Dec 07 , 2021
There is a standard method to pack a hookah bowl, irrespective of its type and the kind of shisha tobacco flavor you have. However, the regular technique needs subtle changes depending on many factors, such as flavor type, session duration, and number of smokers.
Furthermore, you must decide on the quantity of shisha tobacco based on its boldness or mildness, the bowl capacity, and hookah size. Thus, this step-wise guide to pack a hookah bowl factors in all these variables that will inevitably apply to your real-world shisha experience.
1. Load the Hookah Bowl with Shisha Tobacco
You can load the shisha tobacco directly onto a hookah bowl. Any interim saucer or vessel is not necessary unless you plan to blend or mix two or more flavors. Also, there is no need to dry shisha tobacco to remove any extra juice or moisture, which is essential for optimum flavors.
You may use a spoon to load the shisha tobacco as your hands will probably absorb some juice or moisture even if you are meticulous. Spread the shisha tobacco inside the hookah bowl in an even manner, beginning with the entire base. Don’t pile up the tobacco randomly in the bowl.
Many Egyptian Hookah enthusiasts use their fingers to sprinkle the shisha tobacco inside the hookah bowl. Sprinkling is not necessary as you can aerate the stuffing later. Using fingers and palms will absorb excess molasses, honey, glycerin, or moisture, in general, and impair the true flavor.
2. Fill the Hookah Bowl Up to an Optimum Level
Generally, a standard hookah bowl with lightly packed shisha tobacco up to below its rim level is sufficient for a single user’s hour-long session. Two or more users require a reasonably tighter pack and up to the rim level, but not over so that the foil with charcoal is not in direct contact.
Use a fork or toothpick to aerate the shisha tobacco as you load and fill the hookah bowl. Don’t wait till you have loaded the bowl to the required level to aerate because you may inadvertently create large gaps inside the stuffing. Phase-wise aeration is the most practical & effective way.
A hookah bowl with holes at its base should not have these openings clogged completely by the shisha tobacco. Ideally, you should use a phunnel or vortex bowl. However, a standard bowl works as long as you avoid overstuffing and clogging the holes with the shisha tobacco.
3. Sort the Shisha Tobacco in the Hookah Bowl
Many hookah connoisseurs sort shisha tobaccos before loading them onto their bowls. A few shisha tobaccos may have stems or other materials that many enthusiasts don’t like to smoke. You can do this pre-packing sorting, if necessary. Otherwise, keep the bowl neatly packed.
The in-bowl sorting is simple. Use the fork or toothpick to ensure the shisha tobacco is evenly spread out throughout the bowl, from its base up to the very top. The entire top surface should be leveled. However, don’t press down the shisha tobacco in the bowl as it affects heat transfer.
Avoid poking the shisha tobacco directly downward towards a hole at the base of your hookah bowl, or you will clog it and your session will be short of desirable. Move the fork or toothpick in, on, and through the shisha tobacco gently to ensure aeration and uniform spread in the bowl.
4. Wrap the Bowl with Aluminum Foil
Get two pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil, align them perfectly, and wrap the duo firmly around the hookah bowl. The aluminum foil must have a steady, flawlessly flat, and tight surface on top. The wrapping should be immaculate around the external base of the bowl for snug fitting.
You may use a heat management device, in which case you don’t need foils. Either way, you need to preheat charcoal pieces before you can place them atop the foil or in the heat management device. Keep these essentials handy as you don’t want the shisha tobacco to dry.
5. Make Tiny Holes in the Aluminum Foil in a Concentric Pattern
You may use the sharp tip of a toothpick to make tiny holes in the foil. Don’t use a fork unless the tips are needle-sharp. Exercise diligence to make the holes through both the aluminum foils wrapped around and atop the bowl. These holes should not be misaligned or of different sizes.
The most common method of making the holes is a concentric pattern. A few tiny holes around the central point of the aluminum foil, then you move outward and make larger circles or arcs of holes. You may also begin at the edge, make concentric holes, and eventually get to the center.
Your hookah bowl is ready now, place it on the stem, light the charcoal, let them be burning hot, and put the pieces atop the bowl. A heat management device eliminates the need for aluminum foils and making the holes, but the other steps are still identical and equally significant.