The hookah hookah bowl is a place of magic where tobacco is transformed into delicious smoke. Its material, design and properties determine its use. With each hookah bowl you can achieve different results – stronger flavour, greater intensity of enjoyment (more nicotine release) or more smoke. We will guide you through the mysterious world of hookah alchemy and help you choose the best hookah bowl for you
What material are the hookah bowls made of and which is the best?
Shisha hookah bowls are made from a variety of materials such as ceramic (clay), porcelain, silicone, metals, but you can even find stone or wooden ones. The important thing is that this material can withstand high temperatures and at the same time can be moulded into the necessary design. However, this does not guarantee the properties of the hookah bowl that we need
In our years of experience, however, we have come to a conclusion that is shared by the entire shisha community. Quality clay (ceramic) is the best material for shisha tobacco. All other materials do not regulate heat to maintain the desired temperature for tobacco. Silicone hookah bowls can’t heat up properly and on the other hand all other materials that burn the tobacco are
Clay hookah bowls produce the best flavour, the strongest enjoyment and the largest smoke plumes of any material
How to distinguish a good quality clay hookah bowl from a porcelain hookah bowl?
Distinguishing a clay hookah bowl from other materials is very simple. However, knowing a quality clay hookah bowl from a porcelain imitation can sometimes be quite tricky. Especially with the improved techniques of copying products by Chinese manufacturers, this struggle is becoming much more difficult. All the more so when some manufacturers quietly switch production to Chinese factories for the sake of cutting costs, without admitting to it. Suddenly you find that the new hookah bowl doesn’t work as well as the previous one, but you can’t figure out why
Years of practice have taught us one simple trick. Take 2 identical hookah bowls and tap them together. How do they sound? If the sound is high-pitched and sharp like when you tap porcelain cups together, you have a poor quality porcelain hookah bowl in your hand. If, on the other hand, the sound is thick and hollow, sounding a bit like stone or wood, then you’re holding a good quality clay hookah bowl
Not every rule is 100%, and that’s true in this case as well. First of all, you will find many mixtures of porcelain and clay in different proportions. The higher the sound, the higher the porcelain content should be. However, this is where the second exception comes into play – not all mixtures are bad. The Oblako brand has recently changed its manufacturing processes and moved a little closer to porcelain, or Forma has its exceptionally durable blend that also works quite satisfactorily
Which type of hookah bowl is best for me?
The first hookah hookah bowls that were produced had a classic Turkish shape. Since then, the bag of pipe hookah bowls has been bursting. However, they can all be classified into 5 basic categories. Each type has a different purpose, appearance and features. When you understand the differences between them, you will know exactly which one to choose
Turkish type hookah bowls
A Turkish hookah bowl, otherwise known as a Turk or classic hookah bowl, is a funnel-shaped hookah bowl with holes at the bottom. It has the longest history and is still the most popular model, especially for experienced pipe makers. Its deep shape gives the tobacco room to burn through gradually and can therefore produce intense flavour along with large clouds of smoke
These hookah bowls are particularly suitable for dark tobaccos or blends. Only thick-walled Turkish hookah bowls are also used for light tobaccos, as they are better able to regulate the heat
However, charging this hookah bowl requires some experience and knowledge, and therefore we dare say that it is not suitable for complete beginners. When charging, you have to be careful that there is somewhere for the air to pass through, as the vents can easily be covered by the tobacco
However, it is not for nothing that these hookah bowls are still the most popular among all shisha enthusiasts and shisha bars. Their performance, quality of clay, durability, etc. have enchanted everyone who has been a fan of shisha for a long time
What are the most popular Turkish hookah bowls?
Certainly among the most popular Turkish hookah bowls you will find the legendary UPG – Upgrade form Standard, Voskurimsya Mummy, but also Smokelab Malachit models. Newly, the very interesting Cosmo edition of hookah bowls are also coming to the fore
What are the advantages of Turkish hookah bowls?
- versatility- with a bit of skill and experience you can make any result you need into Turkish hookah bowls without burning through the tobacco. Want intense flavor? Do you want strength? Do you want a nice aqueous so you’re not in danger of choking? You can achieve all of this with Turkish type hookah bowls.
- durability – the clay that is used to make Turkish hookah bowls, but also the way they are made, ensures they are highly resistant to abrasion. It is certainly higher than phunnel hookah bowls
- performance – dare we say that you can’t get the kind of results that you can do in Turkish type hookah bowls with phunnels. Whether it’s due to the thickness of their walls or the shape of the hookah bowl that the tobacco is smoked through gradually, Turkish hookah bowls are dominant
What are the disadvantages of Turkish hookah bowls?
- they arenot suitable for light tobaccos – this does not mean that light tobaccos cannot be prepared in them, of course they can, but we believe that you will get slightly better results with light tobacco in Phunella hookah bowls
- molasses and tobacco dripping – Because the holes in these hookah bowls are at the bottom of the hookah bowl, it’s easy for the tobacco to fall through them and you’re guaranteed to have molasses dripping into your hookah and vase. However, this is not a barrier to using them, it just requires more cleaning
- design – Almost all Turkish hookah bowls are made without a glaze (the glaze reflects heat too quickly and this is undesirable in a Turkish hookah bowl) and therefore their designs are not as beautiful as those of phunelles. However, you have to choose between performance and beauty 🙂
Phunnel hookah bowls
Phunnel type hookah bowls are shallow hookah bowls with a “chimney” designed to keep the tobacco and molasses from falling through it. Its popularity has been growing in the last couple of years, when the well-known brand Oblako came on the market with their gorgeous glazed hookah bowls that really wowed everyone. That is why today the Phunnel Oblako hookah bowl is almost a must-have in every shisha bar and even in the home of an experienced pipe maker
Phunnel hookah bowls are practically only suitable for light tobaccos. They have thinner walls and therefore cannot correct the stronger heat of dark tobaccos
Charging a phunnel hookah bowl is very simple and intuitive, and can be learned by any beginner, so it’s a great choice for anyone just starting out with hookahs
What are the most popular phunnel hookah bowls?
The most popular and best selling phunnel hookah bowls are definitely the Oblako brand and the 2×2 hookah. The Oblako gives a more stable and enjoyable performance, while the 2×2 hookah bowls are more aggressive hookah bowls that will give you a very intense but shorter result. As a new addition to our store, although long existing on the market and a high quality unglazed hookah bowl is the Smokelab Malachite Mummy
What are the advantages of phunnel hookah bowls?
- easy recharging – phunnel hookah bowls provide stable results often regardless of the user’s experience. If you don’t burn the tobacco in them, they will always give you great flavor and quite a long lasting experience.
- no tobacco spillage – with phunnel hookah bowls, you are not at risk of tobacco spillage and most importantly, you won’t have molasses overflowing into your hookah. That’s why they make it easy to maintain and clean your hookah.
- design and style – Phunnel hookah bowls are really beautiful thanks to the glaze and stand out beautifully on your hookah. You can choose different colours and designs according to your personal taste or match them to your hookah.
What are the disadvantages of phunnel hookah bowls?
- they arenot suitable for dark tobaccos – their walls are thin and therefore cannot regulate the higher heat needed for dark tobaccos and you can easily burn the tobacco in them
- they are not durable – due to their thin walls, phunnel hookah bowls can be easily broken or chipped off. Because of this, they need to be handled very carefully and dropping them means almost certain breakage
- ‘weeping hookah bowl’ – phunnel hookah bowls are notorious for the molasses that can flow through their porous walls and form black dots on their walls. This can easily be washed off perfectly after smoking, however, it doesn’t look so good. It doesn’t pose any problem when smoking, but it’s important to mention. It does have a bit of a downside, however, and that is that this molasses stays in the walls of the hookah bowl and slightly changes the flavor of your tobaccos, especially when you rotate the tobaccos in it. At home, people tend to charge mostly the same tobacco until they run out, but in shisha bars this makes it a bit of a problem.
Killer, Flow and Vortex hookah bowls
Killer, Flow and Vortex hookah bowls are just a variety of phunnel hookah bowls. Therefore, they are not fundamentally different from them and we will not pay special attention to them. Killer hookah bowls are different in that they have slightly thicker walls and are therefore suitable for dark tobaccos. However, they have no chimney but have holes at the bottom like Turkish hookah bowls and you will face the same overflow of molasses and tobacco into the hookah
Flow hookah bowls is a special design from Oblako that allows you to load tobacco across the width of the hookah bowl and addresses the air passage with a special cap
Vortex hookah bowls on the other hand have a similar chimney as phunell hookah bowls, but they do not have a large hole on the top but smaller ones on the sides. At the moment these hookah bowls are no longer produced by practically any modern brand of hookah hookah bowls
Design hookah bowls
Designer hookah bowls are hookah bowls with special designs of various animals or characters from movies and other motifs that are stunning to the eye, but are not different in function from other hookah bowls and either use Turkish or killer designs
But if you want to make hookah smoking a unique experience, a designer hookah bowl definitely belongs in your collection
Summary – So which hookah bowl is the best one for you?
It all depends on your personal preference and experience. Whether you want to smoke light or dark tobacco and whether you want an intense experience or you want a light enjoyable shisha. If we were to recommend a universal hookah bowl in which to charge any tobacco, it would definitely be the UPG – Upgrade From Standard, Voskurimsya Mummy or Cosmo crow ns and for beginners the Smokelab Malachite Mummy or Oblako hookah bowls due to their unique designs.
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