How to choose a proper hookah bowl?
Hookah bowl is one of the most important elements of any hookah, for it largely defines the quality of smoking. Choosing a bowl, pay attention to the following factors: characteristics of your preferred tobacco, cost of materials and device parts, material and functions of the product.
Thanks to a wide range of products for hookah smoking in the market, every hookah fan can find a cup that will suit one’s taste and preferences perfectly.
Types and features of hookah bowls
First of all, you should pay attention to the size of the product - the larger the bowl, the larger the volume of tobacco it can hold. At the same time, it is very important to make sure that the tobacco in the bowl can be evenly heated. Let us consider the most popular bowl types and their features.
- Clay-made Turkish bowl (shape variation – Egyptian bowl). One of the main features of a clay bowl is its thick walls. Sometimes bowl walls have additional coating or glazing. The bowl’s traditional rounded-bottom shape makes it possible to smoke any tobacco type (both strong and light). Another feature of those bowls is that they have holes large enough to let the smoke come in and out and provide smooth and high-quality heating. This is one of the most popular bowl types, which is traditionally used when smoking a hookah. Due to high porosity rate of clay, you may notice that such bowls absorb some of your flavor syrup. As a result, the taste of hookah smoke is not as bright and rich as with other bowl types (for example, silicone bowls). However, this drawback is temporary: after 2-3 tobacco packings the smoking process stabilizes.
- The UPG (Upgrade Form) Bowl is another classic option. Those are white bowls made of UPG faience clay. Their features are similar to ordinary clay models, but due to the peculiarities of the material such bowls require more intense and more active heating. While smoking, the heat in such bowls is evenly distributed, and tobacco does not get burnt. UPG bowls have excellent thrust rate and do not change the taste of smoke. This option is perfect for any tobacco that is not very juicy.
- Phunnel bowl. If you prefer liquid tobacco (e.g. Fumari), a Phunnel bowl is the best choice. The device is provided with a special well. Its walls rise a little above the bottom of the bowl. That stops tobacco syrup from spilling into the hookah and does not let tobacco fall out of the bowl. It also provides easy and comfortable thrust, as the air does not need to pass through tobacco. Another version of such bowls that is worth your attention is flat shallow bowls designed for dense tobacco packing. Thus your tobacco mix is firmly pressed into the container.
One of the most common materials for making hookah bowls is clay. Another convenient and popular option for bowl material is silicone. Less often, fruit bowls are used. In this case fruit texture and flavour supplement tobacco mixes with extra juice and aroma.
Clay bowl is a classic option for hookahs. Its porous structure ensures excellent heat retention, even distribution of high temperature over the bowl surface and good tobacco heating. During smoking this material does not heat as much as ceramics, so it does not require constant control. Many clay bowls are quite cheap, yet strong and reliable. However, this material easily absorbs different scents, so after each use clay bowls should be washed thoroughly.
Another advantage of clay bowls is a wide and diverse range of products. Most manufacturers offer clay bowls of different types and shapes, so it should be easy to find a suitable model for your hookah.
One of the best examples of clay bowls is Solaris. Depending on the model, it can be made of red, white or pink clay. Those bowls are suitable for smoking any tobacco (both in terms of strength and heat resistance).
Ceramic bowls go through the firing process at high temperatures with further cooling down. Sometimes during the production process, manufacturers put into the mixture various additives that increase the strength and some other features of ceramics. Ceramics slightly differ from clay in terms of some parameters, making ceramic products smoother and warmer during smoking.
Silicone hookah bowls are really easy to use: the material hardly heats up, and the heat while smoking a hookah occurs only at the top of the device, so it is impossible to burn tobacco mix in it. Silicone is not a health hazard - it is widely used in cooking and other areas. Products made of this material are suitable for the majority of kalaud types, so when using them, you do not need a seal on the shaft.
4) Fruit (orange, grapefruit, watermelon, pineapple, etc.)
In use a fruit bowl resembles a silicone one: heating occurs only at the top. During tobacco packing it is necessary to remember that under high temperature the fruit base will gradually bake, which is very likely to lead to kalaud subsidence. In order to make smoking more convenient, a special adapter for a fruit or a clay bowl is used.
How to choose a bowl for your hookah
First of all, decide which bowl fillings you are going to use and how the heat will be spread across your hookah bowl.
You should also pay attention to the following details when choosing a bowl:
- price (there are both budget options and premium products);
- tobacco strength;
- design and aesthetic properties;
- peculiarities and nuances of the use.
For beginners, the best choice would be an ordinary clay bowl UPG. It is easy to use, durable and available in any store. The model is absolutely versatile and is suitable for smoking any tobacco.
If you want to choose a modern version with high quality, pay attention to silicone bowls. They are a perfect choice for experienced smokers who know all the nuances of hookah setup.
Before purchasing, make sure that the bowl has no chips or damage. Holes on the bowl should be smooth, symmetrical and tidy. Any technical errors may negatively affect the quality of smoking process.
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