularly, ideally after each use, using a toothbrush or cloth. It is also important to clean the bowl, as built-up residue can also affect the taste of your smoke giving a stale and harsher flavor. Finally, don’t forget to change the water in the base regularly – again ideally after each smoke. The water will discolor and again impact on flavor. The same goes for all other parts of the hookah – gently cleaning with a cloth, soap and water on a regular basis and avoiding harsh chemicals especially for the more expensive and superior borosilicate glass based hookah pipes. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your hookah for years to come.
We’ve given you a comprehensive guide on how to smoke a hookah. We hope that this information was helpful and that you will be able to enjoy your next smoking session with friends. Remember to always practice safe smoking habits and keep your hookah clean for the best possible experience.
For glass hookah owners, you can also download our usage guide.