Best Shisha 2019 • 0 Shishas Reviews
Moorish and Ottoman palace buildings with round arches, columns and domes, a divan on which a beautiful and veiled woman lolls, and the very special smell that lies in the air helped to shape this picture, so that even literary greats such as Goethe or Hermann Hesse were tempted to capture this world romantically in the picture.
The shisha comes from the Arab origin, which functions similarly like other water pipes. It has a bulbous vessel filled with water through which the smoke is drawn. This causes the smoke to be cooled down first and all suspended matter to remain in the water.
Smoking a shisha is therefore somewhat healthier than smoking a cigarette, even though tobacco is an important component. Nevertheless, there are also alternatives to reduce or completely avoid nicotine consumption. The original, however, is always smoked with tobacco, and smoking can last for hours.
What's a shisha?
The shisha is a water pipe that constitutes a significant part of Arab culture. But smoking has also established itself in Europe, so there are shisha bars and even restaurants in many cities that offer a wide variety of culinary delights and tobacco varieties, so that on every table there is a shisha that can then be consumed publicly.
The shisha consists of a bulbous glass container, a column of smoke, a tobacco head , into which very special tobacco is filled, and the long tube , through which the steam of the shisha is absorbed. A mouthpiece closes the hose and is used for smoking. For this there is a carbon plate, which is filled with coal. The water pipes are often very elaborately formed and decorated, therefore also optically an eye-catcher.
It usually consists of several varieties and is additionally enriched with flavors, so very sweet or fruity flavors. This makes both the tobacco itself and the smoke tastier and more pleasant to smell. The special thing about the Shisha is the water. Tobacco, flavourings and glycerine are used, as well as additives such as sugar and woods, juices, fruit varieties, herbal mixtures, essences and spirits. The shisha tobacco is therefore much more intensively flavoured, e.g. with orange, apple, vanilla, coffee or mint flavour. Exceptional directions are also cola, beer, basil or thyme tobacco.
The name for the water pipe comes from Persian and means “glass”. In different dialects other names were also used, e.g. in Turkey the word “nargile”, which means “coconut” and was probably a reference to the fact that the pipe was formerly made from coconuts. Not only tobacco was smoked this way, but also hashish or opium. The functionality and the principle of the Shisha originate however from India. There the smoke was inhaled over a bamboo stick and not only for pleasure, but also served social conditions, such as marriages or business transactions.
Today the shisha is smoked with tobacco that is flavoured . The inhaled smoke therefore never tastes bitter and smells sweet. Smoking itself is much easier, as the neck is not attacked so much, which is due to the filtering of the water and aroma substances.
For the shisha there are different types of tobacco. Some are ready to smoke, others have to be kept moist and soaked before they can be smoked, thus intensifying the smoking effect. General the shisha tobacco is very moist, consists of the composition of raw tobacco, glyderin and molasses. (More about this in our shisha test under the point: “Overview of different tobacco varieties for the shisha”.)
How does a Shisha work?
This is called “Fahma” and consists of pure charcoal, so it does not contain any additives such as petroleum. Either charcoal tablets wrapped in aluminium foil and self-igniting can be used, or pure natural charcoal consisting of pressed coconut shells, olive tree or orange tree wood and becoming particularly hot. The disadvantage of the tablets is the aftertaste and the longer glow time. The natural coal, on the other hand, is sulphur-free and has the shape of a cube or rod. The advantage of charcoal tablets is that they can easily be ignited with a lighter, while natural charcoal burns only through a coal stove, gas burner or the addition of spirit. On the other hand, it keeps and regulates the heat better. Both variants always produce the combustion product carbon monoxide. Some manufacturers now also offer an alternative to both variants, such as an electric heater for the water pipe bowl. This prevents the combustion residues, since no combustion process takes place. This in turn contributes to a lower burden on health.
The coal or natural coal is heated and the tobacco forms steam in the water container without the tobacco already burning. As soon as the hose is pulled, a necessary negative pressure develops in the water tank and air bubbles form. This air is then transported through the column of smoke to the tobacco head and generates more oxygen so that the tobacco is heated. The mixture of air and smoke is then smoked through the mouthpiece.
It also makes sense to have several layers so that the tobacco does not burn. The foil is then punctured several times with a needle during the smoking process. The glass container is filled with water and can also achieve a cool effect if ice cubes are also placed in the water. Flavourings can also be mixed into the water, including fruit juice, alcohol or coconut.
(More about smoking a shisha can be found in our test under the point: “How to smoke a shisha properly?”)
flavouring additives and aromas
The flavour determines the taste of the tobacco
The concentration of aromas varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Therefore, it also plays a role for the correct dosage, which depends on the respective taste of the smoker. The rule states that the dosage should be started quietly in the low range, then, if desired, can be increased in smaller steps.
To intensify the taste again, there are so-called “Tasty Puffs”. These are additional aromas and flavors that are dripped directly into the tobacco, shisha or e-cigarette. “Tasty Puffs” are also suitable for cigars, cigarettes, herbs and vaporizers. The brand itself comes from the USA and already has over 2,000 varieties on offer. If the tobacco is enriched with “Tasty Puffs”, not only does the aroma taste like this, but the smoke also takes on the smell of the different varieties. “Tasty Puff” is without artificial colorants and does not use daicetyl or triacetin. Daicetyl is a chemical compound that is responsible for the intense butter flavour in various foods, such as popcorn. Unfortunately, however, it has turned out that this connection leads to respiratory diseases.
The varieties are also available in acrylic bottles, mostly as a package with 6 bottles. The selection of varieties is also large.
What types of water pipes are there?
The structure of most Shishas is similar, but there are still different variants, which differ mainly in shape, material, tray and a separable smoke column. The sizes also vary. For domestic use there are smaller and medium sizes up to 40 centimetres high, in Shisha bars there are often pipes up to 90 centimetres high. The shisha always has a water container or a water vessel, which is called a vase or bowl, made of metal, acrylic, plastic or glass. The volume is different and also has an influence on the smoke effect. The materials for the individual Shisha components differ. The water body usually consists of glass, acrylic or metal, the smoke column can be coated with chrome or brass. Depending on the construction of the respective shisha it has one or more hoses at the lower part.
The pipe bowl is filled with tobacco, is a smaller vessel, which usually consists of metal, ceramic, pumice stone or glass. The size of the pipe bowl also has an effect on the smoke taste and smoke development in the shisha. It is perforated and allows the smoke that accumulates when the tobacco is burned to enter the smoke column.
Die conventional Shisha can be up to forty centimeters high, consists of a water container, a column of smoke, a tobacco pot, a charcoal pot, a hose and a mouthpiece. The designs are visually very successful, many pipes are decorated and made of different materials. When using the pipe, there should always be enough flavoured tobacco, coal, aluminium foil, water and a lighter available in addition to the pipe. Depending on the taste, the aroma can be enhanced by flavoring the water once again.
The mobile Shisha is meant for on the way, thus the smaller variant of the normal Shisha and functions similarly like a mobile vaporizer or the e-cigarette . It has a narrow, elongated body, a mouthpiece and an evaporator. The mobile Shisha fits in your trouser pocket, makes sitting down unnecessary, is refillable and is powered by a battery or rechargeable battery. It is filled with a liquid. As soon as the mouthpiece is pulled, a heating spiral is activated inside, which generates heat and the liquid can be evaporated and inhaled. Compared to e-cigarettes, the mobile Shisha offers the same flavoured taste of tobacco as the conventional Shisha. Strawberry, orange, coffee, cherry or vanilla can be smoked without the presence of nicotine. Instead of tobacco, liquids are used that come from China and form more steam than smoke. This eliminates pollutants such as tar and condensate. The high-quality models hardly allow the liquid to dry out and the battery lasts particularly long, in some mobile shishas even up to 9 hours. Some products have an LED indicator that tells you when to recharge the Shisha's battery. Manufacturers also grant a warranty claim so that the pipe can be exchanged if necessary.
The electric shisha is based on the same functionality as an e-cigarette or the mobile shisha, but is a disposable product. It has a narrow and elongated body, an evaporator and a mouthpiece. The trade offers them mainly as disposable electric shisha. These products are available in different flavours and, with good quality, make up to 500 moves possible. The price is between 5 and 10 Euro.
The Shisha Test 2019 – this is how we tested the waterpipes for you:
For use in our test we have tested various shishas made of materials such as glass, ceramics, metal and acrylic. What was important to us was simple assembly and clear preparation for enjoying the smoke. We tested the amount of water and the formation of steam in the water tank, the use of the tobacco pot and the ignition of the coal including the effect on the smoke process. Pulling over the hose had to be possible and the individual components had to be easily assembled, but also disassembled so that cleaning was also possible.
The optical effect was also important. Some of our tested models impressed by a particularly exquisite design and increased the pleasure. The hose then had beautiful decorations, the form captivated by several curvatures. However, the simple handling and taste-intensive smoke formation always remained decisive.
What to look out for when buying a Shisha?
The smoke must always be filtered through the water and should therefore have enough space to spread. The water can also be additionally flavoured so that a better taste is possible.
Material of the water tank
Shishas made of glass are especially beautiful. This material prevents by-products and accumulation of pollutants and is also very easy to clean. It is also nice that the smoke development in the water can be observed. As soon as the glass turns brown, the water is exchanged and the water pipe cleaned. A shisha made of metal or acrylic makes the process more difficult. Acrylic or plastic can also cause by-products, combustion residues and tar to settle.
Smoke column material
The smoke column can be made of brass, metal or chrome. The coating is mostly decorated. This in turn also makes a big difference to the optical impression. Some columns of smoke are made especially of wood, which in turn has the disadvantage that this material stores moisture particularly well. This can lead to a greasy deposit, but also to a soon unpleasant smell.
Material and differences in pipe bowl
You should use Ceramic or glass tobacco heads for the purchase, as deposits are avoided here. The pipe bowl has holes and is filled with tobacco, over which an aluminium foil is stretched. Tobacco heads are available as a standard version with about five small holes in the bottom, which has the disadvantage that molasses, for example, can run into the column of smoke. This does not change the taste much, but makes cleaning more time-consuming. There are also single hole heads, where the bottom has only one hole, which is almost as high as the edge itself. The tobacco is then filled around this hole. The heat is not so evenly distributed in this tobacco head variant, but a longer smoking period is feasible.
The chimney pipe bowl possesses in addition still another chimney hood and makes the closing with aluminium foil unnecessary. This allows a very even burning of the tobacco and an excellent heat distribution. The power bowl head is also well suited for heat distribution. It has several holes in the centre of the head around which the tobacco is placed. The molasses doesn't flow out here either.
Purchase a mobile Shisha:
When purchasing mobile shishas, care should be taken that the evaporator can be changed , an LED indicator is provided to indicate when the battery is empty, the warranty is given and the number of trains is indicated on the packaging. Here you can also decide whether a disposable E-Shisha is sufficient or whether a refillable mobile Shisha is used.
Short information about leading water pipe manufacturers:
Shishas and other water pipes are available under various names on the Internet or in specialist shops. Manufacturers include “DXP”, “Aladin”, “X-Shisha”, “Budawi”, “Amy Deluxe”, “Taffstyle”, “Hookah”, “Kaya” or “Al Mani”.
Internet vs. specialized trade: where is it worth buying a water pipe more?
Tobacco shops and coffee shops offer a good selection of shishas and the necessary accessories.
Things to Know & Advisor
The History of the Shisha
Once created from a coconut and a bamboo cane in India , the current form and function of the Shisha found its perfect expression in Egypt. This was in the 16th century and served to improve the community culture, which is still reflected today in the common smoking of shisha. The alternative to a split mouthpiece is a shisha, which has several tubes at the bottom, so that different people can smoke at the same time.
The use of the water pipe spread in the Orient, in the Arab world and in Iran and is a symbol of hospitality. In Turkey, on the other hand, smoking the shisha had a very bad reputation for a while. First introduced by Ahmed I, who indulged in hedonism, smoking was soon banned under death penalty by his successors. The shisha was considered a vicious vessel at that time, but after a while it changed again and improved its reputation.
With the common smoking first rules of etiquette came into being, which further increased the cultural heritage and became part of the tradition. The shisha itself has also become a decorative piece of jewellery and has even been passed down from generation to generation.
With colonialism, the use of shisha also found its way into Western and European areas and was an alternative to the general and ever-increasing consumption of tobacco. The poor sections of society naturally reserved this pleasure, the shisha was a luxury item and the tobacco for filling was very expensive. Nevertheless, some people tried to stretch the tobacco and the molasses improved the quality. This consisted of a liquid mixture of honey.
Where tobacco leaves used to be used, tobacco preparation has changed, the tobacco has been moistened and, for example, stored on bare earth in a moist, cool place. As a result, morning dew has formed on the tobacco, which in turn has improved the smoking effect. Tobacco now consists of a mixture of tobacco leaves, flavourings and glycerine.
Figures, data, facts about the Shisha
How to smoke a shisha properly?
After adding your own Shisha you can use it effectively.
The water container is filled half full with water. The smoke tube of the column is placed in the water container and should be about 3 centimeters in the water. Some shishas allow easy insertion of the smoke column, others have a smoke column that has to be rotated again when it is put on to ensure stability.
The ash or charcoal plate is now placed on top of the top of the smoke column and inserted into the appropriate opening below the hose.
Now the shisha is prepared for the actual smoking process. The desired tobacco is filled into the pipe bowl. It should be rather loose and have a good cut. Small pieces are suitable. The pipe bowl should not be stuffed completely, but should fill a little more than half of the tobacco bowl.
An aluminum sieve or aluminum foil comes over the tobacco head. The aluminum sieve usually has small metal feet that can be bent, the aluminum foil must be pierced with a needle.
The tongs can now pick up coal, which is ignited with a lighter. Before the coal is placed on the aluminium sieve, it should be completely annealed.
A windbreak is useful when smoking. This should not only be used outdoors, but also indoors, so that the heat is maintained and no spraying sparks land on the table and can become a source of danger.
Now the shisha can be smoked on, but only when the coal is completely glowing. Short distances are advisable to ensure that sufficient smoke is produced. There is an air valve at the shisha so that the air is distributed in the glass. The blowing into the hose causes the air to flow.
When smoking, it is advisable to take short breaks between the individual trains so that no feeling of dizziness arises. Also, when enjoying a Shisha, there should always be enough to drink in the vicinity. Anyone who feels nauseous while smoking should refrain from using the shisha.
An overview of various tobacco varieties for the shisha:
The tobacco for a shisha consists of three components that are essential for smoking. This is the tobacco base, the aroma for the different and intense taste, with sugar syrup, honey or molasses acting as aroma carriers, and the actual smoking effect, which is produced by multi-chain alcohol. During the production of tobacco for the shisha, it is marinated for a few days with molasse, the respective aroma and alcohol, including glycerine, and left to stand so that the constituents collect in the tobacco. In order to obtain a better smoke development, the purchased tobacco should also be soaked in moisturizing agents for about a week for personal use. The tobacco corresponds to the German tobacco regulation with the sale. This means that tobacco may not contain more than 5 per cent moisturisers, including alcohol. This changes the smoke development, which is lower. The insertion of the tobacco corresponds to the original process used in the Orient.
is maintained. In addition, the aroma can also be improved with Tasty Puff flavors or extended with other taste nuances.
Important tobacco varieties are:
Al Mahmood – The tobacco varieties of Al Mahmood often have a coffee aroma, including Arabica Coffee or Cappuccino. But also fruity varieties are not missing here, such as orange, rose or plum taste. The tobacco offers are in the favourable range, with a basic price of 9 euros per 100 grams.
7Days/7Nights – Both directions form a tobacco brand. The taste tends towards sweet aromas, such as waffles, Christmas stollen, caramel, vanilla or mulled wine. Sweet fruit varieties are also available, such as tobacco with lime, melon, peach, banana, cherry and honey flavors. The selection of this tobacco brand is very large. The basic price is 7.50 euros per 100 grams.
Cloud 9 – This tobacco brand has a basic price of about 12 euros per 100 grams. The varieties lie between spicy, sweet and fruity aromas, including chocolate, orange, raspberry, peach, vanilla and various cocktail flavors.
Bang Bang – This brand focuses entirely on fruit, coffee aroma and sweet taste. You can choose between coconut, chocolate, cappuccino, chewing gum, but also lemon, orange, mint, melon and blueberries. Two particularly pleasant aromas are “Blue Heaven” and “Black Russian”. The basic price is 12.40 euros per 100 grams.
Eleggans – These tobaccos have a mint aroma as a base, a fine and even cut to be easily stuffed, and are particularly easy to digest. Variations are available with lime/mint or blueberry/mint.
Al-Sultan – The brand advertises with a traditional Jordanian production method. The basic price for each flavour varies between 7.20 euros and 9.50 euros per 100 grams of tobacco. The flavours include orange, coffee, grenadine, ice kaki, mint, mastic, papaya, thyme and plum.
Amazing Tobacco – Here the offer is particularly large. The basic price is 7.45 euros per 100 grams. The flavours are fruity and tropical, including strawberry, orange, peach, mango, melon, guava, lemon and apple flavours. Various combinations make smoking twice as pleasant.
Al Rayan – These tobacco varieties rely on colours. The taste is intense, the cut particularly even. Varieties are available as Black, Green, Blue, Red or Pink flavours. Interesting are also “Warm Town” or “Iceberg”. For all flavours, the tobacco no longer needs to be moistened and is already ready for smoking. The varieties are offered packed in a high-quality metal can. The basic price is 7.80 euros per 100 grams.
Golden Pipe – With a basic price of 7.45 euros per 100 grams, the selection of tobacco varieties of this brand is particularly large. The varieties are titled “Ice Fresh”, “Banana Cinnamon”, “From Paris with Love”, “Euphorie”, “Moulin Rouge”, “Passionata”, “Dubai by Night”, “Golden Emotion” or “Indian Love”, among others, and are ready for filming. The flavours “Cola” and “Lebkuchen” are also interesting from the aroma.
Fantasia – This tobacco variety is all about fruit and is one of the more expensive brands. The basic price is 14.40 euros per 100 grams. The aromas range from lemon, banana, melon, orange, apple, mango and mint to unusual varieties such as “Dirty”, “Cactus Breeze”, “Incredible” or “Cosmopolitan”. Many of the varieties have an interesting blend of different flavors.
Al Waha – The tobacco from Jordan is noble and intense. The production has a tradition there and is adapted to the development of the Arab smoking culture. The varieties have a range of very different tastes, the tobacco cut is medium, which in turn ensures good absorption and an intensive aroma mixture. The tobacco is soaked with molasse in order to achieve optimum smoke development. Varieties include pineapple, orange, nectarine, currant, cappuccino, cola, honey, chewing gum and liquorice.
Freestyle Tobacco – This brand comes from America and consists of three tobacco varieties with different flavors. The basic price is 9.30 euros per 100 grams. The terms with aromas such as vanilla, cola, orange, mango, guava or coffee are also very American, including as “Fadango”, “Easy Going”, “Grand Master”, “Paradizo”, “Supersonic” or “Brown Sugar” commercially available.
Al Ajamy Gold – This brand focuses mainly on “Ice” and “Fresh”. Fruity aromas are mixed with cool herbs. But there are also particularly sweet flavours to be found, including chocolate, cheesecake, ice cream and vanilla. The basic price is 9.90 euros per 100 grams.
Al Fakher RF – This brand includes fruity cocktail flavours such as “Mojito”, “Mintcream” or “Grape Berry”. The tobacco has an even cut and an intense aroma. Kiwi or cherry flavours are also available with a “Special Edition”.
SoeX – This tobacco is the healthier alternative to the nicotine-containing varieties. This is nicotine-free tobacco obtained from sugar cane. The normal tobacco of this variety is marketed under the name ‘Afzal'. Tobacco-free cigarettes are also available from the manufacturer, who comes from India.
Care and cleaning
As soon as the first deposits or discolorations appear, the glass body is emptied, rinsed with warm water and then cleaned with a brush. The water does not have to be changed after each smoking, but the glass container should always be cleaned after repeated use. Therefore the Shisha can be taken apart in its individual components.
For the mouthpiece there is also a frequent change , because there bacteria accumulate quickly, which can also lead to infections. Glass or ceramic mouthpieces that are rinsed with warm water and can be disinfected with a little alcohol solution are well suited.
Frequently asked questions about shisha and tobacco
Risks of shisha smoking – what should be watched for?
Since tobacco is still smoked despite the more digestible form of the water pipe, harmful substances remain contained. These include carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar, nickel and lead. The Shisha offers the advantage of water filtration through its glass container, most pollutants remain in the water, but toxins get into the smoke and an increased amount of nicotine. For example, a person who smokes a shisha daily has a cotinine content in his urine that corresponds to that of about ten smoked cigarettes. Even if the steam from the water pipe is not inhaled directly, as it is done through the filter of a cigarette, it is still inhaled deeper and more intensively.
In order to avoid further risks, it is also important to clean the pipe very intensively. Not only the pollutants in tobacco and smoking itself can have effects on health, but also a lack of hygiene. Often the shisha is smoked with several people, the mouthpiece is divided. This can lead to infections such as herpes or hepatitis. It is therefore advisable to use your own mouthpiece.
The addiction factor, which always occurs when smoking nicotine, should also be considered. Although studies show that smoking shisha through the ceremonial effect and enjoyment is not as addictive as puffing cigarettes, tobacco remains what it is. Nicotine is addictive, regardless of the form in which it is consumed.
there is also a risk of smoking due to the flavoring, which greatly simplifies smoking and improves the taste. So the Shisha can become the entry drug.
What is tobacco extract?
The extract is obtained directly from the tobacco leaves and is used for flavouring. It is a very highly concentrated, viscous aroma that does not contain nicotine. Tobacco extract is used, for example, in the production of tobacco liquid, where it is pre-diluted with alcohol and at the same time receives a softer note when mixed with ethyl maltol.
Why does the molasse serve for the shisha?
Molasse is a humectant which is needed to keep the tobacco moist for the shisha, so that a better smoke development results. Manufacturers offer various molasses which are available on the market both on a natural basis and with fruit flavours.
A charcoal tong is useful for optimally preparing and filling the tobacco and processing the glowing charcoal. This one is narrow and has serrations. There are also aluminium sieves that make it easier to seal the tobacco head and no longer need to pierce aluminium foil. The sieves can then be bent around the head. A windbreak prevents sparks from spraying and also enables trouble-free smoking of the shisha outdoors.
Mouthpieces, which are placed on the hose and enable better hygiene, are also important. There are various, including special hygiene mouthpieces made of coloured plastic. Others consist of borosilicate glass, are transparent and have different lengths.
A heater to ignite the tobacco is a good and healthier alternative to charcoal, as no combustion residues are produced. If you still want to use coal, you can buy a Shisha coal lighter and a special coal storage container. Also different glasses and seals are available in the trade, which enrich the Shisha smoking. In addition, there are chic tobacco boxes in which the tobacco can not only be stored well, but also retains its moisture.
Alternatives to Shisha:
The shisha has its special shape and is available in many different versions. Other variants are Egyptian water pipes, the Nargile, the Bong, a vaporizer or a lava pipe , which is then made entirely of glass. The principle of all pipes is based on a similar functionality.