What is a Hookah Pipe?
Hookahs (also called shisha, or nargile) were invented over 1000 years ago near the modern day Pakistan/India border in Indochina. Originally, they were not used for smoking tobacco; instead, they were typically a vehicle for the consumption of opium or hashish. People did not start smoking tobacco out of hookah pipes until they were introduced in Turkey several hundred years ago. It wasn't long before hookah lounges became a popular place for people to relax and socialize with a few friends. Recently, hookah pipes have become very popular in the United States (more on hookah history).
Modern day hookahs are used almost exclusively for the smoking of hookah tobacco, or shisha. This is a mix of long leaf tobacco and flavored molasses that makes very thick, sweet, and satisfying smoke clouds. A hookah pipe is made up of seven major parts, these are the same parts you will need if you want to build a custom hookah pipe.
1. Hookah Bowl
The hookah bowl is also known as the head of the hookah. Hookah bowls are usually made of clay ceramics so that they conduct heat more efficiently. The bowl of a hookah sits on the very top of the hookah stem, and it is what shisha (hookah tobacco) is loaded into. Hookah coals are then placed on top of the bowl to heat the shisha, which creates smoke.
2. Hookah Hose
The hookah hose is a flexible tube, usually made from leather or synthetic leather, depending on the quality. Hookah hoses typically have handles made of wood or plastic, although particularly high quality hookahs may have hoses made from marble or bone. Hookah hoses allow smoke to be drawn up from the hookah vase into the hookah smoker's lungs.
3. filter out nicotine(p. 3). Smoke is then drawn out of the vase through a separate tube in the stem through a hose. Some people fill the vase with fruit juice, milk, or alcohol, but I do not recommend it. Filling the vase with anything other than water can cause corrosion and mold in the stem, vase, or bowl, and will be a nightmare to clean (more on how to clean a hookah).
7. Charcoal Tray
The charcoal tray catches ash from the bowl, and is a great place to hang your hookah tongs. It is not crucial for the use of a hookah, but it is also a good place to put coals that are nearly burnt out, or coals that are already spent.