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Hookah water alternatives

Hookah Water Alternatives

Adding water to your hookah base may seem like a forgone conclusion for your sessions. But did you know there are actually several alternatives that you can try out instead of going with plain ol’ water?

I’m going to list a few of the best options out there, but keep in mind that water only is still the way to go. The following substitutes are simply great ways of mixing it up once in a while.

  1. Coconut milk. Many people swear by this liquid for their hookah sessions. Not only is the flavor enhanced by it, but your smoke will be very different. Users often mention that the smoke is much thicker, giving a totally different feel when inhaling. Another cool thing about coconut milk is that you can make huge smoke clouds if that’s something you’re into. 
  2. Coffee. Most people enjoy having a nice cup of coffee during their hookah sessions so hey, why not put the darn thing straight in the hookah? People usually go with a 50/50 mix of water and their favorite coffee blend. If you try this combination and really enjoy it, just keep in mind that using hot coffee too often will eventually ruin your hose. I would suggest keeping a hose on hand uniquely for coffee blends and not using your regular hoses. 
  3. Mint leaves. This is a great natural ingredient you can add along with your water. It is often said that mint leaves the smoke tasting fresher. It might even help with cold symptoms as it is a natural herbal plant (you’re going to have to try it for yourself). 
  4. Tea. Speaking of herbs, tea is a nice healthy addition to your hookah base. You will have to play around with different combinations of flavors and teas but try to match them accordingly (stronger teas with stronger flavors). 
  5. Whiskey. Now listen very carefully, when it comes to whiskey, or any other alcohol mentioned in this list, take it easy. Don’t go pouring half a bottle in your base because you are going to hate yourself shortly after. If used in moderation, mixed in with water, it can really compliment the taste of your flavors.
  6. Orange juice. You can use pretty much any juice you can think of if OJ isn’t your thing. Orange juice is definitely a popular choice though. You can also try different combinations of juices. Watermelon and orange juice can do wonders on a hot summer day. 

We could keep this list going forever as there are literally hundreds of liquids you can try out but these are some of the more popular options. Remember, when using alcohol, go easy on ratios and gradually work your way up to the perfect amount. We also strongly recommend using dedicated hoses for your different liquids other than water so that you don’t ruin your main hose.

Have your own secret blend? We want to hear about it! Share us your unique blends and we might feature it in our future blog articles. 

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Shisha Fruit Head

Shisha Fruit Head

If you’re looking to try something new for your upcoming hookah session, keep reading because we have exactly what you’re looking for. 

Fruit heads are an awesome way of mixing up your typical shisha session with your friends. Not only can you experience different and unique flavors, but you can also show off your creative artistic side (unless you don’t have one, like me). 

What is a shisha fruit head exactly? The idea is to replace your hookah bowl with a fruit of your choice, that you will sculpt out. You then stuff your flavors in the fruit head as you would with your regular bowl. Fruit heads can really add some extra zip to your regular flavors. 

Here are the pros and cons you need to know before making your first fruit head. 

Cons: 

  • Things are going to get messy. If you’ve ever made a jack-o-lantern, you can expect this process to be basically the same. 
  • Properly heating your flavors might be a challenge if the interior of your fruit head is damp. 
  • You will need to invest way more time in your session preparation. The clean up will also be more extensive. 

Pro:

  • You will discover new and unique flavors otherwise impossible to create with regular shisha sessions.
  • It can be a fun activity to do with friends or your loved one.
  • If your regular bowl breaks, this can be a life-saving alternative until you receive a new bowl. 

If you’re not sure which fruit to use for your bowl head, we’ve listed below the most commonly used fruits. You can get creative and use pretty much anything but ideally you want a fruit with a rigid exterior. 

Lemon 

Pear 

Grapefruit 

Lime 

Apple

Orange

Pineapple 

Watermelon 

Now that you’ve decided which fruit you want to use, let’s go over the steps on how to create the head. Keep in mind the following steps are meant to be used as guidelines. Certain fruits will require additional specific steps but the idea is the same.

First step. Cut off the upper part of the fruit (approximately ⅓ of the fruit should be sufficient). 

Second step. Remove all the filling within the fruit but make sure to leave at least 1 cm of thickness. 

Third step. Grab a paper towel and gently damp the inside of your fruit to remove any excess juice. This might take a few attempts before you find your sweet spot. While you don’t want too much juice, you also don’t want to leave it completely dry as this will greatly diminish the flavor during your session. 

The last steps before installing your fruit head is to cut out a small hole at the bottom and line it with aluminum foil. You’re going to want to poke a few tiny holes in the foil to allow the smoke to pass through. 

At this point your fruit head should be all set and ready for action. Gently sit it on the top of your hookah and stuff your flavors in there.

Enjoy your session!

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Signs it’s time to change your hookah

Signs it’s time to change your hookah

If you are reading this article, you are probably wondering if that time has indeed come for your hookah. Although we hope your hookah still has some mileage left in the tank, we are going to give you a few indications that it’s time to change your hookah and go shopping for a new one.

First indication: The flavor of your shisha is way off. If you start noticing that the flavor from your previous sessions start carrying over to each new subsequent session, your hookah “might” be past its prime. Sometimes a proper scrub might remedy the issue. If not, you might want to start looking for a new hookah. With that being said, we can’t stress enough how important it is to wash your entire setup after each and every session to prevent this from happening. Also, do not wait 3 days after your session to wash it, the sooner the better. 

Second indication: Rust starts appearing. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about this one. The good news is that most of the new lines of hookahs are made with superior quality materials that aren’t as likely to rust (or will not rush at all, ever). Sometimes investing in a more expensive hookah is the cheaper long-term solution. Again, washing your hookah immediately after every session will help delay the onset of rust.

Third indication: Cracks and broken parts. We know this probably sounds obvious to most of you. Nevertheless, we still frequently see people walking around with worn-out, beaten to death hookahs that look like they were found in a dig from a lost civilization. We get it, just because it looks in rough shape does not mean it is not working but when it comes to hookahs…it usually does. Even the tiniest of cracks can affect the quality of your session and the effect will only compound with time. 

To cap things off on a positive note, we will go over certain circumstances where only the hose needs to be changed, not the entire hookah.

Hose discoloration. If you own a brightly colored hose and start to notice discoloration, no need to panic. This is perfectly normal. Washing it will not bring the original color back, but it will still work perfectly fine. Keep in mind that eventually you will need to change it as it will start changing the flavor of your shisha.

Funky smell. Regularly testing the smell of your hose is good practise as it is a great indicator of the health of your hose. If it does smell weird, try washing it with hot water and lemon juice. If the smell persists, you’re out of luck and it’s time to change your hose.

We hope this helps you in your decision and we wish long life to your hookah!

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What’re the differences between herbal flavours and tobacco flavours

Tobacco Hookah Flavour

When it comes to smoking hookah, there are literally hundreds of flavours to choose from. Pretty much all of them fall into two categories: Herbal hookah flavours and tobacco hookah flavours. In this article, we will shed some light on what differentiates them. We will also debunk some false information that seems to be spreading about whether herbal flavours or shisha is actually a healthier alternative to tobacco flavours. 

Herbal shisha, unlike tobacco, is actually made from sugarcane and contains no nicotine whatsoever. This has a significant impact on the flavour of the smoke during sessions. It is fair to say that a higher percentage of users prefer tobacco based products because of taste. 

People who prefer the herbal shisha usually fall into two camps; those who actually prefer the taste and those who chose it because they think it is healthier than tobacco.

It is often said that herbal shisha products are a safer alternative. Big brands will also push this message in their marketing. Although herbal shisha flavours are indeed without nicotine, this does not make them a healthy alternative by any stretch of the imagination. 

“Wait, so herbal doesn’t mean healthy?” It sounds counter intuitive, but here is the reason why. Smoking hookah comes with certain hazards, most of which are not related to tobacco itself.  The major cause of toxicity actually comes from the coals, which are used to heat the bowl. 

Any type of hookah flavour will expose the user to harmful substances because of the burning charcoal. Mainly, carbon monoxide and polyromantic hydrocarbons. So yeah, you might avoid the negative side effects caused by nicotine but you are not exactly being healthy either. 

This does not mean that smoking herbal shisha will give you cancer, or that you will grow a third eye ball on your forehead. We just feel it is our responsibility to clear things up and give you the facts. By using your hookah in moderation and following our guidelines on hygiene you will be safe.

The other big difference you might see between tobacco and herbal shisha products is the feeling you get during the sessions. If you have never smoked a cigarette or cigar before, you might experience a few of the following symptoms when smoking tobacco for the first time;

– Light headed

– Headache

– A slight “buzz”

But don’t worry, you will get used to it and come to enjoy it soon enough. If you are someone who really enjoys the flavour, but would rather avoid the gentle buzz that comes from nicotine, herbal shisha is probably your best bet. 

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and by trial and error from testing different products. At least now, you will have all the facts to make an informed decision on whether or not you want to stick to herbal or tobacco based flavours. 

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History of Hookah

History of Hookah

Perhaps you are a rookie hookah user, or maybe you have been smoking from a hookah for many years. However, do you know exactly how far back the history of hookahs go? It goes way back, all the way to the 16th century to be precise. Hookahs are a huge part of the history of tobacco smoking and are an integral part of the Indian, Persian, Turkish and Egyptian and other Middle Eastern cultures. 

What helped sparked the creation of the first ever hookah was the booming exportation of glass from the East India Trading Company to India. With the abundance of glass, people started creating what were the first ever prototypes of hookahs. It did not take long for the hookah to grow in popularity. 

The device spread across several countries and people began using them to smoke Ajami, which is a strong, flavorless kind of tobacco. 

It became especially popular amongst noblemen as a way to show off social status and significance. During the Ottoman Empire reign, sultans were known to take portraits with their hookahs as a way to illustrate their prestige. 

In the 17th century, the hookah really took off in the Persian Empire. Persians began to smoke a dark leaf tobacco known as Haji. At this point in time, the use of hookahs were no longer limited to higher status individuals.  

In the 18th century, the hookah made its way into the Turkish culture and we started seeing some innovations in the design. Blacksmiths would customize the hookahs by engraving religious symbols and markings. Much like with the Ottoman Empire, the Turks associated well-crafted hookahs with important social status. It would often be smoked after royal dinners and diplomatic meetings. The act of sharing a hookah was a way to display respect for another person. Failure to do so often led to serious confrontations and disputes.  

In the 19th century, it made its way into the Middle East. The Egyptians would go on to produce the first ever flavored tobacco. They would mix honey or molasses with the tobacco. Soon after, they would create several new flavors by incorporating dried fruits such as lemon, grape, watermelon and mint. 

Hookah’s became so popular in Egypt, they began to build the first ever shisha café’s which are still growing in worldwide popularity to this day. Shisha sessions were a way for people of different origins to sit down together, relax and ultimately build strong bonds with one another. 

Eventually, in the 1900’s, the use of shisha became a regular sight on all continents. Today, the hookah industry is having a hard time keeping up with the demand as it has become so popular. Shisha café’s are multiplying across major cities in North America. Although the technology and design of the hookahs have vastly changed over the past 500 years, the tradition remains the same. Sharing your hookah with friends, family and visitors is still perceived as a great sign of respect.

When it comes to hookahs, there is nearly an infinite number of ways you can customize your setup to produce a unique shisha session. Different flavors, different combinations of multiple flavors, with nicotine, without nicotine, using water or other alternatives and the list goes on. 

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Natural coconut charcoal vs quick light charcoal: what’s the difference?

Natural coconut charcoal vs quick light charcoal_ what’s the difference_

One aspect that is often overlooked is the coals that are used to heat the bowl. The majority of hookah users will opt for quick light coals because of their convenience. It’s easy to dismiss the importance of using higher quality coals, which is why we decided to give you a more in depth look at what exactly differentiates natural coconut charcoal and quick light charcoal.

We will list both the pros and cons of each and we will let you decide which one floats your boat.

Natural coconut charcoal

Pros:

– The biggest advantage of natural coals, in our opinion, is how much healthier it is compared to quick lights. The natural coconut charcoal does not contain any of the toxic chemicals found in your regular quick light charcoal. 

– They are odorless and more eco-friendly. 

– They provide and sustain more heat. 

– Much better tasting then quick light coals. Expect a smoother and cleaner smoke when using coconut coals.

However, natural coals are not perfect as they do have some downsides.

Cons:

– They take much longer to light. Usually anywhere between 6 to 10 minutes. 

– You will need an independent heat source to ignite them (stove or burner).

Now let us take a look at the quick light charcoal and see how it matches up against natural coals.

Quick light charcoal

Pros:

– It is extremely convenient to use. You can light these guys simply with a lighter. 

– More user friendly for beginner hookah users.

– They can be very practical on the road or in emergencies, (I use the term emergency lightly). 

Cons: 

– People often notice a very chemical taste when smoking their flavored shisha. This is to be expected considering they contain more toxicity. 

– They will not provide as much heat as the natural coconut coals. Essentially you have to pick your poison here between both. Either you wait longer for a better heat source (with the natural coal), or you jump into your session faster with a less sustainable fire.

– They are not odorless. Even as soon as you begin to light them, you will likely smell the toxic properties of the quick light coals.

– They can have a negative impact on the flavor. 

So now that we’ve put all the chips on the table, here is our take on which charcoal you should use. 

It’s a no-brainer, unless it is impossible due to certain circumstances (not having a stove available), you should go with the natural coconut coals. Sure, you might have to wait a few extra minutes to get the party going, but it is definitely worth the wait. 

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Hookah tips for beginners

 So you have just been introduced to the wonderful world of hookahs. There are several reasons why hookahs are awesome. It is great for social get-togethers with friends or just to unwind by yourself after an exhausting day. As fun as they are, we know that using a hookah can seem quite complicated at first glance. There are many parts, accessories and important guidelines to follow in order to properly enjoy your session.

That is why we decided to help you out by listing some important tips based on the most frequent questions beginners ask us when getting started. 

Tip #1. An easy way to make your shisha session much smoother is by adding ice-cold water or simply ice itself at the bottom of your base. You will see a noticeable difference in the smoke when applying this trick.

Tip #2. We strongly recommend mixing different types of flavours together during your sessions. The key when doing this is to place the stronger flavours first, near the bottom of your bowl. This will cause the stronger flavours to intensify the taste of the other flavours in your mix. 

Tip #3. One of the most common mistakes we see beginners do when setting up their hookah for a session, is they over pack the bowl. When filling the bowl, you want to break up the shisha with your fingers and sprinkle it. Simply let it fall into place. 

If you start compacting it in order to stuff even more, you will suffocate the bowl. Without proper aeration, the bowl will not heat properly and it will be difficult to draw out through your hookah.

Tip #4. After you have packed your bowl like a champ, it is time to install the aluminum foil and there are a few important guidelines to follow when doing so. 

First off, the foil should always be placed with the shiny side facing down. If you put the foil upside down, it will prevent the bowl from receiving proper heat from the charcoals. Once your foil is wrapped neatly on top of your bowl, the next step is to puncture tiny holes. 

When poking your holes in the foil, you want to start in the middle and work you way to the outer edge. You want to spread out the holes more and more as you stray from the middle. 

Tip #5. Another common misstep among beginners is how they place the charcoals. It is very important to place them around the edges on your aluminum foil. Avoid putting them in the middle. In addition, it is worth mentioning that you should never move your hookah around while the charcoal is sitting on top of it, bad things happen to good people when doing so. 

As a final quick tip, you should get in the habit of cleaning your hookah and all its parts regularly. Sometimes things can get clogged up so it’s never a bad idea to dismantle everything and give it a quick scrub.

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Hookah Hygiene tips and tricks

In this article we’re going to discuss some tips and tricks on how to make your shisha sessions healthier so that you may enjoy your hookah without any undesirable side effects.

I’m going to preface this article with what is probably the most important hygienic habit you should adopt. And that is to wash your hookah after every session. We know it is boring and it can be time consuming but using a dirty hookah is not only unhealthy, it will also have a negative impact on your flavours for future sessions.

Here are a few pointers on how to properly clean your hookah;

– Dismantle your hookah completely, let all of your grommets and bowl sit in warm water mixed in with some lemon juice. You can let it soak in there while you clean the rest of your hookah.

– Pour some of that hot water mixed with the lemon juice in your base, swirl it around, and rinse it. Once it is rinsed, you can add more hot water along with some baking soda and scrub it. You can use any regular dish brush for this; just make sure you are not using that brush for anything else other than your hookah.

– Follow the same process to wash your stem. Pour some hot water mixed with lemon juice, shake it up and rinse it. Then add the baking soda, grab your stem brush, scrub the inside and rinse it again.

– If your hose is washable, run some hot water through it, swing it around and then let it dry. 

Now that we have covered the cleaning process, let us go over some unfamiliar tips on how to stay healthy during your sessions.

It is not uncommon for people to experience the so-called “hookah sickness” during shisha sessions. In the majority of cases, it is because of one of the following reasons:

1. Poor hydration. If you know you are going to smoke a certain day, try to increase your intake of water before your session. It is also important to stay hydrated during your session. Gatorade is also a great alternative if water is too boring for you.

2. Smoking shisha on an empty stomach. Traditionally, shisha sessions always followed a big feast. I don’t think this is simply coincidence as using a hookah on an empty stomach can be quite hard to handle. 

3. Insufficient ventilation. If you are smoking your shisha in a small, closed out room, you are asking for trouble. Try to have a window open or some kind of fan running. If both of those options are impossible, at least try to have your session in a much larger room with a higher ceiling.

4. Avoid using quick light coals. Sure, they are easy to use, but that comes with a heavy price. Quick-lights contain benzene, which is quite harmful to your body. The side effects of using quick light coals are similar (not as bad) to that of carbon monoxide poisoning. There are many natural and even coconut coals that you can use which are much healthier. 

So there you have it, follow these guidelines and you should be all set!

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How to Set Up Your Hookah

So you have just received your first ever hookah! You are eager to try it out and show it off to your friends but before you go ahead and do that, let’s go over some of the essentials in order to properly set up your hookah.

Much like anything else in life, preparation is key. Therefore, if you want your hookah running smoothly and your flavours to taste great, it is critical to not overlook the initial set up.

The first thing you want to do is make sure you are not missing any parts. If you do notice something missing, please contact us here and we will send you the missing equipment. Once you have all your parts sorted out, it is very important to wash everything. This is especially important when using your hookah for the first time. 

You want to wash your base, your hookah and your bowl. In addition, if your hose is washable (look up the product page specifications on the website), it is always wise to give that a rinse as well.

When filling your base with water, you want to fill it to approximately an inch and a half above your down stem. Not having enough water will disrupt the quality of the smoke and if you put too much, it will be very difficult to get smoke out. After a few sessions, you will find your sweet spot. 

Next thing you want to do is properly install your base grommet. It is important to set up your grommet on the shaft first, not on the base. Once your grommet is installed on the shaft and is leveled, you can simply slide the shaft into the base until it’s neatly sealed. It’s also worth noting that you should never carry a hookah by the shaft, always grab it by the base. 

Next step is to insert your hose grommet in your hose port. This will prevent any air from leaking out when pulling smoke during your sessions. Once your hose grommet is in place, you may plug in your hose in the hose port.

As we move up the next part to install is the coal tray. Simply stack it on the top part of the hookah and it should sit nicely.

Once your coal tray is installed, grab your bowl grommet and slide it onto your bowl port. Finally, we have the last piece of the puzzle, the bowl that will sit atop the grommet you have just plugged in. 

So there you have it, you have successfully set up your very first hookah and you are ready to roll. It is never a bad idea to double-check everything before doing your first pulls. Make sure everything is sealed properly, that your water level is good and that all your grommets are well installed.