Since the culture of hookah shisha is one of relaxation, it’s best to approach the process of hookah buying with patience. Research the subject, become familiar with the best materials and products, and consider the aesthetics–what pleases you most and will most enhance the smoking experience for you? Quality, beauty, and price are the broad parameters to consider when you set out to buy hookahs.
While it’s a good idea to have checked out any local retail outlets where hookahs are available, and to have tried various hookah pipes at a lounge, your best bet in meeting the above criteria is probably going to be buying hookah online. There’s simply a much broader range of hookahs available online, without the markup a brick-and-mortar store is forced to charge.
For the hookah body, also called the vase, Pyrex glass or ceramic, or some other non-porous, tempered material, is the best. Avoid wood or copper. Bases come in sizes from small to large and have a multi-hued array of colors and designs. Stems will generally be stainless steel or another solid metal, fluted and, again, in a range of heights. Hoses also come in a variety of styles and lengths. The tobacco bowl should be ceramic, clay, or metal. You can get a hookah with one hose fitting or multiple hose fittings. There are several sites where you can build your hookah from a selection of parts, and others where you can order custom hookahs. There is a wide selection of high-quality hookahs available ready-made, however.
Egyptian Smoking Methods
Smoking in Egypt is a centuries-old tradition that has evolved. While there are many ways to smoke tobacco, the most popular method is using a Hookah. A Hookah is a water pipe that uses smoke instead of tobacco. Hookahs come in many shapes and sizes and can be purchased both offline and online. They are often decorated with beautiful patterns and colors, making them look as beautiful as they smell.
To use a Hookah, you will need some tobacco, which can be bought either in bulk or pre-packaged. After you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to get started! Open up your Hookah and fill it up with water. Once the water is boiling, add your tobacco and allow it to start smoking. To enjoy your Hookah session, simply take a puff from the hose every few minutes or so and enjoy the amazing flavor that hookahs provide.
Egyptian hookahs generally have hand-blown glass bases in jewel and opal-toned colors, while Syrian hookahs have exquisitely ornamented ceramic or glass bases. Beyond these traditional styles, there are a plethora of modern interpretations, animal-shaped hookahs, mod hookahs, mini hookahs, traveling hookahs complete with carrying cases, and rotating hookahs.
Hookah smokers are a different smoking bread than what is commonly expected. The average hookah smoker generally prefers intellectual conversations and mild social scenes rather than the ever-noise-producing clubs. But don’t think you are smoking among angels. Hookahs are also great additions to the nightlife. The allure of hookah is its smooth smoke production and social benefit. Aside from a stray ignoramus, most people that walk up to you while hookah smoking in public areas are generally compatible with your personality which is great for meeting new people.
The body of a hookah pipe consists of a curved vessel that holds water. A graceful stem rises from the body and at the top of the stem is a bowl, which holds the tobacco. One to several flexible hoses is used to draw the hookah smoke down through the water. The hookah tobacco is heated by charcoal and the water filters and cools the smoke. The water gurgles gently, like a woodland stream, and, in the process, makes the smoke smooth and cool.
The word Shisha, which is often another word for hookah, comes from the Persian meaning glass or bottle. Hookahs and the culture of hookah smoking are often referred to as hookah shisha. Somewhat confusingly, at first, people also refer to hookah tobacco as shisha or hookah shisha–and there is a Shisha brand of hookah shisha!
Hookah pipes today come in many styles, from Egyptian to Syrian, traveling, mini and mod models to specialty and custom designs. There is a world of history in the craftsmanship of hookah pipes. Traditional materials used in making hookahs were blown glass, often highly decorated in gold or enamel painting, brass, aluminum, silver, porcelain, clay, carved stone and wood, and leather. All these same materials are used today, with the addition of stainless steel, Pyrex glass, plastic, rubber, and high-quality acrylics, among others.
Most hookah purchases will come with an individual bowl, stems, plates, bases, and hoses, in separable parts for ease of cleaning, and will include tongs for coals, screens, brushes for cleaning, and instructions. Some will also come with a carrying case and extra rubber stoppers, some hookah tobacco, and charcoal.