Beginners’ Hookah Guide: Everything You Need To Know

Let’s start the beginners’ hookah guide for absolutely new beginners in the hookah world.

And if you are not a beginner by any chance and consider yourself as one of the pro hookah smokers, I want you to go through the article and let me know what you think?

This is the best beginners’ hookah guide for any newbies for hookah smoking. All you need is this guide, and you’ll find amazing new things and some you might know.

You can use this information in preparing or setting up your first hookah session with your friends.

You’ll get to know many new things in this article, like How to set up a hookah like a pro, types of hookahs are available, the different components required for a smoking session, and many other exciting things to come.

Before moving ahead, I would like to thank each person reading this article. It means a lot to us.

Now, let’s start with the basics.

What is hookah?

What will happen when you die?

I don’t know.

I have never died myself, so I can not explain that complex thing.

But what I can explain is what hookah is all about.

It is a device that can give you happiness.

The device comprises multiple hoses, bases, air valves, and other components that help you smoke shisha and make thick smoke.

Please look at the different parts of a hookah as shown in the image to know better and remember every part for your knowledge.

The size and shape may vary from model to model, but the described parts will be the same.

Hookah lovers: Check these amazing 10 things every hookah lover must know.

Different types of Hookah

Traditional Hookah

Traditional hookah is the best in the world by its looks and the tase and smoke it gives.

The traditional hookahs are more from three major countries, like Egypt, India, and Syria.

They are 100% hand-made hookahs of top quality and not made from glass.

It could be from wood or other materials, but these hookahs are the best in the world.

It is a privilege to have a traditional hookah in your hookah collection.

One bad side of traditional hookah is that they leave background taste, and it could ruin your mood when smoking for too long.

And it could get rusted as the materials are not rust-proof.

Glass Hookah

Can you guess what glass hookahs are made from?

Umm, Glass, I guess. You may wonder.

Yes, my friend, you are wondering correctly.

It Is obviously made from glass, and it’s better than the traditional one in many things, but as you guys know now, traditional hookah is more of an antique piece than you keep it.

But these glass hookahs are made for extreme use, and it also delivers the happiness that a normal hookah lover would ask for on a normal day.

Glass hookahs are made from hand-blown or molded glass, and it does not leave the taste of the previous hookah session. It is very easy to clean the hookah with normal water.


Pen Hookahs are one kind of e-cigarettes that contains liquid in the hookah pipe instead of solid shisha.

This hookah is also claimed to be nicotine-free, Tobacco-free, and Tar-free. But this is hard to believe that pens do not contain any of the above-mentioned substance.

Pens are very portable, and you can take them anywhere in the world, and it generates a high volume of thick smoke that smokers tend to like more.

Different types of materials used in hookah

Every hookah in the world is made for someone who wants to enjoy themselves. These hookahs are made up of different materials and provide the best smoking experience for you.

Modern hookahs or hookah pipes have a vase made up of glass that cannot penetrate. Tampered materials are the perfect choice for the vase in the hookah for smoking tobacco.

Let’s talk about the stem or hookah body in general. Hookah stem is stainless steel to give the best quality experience in tobacco smoking through hookah products or flavored tobacco.

If you cannot find stainless steel in your hookah stem and consider your hookah as cheap in quality.

Now, the hookah hoses are made up of plastic or silicon. These two materials are widely used in hookah hoses. Many other materials are used in hookah hoses, but these two are good in quality and last long.

Hookah bowl is made from clay, metal, plastic, glass, silicon, ceramic, and many other combinations.

But in general, hookah bowls are made from ceramics or clay bowls. It provides a great quality to the smoke.

Hookah coals

The coals are the most precious part of hookah smoking. Without the coals, you can no smoke a hookah in hookah bars or at home.

These hookah coals are made from coconut shell, and this is very common coals in the hookah world as everywhere these coals are made from coconut shell. But you may find some coals made from lemon trees or bamboo.

Other types of hookah coals are made from the dust of coals and added ingredients for quick lighting. This ingredient is usually sulfur that burns quickly and gives immediate hookah session.

But the pro or expert hookah smokers would prefer the coconut shell hookah coals because,

  1. It is better than quick burner coals made from real ingredients like coconut shells, which do not leave a bad smell.
  2. They are good for the health as it only contains coconut shell and no other harmful chemicals.

To light up the coal, you better have a furnace to burn the coals at a proper high temperature and make them ready to use in the hookah sessions.

You can also use the electric burner available in the market to lit up the coal very easily. It’s simple to operate, and the coal burns quickly.

Hookah Tobacco (Shisha)

Hookah tobacco or shisha is what you smoke in the hookah. Don’t you want to know what you are smoking in hookah?

Let’s know hookah tobacco/Shiha better so that you know what you are smoking.

Hookah tobacco and its taste change from brand to brand, and it depends on their quality. But it generally contains common ingredients like,


Tobacco products or tobacco-packed shisha tobacco are dry and washed with the best inspection to avoid any smell. There is an unwashed type that also exists that tobacco contains more nicotine content in them. It is not for the newbies as they contain a high percentage of nicotine, which they cannot handle.


It is responsible for the slightly sweet taste of hookah, and it has tobacco juice. It also helps burn tobacco slow.


It gives you the smoke you want from the hookah session. It is solely used to generate smoke for the hookah.

Fruit Pulps:

Pulps are used for the amazing taste hookah gives, and it could be a spicy one as well. But If you are a newbie, though, go for a sweet one or a light flavor. There are tons of fruit flavors available for a hookah lover to choose from.

How to set up a hookah?

Setting up a hookah is an art.

And many artists live in this world with a great talent for setting up a hookah.

We will now move forward to see how to set up a hookah easily like a pro.

There are many things you will need to set up a hookah that includes vase, hose, sem, coals, aluminum foils, shisha, lighter, or stove, depending on your type of coals ashtray, etc.

Clean the hookah

Cleaning is the best practice to maintain anything globally, whether it is hookah or your body. Cleaning is a good hygienic practice to follow.

It is better to clean your hookah before you use it for a smoking session.

And to clean it, you can use normal water or soap water, and with the help of brushes, you can clean every hose and water pipe. These brushes are easily available in the supermarket or general store.

Fill cold water in the vase.

In a normal glass base, hookah filling the water up to 2.5 cm of the metal stem is enough, but If you have a mini or small hookah, then 1.25 cm is enough.

Leaving the space for the air is necessary to make smoke thin and easy to draw. A stem is usually a metal tip found at the bottom.

A big myth about the water-absorbing nicotine and other chemicals is false, and most hookah smokers believe it to be true, but it is not.

Add Ice-cubes (Optional)

Adding the ice to the water base will make the water cooler, and it will give immense pleasure to the hookah smoker. But you have to adjust the water level by adding the ice as mentioned above.

Add hookah shaft to the base.

Insert the hookah shaft to the base, ensure that the stem enters the water, and provide a complete seal by adding a silicon or rubber seal. Make sure that it is fitted at the top of the vase and is completely airtight.

If the rubber tip is not suitable, make it wet and try to fit it again but make sure there are no air leaks.

Insert the hoses

The hoses will fit into the holes of the shaft located at one side of the shaft. Connect the hoses like you connected the shaft to the base.

Make sure it is sealed and airtight. If it is leaking, then make it sealed with the other fitting equipment.

Please make sure the water level before moving forward, and if the water level is near the hoses, lower the water level.

Check the airflow

It is necessary to have proper airflow in the hookah session. To check the airflow, block the top of the hoses and inhale. If you are getting any air in your mouth, it means it is not sealed properly.

Now make it properly sealed and airtight with the rubber or silicon fitting.

Place metal tray on top of the shaft

This tray helps you catch the falling tobacco from the bowl and collects it in the tray. How cool is that? Isn’t it?

How to smoke a hookah?

Mix the shisha

To make a great hookah, you’ll need a proper shisha. And to make one, you’ll need to prepare that shisha before adding it to the bowl.

Shisha is nothing but the tobacco packed with some liquid. This liquid adds flavor and thick smoke to hookah.

This liquid will flow to the bottom, so give it a proper mix to shisha and then add shisha to the bowl and move for the next process.

Cut the shisha and add to the bowl.

Cut the shisha pieces fine and add them to the bowl. While adding to the bowl, press them inside the bowl and make a flat surface out of that shisha.

Try to make a shisha slightly loosen up so that air can easily pass through the shisha, and it can provide a better tase to the hookah smoker.

But make sure to have a space of 2 mm left between the shisha and aluminum foil so that the tobacco will not burn quickly.

Cover with high-quality foil

After putting the shisha in the bowl, now is the perfect time to cover that shisha with high-quality hookah foil.

But make sure that foil is not loosened up a bit because that foil needs to have a lot of holes insides them, so it needs to be very tight and stretch as much as possible.

Cover that shisha with two layers of your standard foil to make a high-quality hookah if you don’t have the best quality foil.

put the bowl on the shaft

After covering the shisha with the foil, now is the time to put that bowl on top of the hookah shaft and make sure that it is an airtight seal to that shaft.

Poke holes into hookah foil
Take a toothpick and start poking the holes in the hookah foil. These holes must not be big, and too many in the foil.

The holes should be 15-18 as per the foil, and make that holes through the bowl to make some space for the air and heat to pass through the bowl of shisha.

Test these holes by sucking from the hose and if you feel more pressure, try adding more holes in the foil.

Lit up the coals

There are two types of coals available to burn so, and please read along to know.

Quick Coals: These coals are the best to burn coal without the stove or furnace. It would help if you light up that coal with the lighter, and it will quickly burn and wait for it to turn grey. And then you can see the orange flames in the cola cubes when you inhale the smoke through the hose.

Normal Coals: Burn the natural coals on the stove or electric burner where you can easily get those coal burn in few minutes, and once it turns orange, take it out from the burner, and it is ready to use on the hookah foil.

Place the coals on the foil.

Place the coals on the foil but not in the center. Never. It burns all the shisha tobacco and will create less smoke.

Always place the coals making the ring at the edge of foil or place it overhanging at the edge of foil so that shisha can take the heat easily and create great smoke for you.

And never put too many coals at once. Place only 3-4 big pieces of coals at once to enjoy a great and long hookah session.


Here is the moment you were waiting for my friends. It will be a thrilling sensation for you to inhale for the first time.

Inhale from one of the hoses, air will pass through the shisha, making coals heat up, and If you suck very hard, then flavors might get into your mouth. It will be a bad tasting and a bad experience to have for the first time.

Now enjoy the session with your friends.


Which flavors are the best for newbies?

If you are new to the world of smoking hookah, then light and tobacco-free flavors would be the best for you. These flavors could be strawberry, mint, apple, paan, etc. Try to smoke light flavors in the beginning and slowly take a step forward with the hard one.

How to make a good hookah?

Making or setting up a hookah is an art, and no art in the world is tough enough to practice. If you practice every day with your heart and passion, then you will succeed. So, practice every day to make a perfect hookah and research the mistakes you are making while making a hookah.


That’s it. I have covered everything a hookah lover needs to make a perfect hookah, and if you are making a hookah for the first time, this article will surely help you a lot.

I have covered every aspect of a hookah, from the basics of hookah to making one like a pro, even if you are making it for the first time.

If you follow each step and make those pieces of information into action, you will find yourself having a great hookah with your loved ones.

I wish you have a pleasant hookah session.


Our author
Peter Russell

I smoke hookah every day. Like daily with my gang. This is what I love the most when the thick smoke comes out of my mouth, giving me the best feeling in the world. I have been smoking hookah since 2010, and one day, my friend suggested I share my experience with the newbies. So here I am sharing my whole lot of experience of smoking. Use my tips to smoke better and enjoy every day of your life.

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