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How to set up a hookah and make a perfect shisha smoking session. Beginner’s Hookah Guide!

Hello, our dearest Reader!

So you’re just starting out with hookah and you’re searching for answers? We have all been there, this is the useful hookah guide made especially for beginners and after you read this article you’ll get the knowledge you searched for. The below are the basic essentials, which are required to set up a hookah. Let’s dive into a step-by-step process to understand how to set up a hookah for a thick rich smoke.

The first time is always the learning phase of any item. Similarly, for setting up the hookah, this is the first and important step. Care has to be taken!

Here is our in-depth guide on How to clean your hookah.

Step 2: Pouring of Water in the Glass Base.

The vase (flask, glass base) is found at the base of the hookah and it contains the water. There is a metal downstem, which is inside the vase. If you use water, be sure to change it after each smoking session. Water is used to filter the smoke so you don’t want to stand long at the base.

Special care should be taken as far as the water level is concerned. Pouring more water will only make it harder for you to pull the smoke. The level of water should be 2-2,50 cm rising up the down stem. There should be enough space for air to flow through the water.

Adding ice cubes into the water base will give a cooler smoke, but too much ice can kill the flavor and you might feel a little weaker taste.

It is possible to add a special hookah food colouring powder of liquid to make your hookah base water to be more eye-cathing!

We suggest you avoid adding any alcohol or milk into your hookah’s glass base.

Step 3: Insert the Hookah Shaft in the Base / Connect the Hose.

The shaft is what is going to carry the smoke. Therefore the fitting of the shaft should be perfect. The shaft should have been airtight, hence to achieve this, a piece made of rubber or silicon has to be used which should fit on the top of the base. In case the rubber piece is not fitting properly, check the size of it or try using water to lubricate the grommet/gasket.
 
The hose is the transporter of the smoke to the user. It should be ensured that the spot where the hose is fitting the holes is airtight, otherwise the flow of air or smoke will be thin. The level of water in the base should be double-checked, as there should not be too much water, it will literally flood the hose.
 
The flow of the air is the most important part of the smoking experience. If air does not flow, then “smoking” is next to impossible. Therefore, be sure that all the hookah’s part connections are tight and there is no air loose, including bowl + grommet + hookah shaft connection.

Step 4: How Do I Prepare shisha tobacco / How to pack hookah bowl.

Shisha is a popular name for hookah tobacco, in most cases, this is a combination of tobacco leaves, glycerine, corn/sugar syrup or honey, and flavour.

This shisha liquid tends to be placed on the bottom of the package in which it is located when you buy it. So it is mandatory that shisha should be stirred, mixed every time you use it. It is very important for flavour transition, session time – shisha liquid has to be evenly distributed before you are going to pack your owl.

Next, be sure that shisha tobacco is finely chopped enough to allow heat/air to evenly pass through the bowl. Gently break the shisha up over the plate or cutting board, cut shisha tobacco if necessary.

Start by carefully placing or sprinkling your broken up shisha into the hookah bowl. Do not pack the shisha down tightly as you want there to be space for air to flow in from the top of your bowl, down through the shisha tobacco, and then down into your hookah.  Sprinkle enough shisha to fill the bowl near the top rim of your bowl. The end goal is to make sure that the top of your shisha does not touch the bottom of your foil or HMD, so you should have about few millimetres of space between the top of the shisha and the rim of the bowl.  This will allow for airflow under the coals and will allow you to cook the shisha properly as opposed to actually burning the tobacco.

The all-time classic is to place a heavy-duty aluminium foil on top of the bowl – to serve as a shield between hot charcoals and actual shisha tobacco. There are great alternatives to foil – Heat Management Devices (HMD) which can be found here. Easy to use and clean, sturdy, no stress involved, mom is always happy to bake ♥. 

Traditional foil setups are still extremely popular and will allow you to customize the amount of airflow going down into your bowl depending on how you punch your holes in the foil as well as allowing easy access to your charcoal if you need to flip or rotate the coals during the session. HMDs will save you money over time as you will no longer need to keep purchasing foil for your bowl and they have the added benefit of allowing you to control how much heat is being contained and focused down on your tobacco to better manage the temperature of the bowl. 

Official Video on How to Pack Fumari Hookah Tobacco (feat. Glazed Phunnel Hookah Bowl)

Step 5: Lighting of Charcoals / Heating up the hookah bowl / Starting you Hookah…BOOM!

The quality of charcoals is very important as, without heat, smoke cannot be produced! There are two types of charcoal available: Natural and Quick light coals.

The quick light coals work instantly, but the heat generated is not sufficient for a long time. If you have ever tried to start up a fire using gasoline your nearly imitating the same concept by lighting quick light hookah coal. Quick-lights contain benzene which is very harmful to your health.

Natural coconut hookah charcoals are simply much more of a health beneficial product. They contain no extra additives and are solely produced of organic matter from compressed coconut shells. Sure, they take a little longer to light upon the stove or coal burner. Coconut charcoals are important for your shisha sessions due to health factors, quality smoke production, and the longevity of your hookah session.

When smoking your natural coals, be sure to fully burn the charcoals before using them. Meaning, make sure it is red hot all around or at much as you can get it (simply flip it twice when on an electric stove/burner). And then, grab them with tongs and put them on the top of the bowl or into HMD, cover the bowl with a wind guard/cover (it will help to heat your bowl evenly and faster). 

For indoor hookah sessions, we suggest you use 3 cubes of 25mm ECOCHA premium hookah charcoal (for medium heat resistant tobacco). Try a few sessions with each and see which method works best for you. Remember, heat management is important:

  • 3 x 22 mm cubes preheat, with adding a 4th later.
  • 2 x 25 mm cubes with adding a 3rd later.
  • 4 x 25 mm cubes with dropping off 1 after preheat is finished.
  • 4 x 22 mm cubes with dropping off 1 after preheat is finished.

After 4-8 minutes, depending on your bowl and tobacco, you shall start up your session. If you think you can smoke from a hookah in the same way as a cigarette, you are wrong, you must inhale the smoke slowly and steady, do not inhale too fast, it might burn your tobacco mix.

Step 6: For How Long Shall You Smoke Your Hookah: General Opinion.

Nowadays, the common opinion is that hookah session lasts from 45 minutes up to 1 hour. Every hookah smoker is different and every hookah session is different. Hookah is a mix of both science and art, but it’s honestly mostly just skill. Everybody has their own personal definition of what they consider a good “hookah session”. Some people like super hot bowls, some people like very little heat, some like smaller bowls, some like dark leaf rather than a blonde leaf. The keyword here is personal preference. With so many aspects of hookah to explore, we always recommend experimenting, getting creative, and finding your ideal hookah session.
 

For sure, you can smoke hookah even longer than 1 hour time, because some tobaccos can last for a long time. Therefore, be guided, first of all, by your taste and comfort when smoking. This also applies to the intensity of smoking: for some people, 15 minutes of the feeling of smoke is enough, while for others, an hour of smoking is not enough.

Let us tell you about the criteria that determine how long the hookah session lasts:

  • Features of your bowl;
  • Shisha Tobacco: brand, tobacco leaf type, nicotine level, etc.;
  • Packing method used;
  • The number of users.

A very important principle for long hookah smoking is dense packing. Thanks to this method, tobacco will last for a longer time, retaining its flavor and thick clouds. The use of “air” (fluffy) packing will make the smoking sessions more short-term, but at the same time with faster/higher nicotine levels and buzz.

Also, do not forget about the level of heat and size of charcoals. Maintaining the right temperature will allow all tobacco layers to heat up evenly. But do not forget to change them, if necessary, so that the tobacco has a stable temperature throughout the entire process.

If the hookah “dies”, then you just stop getting flavourful smoke and start inhaling the smoke from the coals. And this can lead to oxygen starvation.

Symptoms of hookah oxygen starvation:

  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • dry mouth;
  • headache;
  • overall weakness,

are going to tell you that the body is saturated with a certain dose of nicotine and the subsequent smoking of hookah can lead to a deterioration in well-being. Therefore, enjoy a walk in the fresh air, a delicious meal, or a light drink. This will help!

Always remember that the right hookah gives a thick smoke, a pleasant aroma, and the taste of tobacco remains bright. Bitterness, cough, headache? Just get yourself a new hookah or take a break – this is a perfect solution! Stay hydrated, stay well and safe, but always remember smoking hookah may look glamorous and exotic to some, but it’s every bit as addictive as cigarette smoking — and maybe more harmful.

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The hazards of hookah. Consume wisely!

Waterpipe smoking is widely perceived to be less harmful and addictive than smoking cigarettes or other forms of tobacco. Yet many public health officials believe this form of smoking may be just as addictive and perhaps even more harmful than cigarette smoking.
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Hopefully this article will help you to get the perfect session, but if you are still having trouble getting your hookah to smoke properly please feel free to contact us on Customer Service with any questions that you have.

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