Ok so a few days ago I decided to give these “smoke-able stones” a try. Ever since they came out I’ve been wanting to try them out so I finally gave in. They retail for around $15 a jar, so they can be pretty pricey, but if you want a tobaccoless shisha, then obviously the cost isn’t bad. These are stones that are injected with, and soaked in, the flavor and molasses that tobacco based shisha consists of. Hydro Vapor Stones are made by the same people who make the “Hydro Herbal” line of tobacco free shisha (which I completely hated.) So needless to say I was anxious to try it out. The following is my raw hydro vapor stones review.
Before we get started
- This does NOT produce smoke; it’s vapor. Similar to how e-cigarettes work.
- You MUST use either a vortex bowl or a phunnel bowl.
- You MUST have a wind cover.
- Natural charcoal is almost a must. I recommend using Coco Nara coals (which is what I always use) because quick lights alter the taste too much from all the chemicals involved in its production.
Now the reason it’s necessary to use a vortex or phunnel bowl is because using a normal bowl, with the holes at the bottom, will simply just let the molasses drain down into the base of the hookah, rendering the Hydro Vapor Stones completely useless because there will be nothing for the coals to evaporate.
Packing the bowl
Pack is just as you would any other bowl, filling it but leaving room so that the foil won’t come in contact with the stones or molasses while you’re smoking
Ok here’s the tricky part (and why having a wind cover is essential.) I use 3 strategically placed Coco Nara’s no matter what I’m smoking. When smoking tobacco based shisha after a few hits of the hookah it gets going. Well that’s not the case of the Hydro Vapor Stones. For about 5 minutes I puffed and puffed and puffed and got damn near nothing. This is where the wind cover comes in; after putting the wind cover on (which traps more heat in, allowing the molasses to evaporate creating “smoke”) it only took another few minutes to get started. So I’d say if I put the wind cover on from the get go, it would’ve taken about 5 minutes to get started, which can potentially be a downfall. However, once it got started, it REALLY got started. I pulled more vapor(since it isn’t smoke) than I do smoke with traditional tobacco, but it’s absolutely NO SUBSTITUTE for traditional shisha. The taste was ok. Much better than I expected, so I’ve got to give them that. I’d give the taste a 5 out of 10.
I think I could’ve easily put 3 more Coco Nara’s on it after the initial ones died out and gone another hour with no problem. But after the initial trio of coals went out, I was done and opted to not throw more on. But I was pleasantly surprised. Will I buy them again? Probably not. But that’s not because it wasn’t good, I just prefer real tobacco shisha. It’s a great product for people who DON’T want to smoke tobacco, but still like the idea of sitting around a table with friends and smoking hookah.It’s a great alternative to tobacco, but it’s NOT a replacement for it. But I say everyone should try it. Never know how much you like it without trying it first. I think once they start making more exotic flavors (since they only have basic flavors like strawberry, double apple, orange, etc) it will catch on more.