The first and only irrefutable rule you should know is that there is no standard or universal way to pack a hookah bowl. You cannot pack blonde and dark shisha tobacco flavors in the same way. Also, you cannot have the same approach for traditional, vortex, and phunnel bowls.
Thus, you have to tweak the best practices based on what you have and the needs of a specific session. For instance, packing a hookah bowl to last half an hour for a single user isn’t the same way you will load your favorite shisha tobacco when you have a friend or more.
Now that I have laid down the foundation of our discussion, let’s unravel the secrets you must know to pack a hookah bowl perfectly.
Prepare the Shisha Tobacco
Not all shisha tobacco flavors need preparation. Many brands produce premium-quality shisha tobacco, so you won’t find stalks and other materials that you must sort out. However, you may find long and short leaves or quaintly cut pieces. These have to be sorted out or worked on.
The thumb rule is getting rid of the stalks and such stuff that you cannot smoke with a hookah. You can only smoke the leaves, be it blonde, mild, black, bold, dry, juicy, etc. So, you need to remove undesirable materials, if you find any. Also, you need to even the pieces for a neat pack.
A hookah bowl won’t heat uniformly if you don’t have finely cut and even pieces. Thus, eliminate the unwanted stalks, and cut the larger pieces into the size of the smaller ones. This gives you a finely chopped or even mix. However, some top brands already deliver such quality nowadays.
Choose the Right Quantity
Suppose you have a hookah bowl with a capacity of 20 grams. You don’t need as much tobacco for one user. However, if you have a friend, you need 15 to 20 grams of shisha tobacco to last a while, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
The quantity depends on the hookah bowl size, too. A large hookah bowl with 25 to 30 grams capacity requires more shisha tobacco. Else, the bowl will have a lot of vacant space occupied by air. Thus, you may have a lot of airy smoke with little to no flavor.
On the flip side, you shouldn’t pack a hookah bowl right up to its rim. Also, you cannot overstuff any shisha tobacco into a bowl because you won’t have air pockets inside. In effect, the hookah will produce very little smoke, despite using a sufficient number of charcoal pieces.
Finally, you need to select the quantity based on the type and flavor of shisha tobacco. If you have a mild flavor, you need a little more than shisha tobacco with a bold profile. So, an orange or blonde leaf shisha tobacco flavor must be used more generously than bold and dark variants.
Always Pack a Hookah Bowl Using a Fork
Don’t use your hands to pick and sort shisha tobacco. Also, avoid using paper towels and such materials that can absorb the molasses, glycerin, and honey from the flavors. The only time you can dry any shisha tobacco is when you have a traditional bowl or the flavor is too moist.
Moist shisha tobacco flavors are juicier, so they take longer to heat uniformly. Also a traditional bowl will allow the juices to drip into the stem or pipe. However, the moisture serves a purpose. The flavor is richer, the smoke has better texture, and the tobacco doesn’t burn quickly.
A phunnel bowl doesn’t require you to dry a moist shisha tobacco flavor because the juices will not drip into the stem or pipe. Also, you can go for a light pack if you think the moisture won’t let the tobacco heat up quickly or evenly.
As you may realize by now, too many variables are at play. Hence, don’t use the same approach to pack all types of hookah bowls with any kind of shisha tobacco flavor.
Create Air Pockets in the Hookah Bowl
Never block the holes or airways in a hookah bowl, irrespective of its type and the kind of flavor. Also, always create some air pockets by poking the packed shisha tobacco with a fork or similar tool.
Furthermore, don’t take out, sort, and prepare any quantity of shisha tobacco from its pack if you don’t intend to use it immediately. Additionally, decide the upper level of the pack based on the heat source. The tobacco shouldn’t touch an aluminum foil or a heat management device.