About Hookah Coals
Hookah coals are one of the most essential components of a shisha smoking session because they are the only source of heat that allows the flavored shisha tobacco to release its cloud and flavor. These can either improve or detract from your smoking experience, so choosing the right hookah coals is critical if you want to get the most out of your hookah use. Coconut coal, produced from coconut shells, is one of the most commonly used and recommended hookah charcoals today.
Indonesia is the world's leading coconut manufacturer, so it's no surprise that most of the big coconut charcoal brands are made there. Coconut trees can be vastly found on virtually every Indonesian island, and even though most coconut trees produce the same kind of fruit, coconut shells are not monolithic, with multiple varieties in existence. The best coconut shells for hookah coal are cultivated on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Shapes of coals for hookah
Hookah coals are usually cubes or briquettes in shape. Some are designed especially for heat management devices like Kalud Lotus. There is no single 'best' size for shisha charcoals since each form and size has its own set of characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks.
Cubed Coconut Coals
The cubed coconut coal style is perhaps the most popular hookah charcoal. These cubes, which resemble dice, have six flat even sides that keep them stable when burning. Because of their balanced form, they heat equally during the smoking session, making them a popular choice among enthusiasts and lounge smokers alike. They are usually 25 cubed mm in size, but some will go up to 26 cubed mm.
Due to their slow burn, they can be used with a number of hookah bowls of different sizes. Of course, the heat won't last forever, so it's a good idea to swap the cubes during the smoking session to get the most out of each side's heat effectiveness.
Since many modern tobaccos have a high moisture content, consistent heat is needed to achieve the best results. The advantage of using cubes is that, unlike other hookah charcoal shapes, which need more coal to sustain the necessary heat, cubes can be rotated to maintain the burning on each side comparably. Increasing the number of cubes potentially lengthens the smoking session.
Cubed coal will continue to be the most common form of shisha coal for the near future because they are reliable, great at producing consistent heat, and are sized for easy handling. It's always a good idea to keep some extras on hand.
Flat coals are rectangular shapes with an average height of 18 mm and a length of 22 to 25 mm, keeping to their namesake. Flat coal bars are somewhat similar to cubes in appearance, but they do not burn for as long, making them best suited for shorter shisha smoking sessions. Since their shape makes them unsuitable for heat control systems or chimneys, they work best with foils.
The width and density of these coals tend to be consistent, though the quality of the coals varies among brands. The ease with which flat coals can be used to regulate heat is where they excel. The odds of the tobacco excessively burning is greatly reduced because these coals do not place a lot of weight on the foil. However, they do reach their heating peak more quickly, resulting in shorter smoking sessions.
Flat coals sold per kg are comparable to alternatively formed coals in terms of price, but they are better choices for those who are new to coconut hookah charcoal use or those who smoke for shorter periods.
Small Cube Coconut Charcoal
While the small cube charcoal is relatively new to the hookah world, its popularity would have you believe it's been a long-term favorite. While the name may imply that they possess a cubed shape, that's not entirely accurate. Brands that produce these types of coals typically keep the 22mm cubed standard. However, the advantage of the small cubes is that while they heat as well as flat charcoals, they do not burn off quickly and crumble away in the same manner.
Their other advantage is in their size. They weigh less because they are small, so when placed on the foil, they do not push it down, causing it to sag. This reduces the chances of the shisha getting singed too early. It also means that these coals do not transfer their taste onto the tobacco they heat, allowing the smoker to absorb the chosen shisha's maximum flavor.
Small cube coconut charcoals are the perfect option for smokers who want a longer smoking session than flat coals allow but don't have time for a lengthy session from a complete cube. Of course, due to their size, the smoker needs to add more coals to achieve the most harmonious cloud production and a smooth smoking experience as these small cubes aren't as beneficial in that regard as their regular-sized counterparts.
Finger Style & Hexagon Hookah Coals
A recent shape that has garnered a wide range of popularity is the hexagonally shaped and fingerstyle coals. Although this is not a brand new form, it has been embraced by a number of famous brands, which have abandoned the more conventional square and rectangular shapes in favor of those that occupy a larger portion of the hookah bowl's coverage area while maintaining a shape that does not prematurely bear down like others.
As the name implies, finger-shaped coals are shaped like fingers and vary in height but are usually standardized in length across brands. Since they are longer than most other types of shisha charcoals, they appear to take up a significant portion of the bowl. These are excellent for beginners to hookah smoking because they uniformly spread heat across the surface without creating heat spikes. These fingerstyle coals are usually bamboo or wood-based, which means that they have very little effect on the shisha's flavor when they burn.
They generate more ash than other shapes and may occasionally roll around due to the rumble produced by your hookah. A diffuser may help to mitigate the rolling problem, but it is unlikely to eliminate it. Hexagon-shaped coals are similar to finger-shaped coals, except they are cut into hexagons instead of fingers, which helps avoid the rolling problem. The majority of these are made from natural coconut husk, but the composition varies by brand.
Even though these two shapes differ from the others in a variety of ways, they excel in foil sessions. In certain ways, these aren't suitable for most heat management devices because they aren't the most cost-effective or realistic, but with a little exoerience, they can still be used to their full potential.
Lotus Head (Quarter Circle) Coals
Users of the Kaloud Lotus have struggled for a while to find a shape that is both ideal for their devices and provides optimum heat output. With only a few brands have attempted to manufacture charcoal specifically for Lotus use, the quarter-circle coals have been discovered to be the most suitable shape for this exact purpose. The semicircular formations are ideal to fit along the sides of the Lotus device's circular shape, fitting like puzzle pieces on the sides of the device. The combination of pieces will produce moderate heat, but the consumer will have to decide whether or not to use all four on the unit at any one time.
In general, these quarter-circle coals provide adequate output and solve common HMD use and coal management issues. Those looking to save money on charcoal should recall that each form of charcoal has a particular application in terms of heat production and shape that it is suited for best.
Main Hookah Coal Qualities
Brands make hookah coal attributes simple to find, but in terms of qualities of the charcoal smoker want to look for, the following should be the primary factors of consideration:
- Coals that produce lower ash content are better than those that do not. The highest quality coals produce only about 2% ash.
- Superior coals maintain their heat longer, able to maintain heat prowess for over an hour.
- Coals with more density retain heat longer and produce less ash.
- The less scent there is the coals, the less of a detrimental effect they will have on the shisha flavor.
Coals of the highest quality have limited ashing (less than 2%) and are generally made from specially sorted coconut shells. These proper coconut hookah charcoals maintain stable heat levels for upwards of an hour without needing to be replaced frequently. These coals do not contain any hazardous chemicals or sulfur, lessening their production of unpleasant scents.
Shisha Coals Available At Our Shop
We at The Hookah Lab took the guesswork out of coal selection by testing a variety of charcoal for hookah variants and selling only the best to ensure that your hookah experience is as fantastic as possible. You've come to the right place if you're looking for the finest hookah coals.
Only naturally grown coconut shells are used to make the coconut charcoal we sell. All stages of processing, from coconut shell selection to carbonization, washing, drying, and packaging, are strictly controlled.
Brands We Carry
N&S, Zomo, and Icon Hookah Coals are among the brands we carry in our cube-shaped charcoal category. If you prefer quarter circles or mini-cubes, we suggest to buy hookah coals from Le Orange, as these are the most common brands among hookah lounge patrons. The majority of coals are sold in 1 kg boxes. You can expect to find 96 mini cube pieces per box or 72 standard cube pieces in these packages.
Hookah Coal Prices
Hookah coals will cost anywhere from $10 to $15 per kilogram. When buying hookah coals, bear in mind that the brand, ash content, density, and shape are the most important factors to base your purchasing decisions on.