What is hookah?

What is hookah?

We hear this question more and more often as hookah gains popularity among the crowd. Let's explore the hookah definition step by step as we mention interesting facts about this device and how it works. 

Wikipedia says a hookah, is a single- or multi-stemmed device for smoking flavored tobacco. During the process, the smoke passes through a glass water base before inhalation.

The device is also known by other names such as water pipe, shisha pipe, huqqa, arghila, narghile, shisha or sheesha, hubble-bubble, qalyan, chillum, cachimba, and hitboo. It is also misspelled sometimes as hukka or huka. 

It exists more than 500 years and is originated in India. Some people say that it is brought there from Persia. 

Let's dig a little bit deeper about the key components that every water pipe has. 

The key components of hookah

Hookah Bowl 

Bowl is one of the essential elements of shisha pipe, which is located at the top of it and commonly made of clay. That's why it's called a head by some people. 

The bowl is where you place the coals, and pack the shisha tobacco. (Read our guide on how to set up hookah). 

Hookah stem

The stem is a metallic tube which connects the base with the bowl. It also has outlets to attach a hose and a blowout valve.

Most stems made of stainless steel to prevent rust and for ease of cleaning. 

Hookah Hose

Hose is connected to the stem on one end and has a mouthpiece on another to inhale the smoke.  

Base or vase

The base is the part that the entire body of the water pipe seats on top of. It usually is filled with water. That's why sometimes hookah called a water pipe. Bases are generally made of glass.

Also, to cover the bowl with the coals, the wind cover is used sometimes. It keeps the wind away and therefore keeps the tobacco burning process under control.

But how does a hookah work? 

The shisha tobacco is placed in the bowl, covered with foil or heat management device, heated by the red-hot hookah coals. As the coals warm the shisha, the smoke is created. When you inhale, the smoke passes through the water in the base cooling it before inhaled.

How to use a hookah?

Now that you know what hookah is let's move on to setting up and smoking your water pipe. We dedicated this special step-by-step guide on how to set up and how to smoke hookah. (including photos).

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