This is a question that comes up again and again, why does my hookah taste bad? There are a couple of different culprits that could be leading to a bad tasting hookah bowl. In this blog I’ll lay out a couple things that could be causing this problem and a few things you can do to prevent/fix bad bowl syndrome.
The first thing to look at is your hookah itself. Be honest with yourself, when was the last time you cleaned your hookah? If the answer is anything greater than “the last time I smoked” chances are your hookah could use a cleaning. Routine maintenance is the easiest way to ensure you never have to deal with a bad bowl. If it’s been a while, not to worry, a good cleaning can take care of a lot of the lingering smells and residues that may be causing you to not enjoy your bowl as much as you should.
First things first, clean that dirty hookah! If you aren’t sure of the best method for cleaning out a hookah, take a look at our handy Hookah Cleaning Guide.
If your bowl still tastes bad after a good cleaning then it is time to start looking at your bowl packing and heat management techniques. If you need a refresher course on proper bowl loading techniques, look no further than our Hookah Bowl Loading Guide.
Now you have a clean hookah and a properly loaded bowl, on to your hookah coals. This is a key step in your quest for a great tasting hookah bowl. Make sure that you are letting your coals get fully lit before using them. Smoking a bowl with partially lit coals will give you a bad tasting bowl almost 100% of the time. Whether you are using Natural Hookah Coals or Quick Light Hookah Coals, you must allow enough time for the coals to be fully lit before using them. When I say fully lit, what I mean is that the coals should be completely covered in a layer of ash. When you use partially lit coals not only will your bowl of shisha not be receiving the proper amount of heat, but you will be inhaling the fumes caused by the coals initial combustion phase. This is especially true of Quick Light Coals since they are coated in an accelerant that speeds along the lighting process.
Here we are, you’ve followed all of my steps, you have a clean hookah, a well loaded bowl, and a pile of fully lit coals ready to go, and yet you still have a bad tasting bowl. At this point, the culprit is clear. Look down into your hand and see thine enemy, your hookah hose. Most hoses on the market are not washable and over time they will get a little funky. Unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done for a funky hose unless it’s a washable model. If yours is washable, wash that sucker out. If not, I’d recommend replacing the hose. This might be the perfect time to upgrade to a washable hose, such as a Nammor Hookah Hose.
With these tips at your disposal you should never have to deal with a bad tasting bowl ever again. Happy Smoking!