The day has come ladies and gentlemen. Kaloud Inc. has taken the next step in their heat management journey as they present the Kaloud Lotus 2.
The original Kaloud Lotus arrived at the tail end of 2012 and set off an EXPLOSION of flavor in our sessions. The initial $60 price tag caused some hesitation to those that had already been enjoying their foil sessions. After time went on and more smokers talked about it, people became curious and decided to give it a try. The rest was history.
I am a Kaloud a fanboy, honesty first. You're hopefully about ready for some information on the latest creation from the Kaloud team.
What Does A Lotus Do?
The Kaloud Lotuses(s?) are a part of the heat management family. They manage the heat in your session easily with adjustable ventilation blades and air channels.
These devices are also designed to help eliminate the taste of charcoal within your session for a clean and crisp taste. There is a night-and-day difference of flavor between a session with a HMD versus a foil hookah session.
I thoroughly enjoy both, but prefer to use a Lotus because it's easy (set & forget) and tastier.
The Kaloud Lotus 2 is built with the use of aluminum and CNC machines. The original Lotus contains multiple connection points but the Lotus 2 is crafted from two single pieces. No screws.
OK, What Does The Kaloud Lotus 2 Do?
Now, let's get to why you're really reading this blog. What does the Kaloud Lotus 2 do?
Are you ready? It accomplishes the same thing as the original Kaloud Lotus.
It manages your heat very easily and reduces the taste of charcoal within your session. BUT HOLY MOLY. The Kaloud Lotus 2 achieves this in a way that the original could not thanks to a completely redesigned interior and a new domed (Epcot) lid.
This new interior places the air channels within the side walls at a higher location to prevent any loose ash or particles from entering your pipe. The deep cutouts of the aluminum body allow for more airflow underneath your hookah charcoal to prevent black outs.
This raised interior upgrade was recently applied to the original Lotus, but the new Lotus performs much better in that category and it aids against pulling any of the falling ash into your session because of the relocated air channels.
How Do You Adjust The Heat?
You've got to find the KEY! Once you open your fancy new box, you'll notice an aluminum key with a thick silicone handle embossed with a Kaloud logo.
Fact: The top of the dome piece contains 16 medium diamond-shaped cutouts, which is something I wouldn't recommend doing with your foil session.
With your key in hand and the single notch facing upwards, slide it into any of the open triangles at the base of the dome until you feel/hear it lock. This is where you'll have two options: lift the dome off and reposition it to expose or cover the air shields, or alternatively use the key to rotate the dome and expose or cover the air shields.
In my experience with this device (16 sessions before typing this blog and a generous amount of R&D), I prefer to rotate the lid using the key in the flat triangles surrounding the edge of this outer rim.
How's The Heat?
If you've made it this far in the blog, then you've seen enough pictures to realize that this piece has a lot more air flowing into this device when compared to the Lotus. Does this mean you'll need to compensate with more charcoal.
NO. Absolutely not.
The redesign of the original expanded the interior to allow for larger cube size pieces to fit in easily. I typically use 3 cubes and the Lotus 2 allows me to continue to do so and maybe a fourth if it's feeling skinny but I have not needed it.
In my first two session, I prepared 3 cubes and I take the 3rd one off after 10-15 minutes, and it's smooth sailing from there my friend. I started to realize as sessions went on that I wasn't using my third coal....at all.
Now, I begin my session with 2 cube Cocobrico or CocoUrth pieces with the dome on and I wait about 5 minutes before taking the first pull and I kid you not, this thing WORKS.
We have some high heats fans in the building and occasionally I find myself wanting to turn the heat up in my session. As I previously stated, you can use 3 coals but forewarning you that it will get toasty if you leave them in there for the whole session.
This device actually had me thinking about switching back to flats, but right now only having to place 2 pieces of cube charcoal on the burner is mind blowing enough.
The underside of the dome features a deep circle trench that fits snugly onto the outer rim of the base plate and it keeps the heated air above the downward facing air channels. This aluminum base plate also features a raised fin design that evenly touches your shisha and adds a bit of direction for incoming air traffic.
TLDR: Even though there is a lot space for air, light 2-3 pieces of cube, 3 flat coals, or 2 pieces of Kaloud Aura coals.
Do I Have To Change Out My Bowls?
The million dollar question.
YES & NO. You can keep using whichever bowl you've been using with the Lotus on the Lotus 2.
The size of this HMD keeps it compatible with the market, but the dome design will have me only make this recommendation for bowls that have a LIP. The same can be said for the original because of safety reasons, but the minimal design and built-in handle do a better job at keeping it from incidental damage.
I placed the Lotus 2 on my favorite Rook bowl and while it fit rim to rim, I felt I needed to pass on the combination and go with my Lerook (lipped version) just in case I went to adjust it on bowl with no lip and it happened to slide. Then final destination and a Michael Bay explosion, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I've been bouncing between the Kaloud Vitria and very thick stoneware bowls for my sessions with great result.
One More Question: The Flavor?
Ah yes the flavor; is it good, better than the Lotus, or equal?
Kaloud had a goal of improving the reduction of charcoal taste and extending your session with the Lotus 2. They achieved just that and maybe a bit more.
I say a bit more in reference to their future plans because this new design will, of course, open up new ideas within the market and at the noggins at Kaloud.
I've been smoking primarily Apple Doppio since September with a little touch of Cherry or Lemon Mint with every bowl. I must have had this same bowl flavor combo *looks at calendar and calculator* 60-80 times across foil and multiple HMDs.
I actually stopped telling people what's in my bowl at work because it's starting to feel like ground hog day, but I'm really in love with that mix.
Sorry, getting off-track. Some of the sessions that you've been reading about have been with that flavor combo.
I honestly I thought I had tasted every variation possible outside of the mixing percentage i.e: burnt, underpacked, overpacked, not enough heat, the bottom of the can soupy pack. I know this flavor combination like the back of my hand and if I try hard enough I could probably taste it if inhaled hard enough. Is that how it works?
The sessions that I've had so far allow me to reach into the furthest depths of my smoke cloud and grab those little pinches of cherry and lemon. It's not like I've never tasted them before in this combo otherwise I wouldn't keep smoking it, but the crispness and flavor strength were noticeably prevalent.
It adds a subtle amount of restriction in the inhale but the rewarding amount of smoke output that comes with ease is worth it.
Do Not Throw Your Old Lotus Away?
Yes, you're looking at a new and improved device but this doesn't make the original ineffective. You won't get pushed into a software crippling update if you don't pick this up.
The remix Kaloud Lotus Plus will continue it's run but if you're looking to take your Lotus game to the next level, I know a place. They can help you out. They're good people, trust me.
Would You Like To Win One? -ENDED
HOLY MOLY! Eveyone you killed it on the comments, almost 500!
My apologies for this late update, I actually dozed off reading through the comments last night after a long grab bag filled day. I'm reading through the rest of your amazing comments right now and since we had such a strong turn out I'll be picking 2 people for a Lotus 2, and a runner up Lotus 1+. Winners will have a reply posted to their comment at 11 a.m. cst tomorrow, Friday(11/30). So refresh then and scroll to the bottom and see if you have a reply, there's also a feature to notified about replies to your comments.
I hope I answered most of your burning Kaloud Lotus 2 questions and if I didn't please drop me one in the comments below.
Thanks for reading this long one.
YOU ROCK SO HARD!