In typical British fashion, the weather has turned Antarctica-cold this month and for shisha lovers, this may be the time to retrieve the home set, unless you would rather risk smoking outside and leaving with a severe case of frostbite. If you don’t have one, invest in one. It’s the perfect way to spend quality time with friends and family in the comfort of your own home. But first, it may be useful to know about the instrument itself and all the dos and don’ts of setting it up.
Before you start smoking or even putting the apparatus together, it is important to ensure that the pipe is thoroughly clean and dry. Next you will want to fill the glass bottom with water. Do so, so that about 1 inch of the pipe is fully submerged in the water and that there is empty space above where the smoke will cool and gather.
The type of tobacco used in shisha is different from normal tobacco. It consists of normal tobacco leaves, with molasses, which in basic terms is a type of honey with squashed fruit depending on the flavour. It is the juice is the tobacco that makes it moist. When removing some from its packet, remember to mix the flavoured tobacco
so that you are not left with any large sums or dry or wet bits. The tobacco needs to be placed in the clay bowl with all holes covered up.
If you can get you hand on a funnel head do so and be sure to use coco nut coals, these are hard to set-up but provide the best smoking experience.
The metal tray needs to be attached to the top of the pipe with the gromet on top of it. On top if this will sit the clay bowl after it has been covered with a layer of foil, making sure that it sits tightly on top of the bowl. Using a toothpick, punch a few holes into the layer.
Light your desired choice of charcoal and wait until it is glowing before placing on top of the foil. Next connect the hose to the side of the pipe making sure the rubber hose seal is air tight and then you are ready to begin smoking.
It is generally good practice to take small sucks of the pipe to begin with so that the tobacco heats up gradually. Have you ever taken a drag to find that it hits your throat and results in doubling over with an uncontrollable cough? That’s probably the holes in the foil blocking up so it’s a good idea to re-punch the holes when changing the coal.
You’re ready to kick back with your loved ones and have a good natter over some shisha. Just remember to have a drink by your side to avoid dehydration, which any type of smoking can cause. Moreover, it will help with keeping the flavour alive on your tongue. After all, you don’t want to wake up with a ‘hookah hangover.’
If you would like a visual tutorial, check these out: