Part 1. Setting up hookah/shisha pipe
1. Clean the hookah/shisha
You should wash the hookah/shisha with water and a soft brush before using it. Disconnect all parts first and wash every one except the hoses; assume these are not water-safe unless labelled otherwise. Wipe it dries with a towel and leaves it to air dry.
- Cleaning after every session is ideal.
- A long, thin brush helps you reach inside long parts. You might find good brushes at Shosha stores that sell hookahs/shisha.
2. Pour cold water into the vase
This is the large glass container at the base of the hookah/shisha. Fill it enough to cover 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the metal stem, or slightly more. If you have a mini hookah/shisha, you may only be able to cover ½ inch (1.25cm) of the stem. A nice cool temperature will make it even more pleasurable so it’s optional for you to add ice in it.
- The stem is the metal tip at the bottom of the central hookah/shisha shaft. Slot the shaft on top of the vase to see how far down the stem goes.
- The water doesn’t filter out nicotine and other chemicals nearly as much as most smokers believe. Adding more water won’t make the hookah/shisha safer.
3. Insert the hookah/shisha shaft into the glass base
Lower the shaft into the base, so the stem enters the water. There should be a silicone or rubber piece that fits around the top of the base to make it airtight. If the fit isn’t airtight, the smoke will be thin and difficult to pull.
- If the rubber piece won’t fit, wet it with a little water or a drop of dish soap.
5. Connect the hoses
The hoses slot into holes on the side of the shaft. Just like the base, these holes should be airtight fits. Some hookahs/shisha seal the hole if there is no hose attached. On other models, you’ll need to attach all the hoses even if you’re smoking alone.
- Double check your water levels before connecting. If the water levels are too near your hose connections, the water could ruin your hoses.
6. Position the metal tray on top of the hookah/shisha shaft
This tray catches hot embers and excess tobacco if and when they fall.
Part 2. Smoking the Hookah/shisha
1. Break up the shisha and place it in the bowl
Fluff up pieces of shisha and drop them in the bowl. Press lightly down to make a flat layer without compacting the tobacco. It should stay fairly loose so air can easily flow through it. Fill the bowl nearly to the top, but leave at least 2mm (3/32 inches) of space above the tobacco so it doesn’t burn. Then lay a piece of heavy-duty foil over the bowl. Crimp it around the edges to secure.
2. Poke several holes through the foil
Using a toothpick or paper clip, poke about 12–15 holes through the foil surface. Test airflow by drawing on the hose as you do this. If you have trouble pulling air, add more holes.
- Some people like to poke all the way through the shisha to provide channels for heat and air.
3. Light two or three coals
There are two types of coals used for hookah/shisha. Follow these instructions depending on which one you have. To transfer the coals to the foil, place the coals evenly ringing the edge of the foil.
- Quick light coals: Hold with tongs over a nonflammable area. Light with a lighter or match until it stops smoking, then wait for 10–30 seconds until covered in light grey ash and glowing orange.
- Natural coals: Heat directly in a stove flame or on an electric burner, but never where ash could fall into the gas line or on a glass stove. The coal will take 8–12 minutes to ready once glowing orange.
Once the bowl is warm — or right away, if you’re impatient — inhale through one of the hoses. Your breath pulls air past the coals, causing them to heat up. If you pull too hard, the air will get hot enough to char the shisha, and you’ll cough on a lungful of bad-tasting smoke. Pull with short, normal breaths. Smoke at a relaxed rate, pausing to give the shisha time to cool down.
- If no smoke appears in the vase, inhale in a series of short, sharp puffs to light the tobacco.
There are a few reasons why people use Hookah, the primary one being it is a social event. The original Hookah users were the wealthy men of India in the 15th century who would gather in groups to talk. The social gatherings continue today as groups can be found relaxing by a Hookah pipe at trendy cafes and bars around the world. The taste experience. Tobacco is now available in many flavours. If your smoking flavour of choice is for desserts, exotic fruits or coffees, you can enjoy them (with or without your friends) with a Hookah.
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