With so many hookah coal options on the market, which brand and type should you choose?...
Note: This blog was last updated July, 26, 2022
Generally, hookah smokers will use either a natural coal, such as Coco Brico Hookah Charcoal , or a quick-lighting coal, like Starbuzz Quick Light coals. Not sure of the difference? We'll walk you through it. Each category has it's pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, only 1 type can be "the best." We put 2 hookahs of the same flavor side by side and smoked with both types of coals to compare the taste, clouds and overall performance of quick light coals vs. natural coconut coals.
Natural Hookah Charcoal
So what do we mean when we talk about "natural hookah coals?" There has been a growing trend over the last 10 years towards natural coconut hookah charcoal. No, it doesn't taste like coconut! The product is made from the left over coconut shells at coconut farms. The shells are processed into charcoal and compressed into briquettes. These coals have become the standard for so many hookah enthusiasts because they last longer and give off a clean heat that does not interfere with the shisha flavors. Depending on your preference, these coals are available in various sizes and shapes, including flat squares, cubes, large cubes and recently new circular shapes and wedges to accommodate HMD's like the Kaloud Lotus or Starbuzz Nar Head. Here are a few of our popular natural coals, but there are many good options to choose from in our hookah charcoal category.
- Buy in bulk for incredible savings
- Our best selling coal for lounges
- The charcoal of choice here at the office
- 100% natural coconut
- Wide variety of shapes and sizes
- Great bulk lounge cases
- Popular, well known brand among enthusiasts
- 100% natural coconut
- One of the first all natural, coconut coals
- Extremely well known name and brand
- Available in flat and cube shapes
Overall Natural Hookah Charcoal Outlook
Pros: Best flavor, longest life, and lower overall cost
Cons: Require a separate heating source, longer preparation time
[Side Note! for Natural Hookah Charcoal]
In order to properly light natural charcoal you will need a consistent source of heat. There are a few options when it comes to burners. You have the standard Single Coil Burner, the Fumari Coal Heater, and a few other options. If you operate a lounge, we'd highly recommend having a few on hand as they do go out over time. If you own a smoke shop that offers a selection of natural charcoal it is also wise to offer these burners to your customers who may not already have this sort of heating element available at home.
Quick Light Hookah Charcoal
Quick lighting, fast lighting or instant lighting charcoals as they are known, typically refer to hookah charcoals that come in a foil wrapped roll of 10 discs. These discs are infused with a chemical accelerant that lets hookah smokers ignite the charcoal tablets with a simple lighter. They will sparkle and begin to burn quickly and can be ready to smoke in under 1 minute. Quick light coals are generally sold in 33mm (small) and 40mm (large) sizes that give users some customization on heat level and longevity, but quick lite coals can be found in few other size variations. These coals are quick and convenient as their name implies, but they have some limitations in terms of burn time and varying degrees of flavor interference that range from brand to brand. We can say, however, that many cheaper brands of quick light coals were designed for use with incense cones and oil burners, and were repackaged for hookah use. We find that some brands can have a really intense chemical aftertaste. Yuck!
Three Kings Quick Light charcoal has been a leader for quick lighting hookah charcaol for decades. Each individual roll contains 10 pieces of charcoal, and each box of Three Kings comes in a count of 10 rolls. These coals can be easily ignited with a lighter making it faster to get your customers smoking right away! A lot of hookah smokers like quick lighting charcoal to smoke on their own because of how simple they are to use, making these an easy seller if you own a retail space! Available in both the 33mm and 40mm sizes the Three Kings hookah charcoal are a no brainer.
Another option for quick lighting hookah charcoal comes from Holland Charcoal. They come in your standard 33mm and 40mm sizes at the same ratio: 1 roll = 10 individual coals, 1 box = 10 individual rolls. That's 100 coals per box at an unbeatable price! Get your lighters out to get these started and take ease at how simple they are to use. Get more bowls on the floor quicker!
Since the Starbuzz Quick Light hookah charcoals came around they've been in battle for the top position for the leader in quick lighting coals. One noticable difference is they are just slightly larger than the standard 33mm size for their smallest size - the 35mm sweet spot! Starbuzz does offer the larger, 40mm size as well. Long lasting, easy to light, and a reputable name!? Time is money right? Starbuzz Quick Light charcoals save you both!
Overall Quick Light Hookah Charcoal Rundown
Pros: Easy and quick to light, and can be used anywhere
Cons: Shorter burn duration (more coal changes nessary), residual coal flavor interference
We Want to Know About Your Hookah Coal Experience
What are your thoughts about hookah charcoals and the pros and cons of natural coals and quick lights? If we left out any important information, please let us know in the comments below.