So you’ve purchased a shisha for yourself because you’ve been using it with some friends and now you want to return the favour, but not too sure how to get it started? There are some simple steps that you can follow to get your hookah ready for your next catch up with your mates.
1. Start by filling up the bottom of your hookah pipe with water, making sure that once the stem is inserted it is submerged in water.
2. Grab your preferred flavour of tobacco and stir the contents until it’s all moist and clump-free. Once ready, place the tobacco into the bowl of the shisha. It’s the little bowl at the top that comes off! Don’t clog any holes, but lightly add small pinches until is about three quarters full. Remember not to pack the bowl too tightly or it will be too difficult to pull any air through it.
3. Cover the bowl with some foil; gently pull it around all sides until the top is smooth and flat. Using foil on your shisha pipe will reduce overheating and give you more control. Grab a toothpick, pin or paper clip to poke some holes in the foil. For best results start with one poke in the centre and follow it with circle patterns around it. If you aren’t getting enough smoke, just poke a few more holes! You’ll find that using a more dense or sticky tobacco in your hookah pipe may require more holes.
4. Did you forget the coal? Make sure you heat up some coals as they can take a while to heat. Most bowls on a hookah pipe can vary in size. A ‘typical’ bowl will require two medium sized coals but if it isn’t giving you the right amount of smoke you can always add or remove a coal. The most important thing is to always use smokeless, self-lighting coals. Using anything else that requires lighter fluid can be poisonous. Always use tongs when handling coal, as it can be very hot.
5. Once you put the bowl back on the top of the shisha pipe, place the hot coals on top of the foil. For absolute best results, place the coals on the edge of the bowl and space the coal out as evenly as possible. Placing the coal in the centre of the foil can burn the tobacco and your shisha experience won’t be very great!
6. Let the coals warm the tobacco a little before you begin. The first couple of draws of your shisha pipe will be full breaths, but slow, to get it started. Be sure to wait for a minute or two between each draw of the hookah. Avoid any strong inhales as this will just cause your shisha to overheat and add a harsh burnt flavour to the tobacco.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to have some friends over, grab a deck of cards and share the hookah amongst friends. Did you know that you could get more than one hose on a shisha? This means you don’t have to always share the same mouthpiece with your friends.
If you need to adjust the head, just flip the coals over, giving them a light blow away from anyone or anything before placing them back on the bowl. Some people like to have more coals sitting on a low flame for any replacements.
For an even better flavour, drink water or mint tea as you smoke to keep your mouth moist or the flavour of the tobacco will disappear! Light snacks while you smoke are always good and if you’re new to the hookah pipe, don’t have more than one bowl a day so you know your limits! Smoke and enjoy!