For those interested in alternative forms of smoking, learning how to smoke hookah is a pretty cool option. A form of water pipe developed in India centuries ago, a hookah is a tall, eloquent looking device that uses a connected “hose” as its smoking tool. In recent years, it’s been gaining popularity in the West thanks to a wide array of tobacco flavors available and the relaxed, laid back atmosphere that it tends to create. Getting one isn’t prohibitively expensive or difficult, so getting the chance to learn how to hookah is actually pretty easy. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about hookah setup and smoking.
What You Need:
- A Hookah Assembly
- A Lighter
- Hookah Tobacco
- Aluminum Foil
- Start by setting up the hookah. The base of the device, called a “vase” by its users, should first be filled with water. Some prefer to mix a little ice in as well in order to further cool the smoke. Once filled, attach the metal cap with upward and downward extensions, also known as an “argile” to the top of the base. Its stem should be submerged roughly an inch into the water. Next is the tray, whose centrally located hole can be slid down the argile’s upward stem. The last step of the upper assembly is to attach the bowl, or “head” of the hookah to the top of the stem. The only piece of equipment left at this point should be the hose, which has a pointed end that is slid into the opening at the bottom of the argile.
- With setup complete, you’re ready to pack the bowl of the hookah. Start by grabbing your favorite flavor of hookah tobacco and taking out enough to completely fill the head. Before placing it in the bowl, separate it a bit with your fingers – the less dense the tobacco is, the easier it is to take a drag. Now, take a three by three square of aluminum foil, poke several small holes in it, and form it around the top of the bowl. With this in place, you’re ready to place the coal on top of the foil and light it.
- To get the tobacco smoldering, take a few deep drags. You’ll know the assembly is correct if the water bubbles as you suck on the hookah’s hose. With just a few puffs, you’ll begin to notice that the coal is getting redder and hotter, which in turn should get the tobacco producing smoke.
- Often, new smokers wonder if there’s any special technique to smoking hookah. Somewhat surprisingly, there is no real accepted answer. Some prefer to inhale directly into their lungs, while others enjoy the rich, cool flavor of the smoke in their mouths. Because actual smoking method is irrelevant, knowing how to hookah, beyond the setup, is mainly about enjoying yourself and savoring the moment.