You’ve seen hookahs around – the bong-like Middle Eastern water pipes used for smoking shisha tobacco.
Hookahs look exotic, but they’re actually quite easy to use. They don’t have to be intimidating!
If you’ve never experienced smoking a hookah, follow our guide below. We’ll talk about how to use a hookah, what to expect from a hookah session and hookah tips.
Parts of a Hookah
First, let’s get familiar with the basic parts of the hookah.
You’ve got the base – that’s the vase-looking thing that the water goes into. Bases come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors.
Next, there’s the heart. This piece connects the base to the hose and the lower and upper portions of the stem. The hose is the flexible tube that you smoke through. It connects to the heart and allows you to pull smoke through the pipe.
The coal tray is a disc that sits below the very top of the hookah and serves as an ashtray for the pipe.
Finally, at the top of the hookah is the bowl. It is attached to the top of the stem and filled with the shisha tobacco or herbal mixture to be smoked.
How to Use a Hookah
If you’re using a hookah for the first time, follow these steps to ensure a smooth smoking experience.
Start by filling the base to the correct level with the water. The water filters and cools the smoke, so the colder the water, the better – you can even add ice. The smaller the pipe, the more of a difference the water temperature will make.
It’s easy to figure out how much water to put in the base – it should be about one inch above the base of the stem when it’s inserted.
Next, attach the heart and stem to the base and attach the hose to the heart. Make sure these parts are tightly connected so that no extra air is entering the pipe and interfering with your session.
Pack your bowl next. You want to make sure that the bowl is packed full, but not so tightly that it interrupts the airflow. The smoking material should reach just a millimeter below the coal.
Cover the packed bowl with a piece of tinfoil or a bowl cap if your hookah came with one. If you’re using tinfoil, poke small holes around the top with a needle or toothpick. You’ll want the holes to be about one and a half times as wide as your coal.
Attach the bowl snugly, light your coal on top(following the instructions for whatever type of coal you have), and you’re good to go!
A hookah session usually lasts about an hour. You’ll want to occasionally move the coal around the top of the bowl to make sure you don’t draw a burnt taste out of the tobacco.
Etiquette is important in a group session. The puff, puff, pass rule is a good one to follow.
If you’re using a hookah with multiple hoses, don’t pull at the same time as someone else as it overheats the tobacco. You can also place your thumb over the tip of your hose when you’re not smoking it so that the other smokers have better airflow.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out expert info and hookah options at Smoke Shop Plus.
Light It up
Smoking hookah is an uncomplicated and enjoyable experience, solo or socially. If you haven’t tried it, follow these tips to give it a shot today!
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