Coconut charcoal has become the standard by which we judge all other charcoal and this is the brand that really started the movement. These coals were brought to the market in 2005 and were first introduced in Lebanon, but soon spread to the rest of the Middle East and was later brought to the USA. The high quality, consistent and chemical free coals quickly gained popularity and have been the forerunner in the current surge of coconut coals that is hitting the market.
A very popular brand of hookah charcoal, made from coconut shells; this charcoal uses no wood of any kind. The shape is a short square as opposed to the common disk shape found in quick light coals. These are natural coals and need a source of constant heat like a coil burner to light. They do not come in a quick light version.
Since Coconara is made from carbonized coconut shells, these charcoal blocks don’t require the cutting down of trees and they are much cleaner to work with because of the nature of the material. Have you ever handled charcoal only to have your hands look like those of a grizzled coal miner? That is not a problem with Coconara. The amount of charcoal dust that these put off is minimal an it does not stick to your hands easily. The packaging is solid. The box is bright, informative and well made. The charcoal is contained in a well sealed plastic bag inside to reduce mess and protect the charcoal from moisture.
These are natural style charcoals which means they need prolonged contact with high heat to light properly. A BIC lighter is not going to cut it. They take a little while to light up but patience is part of the hookah process. About 14 minutes on my gas range stove without any adjusting. About 10 if you flip them. You can use a coil burner, blow torch, campfire or any other similar heat source to start Coco Nara Charcoal.
They do not produce any terrible odors while lighting and I have never had them smoke while lighting either. They produce no off flavors in the smoke and don’t add harshness or give headaches like some low quality charcoal.
The heat they produce is a good level for hookah. I use two on most bowls and 3 on my vortex and small Tangiers funnel. 4 on my small Tangiers funnel if I am smoking something that takes a lot of heat but 3 usually does well. They last a long time too. I have had sessions that were still producing good smoke at a length of an hour and ten minutes.
Lastly, these charcoal blocks produce very little ash. They produce less ash as compared to original mass than any other charcoal I have used. It’s really great for an easy clean up or marathon sessions. If I use three full rounds of 4 charcoal of many other types my tray will be looking pretty full. Not as much with Coco Nara.
For a brief period in 2010 the shape of the coals was changed to that of a cube and the opinions were absolutely polar. Fans either loved or hated the change and CocoNara responded by returning their coals to the original shape and starting a second line known as CocoMazaya, which has the cube shape.
Coco Nara Pros
- Very clean flavor
- Low Carbon Monoxide
- Almost no coal dust
- No broken and unusable pieces
- Long Lasting
- No trees are cut down to make these charcoals
Coco Nara Cons
- A long lighting time
- They need an external heat source like a stove or coil burner to light
- High cost per box
- Reports of some batches failing to light or extinguishing themselves
Do your Coconara coals go out too soon? Here is a solution to Coconut coals going out soon.