For a long time, everyone associated hookah is with mostly adventure movies that showed far-flung Middle Eastern locations where various men gathered around puffing idly on these strange artifacts.
For a brief time, they became popular sites in the United States during the counterculture era, a time of hippies and those with a strong interest in Indian and Middle Eastern culture. A typical hippie pad was likely to have Indian incense burners, a Moroccan hookah, and various Persian tapestries all over the place.
However, outside of Trinity hookah bars, and the occasional tobacco aficionado that didn’t mind these devices clashing with their more modern Western to core, these things remained a very distinct device that seemed out of place outside of certain locations. It’s exotic appearance actually probably discouraged a lot of people from giving them a try, expecting the smoke to be something entirely strange and unpalatable. After all, if these other cultures drink their tea and coffee in ways you don’t like, they probably don’t like their smoke the same way either, right?
Well, hookahs have recently gained enough popularity that we are finding designers and craftsmen creating hookah is with a distinctly Western, very 21st-century appearance. The blend of organic materials and sleek modern design, as well as the artistic merit of being hand-crafted make things like the Mr Wood Hookah a prime example of a new way of smoking catching on outside its birthplace.
I don’t really understand hookas, though?
So, let’s actually talk briefly about how a hookah works. There are a few different ways these are design, the traditional ones have a plate at the top, where hookah charcoal and the actual tobacco are placed. A chamber leading down into a containment vessel is where the smoke is pulled down, and then distributed through the different connected mouthpieces, each connected by a tube.
Some other designs actually have the plate beneath the chamber, capturing the smoke as it rises, and there are also various implementations involve water, among other things, allowing for flavoring, as well as altering the texture of the smoke.
Now, you notice that I mentioned hookah charcoal. Hookah’s use charcoal to burn the tobacco, rather than directly lighting the tobacco and keeping it lit by pulling on it, drawing air into it. Most hookah tobaccos are very much unlike what you might roll a cigarette with, or pack into a pipe. Many of them are more like a paste, or a crumbly, kind of sticky cake. This is because it is designed to be slowly roasted/vaporize/burnt by a primary source of heat. It doesn’t burn as fast, and the smoke is initially thicker, containing more moisture.
In traditional use, these were a social way of sharing the smoke, the remaining sanitary at the same time. They also produce a unique type of smoke that most smokers wind up enjoying. It is smoother, like pipe tobacco, but it is also lighter, and has less bite than a pipe.
It is also a more leisurely, less-hurried approach to smoking, as you don’t have to keep pulling on the mouthpiece to keep it lit, or to keep tobacco from going to waste.
If you were interested in hookahs, but didn’t want some sort of odd -looking device you would have to explain to guests, something by Mr Wood hookah would allow you to enjoy this late-back, smooth approach to smoking. Your friends will enjoy trying it out, and the handcrafted nature of it makes it quite an interesting, valuable part of your home to core, not just a functional way to relax.