Re: Hookah tastes like coal..
What type of coals are you using?
If they are natural coals, make sure to leave them on the stove/burner until they are completely ashed over. After that happens you should be good to go.
Pretty much the same thing with the quicklights. Make sure all of the coal has sparked through, then blow on it to get rid of any black left over. Once it is completely red-hot then its ready to use.
Hope this helps, and happy smoking!