Becoming part of the Hookah or shisha community is a fantastic way to socialise or just relax. Many people are now choosing to buy their own Hookah to use at home rather than visit lounges and cafes locally so let us take you through how to get started.
What do I need for a Hookah or shisha session?
Your will need a Hookah pipe, bowl, flavour, coals, and foil or a heat management device.
What is the best Hookah to use?
There is no right answer, like most things in life, this question is subjective. There are so many brands and styles on the market to choose from and they all work slightly differently and will offer you different shisha sessions.
If you are on a budget that will give you a good guide. On average a Hookah will set you back around £220 for a higher quality stainless steel pipe that will last. If you choose to go with a lower price piece, be prepared that you may need to update this pipe frequently which will cost more overall.
Stainless steel Hookah pipes are better quality as they can be cleaned easily, and this means that you will not have the previous sessions flavours coming through in your next shisha session. You want to be able to start each session with a clean pipe to really enjoy.
What hookah bowl is best?
Bowls come in varying prices points and all offer different benefits targeted towards the flavours you are wanting to smoke. The standard style of bowls varies along with the size starting with bowls that hold under ten grams of flavour up to more traditional bowls that hold 20-25 grams of flavour.
If you are smoking herbal flavours, most bowls will work for your shisha session, from a standard clay bowl to a glazed funnel, you will just need to select the size that you want.
For better tobacco flavours purchase a glazed funnel bowl this will ensure that the excess molasses that is mixed into the shisha flavour does not absorb into the bowl and alter your flavours in the following sessions.
When packing your bowl lightly pack the flavour into the bowl just under the top of the bowl. Do not overfill, you want your bowl to have a small amount of space between the flavour in your bowl and the foil.
What shisha flavour should I buy?
Our tastes are all different and we are looking for different flavours for our shisha session which is great as there are so many different flavours in the market for both herbal and tobacco.
Herbal flavours tend to be nicotine and chemical free but check with your supplier to find out more about the brand you are purchasing. The biggest difference you will notice with herbal flavours is they are softer to smoke, and you will not get a “buzz” that often comes from the nicotine in the tobacco shisha flavours.
Tobacco flavours are available in 100’s of brands that are produced world-wide. With thousands of flavours available some more traditional like Double Apple or Grape Mint or unique ones like Acai and cactus. Every brand has their flavour profiles they work with and are all brought together with their selected tobacco leaf base.
When selecting your flavours think about whether you want; herbal or tobacco then a sweet, fruit or savoury flavour, this will give you a good direct to start with.
What coals do you need for shisha?
Coals come in many sizes and styles. The most well known are cubes or fingers. The style is a preference and normally will be whatever suits your bowl or heat management. Without coals you will not be able to have a shisha session as your coals are what heats your bowl and gets the hookah pipe smoking.
The important part about coals is selecting an all-natural shisha coal like the Firebrand coconut coals. You will use around 2-4 coals per bowl, if you need additional heat add another coal if the bowl is burning to hot remove a coal.
To heat the shisha coals rest them on a naked flame, like a gas burner / BBQ or hookah specific coal burner until they have heated on all sides and then safely transfer to the top of your bowl (resting on the foil) or in the heat management device.
What is the difference between foil and a heat management device for Hookah?
The biggest difference is that foil is not reusable after a hookah session. This is another personal decision in your hookah journey.
If you select to use foil to cover your bowl, shisha quality foil is best rather than kitchen foil as it is stronger and thicker. Simply cover your bowl, pressing the foil down firmly to ensure there are no air pockets, create your holes and you are ready to add coals and get your session started.
Heat management devices offer an easier alternative for shisha smokers, with this device you will minimise rolling of your coals and in some cases, you will not have to add foil to your bowl, but that depends on the style you have purchased.