Let’s talk about all of the things that you EVER complain about with hookah smoking. Here is my list:
- Coals falling on the floor! Arghhh! My worst nightmare. Especially since I smoke over or near my prized Persian rug.
- Harsh smoke. Nothing worse than hitting the hose and coughing up a storm because the shisha was on fire.
- Coal Management. While I sometimes enjoy the fine-tuning of my charcoals for the optimum session, it is actually quite tedious. Ashing off my old coals every 5-10 minutes is a nuisance and I usually don’t trust my friends to do this 🙂 More importantly, if I’m entertaining friends, I don’t want to be doing this in lieu of enjoying their company.
- Wrapping the bowl. Ok, I actually enjoy the art of wrapping a tight bowl and poking perfectly placed holes. You true hookah aficionados out there understand what I’m talking about. But foil is wasteful and this takes time. Time I could be enjoying hookah 🙂
- Coals don’t last long enough. One would think there is nothing that could be done here to improve this… or is there?
The Khaloud Lotus is a brand new device on the market that addresses all of my top 5 issues or complaints with hookah smoking. Yes, you read that correctly. All of them. It seemed too good to be true as there are many gimmicky items coming on the market these days. However, after watching HookahJohn’s video (http://www.hookahjohn.com/Kaloud-Lotus-KL.htm), I picked one up. By the way, I spoke to John for the first time after ordering this (he actually called to discuss my order). He’s a great guy and I’ll be ordering more from him in the future.
The Khaloud Lotus is essentially a bowl for your charcoal that also serves as a replacement for your foil-cover while also utilizing an ingenious air-ventilation system. Let’s start with the appearance. The device comes in a case fit for a Rolex watch. I’d personally like to save a few bucks on their flashy packaging of the 50 dollar device but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t hear a choir of angels singing when I first saw and opened the case 🙂 The device itself appears to be made of high quality metal and machined professionally.
Next, the charcoal. I have been using three coco-wides and with some fiddling, can get all three coals to fit inside. The Lotus somehow increases my coal length by 25-50%. I was able to get over an hour with my 3 coco’s last night. Normally it’s about 45 minutes. More importantly, I didn’t ash the coals a single time during that session. If you do want to rejuvenate the coals a little, you can take the cover off and poke the coals around till the ash falls off.
The Lotus device itself sits snuggly on your bowl and is very stable. I’ve tried this on my Crown v3, my Tangiers phunnel and two different Alien phunnels and they all fit very nicely. Heat management is easy with the clever little lid on the Lotus. It has air vents that you can easily open or shut depending on what your needs are. The handle is made with a heat-resistant rubber. Be careful though. The rubber isn’t enough to stop the handle from getting very hot. I’d love to see some mod-ideas on how to improve the handle after-market. Another idea I have is to set of tongs that can somehow easily remove the Lotus from my bowl when it is hot. Say, if I want to swap a new bowl on and put the Lotus right back on. For now, oven mitts will have to suffice 🙂
My tips for setup. If you pack your bowl too high and the shisha comes into contact with the device, the shisha will cake onto the bottom of the device which seems to degrade the session quality slightly and make cleaning the baked-on shisha a pain in the ass. Experiment with different levels with different shishas to find out what works for you. When I got the device, my first bowl was some Tangiers Cane Mint (Thank you, Hookah John) and I packed it low enough that I had no shisa contacting the bottom of my bowl (which is lower than you normally are told to pack Tangiers). It was one of the best sessions of my life.
A lot of the ingenuity of a device like this is that the heat is more evenly distributed across the entire surface area of your shisha. If you think about how coals sit on your foil, they are always going to heat certain areas too much and probably heat the areas they aren’t touching less than you want. Foil doesn’t spread the heat around as well as the thicker metal of the Lotus. A possible tradeoff that you might anticipate might be that the Lotus takes much longer to heat up. My first session with it and it was producing huge clouds on the third pull. So this is a non-issue.
I picked up the lotus for 49.99 off HJ’s website. I haven’t yet it seen it much cheaper, however, for the improvements it will make to your session and the money you will save on foil, it is a must-buy. My roommate and I have dubbed this the greatest hookah invention of our lifetime.