Jun 22 , 2021
A standard hookah has several key components that directly influence the quality of smoke and shisha flavor in every session. The same shisha flavor may taste very different during a particular session if one or more of the key components fail to function optimally. How you set up a hookah and manage the different crucial elements will also have a consequential effect on the smoke and shisha flavor.
You must always abide by the best practices to get the most out of your shisha flavor. These recommendations pertain to heat management including the charcoal, packing the bowl with shisha tobacco and properly wrapping it with a foil, and managing the base, the hose, and the stem.
Heat Management to Get the Most out of your Shisha Flavor
You need optimum heat, neither too high nor low, for your shisha tobacco to exude its true flavors. Most contemporary shisha tobaccos burn rather quickly. Do not use too many charcoal pieces, irrespective of type and size. Two shisha flavors of the same brand may respond differently to identical heat. Learn about every specific shisha tobacco you try before you decide the count of charcoal pieces.
Always use fully lit and burning charcoal. You may use a burner or special lighter for the pieces. Wait a few minutes till the charcoal pieces are red hot. If you use partially lit charcoal, then it will lend an odd flavor to the shisha tobacco. This is true even for natural charcoal like those made from coconut shells. Half lit or partially burning charcoal should never be put on the foil atop a hookah bowl or in a heat management device.
You must also rotate the charcoal pieces, not only down to the tray and back but also at different places atop the foil. A heat management device may not require the changing of positions but recheck this for the model you have. Rotating the charcoal pieces enables you to get rid of the ash. You will also facilitate even distribution of heat inside the bowl by changing the places of the charcoal pieces on the foil. Do not use ash-laden and almost burnt out charcoal.
How to Pack a Bowl to Get the Most out of your Shisha Flavor
Too little shisha tobacco in a bowl and you will encounter a lot of flavorless hot air. Too much of any shisha tobacco in the bowl and you will fail to draw enough smoke. Use just enough tobacco for the duration of a session. In most cases, this means sufficient tobacco in the bowl up to but just a little lower than the rim. Do not just stuff the shisha tobacco into the bowl. Sprinkle the tobacco inside the bowl, spread it around evenly, poke holes into the stuffing so there is enough air, and leave some space near the rim so the wrapped foil does not touch the material.
The foil or a heat management device is another critical element. Use an aluminum foil that is specifically made for hookahs. If you are using a typical aluminum foil from your kitchen, then opting for two may be better. The best option is a heavy duty foil, which can endure the weight of the charcoal and also be resistant to tear when you make the holes. You may use a toothpick or foil poker to aerate the shisha tobacco inside the bowl and to make the holes after you wrap it.
You may make three concentric circles or rings of holes. You may choose a spiraling alignment of tiny holes, starting with the absolute center of the foil, which should be directly above the spire of the bowl. Do not make large holes in the foil. The holes should be well spaced and cover the entirety of the foil. The whole stuffing of shisha tobacco inside the bowl needs equal exposure to the heat source for you to experience the true flavor.
Manage the Base, Hose, and Stem to Get the Most out of your Shisha Flavor
Always use room temperature water in the base, filled up to an inch or at the most an inch and a half of the down stem. If there is a diffuser at the end of the down-stem, then it should be completely submerged in the water, covering all its holes. Avoid using ice as it dilutes the flavor. Use washable hose and stem. Clean them after every session. Any residual flavor or traces of resin will affect your shisha flavors.