Here is a quick reference to what was learned during years of practicing hookah/ shisha/ sheesha/ water pipe/ nargeela/ nargile/ narghile/ nargileh/ argeela/ arghileh/ okka/ kalyan/ ghelyoon/ ghalyan/ goza…
Here are the “golden tips” 🙂 that were collected, followed, tested and confirmed from different places (hookah bars, web sites, people) including personal experience.
The strategy was split into three sub-goals:
- Get as much taste/flavor as possible
- Get as much smoke as possible
- Get one session to last as long as possible
The taste is a very unique creature – several different things need to be setup right and work smoothly with each other to produce a rich and strong taste.
A lot of smoke can be reached easily (just make a fire in a room 🙂 ) but a quality of smoke and a session itself may suffer.
The longer session, the more relaxing the experience is, but it needs to be done the right way, so that this experience is truly relaxing.
Here they come – no assumptions, no stories, just “golden tips” 😉 …
1. A coal should NOT touch tobacco while smoking. This is a very important thing to notice, since the “peak of the taste” comes about 5-10 minutes after the beginning of the session, and if a coal touches tobacco, the taste will no longer be pure tobacco taste, but will also have a burn flavor, since the top of the tobacco will be burning.
2. The deeper the bowl – the better. This just supports the point above, since if a bowl is deep, enough tobacco can be packed into it allowing an air buffer between a coal and tobacco.
3. Have tobacco sit for about 20-30 minutes before packing into a bowl. This is sometimes called acclimatization, where tobacco is unpacked, sprinkled on a piece of paper/foil, and let to be sit there (opened to the environment’s air) for some time before packing it into the bowl. This gives tobacco a stronger flavor, since its substance balances out with a room/outside temperature.
4. Sprinkle tobacco into a bowl instead of put it in as one piece. When tobacco is sprinkled into the bowl, it has a better chance to get a hit from a coal, as well as it lets hot air to pass better, which makes the smoke richer and the taste/flavor stronger.
5. Go with a lot of small holes instead of a few big ones. Instead of making several big wholes in the foil, take a needle or a simple staple and make a lot of small holes in the whole foil’s surface. These will allow more air to pass (if the whole surface is covered), as well as an even distribution of the hit.
6. Move that coal around. By moving a coal around a foil/bowl’s surface every so often (5-10 min) more tobacco will be engaged in a session, making the session longer and the taste/flavor stronger. When the coal is there on the same place for the duration of the whole session, tobacco, right under the coal “goes” pretty fast, and other tobacco is “not utilized”, which makes it fast and tasteless.
7. Clean the hookah periodically – all the parts. Cleaning is not always pleasant and the best time spent, but it pays off really well, especially if strong flavors (like mint or any citrus, etc.) were used, or the burn effect occurred. Make sure to clean not only the bowl and the glass part, but get a special long and narrow brush to clean the pipe itself. The hose(s) needs to be washed as well. Things to note: if a “filter ball” is made out of metal, make sure the water does not get into it.
8. Different hose for different effect. Get a “heavy” leather hose for a huge amount of smoke, and get a “light” hose winded up with metal stripe (to cool off the smoke) for the richer taste/flavor.
9. “The more coal the more smoke” – the more chance of burning and shortening the session. A lot of places advise more coal for more smoke – this is true, but there are “consequences”.. More coal is more hit – higher chance to burn the tobacco. More coal is shorter session, since tobacco is “gone” faster.
Alternative solution for more smoke is to use different hoses, as described in the point above, as well as to make sure the hookah is well sealed.
10. Green tea is the way to go! Green tea along with the hookah makes flavor/taste richer, and the overall experience healthier and simply magnificent!
More tips to come..
Leave you comments – to create a discussion 😉
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