Funnel bowls, also spelled as phunnel, have become immensely popular. While hookah connoisseurs have been aware of the benefits of a funnel bowl for quite some time, beginners too have now started to begin their journey with this variant. Hence, it is imperative to lay out the steps to appropriately pack a funnel bowl. You cannot pack a phunnel with your preferred tobacco using the same approach as you would with other types of hookah bowls.
The Structural Difference in Funnel Bowl
Before we answer what’s the best way to pack a funnel bowl, its structural difference should be highlighted so the method becomes reasoned. A phunnel bowl has a raised center around the draw hole. Other shisha bowls have one large draw hole at the bottom, or a raised center with some holes around it, or multiple small holes at the base. These bowls enable users to pack in shisha tobacco in the usual way. A funnel bowl has a raised center that can have a height ranging up to the rim. Most designs have the raised center fall just short of the rim in height. This difference must be understood and considered while packing a funnel bowl.
Stepwise Guide to Pack a Funnel Bowl
There is only one right way to pack a funnel bowl. You must have sufficient shisha tobacco filled all around the raised center, the stuffing should be uniform, and the packed bowl should not have any bits or pieces above the height of the raised center. Your chosen shisha tobacco must be exactly at the height of the raised center inside the bowl, or slightly lower. If you pack your shisha all around the draw hole and exceed the height of the raised center, then juicy molasses and possibly some tobacco will find its way down the gap. The very reason for using a funnel bowl shall be defeated.
The first step is to take a preferred shisha tobacco and sort it. Sorting involves ensuring uniform cuts. If there are some sizeable chunks of tobacco, these should be cut into smaller pieces. If two or more pieces are clinging to one another due to moisture, honey, or molasses, then these should be segregated. The objective is to have finely cut pieces of shisha tobacco, all having more or less the same size. The bits do not have to be absolutely identical, but you cannot have unusually large or lumped up tobacco, as that would prevent uniform heat distribution inside the bow.
The second step is to fill the bowl with the sorted tobacco. You should keep tossing the tobacco inside the bowl, all around its base, so there is no accidental lumping and the spread is even. You can use a fork or any type of poking tool for tossing. Even if you have tossed the tobacco during sorting, you should continue to do this till you have packed the bowl to the extent you need.
The third step is to stop stuffing the bowl at an optimum level. There should not be excessive or too little tobacco inside the bowl. Stop just short of the height of the raised center. Make sure that the shisha tobacco has tiny aerated paths all around. The surface at the top should be flat. Do not have uneven or raised chunks at the top.
The fourth step is wrapping the foil. Use two aluminum foils if you must. You must be meticulous to avoid crinkling and creasing. The foil should be firmly wrapped and it must be perfectly flattened atop the bowl. The next step is tricky, that of making holes.
The foil atop a funnel bowl should not have any hole in the center. In other words, the draw hole should not have any direct inflow of air through the foil. The holes should be made around the edge of the foil. A circular pattern is fine, but you must stop short of anywhere that gets close to the center. Air must flow in through the sides and onto the shisha in the bowl. No air should find its way directly to the draw hole.
The sixth step pertains to charcoals. Well-lit charcoals should be placed atop the poked holes on the foil. No charcoal should be placed above the draw hole. There is no poked hole in this part of the foil anyway, so placing a charcoal is unnecessary. Charcoals should ideally be natural, such as coconut shell. They should be timely rotated and replaced.