Hookah coal: the onyx crown of hookahs. While it can easily be dismissed as a simple auxiliary part of the hookah, the coal for hookah is one of the most important ingredients for a well-tasting, hard-hitting smoking session. In this page we will discuss the various types of hookah coals, how to heat hookah coals, and where to buy hookah coals.
Types of Hookah Coals
There are several varieties of hookah coal, each with their own benefits. Below are the most common varieties that you will find sold in smoke shops and used in lounges.
Coconut Coals: These types of natural coals are made from compressed coconut husks and are perhaps the most popular type of charcoal due to their unrivaled longevity and absence of taste. Hookah lounges will most often use these as they are considered to be the best hookah coals by most businesses and individuals.
Wood Coals: These are another type of natural coals that are made through pyrolyzing wood, a process known to man since ancient times. Wood coals last longer than quick-light coals and leave less of a taste. With the introduction of coconut coals to the market, wood coals have become less common, however there are still plenty of dedicated hookah enthusiasts who use wood coals for their sessions.
Quick-light Coals: Unlike the natural coals above, the significant advantage of quick-lights are their unrivaled start-up speed. These coals can be lit up with matches or a lighter and do not require to be heated on a coil burner or stove top. The disadvantage is that they do not last as long, rarely burning over 30 minutes. They are also known to leave a taste due to the coals containing accelerants (such as sulfur) to ignite them quickly.
There are also hookah coal alternatives such as the electronic hookah coal which simply heats up the bowl through electricity. This allows for sessions of hookah without coals. These alternatives are still being developed and are in their infancy so expect to see more of those in the future.
How To Heat Hookah Coals
There are several methods to heating your hookah coals.
For the quick-light variant you can simply use matches or a regular lighter (trust us, you don't need a specialized hookah coal lighter!) as they contain accelerants that ignite the coal instantly. Let them burn for a few minutes before smoking so the accelerants have time to burn off. This way you will avoid most of the foul taste associated with the quick-lights.
For the natural variants such as the coconut charcoal or wood charcoal you will want to use some kind of a hookah charcoal burner. There are specialized coil burners out there for such purpose, but a stove top works just as good, albeit perhaps a bit messier. The natural coals take a while longer to heat up, but once they are fully lit they can last up to 1.5 hours depending on the brand. You know they are fully lit when the coal has been enveloped by a thin layer of ash and there is no visible black on the surface.
Where To Buy Hookah Coals
Look no further than Prestige Bubbles when it comes to purchasing your coals! We specialize in coconut charcoals as we are the proud makers of Prestige Coco Coals, but we carry all the various in-demand coals from natural to quick-lights as well! Take a look at our catalog for our entire inventory.
If you are more interested in purchasing locally, smoke shops are your best bet. Just remember that you will most likely face a smaller selection as most smoke shops have a very limited shelf space for products.