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The Practice of Preparing a Hookah

  • Date Submitted: 12/06/2011 08:58 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.7 
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The practice of preparing a hookah - a glass-bottomed water pipe used to smoke flavored molasses tobacco -can often be a difficult and intimidating experience for some. For others, the process can be downright nightmarish. Hookah being the art form that it is, there are dozens of unique ways to prepare the pipe and thousands of possible blends of flavors and coals to choose from. Though not all brands are created equal when it comes to quality and taste, smell every flavor of tobacco and pick the one(s) that appeal to you most. When it comes to coals, the choices should be a slow-lighting natural ‘wood’ coal, or an ‘insta-light’ coal, which are chemically laced and far more popular for their convenience.
To successfully prepare and enjoy this relaxing treat will requires a few essentials. Your initial purchase should include the hookah and all of it's accessories (a full set typically includes a base, stem, down-stem, rubber joints, ashtray, tongs, hose and head, though be prepared to buy the head and hose separately), your favorite brand and flavor of shisha, and a roll of specialty hookah coals. Preparation will also require a toothpick and an approximately 5 inch by 5 inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Before you begin assembling the pipe, be sure to do a few things:   first, screw the down-stem (the long metal rod with threaded joints) into the threaded joint at the bottom of the larger, heavier stem (this will determine the water level in the base). Also, allow the tobacco to breathe by breaking it up with your fingers and emptying it into a can if provided, or a plastic container with a lid to maintain its freshness.   Lastly, the base will need to be rinsed of all debris from manufacturing, packaging and shipping.

First of all, preparing your hookah starts by making the head. All stages of this process are integral to the quality of the smoke, but nine out of ten hookah problems are due to improperly prepared heads. Once you’ve determined...


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