Quality of CH coals?
First of all, I want to say that I respect John as a vendor and an individual. I admire his dedication to this community and I would never, ever want to harm his business or his reputation.
I've always considered ******* Hookah coals to be a cheap, decent alternative to the big players (CCN, Exotica, etc). In other words, they are a good choice for those who want the most amount for what they pay.
For the last 6 months or so, they've treated me relatively well. Sure, they smell a bit weird and smoke a little when they light up, and they ash quite a bit more than other coconut coals. But they've done the job fine and I'm overall satisfied with them.
However I've been having some issues with CH naturals lately. I don't know if it's the humidity here or something, but they have tended to crumble and break down easily. Earlier this evening, I took three CH coals out of a new, untouched box that I ordered from John himself a couple of months ago.
I lit the coals on a single coil burner and started smoking. Everything was fine and dandy until I took one of the coals off the bowl with a pair of Syrian bird tongs and the coal fell apart, breaking into three large pieces and dozens of small burning rocks that fell everywhere on the floor, on my legs (no harm done) and on the table the hookah was on.
I managed to extinguish every last bit of coal with a bottle of water that I had nearby and spent the next 10 minutes washing the water and dirt off the floor. Needless to say, this incident put a definite halt to my session.
Now, I wouldn't worry if this was the first time it happened. But tonight was the fourth time I was experiencing this and I must say I'm fed up with it. I'm not applying excessive force with the tongs and I've never heard of coals breaking down like sand mid-session.
I'm asking you all, good people of HP, to enlighten me on this issue. Has it happened to someone else? Did I get a bad batch of coals? Is it because of the change in ambient moisture between Cali and Montreal? I'd love to hear your answers.