May 26 , 2021
Hookah charcoal is an essential item for your hookah. It is not just a source of heat for your shisha tobacco. The quality of charcoal will determine everything from your preparations to the quality of smoke. You must buy the finest charcoal if you want to enjoy the true flavors of any shisha tobacco.
There are three types of charcoal used in hookahs: natural, quick light, and herbal. Most people are unfamiliar with herbal charcoal. There are few companies making this variety. It is not widely available. Natural and quick light hookah charcoal variants are abundantly available in the market. Let us dive into a comprehensive comparison to help you choose the best charcoal for your next hookah session.
What is Natural Hookah Charcoal?
As the name implies, it is a natural form of charcoal. The natural raw material is coconut shell. Manufacturers of natural hookah charcoal obtain the coconut shells from farms and other sources. These shells are then processed to make briquettes. Natural hookah charcoal comes in various sizes or forms. You may buy discs, cubes, wedges, and circular ones.
The earlier forms of natural hookah charcoal were only compatible with foils. Newer variants are suitable for heat management devices as well. Natural hookah charcoal is widely considered to be the best option, and for obvious reasons. We shall get to the advantages in a direct comparison with quick light charcoal.
What is Quick Light Charcoal?
Quick light charcoal is heavily processed and the composition is not limited to natural materials. Manufacturers use different source materials, such as coal dust and sawdust. Irrespective of the specific composition of a quick light charcoal, it will contain a chemical to accelerate the initial lighting up and burning. This chemical usually contains sulfur.
As the name implies, a quick light charcoal can be lit in a moment. This variety is also known as instant lighting or fast lighting charcoal. Most quick light charcoal come in the form of discs. There are other forms available as well. Manufacturers are making variants suitable for both foils and heat management devices.
Natural Hookah Charcoal vs. Quick Light Charcoal
Natural hookah charcoal is more expensive. It costs more per piece, and you will need a burner or special lighter to get started. You may try using an ordinary lighter, whether metal or plastic, but it is going to take a long time. Burners or special lighters tend to do a better job, faster, and more effectively. You cannot hold a plastic lighter for minutes till a natural hookah charcoal actually begins to burn.
Quick light charcoal burns quickly. You may need less than a minute before it is fully lit. Quick light charcoal tends to sparkle as you light them up. The cost per piece is less and you do not need any special burner or lighter. However, this convenience comes at a cost, considered by many to be unacceptable.
The chemical accelerant in quick light charcoal is a synthetic product. It exudes toxic fumes. Quick light charcoal has a chemical odor and taste. The chemical accelerant and the inorganic composition of such charcoal adversely influence the smoke, affect the flavor of your shisha tobacco, and you will have a more synthetic smoking experience. There is often a chemical aftertaste as well.
Natural hookah charcoal does not have any chemical. There is no adverse effect on the smoke, flavor, taste, and texture. Natural charcoal lasts much longer. A typical session with an average sized hookah may require a change of charcoal if you are using a quick light variant. You may need eight or more for forty minutes to an hour of smoking. Natural hookah charcoal does not need such rotation. You can plan an hour-long session with just two to three pieces of natural hookah charcoal.
Quick light charcoal burns through in a short span and you have to de-ash them frequently. These charcoal also cause a choking effect. You are much less likely to choke with natural charcoal. The burnt smoke or ash laden texture is also rare with natural hookah charcoal. Since the natural variety lasts longer per piece, you actually save money in the long run.
There are many who love the simplicity and convenience of using quick light charcoal. Others may not like the chemical odor, texture, and taste. If you are being conscious about your health, then quick light charcoal cannot be even a consideration. Natural charcoal are healthier, and your smoking experience will be much more satisfying.