Hookah How-To

Glass Base - Smoke chamber that is partially filled with water. Water in the base is used to filter smoke drawn from the bowl.

Bowl – The bowl contains the tobacco. It is then wrapped with foil or topped with an HMD (heat management device). Coals are placed on top to heat the tobacco.

Stem & Downstem – The stem connects the bowl to the base by a pipe and the downstem descends into the water.

Hose – The hose connects to a second tube in the stem through a hose port, which draws smoke out of the base when inhaling.

Hookah Tray – Used for catching coals that may fall off the bowl. Also used to hold coals while not in use.

Grommets - There are three kinds of grommets that are commonly used to keep connecting parts air-tight: one for the base, one for the hose, and another for the bowl.

Release Valve – An outlet for stale smoke to escape the base when blowing into the hose.

How The Hookah Works: Heated charcoal is placed on a piece of aluminum foil or an HMD, covering the tobacco in the bowl. When you inhale through the hose, a pressure difference forces air past the coal, heating the tobacco, which gives off smoke. The smoke is pulled down from the tobacco, and bubbles up through the water into the air of the base. From there, it is drawn through the hose and inhaled. Passing through the water cools and partially filters tar from the tobacco smoke.

How To Use a Hookah:

Hookah Set Up Step 1
Separate the glass base from the stem. While some Hookahs have stems that screw into the base, others attach using a rubber sleeve which you will need to twist and pull to separate. Sometimes adding water around the rubber sleeve helps it come apart.
Hookah Set Up Step 2

Fill the glass base with cold water. If available, mix in ice for a cooler smoke. When reattaching your stem, the bottom should submerge only 1 to 1.5 inches in the water.Reattach the stem to the glass base. Make sure the fit is snug and air-tight with a rubber grommet. Then attach your Hookah hose (using a grommet to make sure it is air-tight).

Place the Hookah tray on top of the stem.

Hookah Set Up Step 3
Using a fork, scoop some Fumari tobacco in your bowl. You want to lightly pack the tobacco a couple millimeters under the rim. Create a pencil-width hole in the center of the tobacco to help get the air flowing.
Hookah Set Up Step 4
Wrap foil over the top of the bowl and make small holes in a cylindrical fashion using your poker. When done, place the bowl on top of the stem and make sure it is air-tight with a grommet.
Hookah Set Up Step 5
Double check all attaching parts of your Hookah - hose, bowl and stem - ensuring they are firmly connected and air-tight using rubber grommets
Hookah Set Up Step 6

Light up 3 to 4 coals until they're red-hot and place them around the edge of the bowl using some tongs. Place the coals evenly around the bowl to avoid uneven heat distribution, which will burn your tobacco faster. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Add new hot coals later, as needed, to keep the Hookah going.