Stupid coal problems, Al Fakher Lemonwood
Okay so I want to stop using quick lights cause I have discovered they make me really sick. I have acide reflux so I always thought I got sick from smoking hookah cause of all the smoke but after using natural coals I feel fine. The problem is natural coals are really hard to come by here in Seattle, which is strange. I have only found non-quicklight coals in one shop and so my option is pretty much either Al Fakher Lemonwood or Japanese Easy Lights. I bought the AF lemonewood and they make really nice smoke. However they are almost impossible to light and heat management is a problem with them too.
I don't have a coil burner but I tourched them with a propane/butane mix burner for quite some time. The propane/butane mix is quite volatile and made a huge and extremely hot tourch. Even with that they took about 20 min to really get going. AF lemonwood coals are all different sizes and shapes some so big you have to smash them with a rock. The weird shapes make heat up a pain. I know coil burners a recomende but I don't see how that would work any better when direct heat with a tourch/stove didn't even work.
And then managing the heat is really hard due to the weird shapes. When heres not a lot of surface area touching the bowl the shisha is too cold but when theres a lot its too hot. Basically the varying shapes and sizes produce inconsistent smoking sessions.
And then they don't last long either by the time they are lit all the way through they have already dissolved into very small pieces and don't last long. Even when going out they still have black on them. They seem to be no different than natural BBQ charcoal. Its a shame cause they would be awesome if they weren't so hard to get set up right and were more consistent.
So I'm thinking about getting the Japanese Easy Lights. I think they are the chinese knock offs though. They are about the same price and seem like they would be better cause they are all perfect sized cubes. Heating would go easier again cause they have nice big flat surfaces. And it would make figuring out how many to put on the hookah much easier.
I'm just concerned they may produce a bad taste due to the silve on them. The lemonwood really does make the shisha taste amazing. A lot of people have said they would rather go with the lemonwood and that the easy lights don't last long. But then all the reviews said they actually last a long time. So it would be very helpful if I could get some advice. I'm pissed cause I also bought the electronic coal thing that doesn't work too well so that makes to things I've bougth from this shop that don't seem to be very good. Thanks an advanced for any input, and sorry for the book. =)