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The Future Of Hookah

The Future Of Hookah

By Danny / January 26, 2015
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The art of hookah has been around for centuries and over those centuries the art form has slowly evolved. At some point someone looked at a pipe made from wood and said, maybe this would last longer if it were made of brass? At some point someone made the first glass base, someone added flavoring to the tobacco for the first time, someone added more and more glycerin and honey so it produced more and more smoke, etc. The art form evolved, but it all moved very slowly.

Jump to modern times and the evolution of hookah has exploded. It seems like every week there are new hookah designs being unveiled, new types of bowls, different brands and types of shisha, new hoses, and so much more. The changes are coming fast and furious. That lead us to think, what will the future of hookah look like?

In this post we are going to showcase some of our predictions as well as the most advanced products which are available to us right now. Hold on to your butts, this is going to be a wild ride.

The Future Of Hookah Coal

While the consistency and commercial availability of hookah-specific charcoal products has gone through the roof in the last decade or so, the concept of hookah charcoal remains almost unchanged since the beginning of hookah. The coal heats the shisha, which produces vapor, which is passed through some water, and then inhaled. Nothing much has changed here.

In our vision of the future of hookah, charcoal isn't so much changed as it is eliminated completely. In our minds, the future of hookah is to move beyond fickle charcoal to an electric heating element.

We definitely are not the first to think of this. The idea of an electric hookah "coal" has been attempted countless times before, and will continue to be tested until someone gets it right. On a purely theoretical level, it should work, right?

The problem lies in the constant fluctuations of heat that the charcoal gives off. When you are not smoking the hookah, the coal temperature cools down, which keeps the shisha from becoming burned. When you inhale, the coals are stoked and their temperature rises.

Electric Hookah Coal Plans

As anyone who has turbo-smoked a shisha bowl before can tell you, this can lead to some mighty harsh smoke and a nasty burned-shisha taste. Once the hookah scientists can figure out this aspect of the electric hookah coal, I think we will be able to say goodbye to carpet burns and coal ash for good.

The Best Of What's Available Today

While no one has nailed the electric hookah coal, we have figured out how to regulate the heat given off by the coals, which leads to a more consistent and enjoyable smoke without the hassle of constant heat management. Your best bet for this is to pick up a Kaloud Lotus.

This ingenious little device houses your hookah coals and evenly distributes their heat across the top of your bowl. Imagine having one coal that is exactly the same size as the top of your bowl, and offers consistent heat across the entire surface area of the shisha. This is what you get from the Kaloud Lotus, and for under $50 it's an investment well worth making.

Kaloud Lotus and Case

The Future Of Hookah Pipes and Hoses

As we mentioned in our intro, the hookah has changed a lot over the years. Originally made of wood, bamboo, coconut shells, etc., the hookah is now made from stainless steel, brass, and glass. The same evolution has happened with hookah hoses as well.

The original hoses weren't even hoses, but rather long wooden or bamboo tubes which were attached directly to the base, or pot, of the hookah. The first evolution was from this to flexible leather hoses. In recent times we have moved to washable hoses made from plastics wrapped in leather and other materials.

Our vision of the future of hookahs and hookah hoses is a world in which flavor ghosting is completely eradicated. Imagine a hookah that never needs to be cleaned, or a hose which will never ghost a flavor.

To be honest, we are not really all that far off from this being a reality. In the not-too-distant future your hookah will be made from space grade materials which are completely impervious to odors and residues. You'll smoke a bowl of your favorite flavor and once the smoke has cleared and you've changed the water, your hookah will be 100% free of any trace of what you just smoked. The same will be said of your hoses. Personally, we can't wait.

Futuristic Hookah Design

The Best Of What's Available Today

As we hinted at earlier, we aren't too far off from this being a reality. The best we've got right now is 10x better than the best we had just 5 years ago. As far as hookahs go, the new Starbuzz USA Stems are made from very modern materials which eliminate nearly all flavor ghosting. You still need to clean out your base regularly, and you'll want to run some water down your stem between sessions, but the Starbuzz USA stems are almost there.

Starbuzz Challenger USA Hookah Stem

As for hoses, the first washable hose (the Nammor hose) has only been around for the better part of a decade, so we are still in the infancy of this technology, but things are progressing very quickly. As of right now, aside from the classic Nammor hose, your best bet for a hose that minimizes ghosted flavors would probably be the D-Hose from Dream hookah. The medical grade tubing combined with its easily removed glass tip makes this hose easy to clean and your best bet.

Blue Dream Hookah Hose

The Future of Shisha

Advances in shisha production techniques have only come about in the past 15-20 years or so. Before that things progressed very very slowly. In modern times, as hookah has grown in popularity throughout the world, the number of available brands and flavors have gone through the roof.

In addition, modern shisha brands have added more and more glycerin to their mixes to make for bigger and bigger clouds. We've also seen the introduction of such traditional shisha alternatives as shisha steam stones, shisha gels, and even electronic bowls which substitute e juice and e liquid for the traditional tobacco based shisha blends.

Shiazo Shisha Steam Stones

The future of shisha is the hardest thing to predict. We don't foresee a future where hookah smokers completely abandon traditional tobacco based shishas, but the so-called shisha alternatives will continue evolving and growing in popularity.

There are doomsday type scenarios in which the alternatives will gain ground even faster, such as tobacco production shortages, governmental regulations or bans, and other such nightmares. If left purely in the hands of the worlds hookah smokers though, we do not see traditional shisha changing much (other than the evolution towards better, brighter flavors, in smoother smoking mixes) but there will be a huge increase in the number of alternatives made available.

Beamer Shisha Gel

At the end of the day, if someone can replicate the exact experience of a tobacco based shisha in a way which is cheaper, easier to use, and more consistent, then this may change, but until then we predict that shisha tobacco will remain a staple of the hookah world.

The Best Of What's Available Today

If you are looking to move past shisha and into the future, we suggest taking a look at the Square E-Head. This electronic hookah bowl allows you to completely eliminate shisha tobacco while still maintaining the act of smoking hookah. The Square E-Head turns your hookah pipe into a giant vape, which allows you to use any brand of e juice or e liquid. It's easy to use, tastes great, and comes pretty close to replicating the traditional shisha experience.

Blue Square E Head

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