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Top 10 Hookah Tips for Beginners

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Hello, hookah enthusiasts, and welcome to a blog post from Hookah Time, Canada’s largest online hookah store! You’ve taken the first step toward smoking sessions with thick clouds and full, wonderful flavour if you’re just getting started in the hookah world with your own pipe! But this is only the beginning; with time, you’ll discover new methods and hookah tips to tweak and improve your sessions so that they reach their maximum potential.

Many of us at Hookah Time have been smoking hookah for years and have considerable knowledge of our art earned from time spent working in hookah clubs, tobacco stores, and fielding customer calls, but it wasn’t always like this.

We had to start somewhere, just like every other hookah smoker, and, we can safely tell that we have gone through a lot of trial and error to get our sessions to where they are now.

In order to share our decades of experience with you, we’ve put our heads together and compiled a list of 10 beginning hookah tips and tricks (in no particular order) to assist make your hookah sessions as enjoyable as possible!

10 beginning hookah tips and tricks

Make use of heavy-duty foil.

One of the most immediate methods to improve your hookah sessions is to use the good quality aluminium foil that is rather thick, especially if you’ve been using very thin foil! Instead of utilising some of the lesser quality, thinner foil sheets, we usually advocate using “heavy-duty” (or “HD”) foil.

Because the physical barrier between your shisha and hookah charcoal can be rather frail, thin sheets of aluminium foil have a tendency to allow shisha tastes to burn very quickly and much faster.

Using a heavy-duty alternative produces a slightly thicker barrier to protect your tobacco, keeping it from burning as readily, as well as more uniform heat distribution across your bowl, allowing the tobacco and flavour inside to cook more evenly (and thoroughly).

Use two foil layers

Whether you choose to use the “heavy-duty” foil described in the preceding advice or not, we recommend increasing the quantity of foil you put on your zanobia hookah bowl!

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Using two layers of foil instead of one creates an even better barrier between your shisha and the coals, allows for more even heat distribution, which helps prevent your coals from burning your tobacco, and can ultimately result in a better-tasting, more satisfying shisha flavour.

Double-check the tightness of your foil.

You’ll want to make sure that your foil is nice and tight on your hookah bowl, regardless of the sort of foil you’re using or if you’re using two layers instead of one.

By “tight,” we mean that the foil’s flat surface is taught and the edges are securely crimped around the edges of the bowl, resulting in an almost impenetrable foil cover.

You want to make sure your aluminium foil doesn’t “sag” into your bowl since this can cause a variety of problems with ventilation and make it easier for your shisha to get burnt and unpleasant. Ideally, you’ll place a solid aluminium foil “shelf” over the tobacco so that your coals don’t come into direct contact with the shisha.

Use a Funnel Bowl or a Vortex.

Upgrading your hookah bowl is one of the simplest methods and best hookah tips to improve your hookah experiences.

Many of the stock bowls that come with hookahs aren’t designed for the juicy nature of shisha tobacco, enabling flavours and juices to flow out of your bowl during your session. As a result, sessions may be shorter and have less taste.

Upgrading to a simple vortex or funnel-style bowl can greatly alleviate this disadvantage of ordinary bowls! The Hookah Bowl and the Gambit Phunnel Bowl, for example, have a raised “spire” that keeps the liquid flavours and juices from the shisha tobacco inside your bowl rather than allowing them to leak into your base.

This not only results in longer-lasting, more flavoured smoke, but it can also aid in the formation of thicker clouds!

Replace your coal with natural coal.

Making the move to natural coconut hookah coals, if you haven’t already, can substantially increase the quality of your smoke sessions!

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Natural coconut hookah coals, formed from the husks of coconut shells, are free of chemical ignite agents, so they won’t interfere with the flavour of your herbal molasses tobacco, allowing you to enjoy the full flavour profile of what’s inside your hookah.

Making this alteration to your hookah charcoal is another simple way to improve and elevate the quality (and taste!) of your smoke. Just keep in mind that because natural coals lack chemical ignition agents, you’ll need an electric coil burner or charcoal heater to ignite them.

Use hookah hoses that can be washed.

The hoses were the first washable hoses to appear in the hookah world in 2010, and there has been an explosion of these types of hoses on the market since then, ranging from disposable zanobia hookah hoses to high-end silicone hookah hoses.

All of the smoke and flavour from your hookah will pass via your hose, and the hose tubing might become soiled with residue over time. Non-washable hoses prevent you from rinsing away that buildup, which might cause flavours from previous sessions to negatively affect your present session.

Washable hoses, like the Ripper silicone hose or the Al Fakher disposable hose, fix this problem by allowing you to run hot water (or lemon juice) through the length of the hose to remove the flavour/residue.

Make Certain It Is Clean

This hookah tip cannot be emphasised enough! It’s truly one of the most crucial hookah tips you can do to make your hookah sessions more enjoyable for you (and anyone else). Apart from the fact that no one (and we mean NO ONE) wants to smoke from a filthy hookah, cleaning your setup after every 1-2 sessions helps prevent mould, keeps stale, past-smoked flavours from accumulating, and extends the life of your hookah pipe.

You have a few alternatives for cleaning your hookah, like using conventional soap and water, lemon juice, or even a hookah cleaning solution.

Check the Water Level

Overfilling or underfilling your hookah base with water can quickly derail a hookah session, so it’s always a good idea to check your water level BEFORE you start smoking. After you’ve filled your base with water, place your stem in the glass base according to the instructions.

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Take a quick drag from the hookah pen, either through a linked hose or straight from the hose port, to feel how the air travels through the hookah before placing your bowl on top.

Is it too tough to get air in? It’s possible that you’ll need to drain some of the water. Is the water not bubbling or is the draw too wide? Fill your vase with water. You can avoid hiccups by testing this before you start your session.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Coal Adjustments

Despite what some may believe, hookah charcoal and heat control is rarely a “set it and forget it” aspect of the smoking process and requires constant monitoring.

There are a variety of conditions that may demand you to tinker with your coals while smoking your bowl, and knowing hookah tips on how to deal with these situations as they arise is part of what makes a fantastic hookah session.

Is your smoke abrasive or burnt? You might wish to remove or adjust a couple of coals if your bowl is overheating. Is there not a lot of smoke and does the shisha tastes bland? To help raise your heat, you may need to add a couple of coals.

After you’ve tried a few flavours, you can buy in bulk.

New hookah smokers frequently purchase shisha varieties without first learning what they taste like, and in some cases, without even knowing what tastes they prefer to smoke! This can be aggravating, especially in the early stages of your hookah career, because you may find yourself trapped with tins of tastes that you sample once and then dislike.

Fortunately, most shisha brands have an easy solution: lesser size alternatives! Many companies, including Al Fakher, Fumari, and Starbuzz, among others, offer 50 gramme and 100-gramme tastes in addition to the bigger 250 gramme and 1000 gramme quantities.


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