Friday, 14 October 2011

Tips: Shisha

Bagi penggemar/pemilik Shisha, saya terjumpa tips menarik bagaimana untuk menghisap Shisha dengan teknik yang betul. Shisha mempunyai bau flavor buah-buahan yang harum tidak seperti bau rokok.
P/S: Tips ini dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Harap² anda semua faham ;D. Ini lah gunanya English Education :P

What is a Shisha?
Shisha is a method of smoking tobacco (or other flavored molasses) without directly lighting the tobacco. This is done by heating the tobacco with coals. The smoke that the heated tobacco gives off is drawn through pipes, through water and out into the mouth.
What are the health risks?
As with any form of smoking there are health risks, however because the tobacco is not directly lit, and the smoke is bubbled through water, many of the harmful substances are removed. Research indicates that harmful substances may be reduced as much as 90% as compared to smoking, including 99.9% of Tar and 99.5% of nicotine. Further more if the smoke is just tased and not fully inhaled risks of cancer can be further reduced.
What is the difference between Shisha, Sheesha & Hookah?
As you may be able to tell from the title, they are all the same thing. Shishas also go by the following names: Water Pipe, Hukka, Arguileh or Nargileh. The different names are dependant on which country you are taking the name from. Shisha originates in the Middle East and North Africa.
What do you smoke in it?
Traditionally Shishas are for smoking flavoured tobaccos however it is now also possible to get tobacco free molasses that are tar and nicotine free. The available flavours are hugely diverse some of my favorites include: Cherry, Double Apple and Mixed Fruit although there are also menthol, vanilla, chocolate, toffee and on and on!
Buying a Shisha:
Unfortunately as it will soon no longer be possible to try shisha in a shisha cafe, at least in the UK (there are numerous, typically in arabic areas of cities), you would have to have a friend with a shisha in order to try before you buy or you can hire a shisha from somewhere such as I would however recommend shisha particularly to all smokers, particularly social smokers and those who are trying to quit smoking.
So what do you need to get started?
  • Shisha (there are many many different types out there) - Your decision should take account of height (small ones are cheaper, but no less effective), looks, number of hoses (1 hose per 3 people you expect to typically use it on each occasion)
  • Tobacco or Molasses - just choose whatever flavours you think you'll like. I don't think there is any real difference in flavour between tobacco and molasses so just choose your preference.
  • Coals - I'd suggest starters get quicklight charcoal disks, these can be lit with a normal lighter. Once lit, leave to let the outer part burn off (make sure the fizzing has covered the entire disc) before putting the disc on the foil (if you don't wait the smoke will taste horrible! You have been warned!).
  • Foil Discs - I would suggest buying foil discs for shisha. You can use kitchen foil however I have heard that kitchen foils have chemical coatings that probably aren't to healthy to inhale.
  • Disposable Plastic mouthpieces - These are by no means neccesary unless you are particularly concerned about hygeine.
How to assemble it:
There are a few techniques to smoking shisha that need to be mastered, however once you have, it is very simple. First of all, let's look at the parts of a shisha:
Charcoal Screen: This is usually foil pierced with small holes. The coals sit on this.
Clay Bowl: The tobacco is placed in this and the Charcoal Screen is wrapped over it. Can also be made of pyrex or similar.
Bowl, Hose & Base Grommets: These grommets ensure that the shisha is kept airtight, this is very important as if it is not airtight, the smoke will not flow through the shisha to your mouth.
Shaft: Also known as the stem this is what draws the smoke down from the bowl into the water in the Glass Base
Tray: The tray is not a neccesity, it is what any coals that you are not using sit on.
Glass Base: The water goes into the glass base (it is important that the water level is at least an inch above the bottom of the stem and an inch below the top of the base).
Hose: As the smoke is drawn down into the water and bubbles up through it, it is then drawn through the hose. You suck the smoke in through the other end of the hose. Often the hose will have a disposable plastic tip that makes sharing a hose more hygenic.
How to smoke it:
The basic flow of the smoke is descrbed in the section above. But here is a 5 step guide to smoking shisha:
  • 1. Fill glass base with water
  • 2. Put tobacco in the bowl, cover in foil & pierce the foil with a toothpick (I use a dart :-P)
  • 3. Light coals (remember to wait for the fizzing) place on the foil
  • 4. Smoke and enjoy!
  • 5. Wash out glass base, & clay bowl (if you leave it, the residue gets stuck on and is very hard to remove!)
How to improve the flavor:
The best way to improve your shisha experience is through trial and error, but here are a few tips:
  • Make the holes in the foil as small as possible, put 12-20 holes evenly over the face.
  • Put the tobacco in the bowl so that it is about 1cm below the rim.
  • Don't pack the tobacco, just leave it at about the same density as it is in the packet.
  • Make the water as cold as possible, I usually put some ice in it.
  • For a really special flavor try using milk instead of water!
  • If the taste turns bad, it may be because the tobacco has started burning.

Semoga berjaya dengan Tips ini! ;D

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