Feb 08 , 2022
Most beginners realize that replicating the shisha lounge experience with a hookah at home is easier said than done. Like the delectable coffees at your favorite cafe, smoking a shisha is often more enjoyable and memorable at hookah parlors. However, you can use a few tips and tricks to smoke like a pro with a reasonably priced hookah at your home. Here are the secrets.
1. Clean and Purge a Hookah for Every Session
Always smoke a clean hookah. Ideally, you should clean your hookah after every session. If you intend to smoke a few rounds, clean the hookah after you are done. If you don’t like to clean the hookah after unwinding, do so as soon as you can. Never reuse an unclean or dirty hookah.
An unclean hookah will alter the flavor, texture, and odor of your smoke. In effect, you will not be able to create the flawless shisha lounge experience. Likewise, you should purge a hookah thoroughly for every session. Purging releases the air trapped inside the hookah parts.
You can set up your hookah, purge it to check the airflow, and load the bowl. Then, purge the hookah again whenever you feel the smoke is slightly choky. Any stale air buildup inside the hookah will alter the flavor, texture, and odor of your shisha tobaccos. Also, you can counter the negative air pressure that is inevitable when you assemble the hookah parts snugly.
2. Use Water Inside the Base, and Ice Outside
Some people experiment with different mediums other than water. It is not necessary to use anything but plain water for your hookah base. Nothing facilitates true flavors like water. Also, it is unhealthy to experiment with any acidic medium, be it cola or milk. Never try spirits or alcohol as the medium for your base. However, you can always use some ice for smoother smoke.
Many people use ice inside the base. Some enthusiasts use only ice instead of water. Neither is the best practice. The most effective combination is water inside the base with some ice outside. You can use a bucket, put the base filled with water at the center, load some ice around, and start smoking. Sprinkle some salt on the ice and it will not melt as soon as you may expect.
3. Pack Shisha Tobacco Till Below the Bowl’s Rim
You must pack shisha tobacco lightly, so that there is enough aeration to let the heat pass through evenly and thoroughly. Otherwise, parts of your shisha tobacco will be too hot, and the other sections may not be warm enough to contribute any flavor and texture to your smoke.
Do not fill any hookah bowl up to the rim. Always leave some space between the aluminum foil and the top layer of your shisha tobacco. This rule also applies to heat management devices. The shisha tobacco should not touch the heat source or charcoal pieces, either through the foil or the heat management device. Besides, some air is necessary inside the bowl for convection.
4. Always Use Burning Hot Natural Charcoal Pieces
Use natural charcoal instead of quick-light variants. You will experience a world of difference in the flavor and texture with the same shisha tobacco. Also, wait for the natural charcoal pieces to be burning hot, not just mildly red or orange. Lighting the charcoal is not adequate.
Natural charcoal takes a while to light and then burn. You have to invest this time and effort if you want to enjoy every session. Wait for the charcoal pieces to be fully lit and burning hot. You will see these pieces turning bright red or orange. If there is some ash buildup on the surface, get rid of it on the hookah tray, and then put the charcoal pieces atop the bowl.
Partially lit and burning charcoal will not provide the heat required for the shisha tobacco to warm up quickly. Also, there will be hot and cool spots inside your hookah bowl. Thus, the smoke output will be subpar or inconsistent. Burning hot charcoal ensures uniform heating.
5. Mix Shisha Tobacco Flavors like a Home Chef
Like all pros, you will consider mixing two and more shisha tobacco flavors, sooner or later. You should choose and mix flavors like a home chef, just as you would combine sweet, salty, sour, bitter, or savory ingredients in a delicious recipe. Balance is the key. Otherwise, you will notice one flavor overpowering or essentially neutralizing all others you may have used in the mix.