There is a standard procedure for packing a hookah bowl, regardless of its kind or shisha tobacco flavor. However, the standard technique requires minor adjustments depending on a variety of criteria such as flavor kind, session duration, and number of smokers.
You must also choose the amount of shisha tobacco based on its strength or mildness, bowl capacity, and hookah size. As a result, this step-by-step guide on packing a hookah bowl takes into account all of the variables that will undoubtedly apply to your actual shisha experience.
1. Fill the Hookah Bowl with Shisha Tobacco.
You can easily load shisha tobacco into a hookah bowl. Unless you intend to blend or mix two or more flavors, no intermediary saucer or cup is required. Furthermore, there is no need to dry shisha tobacco to eliminate excess juice or moisture, which is necessary for optimal flavor.
Even if you are meticulous, your hands may likely absorb some juice or moisture when loading the shisha tobacco. Spread the shisha tobacco evenly throughout the hookah bowl, beginning with the entire base. Do not pile the tobacco in the bowl at random.
Many Egyptian hookah smokers sprinkle shisha tobacco inside the hookah bowl with their fingertips. Sprinkling is optional because the stuffing can be aerated afterwards. Excess molasses, honey, glycerin, or moisture in general will be absorbed by the fingers and palms, masking the genuine flavor.
2. Fill the Hookah Bowl Up to the Desired Level
A regular hookah bowl with loosely packed shisha tobacco up to the rim level is usually enough for a single user’s hour-long session. Two or more users necessitate a more compact pack that extends up to the rim, but not beyond, so that the foil with charcoal is not in direct touch.
As you load and fill the hookah bowl, aerate the shisha tobacco with a fork or toothpick. If you wait until the bowl is fully loaded to aerate, you may inadvertently create big holes inside the stuffing. The most practical and effective method is phase-wise aeration.
The slots at the base of a hookah bowl should not be totally clogged by shisha tobacco. You should ideally utilize a phunnel or vortex bowl. A regular bowl, on the other hand, works as long as you avoid overfilling and blocking the perforations with shisha tobacco.
3. Spread the Shisha Tobacco
Many hookah enthusiasts sort their shisha tobacco before placing it into their bowls. Some shisha tobaccos may contain stems or other elements that many fans dislike smoking. If necessary, you can complete this sorting before packing. Otherwise, pack the bowl neatly.
The in-bowl sorting is straightforward. Use the fork or toothpick to evenly distribute the shisha tobacco throughout the bowl, from the bottom to the very top. The top surface should be flat all the way around. However, do not press the shisha tobacco in the bowl since this will interfere with heat transfer.
Poking the shisha tobacco directly downward into a hole at the base of your hookah bowl can clog it and make your session less than desirable. To promote aeration and consistent spread in the bowl, gently move the fork or toothpick in, on, and through the shisha tobacco.
4. Cover the Bowl with Foil
Take two pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil, carefully position them, and wrap them around the hookah bowl. On top, the aluminum foil must have a consistent, completely flat, and tight surface. For a snug fit, the wrapping around the outside of the bowl should be flawless.
You can avoid using foils if you utilize a heat management device. In either case, warm the charcoal pieces before placing them atop the foil or in the heat management device. You don’t want the shisha tobacco to dry out, therefore have these items on hand.
5. Create a concentric pattern of tiny holes in the aluminum foil.
To cut tiny holes in the foil, use the sharp tip of a toothpick. Use a fork only if the points are needle-sharp. Make the holes through the aluminum foils that are wrapped around and atop the bowl with care. These holes must not be misaligned or of varying sizes.
A circular design is the most frequent way to make the holes. You start with a few tiny holes around the center of the aluminum foil, then go outside to produce larger rings or arcs of holes. You can alternatively start at the edge, make concentric holes, and work your way to the center.
Your hookah bowl is now ready; place it on the stem, fire the charcoal, and lay the pieces atop the bowl. A heat management device eliminates the requirement for aluminum foil and the drilling of holes, but the other stages remain the same and equally important.