The Art of Shisha

I, like a lot of others, am a big “shishaholic” and could smoke a shisha everyday if time and health allowed it. Unfortunately, after hunting down all possible shisha joints in Qatar, it was impossible to find just one that would completely satisfy me. Most places serve horrible shisha, some are decent and few are priced as if I was smoking gold; but the truth is, none of them here in Qatar are worth the pleasure or price.


Therefore, I decided to educate and teach people through this post how to make your own homemade shisha of superior quality to enjoy with friends. There are many tips and tricks one can pull out of their sleeves but lets just call this the Special Foodsheikhers’ Shisha.

The trick to a good shisha is following all steps correctly with patience; if any of these steps are skipped, it will not work as intended.

  1. Buying the Correct Shisha

It is recommended to go for a classic Egyptian made shisha that is not too fancy, and not too large. A medium sized, hard glassed, classic design shisha should be your pick (avoid Chinese made ones). These can be found very easily at a Shisha store or at Souq Waqif.


P.S. – I always buy a thin pencil pipe, a tall brush that cleans the shisha and a very large clay head to put the flavour in.

  1. Choosing the quality of the charcoal

The best charcoal to use is the original one without any chemicals, but I know this can take forever to light up and it’s quite a hassle (unless you are doing a barbecue anyways). A decent alternative is a round magic coal with no additional flavour or essence (especially not coconut).


  1. Choosing the right flavors

Always buy a “wet flavour” with molasses for a better shisha experience. My all time favourite flavours are the Paan Raas by Afzal and the Blue Mist by Starbuzz (try your best to get these). You may also use Al Fakher as a popular alternative.


  1. Clean the shisha with dishwashing soap and hot water using the long brush to clean the stem.


  1. Once the shisha is clean, put the stem piece, pipe hose and glass base (optional) of the shisha in the fridge for at least half an hour till its extremely cold.


  1. Separate the molasses flavor into strands on your finger tips and gently place them on the clay head until its 90 percent full (Make sure the flavor is not completely mashed and that there is space for the smoke to go through the tobacco)


  1. Cover the whole head very tightly with aluminum foil (keep the shiny side of the foil on the inside) and take a safety pin and create very small holes all across the aluminum foil in a circular motion (Do not make large holes with another utensil or else the ashes of the coal will destroy your flavour).



  1. Once your shisha head is ready, remove the glass base from the freezer, fill it with 10 – 15 cubes of ice and use cold water to fill it up. Fill up the water till the bottom part of the stem is 2 inches in the water; you may also test the shisha without the head to see if the water doesn’t run up the pipe hose (its important to fill the right quantity of water and you may get better at this with practice).


  1. Add half a cup of cold milk in the glass base to dilute the water (this is a trick to keep your shisha smooth, smokey and yet effective). Note, you may have heard of others adding additional elements with the water base, but for us, milk works best.


  1. Make sure the base is tightly secured to the stem and the same from the stem to the pipe hose & clay head.


  1. Light 2-3 magic coals over the stove and gently heat the flavour with it moving the heat around the clay head. Place the coal on the corners and avoid the middle.






  1. Interesting article. But you don’t seem to have tried all the shisha places in town ;). Let me know if you keen on trying some of the good ones in town worth the time and pleasure.

    Tip: I would avoid the magic coal although it takes shorter time but kills the taste quickly and also from keeping the pipes in the refrigerator regularly as this may break the pipes or harden the tar deposits if using the leather pipe.

    Also give Mazaya Shisha tobacco a try which is easily found in Grand Joud, behind the Radisson Blu hotel. It’s a shisha heaven, if you haven’t been yet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you on your feedback Khan. Yes, I agree on the Magic coal (only put it there because it’s easy for beginners)

      Good tip on the hose!
      I have tried Grand Joud, but they don’t have a lot of flavor verities espically the ones I enjoy

      But I’ll give it another shot 👍🏼 let’s catch up for a smoke one of these days



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