Shisha charcoal - The many types of coal for your hookah

August 15, 2020

Image of person adjusting shisha coal in hookah bowl

Shisha charcoal or hookah coals come in many different shapes and styles, so it can be a bit confusing what the differences are and which type of coal you should be using for your hookah. We'll cover the materials, types and best brands, so you know what to look for the next time you need to buy shisha coals.

Hookah charcoal materials

You might not have given it much thought, but what goes into making shisha coals is extremely important. Have you ever smoked shisha at a friend’s house or hookah bar and copped a massive headache or strange buzzing sensation while smoking? It was probably caused by instant-light or quick-light charcoal, which contains nasty chemicals to get the shisha coal burning quickly. There are also many hookah coal brands that use cheap fillers like wood and sawdust to minimise production costs, which can release unpleasant odours when burnt that change the taste of the shisha tobacco. One way to tell the quality of the coal someone is using is to check the colour when it is lit: whiter coals burn hotter and indicate cheap fillers and chemicals, whereas browner coals more likely contain only premium ingredients. Whichever coal you choose for your hookah, make sure that it’s made from 100% natural materials, ideally coconut shells. Coconut shell charcoal provides an odourless and tasteless burn so you can savour 100% of the shisha flavour, plus a long and consistent burn.

Hookah charcoal shapes

Why so many shapes for such a simple product??? Each shape has its pros and cons — there's no “one size fits all” when it comes to shisha charcoal.

  • Cubes — Arguably the most common type of shisha coal, cubes have six flat equal sides (like dice) which make them ultra-stable when burning. Cubes offer a slow burn and can be successfully used with most hookah bowls and screen setups due to the many different sizes available. Make sure to rotate the cubes throughout the session to get the best results.
  • Flats — Similar to cubes but more like a flat bar, flats won't burn as long, so are good for shorter shisha sessions. Flats are best used with foils, as their shape isn't well suited for heat management systems or chimney sets.
  • Cubettes — Halfway between cubes and flats, cubettes are just another variation of the traditional cube, but with the same shortcomings as flats.
  • Fingers/sticks (round) — If cubes are the most common type of hookah charcoal, fingers or sticks would be a very close second. Cylindrical in shape, 3 charcoal fingers sit nicely around a chimney set or on top of a foil when using a phunnel bowl. Sticks are also less likely to cause heat spikes when compared to cubes.
  • Cuboid — A rectangular version of sticks, the flat sides of cuboids make them a more stable option but are less versatile and prone to heat spikes. Be careful with cuboids, as many quick-light coals come in this shape.
  • Hexagon/hex — Another hybrid of sticks, hexagon or hex coals are almost always made from coconut shells. With all the benefits of sticks but more stability, hexagon coals are a great choice.
  • Circle/disc — The poster child of quick-light charcoal, avoid this shape at all costs unless you are sure it's made from 100% natural materials.
  • Quarter circle — Designed for Lotus-style heat management systems and Razor heat management systems, quarter circles burn well at the start of a session but lose their shape as they burn, making them difficult to manage with tongs.

Best hookah charcoal brands

Now you know the different shapes of hookah coals and their uses, here are our favourite brands made from coconut shells and the shapes that they are available in.

  • Firebrand — Made from 100% single origin virgin coconut; available in both coco cubes and coco fingers.
  • Nusakoko — All the way from Mother Russia, Nusakoko is one of the few charcoal brands to offer hexagon-shaped shisha coals.
  • Cocoshisha — The best thing about Cocoshisha is the variety of shapes available, including cubes, sticks, cuboids, and hexagon coals.
  • Shaman — Shaman is the king of cubes, with 22 mm, 25 mm, 26 mm, and 31 mm sizes available.
  • CocoUrth — As its name suggests, CocoUrth only offers environmentally-friendly charcoal. Available in various cube sizes, flats, quarter circles, and hexagon coals.
  • Black Wolfe — Discover the ultimate premium luxury shisha coals with Black Wolfe coals.
  • Naara — Naara coals are imported for Australian companies and are available in 1kg or 10kg loose bulk packages.

Which hookah is best for me?

The right shisha coals need to be paired with the correct style of hookah to create the ultimate shisha experience. At Shisha Works, we offer a range of shisha kits for you to choose from that contain everything you need to get up and running for your first shisha experience. A quality hookah is something that will last you for many years to come, so it is essential to choose the right one for you at the start. Whether you are a business or creating a cool shisha experience in the comfort of your own home, we will be sure to have something available for you in our store that will suit you perfectly. You can browse through our online store to find the style of hookah that calls to you, or you can contact us to discuss which hookah perfectly suits the type of coal.

Our team is rife with passionate shisha experts, so if you’re looking for advice on the best products to buy or you have any questions at all on creating the best shisha experience possible, you are welcome to get in touch with us. We are proud that our online store contains so much information for shisha lovers like ourselves, so you can find the answers you need by visiting our FAQs page. We do our best to serve the shisha lovers of Australia in every way that we can, so browse our website to find hints, tips and shisha secrets.

The next steps in smoking shisha

Now that you have all of the information on the best shisha coals in the market and the best kind of hookahs to use, it is time for you to choose the best flavours to complete your experience. Hookah tobacco is usually derived from a range of alternative ingredients rather than using tobacco itself. This means that the shisha you are smoking may not contain as many harsh and nasty chemicals as a regular cigarette or if you were smoking pure tobacco through your hookah. Many people choose to smoke a more natural shisha brand for a more pleasurable experience without causing as much harm to their bodies as regular tobacco would.

As the sole distributor of teabacco in the Australian and New Zealand markets, Shisha Works provides access to a world of shisha flavours derived from black tea leaves sourced from Sri Lanka. The flavours of teabacco in Australia are completely diverse, so you can choose the one that suits your taste buds the most or work your way through all of the options, making every shisha experience as enjoyable as the last.

Teabacco flavours include delights such as watermelon, kiwi, lime and mint for a fresh and natural-tasting shisha experience that emits a lovely scent. Additional flavours that are available in the Heaven Leaf range include:

  • Wild cherry
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Pomegranate
  • Orange
  • Mango
  • Peach

There are over 30 flavours available in the teabacco range, and you can also mix and match to create an incredible range of shisha cocktails. There’s never a dull shisha session to be had when Shisha Works is involved.

Shop online with Shisha Works today

Everything you could possibly need, from the best shisha coals for your hookah to quality products from teabacco Australia is available to you directly from our online store. Feel free to contact us should you wish to discuss wholesale options for businesses or just the right products for your personal use. We work hard to ensure that we can satisfy all of your shisha needs, be it for hookah tobacco, hookahs, shisha bowls or accessories. Shisha Works truly has it all.

Don't forget to check out Part 2 – How to smoke a hookah pipe — for added tips on using coals.

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