A hookah is a device used for smoking flavored tobacco. The process involves the heated tobacco generating smoke that then travels through a glass base, before being inhaled. Over its long history, the hookah has greatly evolved, but at its base, still retains the original principles and construct of the traditional design. Hookah pipes are quite possibly more popular than ever, leading to increased production, sales, and use globally.
History of hookahs
The concept of the hookah dates back over half a century back to its uses in India, though some historians cite this influence originating as an adapted cultural activity from Persia. Since the 15th century, the use of a hookah pipe has been one of the predominant Middle Eastern traditions.
The primitive hookah started out as a mere tube coming from a coconut base, mounted by a simple head for the tobacco. Over time, this rudimentary design was built upon by innovative amendments, largely influenced by cultures who have most fervently adapted the practice, into an art form utilizing wood, aluminum, and stainless steel, as well as other materials.
The modern form of a hookah first appeared in the late 1700s but quickly became adapted the world over by the early 1800s. These days a hookah is used as a centerpiece of a relaxing get-together with friends, but historically, it was an essential centerpiece of any dining congregation. If one was invited to a hookah smoking gathering, it was a sign of trust and acceptance.
The original form of tobacco smoked in a hookah has also changed. Initially, it was just a standard tobacco leaf, finely chopped and dry, similar to the type used in pipe tobacco. The modern-day flavored tobacco used in hookah comes from the Arabian culture, and its addition to the hookah-smoking tradition is quite recent. Originally shisha tobacco was soaked in honey in order to soften and sweeten the taste of tobacco, allowing for lengthier sessions of smoking. This was a huge shift for the hookah industry, as it brought many newcomers drawn to the experience of smoking flavored tobacco.
Buying The Right Hookah
Traditionally, hookahs have come in a few different sizes: full size, desktop, and portable (or large, medium, and small). From the smoking experience perspective, height is not a factor. The robust flavor and large smoke clouds can be derived just as easily from a small hookah as a large pipe. So the choice of height when browsing hookahs for sale should cater more to other needs.
For instance, a portable hookah is able to easily be transported as it is compact and fits in luggage or backpacks. The medium-sized hookahs can conveniently fit on a small table, nightstand, or desk, having their heat easily manageable without needing to stand up to do so. These are, of course, significantly lighter and shorter than the full-size hookah option. The large (full size) hookah pipes are great as a floor centerpiece, where a group of friends can sit around and share it.
The best material for the manufacture of hookahs is stainless steel, thanks to its durability and ease of cleaning. A stainless steel hookah pipe with good maintenance can have a very long life. But when browsing a hookah shop for your choice of hookah, it's important to remember that the hookah price typically correlates largely to its quality. By purchasing a stainless steel hookah pipe, you are purchasing a product that guarantees you a time-tested product.
Of course, there are other materials used to build as well as decorate hookahs. These include wood, glass, polyacetal, and carbon fiber. Selling quality hookahs is our number one priority. Regardless of material, we always approach the hookah products we sell with lasting quality in mind, and that shows in our product offerings.
Style and Appearance
The traditional pipe is the baseline for every hookah. In a traditional sense, hookahs have been manifested in many forms but have remained true to the underlying key fundamentals. These include a central shaft, a smoke cooling vase, and the drawing port. The smoke travels through the shaft from the bowl at the top into a water-filled container where it gets cooled off, to then be drawn by the smoker through the draw. These are the principle components of every hookah, but as time went on, like anything else, hookahs began to evolve.
This included the addition of other components, one of which was the purge port. The addition of the purge port opened the door to hookah modernization and gave rise to the next generation of hookah designs. All of the modernizations were just appended to the primary hookah functions, so any modern hookahs are ultimately enhanced versions of the original model.
These pipes, crafted with long-standing metalworking traditions, are still generally made by hand from the start of the process till the end. For many living in the Middle Eastern region, the presence of traditional hookah pipes is a way of life. Hookahs have a deep-rooted history in Egypt, Turkey, and Syria, cultures that have adapted and refined the traditional hookahs over hundreds of years.
Modern style hookahs possess the same attributes as their traditional, hand-made counterparts, most featuring an enclosed chamber, hose and purge ports, and a male style bowl port as well. What sets the modern hookahs apart is the unique design and variance that goes into their construction.
One of the main sources for modernized hookahs is Russia. The designs of modern pipes add a level of eccentricity to the traditional models, seeking to improve quality, efficacy, and functional performance. Additionally, these tend to incorporate carbon fiber and even magnets to enhance its unique nature.
Unlike the traditional hookah pipes, most modern hookahs are machine-made. The machines are calibrated to follow a certain style of guidelines, assuring consistent precision of the hookah's inner workings, basing the design on the traditional hookah models with the use of closed chambers, standard bowl ports, and recessed hose ports. Where the styles differ is in the implementation of the purge. Some hookahs add a secondary purge to the construct, while an "invisible" purge is the generally accepted industry standard.