The World of Hookah: What is a hookah anyway?


The World of Hookah: What is a hookah anyway?

Centuries have passed since the first people used handcrafted constructs that purified and chilled their smoke. Unique, yet simple instrument called hookah, shisha, nargile or simply a water pipe. From traditional Eastern delight to everyday pleasure for millions of smokers across the globe. So, what is a hookah anyway? How does it work? 

A hookah is a water pipe, simply put. It requires a source of heat, typically from coconut shell coals. The heat wave flows through the aluminum foil or the heat management device to the bowl. A hookah bowl is used as a place where we pack our beloved hookah tobacco or a non-nicotine mixture. There are several packing methods in order to maximize the flavour and strengthen the clouds from your tobacco. The charcoal heats the tobacco in the bowl and creates vapours of glycerine and aromas. When you draw from the hose, you inhale those vapours and they flow through the pipe’s body to the base. The hookah base could appear in various forms, shapes and colours. But first things first, it carries the needed water that chills the smoke. Then you draw this chilled and flavorful smoke again through the pipe’s body and via the hose and the handle to your mouth. This is how we, the hookah smokers, do it!

  • As you may have noticed, a hookah consists   of some parts. Let’s sum this up! These parts are:
  • Bowl – it holds your tobacco. There are three common types, they’re called a classic (Turkish) bowl, a phunnel and a vortex. All three of them deliver different output and you should first master the classic bowl.
  • Grommets – it sticks and seals all the parts together. You have to use them for the bowl and in common hookahs for the hose and the base. Nowadays hookah manufacturers do a great job of getting rid of the necessity of using grommets for hoses and bases, but you can still find a lot of hookahs using it.  
  • Bowlstem – it holds your bowl. Accompanied with a grommet, it serves as a throne for your favourite bowl. The bowlstem is fixed or rather modular these days.
  • Tray – a place for your coals. The tray holds the ash and prevents the local environment from the damage of the fallen coals. 
  • Stem – the body of your hookah. This is the part of hookah, which is open for a lot of interpretations. You can find different materials, shapes, carvings and lengths of the hookah stem. From the technical point of view, the stem transports the vapours to the base.
  • Stem heart – a logistic center. The heart is connected via special grommet or some special mechanisms to the base. There you can find a purge valve and hose connector attached.
  • Purge valve – it releases the smoke from the base. With a small ball inside, the purge valve also seals the whole construct, which is important. When you blow, the ball levitates and releases the smoke around itself. When you draw, the ball goes back and seals the hole inside the pipe.
  • Hose connector – put your hose on! Yes, this is the place where you put your hose. You will need a special connector on the tip of your hose. However, you have to use a grommet or some special connectors that some companies offer to connect your hose to your hookah.
  • Downstem – the stick. This part brings your smoke below the water line. When you put too much water above the tip, your draw will be hard and the noise of bubbling will be very loud. When the downstem is barely submerged, you also draw some air and it’s uneffective. So, you have to match the water line accordingly to your water level.
  • Base – a water carrier. In different styles, colours and shapes, here comes the base. It makes your hookah stable and also defines the style. Whether traditional or modern, you simply need the base. The bigger, the better? 
  • Hose – a camel one? One of the first hoses were made of camel skin, but not today. We use silicon hoses. Long or short, a soft touch or a classic one. In case you want to smoke right from it, don’t do it. Get a hose handle!
  • Handle – a tip of the experience. This is the part you put to your mouth. Very long or rather short, made of stainless steel, aluminum, wood or plastic. It must fit your grip, be wide enough and meet your eye.

Moreover, you can find a lot of hookah accessories on your local market. Let’s point out some of them:

  • Tongs
  • Wind cover
  • Coal carrier
  • Coal burner
  • HMS
  • Foils and pokers
  • Mouth tips
  • Diffuser
  • Spare parts

This is a quick introduction to the hookah world. More will follow, so enjoy your hookah.

Stay Original!

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