What Does A Hookah Consist Of? | Parts Of Hookah

Author : Smoke Fun | Published On : 02 Oct 2021

One of the most common questions of people who are not into the hookah industry is "what is a hookah?" Unfortunately, due to the varying vocabulary for hookahs in different parts of the world, some people may use the word "shisha" when referring to a "hookah" or vice-versa. Here we will discuss a hookah diving system and some of the most commonly used terms. Thus, you now have a crash course about various parts of hookah at your disposal. 

The knowledge we provide you with will help you make a good decision when purchasing your first hookah diving system. 

Let us begin!

parts of hookah

History Of Hookah Diving System

The first known hookah dates back to the 1560s, and there are two theories to its origins. 

Most of the resources available on the web point to Persian physician Hakim Abu'l-Fath Gilani as the inventor of the hookah following the introduction of tobacco to Persia and India by Europeans. Hakim Abu'l-Fath Gilani thought that filtering or "purifying" tobacco smoke through water would reduce health risks compared to smoking dry tobacco and subsequently devised the first hookah pipe. 

Other theories are available on the web that mentions that hookah's origin was made by the Safavid dynasty of Persia sometime between 1501 - 1722. Eventually, the hookah spread east into India, becoming an excellent means of entertainment. 

What Is A Hookah?

The most basic definition of hookah is a water pipe designed to be used for smoking shisha tobacco. While smoking through a hookah diving system, the smoke itself is generated at the top of your hookah in the hookah bowl. It then passes down through the hookah stem into the base. Here, it is filtered through the water and then passes back up through the hose you inhale. 

There are various shisha flavors you would get to smoke during your hookah session. The hookah has a long and storied history across the globe. There are many different types of hookahs. While hookahs may have varying appearances depending on the country of origin, the basic parts of hookah would be the same. 

What Is Smoked Out Of A Hookah?

Hookahs are designed for a particular type of tobacco called "shisha" or "shisha tobacco. It is a form of flavored pipe tobacco blended with honey or molasses, glycerin, and flavoring. When smoked out of a hookah pipe, it creates thick clouds of smoke that are very flavorful. A special type of charcoal known as "hookah charcoal" is used to heat the flavored tobacco mixture. It doesn't burn the tobacco leaves exactly. Instead, these coals "cook" or vaporize the liquid components of the mixture to create the clouds of smoke and flavor that are distinctive of hookah smoking. 

Parts Of Hookah

Let us start from the top and work our way down in understanding various parts of hookah. These are the basic parts of any hookah diving system. 

> Hookah Bowl

The "bowl" of the hookah is typically made from clay or ceramic. It sits at the top of your hookah, and this will be the part that holds your shisha tobacco. Once the tobacco has been loaded into the hookah bowl, aluminum foil is added. After that, the charcoal is added on top of the foil to heat the tobacco. 

> Charcoal Tray

The "tray" or "plate" is a metal disc that sits on your hookah stem just below your bowl. This piece catches the excess ash from the charcoal on your bowl. It is also an excellent place to keep the extra charcoal that are added or removed from your bowl. 

> Hookah Stem

The "stem" of the hookah is the metal section of the hookah that all your other shisha components will connect to. There is a metal tube at the bottom of the stem that sits down into the water in your hookah base. This is known as the "downstem." With handmade hookahs, this piece is often welded to the upper part of the stem. With many machine-made hookahs, the downstem is a threaded piece that can be screwed on or off the stem's upper portion. The shaft will also have two significant pieces attached to the sides of it as well. 

Different Parts Of The Hookah Stem

There are a lot of different parts which need to be attached to the hookah stem. These are as follows:

> Hose Adapter

The "hose adapter" or "hose port" is an open cylindrical or cone-shaped piece attached to your hookah hose. Depending on the model of hookah diving system, the hose adapter may either be welded directly onto the stem, or it may be a threaded piece that can be screwed on or off of the stem.

> Check Valve

This is the most missed out part of hookah. The "purge valve" or "check valve" is a convenient little device. This valve has a threaded cap that screws on or off the hookah and will have a ball bearing inside it, sealing a small hole in the hookah diving system. When inhaling, the ball bearing is forced down, which creates an air-tight seal that allows for a full draw from the hookah. When exhaling into your hose, the ball bearing is lifted up, allowing the smoke in your hookah base to get removed from the hookah. This is pretty useful for clearing out any hot or stale smoke in your hookah base. 

> Hookah Hose

The hookah hose is the part of the hookah that you will inhale when smoking. When you inhale on the hose, the air is drawn into the top of the hookah. This causes the smoke to be drawn down through the stem, into the base's water, and then back up through your hose. There are many different styles of hoses available. Traditional hoses are typically made from leather. On the other hand, modern hookah hoses are usually made from silicone. 

> Hookah Base

The hookah base is the bottom portion of your hookah setup. It is the piece that holds the water which filters the smoke passing through it. Typically this piece is made of glass, although there are hookah bases made from plastic as well.

hookah diving system

How To Clean Parts Of Hookah?

After your smoking session, you must clean your hookah diving system. This will ensure that you have a great time the next time you have a hookah session. 

Equipment Needed

> Water

> Baking soda

> Base and stem cleaner brushes

> Lemon juice


  1. Perform the cleaning procedure only after the hookah is completely cooled down.
  2. Clean the hose by rinsing it with water.
  3. Take apart the various parts of hookah, including the stem, plate, grommets, and head
  4. Throw the used tobacco from the head and remove the ashes from the plate.
  5. Open the stem from the base and throw out the water.
  6. Make sure to wash the bowl, grommets, plate, and relief valve with hot water.
  7. Allow warm water to run down from one end of the stem to remove any loose particles.
  8. Plug one end of the stem with the help of your finger. Put a few tablespoons of lemon juice inside the stem. Scrub the inside of the stem using the stem brush. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda to the lemon juice mixture and continue scrubbing. 
  9. Clean the base properly by rinsing it with hot water. Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it nicely and then scrub with a vase brush. Finally, rinse it with hot water.

Ending Note

We suppose that now you have a clear idea of various parts of hookah. Ensure that you follow the steps appropriately to ensure that your smoking session isn't hampered in any way. 

Happy Smoking!