The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Hookah Charcoal

Hookah Charcoal

Learn about the different types of hookah charcoal, their benefits, and which one is right for you. When it comes to the experience of shisha, coal plays an integral role in determining the quality of your smoking sessions. They act as the fuel, or the source of heat to be precise, due to which you have those clouds of smoke. Ensure you light the hookah charcoal in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, since the lighting often emits strong fumes. Thanks to the growing popularity of shisha, every year, several brands are experimenting with different hookah charcoal varieties in terms of shapes, sizes, and other characteristics to cater to a broad spectrum of shisha lovers. 

You may find it overwhelming, with so many options of shisha Dubai available at your disposal. No wonder most hookah users hardly step out of their comfort zone and just settle for the coals their favourite hookah lounge provides. Read on to discover the two basic types of charcoals that are popular amongst shisha Dubai enthusiasts:

Quick-Lite Charcoal: as the name suggests, this type of charcoal takes only 60 seconds to get fully lit, with just a flame lighter we normally use. This can be attributed to its chemical accelerants that aid the burning process. This is particularly helpful when someone is travelling or camping. It is also highly beneficial in the absence of an electric burner. This specially designed hookah charcoal for shisha service ensures an excellent smoking experience. It ignites in no time, with minimal smoke and odour, and burns gently from all sides. 

This is undoubtedly one of the best charcoal for shisha in Dubai, thanks to its first-grade quality, ease of use, less harmful chemicals, and retaining technology. However, the original shisha flavour itself is often compromised, thanks to the accelerant coating. You can get them in two sizes: a 30mm option and a 40mm option, the former being more popular, though the exact size will depend on the brand you’re using. 

How to light Quick-Lite Coal

Hookah Charcoal

Lighting this coal type is simple and easy and does not involve any extra equipment. All you need besides the charcoal itself is a metal hookah tong with which you can hold the charcoal, a flame lighter, a candle lighter, and a torch. First and foremost, hold an unlit piece of charcoal to the flame directly; in a few seconds, the piece of coal will start emitting sparks. This indicates that the chemical accelerant has fully ignited. 

Take the coal away from the flame once you notice the sparks. Soon, you’ll notice the colour changing from black to grey or red-orange. At this stage, you’ll need to wait for approximately 2-3 minutes, allowing the self-lighting agent to do its job. Once the coal colour has completely transformed, you can be sure that your hookah charcoal is entirely lit and can be put in the bowl.  

2. Coconut coal: made of natural wood material, i.e., compressed coconut husk; this type of charcoal is one of the most commonly used charcoal amongst hookah enthusiasts. They come in a characteristic flat or cube shape, though you can also check out other shapes. Unlike the quick light coals, this type of coal is devoid of any chemical accelerant, which implies you cannot light them using a normal flame lighter; on the contrary, you will need an electric coil stove or charcoal burner.

In order to light it properly, you need a single coil electric heater. As far as natural coal is concerned, a normal hookah charcoal burner is almost of no use. It takes approximately 10 minutes to light up properly; however, this might vary depending on the power output of the stove or burner you use. It is also noteworthy that these hookah charcoals leave no ash. 

Despite the longer lighting time, coconut coals are believed to be of higher quality. Since there is no chemical accelerant involved, it does not involve the shisha flavour. Consequently, you can enjoy a smoke session that tastes far cleaner, which is the primary goal for hookah bars looking to acquire a loyal customer base. 

How to Light Coconut Hookah Charcoal

For this type of natural coal, you need two major types of equipment: a pair of hookah tongs to handle the hot charcoal and an electric coil stove or charcoal heater. The first step is to place a desired quantity of hookah charcoal onto your coal burner. Then, you need to raise the temperature of your burner to the highest limit to start the process of lighting. Once the burner starts fully heating up, all the charcoal pieces that were previously black slowly start turning red/orange. 

Make sure you flip the coals as soon as the bottom halves have turned red/orange. You can use metal hookah tongs to flip the piece of charcoal to the other side, which is unlit. Natural coals take about 7-10 minutes to be completely lit, depending on the burner’s heat output. Once you can no longer spot any black portion on the coals, you can conclude that they are now ready for use. Now it’s time to take them away from the coal heater with a pair of tongs or a charcoal carrier, transfer them to a hookah bowl, and enjoy a nice smoking session

Convenience or performance: Which one should you go for?

Evidently, every type of hookah charcoal for shisha service has its own pros and cons and offers a unique experience. It is interesting to note that some hookah lounges prefer using the quick lighting variety of coal to minimize the customer waiting time. However, there are many bars out there that give more importance to performance and wouldn’t mind the longer lighting times of natural coconut coals. The most premium lounges offer the best of both worlds in shisha service, meaning customers can make a choice based on their preferences. 

After reading through this, we hope you’ll have some basic ideas to recognize the type of charcoal your local hookah lounge serves. If you’re still curious or would like to know more about it, feel free to ask one of the lounge staff for specific details.

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