There are several types of hookah charcoal. The sizes, colors, and varying prices may be a little perplexing for many people, especially those who have just gotten started with their shisha experience. Choosing the best type of hookah charcoal is not necessarily tough. One must simply know the differences and opt for the most suitable variant.
Composition of Hookah Charcoal
Hookah charcoal needs an organic material which burns when lit and heats the shisha tobacco. This organic material may be coconut shell, wood, or both. Lemon wood, orange wood, and bamboo are common raw materials. Compared to these, coconut shell serves as a much better organic material. The major difference between coconut shell and others is the lack of odor and flavor. Coconut shell charcoals also last longer.
The entire spectrum of hookah charcoal can be split into two major categories: natural and quick-light. The latter can be further classified into normal and silver hookah charcoals. Normal quick-light hookah charcoal is usually black in color, and comes in various sizes. The base material may be wood but there could also be sawdust and other unpleasant materials. The worrisome component in normal quick-light charcoal is the set of chemicals. Accelerants are used to facilitate the swift burn. These chemical accelerants are unhealthy, some are toxic, and these will adversely influence the aroma and flavor of your shisha tobacco.
Silver hookah charcoals are the worst. These are often silver or white in color. This is due to the artificial coating that serves as the accelerant. Like ordinary quick-light charcoals, silver variants are easily lit and burn quickly. These too alter the flavor, odor, and even texture of the smoke produced by your hookah. Avoid both the variants, ordinary quick-light and silver hookah charcoals. Always opt for natural charcoals, preferably made from coconut shells.
Advantages of Coconut Shell Hookah Charcoal
Coconut shell hookah charcoals are natural, without chemicals and additives unless a manufacturer decides to use them, the smoke produced is clean and the shisha tobacco retains its flavor, odor, and texture. Coconut based hookah charcoals last longer. They take a while to light, and it is better to use a burner. Coconut shell hookah charcoals may cost a little more than quick-light variants, and the time needed to get them started may seem avoidable, but these are the absolute best, and your shisha experience will be exponentially enriched and satiating.
Shapes & Sizes of Hookah Charcoal
Both natural and quick-light hookah charcoals come in different shapes and sizes. You will find cubes, flats, fingers or sticks, cubettes, cuboids, hexagons, discs or pucks, among others. Cubes and fingers or sticks are the most popular. They are easy to manage with a pair of tongs. Cubes are stable on foils. Fingers work well in heat management devices or systems.
Cubes burn slowly, so they are perfect for long sessions. Flats are as stable as cubes, but they burn quickly and hence don’t last long. These are suitable for short sessions or for individual users. Flats are not compatible with many heat management devices. Cuboids are stable but have heat spikes. Coconut shell hookah charcoal often comes in hexagon shape. It is a practical option. Disc or puck is usually quick-light charcoal, which should be avoided.