Hookah FAQ – How to Load a Hookah Bowl

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Hookah FAQ

how to load a hookah

Learning how to set up your hookah properly is essential in order to experience the best flavor, smoking session length and amount of smoke.

First, make sure that your hookah is airtight. Then add clean water to the base of the hookah. About one inch from the bottom of the downstem (the pipe inside of the glass base) is perfect.  Once these two provisions are made, you can move on to loading the hookah bowl. Start by taking your shisha, or flavored tobacco, and breaking it into small clumps. Place these clumps loosely in the bowl, and make sure the clumps stay slightly below the rim; otherwise it will overflow when you try to put the foil on top of the bowl. Make sure that the shisha isn’t packed down too much inside the bowl, because you want breathing room for all of the air in the bowl to go to the shisha for the best flavor.

The next step is to put foil over the bowl filled with shisha. Take time to make sure the foil is pulled taught over the bowl, and fold it down well over the rim to make the setup as airtight as it can possibly be. Next, for ventilation, you will need to poke many small holes in the foil covering the bowl. The best tools to use for this would be a safety pin or a toothpick. Poke many holes in the foil, but make sure that the holes aren’t too big, otherwise ash could fall down through these holes as your coal burns above.

Now you are ready to put the bowl on your hookah and place the coals on top of the foil.

From my personal experience, lighting the coals properly is often the trickiest part of setting up a hookah for smoking. Be sure that you’ve bought the right sized coals for your hookah, and read the instructions on the package. Make sure that each coal is entirely lit, and place them on top of the foil.

At this point, you can test your hookah.

If the flavor gets too strong, remove the coals for a little while and let it cool down. During a hookah session, also make sure to move the coals around with a pair of tongs. Every ten or fifteen minutes should be enough. Always following these steps will provide for a great hookah smoking experience.

Hookah FAQ – How Does a Hookah Work

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Hookah FAQ


Hookah, which is actually the name of the device used to smoke tobacco out of works like this:

Hookah or water pipes start with a bowl on top which is then filled with flavored tobacco or shisha.  A layer of foil is then placed on top of the bowl containing the tobacco.  Hot coals are then placed on top of the bowl and in turn the coals will heat up the tobacco.  This causes the tobacco in the bowl to begin to smoke.

The process of smoking hookah is similar but different than smoking cigarettes.

The difference is that instead of burning the tobacco you are merely heating it up.  To smoke the hookah you take the hose which is connected to the vase and suck on it.  The act of sucking on the hose lowers the air pressure from the hookahs vase and draws the smoke down from the smoldering tobacco.

The smoke is able to reach the hookah smoker because of the metal stem running through the hookah itself.

The bottom of the stem in the vase is submerged in water so that when you’re sucking the smoke from the bowl it emerges from the stem underwater.  The smoke is then able to emerge from the water rising up to the vases air space.  At the top of the vase there is an opening for the hose which takes the smoke in the air space in the vase and carries it through to the mouth space to the smoker.

Hookah FAQ – Washed vs. Unwashed Shisha

December 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Hookah FAQ

Washed vs. Unwashed Shisha

When choosing which shisha to buy, you have the choice between washed and unwashed shisha, and the difference between the two really boils down the amount of nicotine in each.

Some shisha manufacturers, such as Tangiers, offer both washed and unwashed shisha, but for the most part most companies stick to one or the other.

Washed Shisha

Washed shisha has less nicotine, 0.05% to be exact. You experience less buzz from washed brands and they are usually much easier to smoke by people who just beginning to smoke hookah. Here is a list of washed tobacco brands:

Al Amir

Al Fakher

Ed Hardy




Tangiers (Lucid Only)

Al Ajamy







Unwashed Shisha

Unwashed shisha contains much higher levels of nicotine (0.5%) which is as much as ten times the amount in washed shishas. Unwashed shisha is not recommended for new smokers because the higher amount of nicotine can cause headaches and even nausea for some. Here is a list of the unwashed shisha brands:


Al Masah

Al Sultan

Al Waha

Hookah Hookah

Hookah Freak















Herbal Shisha

Herbal Shisha is 100% tobacco free. There is absolutely no nicotine! Herbal shisha is perfect for people who want the great taste of shisha without the buzz. Here is a a list of herbal shisha brands:

Al Afrah

Al Baraka

Ed Hardy Herbal

El Rosha

High-Life Smoke

Hookah Hookah Black Label

Hookah Hookah Evolution Tea




Hookah FAQ – How to Clean a Washable Hose

November 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Hookah FAQ

The last thing you want when smoking your hookah is for your hose to taste like the last flavor that you smoked. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions to keep your hookah hose fresh and clean.

Before following these instructions, you must ensure that your hose is washable, such as the popular washable hose is the Nammor Hookah Hose.

Step One: Remove the mouthpiece and fill up the hose with water about halfway. You can also use water from a pitcher or water bottle if you would like.

Step Two: We have found that using a small amount of lemon juice mixed with the water is great for neutralizing odors, and provides a fresh taste to your hose. We do not recommend using any soap, such as dish soap.

Step Three: Now you’re going to want to swish around the water/lemon juice mixture in your hose. Plug both ends of your hose with your thumbs to prevent any leaks, and swish the water around for about a minute. Pour the water back into the sink, and repeat the previous steps if necessary, depending on how dirty your hose is you might need to do this 2-3 times.

Step Four: Swing! After you have poured out the water into the sink, there will still be a small amount of moistiure that you will want to remove. The easiest way to remove the rest of the moisture is to head outside (for safety) and grab the hose in the middle, and swing it around by your side, this will force out any loose drops of moisture. This process should only take about a minute.

Step Five: After you have gotten all the moisture out of your hose from swinging it, blow through the hose one last time to ensure that you remove any loose liquid inside. The final step is to hang your hose over a doorknob, so that both ends are point down, letting any leftover moisture to drip out.

Once your hose is dry, it’s ready to be used with your hookah!

Hookah FAQ – Hookah Buying Guide

November 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Hookah FAQ

If you’re looking to purchase your first hookah, follow this simple guide to find what type of hookah is best for you.

Here are some frequently asked questions when purchasing a hookah:

What Size Hookah?

The size of the hookah you buy depends largely on your budget and how you plan to use it. Smaller hookahs, such as the Mya QT, are best for personal use and work best sitting on a table. Medium sized hookahs, such as the Khalil Mamoon 1001 Nights, are best for single or multiple smokers and in our opinion are the best size hookah for all around use. Larger hookahs, such as the Mya Colossus, are recommended for parties and large groups, they are typically the most expensive, but smoke better than some the smaller sized hookahs.

How Many Hoses?

We always recommend buying a hookah with only one hose to obtain the best smoke quality. Smoking out of two or or more hose hookahs decreases the quality of smoke and the pull is harder, even with multiple hoses only one person can smoke at a time. If you do wish to purchase a hookah with more than one hose, we suggest limiting it to two hoses, or consider a rotating hookah.

How Much Should I Spend?

When it comes to hookahs, the age old saying “you get what you pay for” is very true. You will find a lot of cheap hookahs online, but generally they are mass produced chinese knock-offs that won’t last more than a few smoking sessions and will generally provide poor smoking quality. High quality hookahs, such as Khalil Mamoons, are hand made in Egypt and will last for years, but are typically the most expensive. In our opinion the best affordable hookah is always going to be the Mya QT hookah due to it’s high quality parts and smoke quality it provides at a low price.

Hookah FAQ – How to Light Natural Charcoal

November 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Hookah FAQ

Portable Hookah Stove

Natural charcoal is tasteless and odorless which is why many hookah smokers use them so frequently. Follow this guide to learn how to properly ignite natural charcoal.

Natural charcoals are the cleanest way to smoke shisha and really let the flavor come alive. The easiest way to light these charcoal is to use an electric stove with a exposed heating coil, or a portable stove top.

You simply place the natural coal directly on the stove top coil, and set the heat to medium-high. Turn the charcoal after 2 to 3 minutes on the burner. You will know the coals are ready once there is no black left and it has turned to gray, with a red hot center. The process of lighting natural charcoal typically takes about five minutes.

Once the coals are hot and ready, use your hookah tongs to move them from your stove to your hookah, then sit back, relax, and enjoy your shisha without any interference to the taste!

If you do not have a stove capable of lighting natural charcoal, you can purchase a Portable Hookah Stove from Hookah-Shisha for only $34.95.

Hookah FAQ – How to Avoid Nicotine Sickness

November 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Hookah FAQ

New hookah smokers typically have a low tolerance for nicotine and can become sick or nauseous if they do not follow some simple precautions.

The most common side effect of too much nicotine is increased blood pressure. Anytime you smoke your blood pressure increases, but if it gets too high you can experience headaches and chest pain. The next level of nicotine sickness is nausea and cold sweats, and this is where things usually go downhill. If you begin to feel any of these symptoms, you should stop smoking.

Here are a few tips that can help new smokers avoid nicotine sickness:

1. Stay Hydrated – Being dehydrated is never a good thing, and when you combine dehydration and smoking it can make things much worse.

2. Eat Before Smoking – Nicotine has less of an effect on your body if are well fed. This doesn’t mean you need to eat right before smoking, we just advise against smoking on an empty stomach.

3. Pace Yourself – The one mistake many new smokers make is hogging the hose and smoking to much. Pace yourself, only take a few puffs then pass the hose to the next person. If you’re smoking by yourself then we suggest taking a minute or two between puffs.

4. Smoke Washed Shisha – Washed shisha has ten times less nicotine than unwashed shisha. Washed shisha is always recommended for new smokers and those who have a low tolerance to nicotine.

Refer to our article Washed vs. Unwashed Shisha to know if your shisha is washed or not.

Hookah is supposed to be a relaxing experience, so remember the basics, stay hydrated, eat before smoking, pace yourself, and smoke only washed shisha to start.