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Guest Genie

Stargate Natural Finger Charcoal

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Guest Genie

General comments:

I didn't think any coals could replace my beloved Shishaco coals as my number one charcoal, but these are awesome! I will definitely buy them again. And they burn so clean! As clean as, if not cleaner than, the natural coconut coals I usually use. I'm only sorry that they are (most likely) made from wood instead of bamboo or coconut shells.

What's in them:

No idea. I assume they are made from wood, but the bag doesn't say. The bag doesn't say much about them except that they're made in China.

Size:

These are hefty coal logs measuring just under 5" in length and just under 3/4" in diameter. They're very uniform in size. Mine came in a 1kg. bag. They are packaged in a sealed ziplock bag inside a sturdy paper gift style bag with rope handles.

Ease and time of Lighting:

They lit so fast! I was able to flip them after five minutes and the other side was heated and ready to go in two. After heating they split fairly easily but with a bit of crumbling. No big deal.

They're a bit messy to work with because you have to break them with your hands before heating the chunks which may require further splitting after heating. I was unable to break them into small enough chunks not to have to split them after heating.

Duration:

They last longer than the natural coconut coals I have preferred to use in the past. I got an hour of good heat out of four chunks of Stargate coals.

Ash:

I love the way these ash. No fine powder, just large flakes (almost chunks) of ash that don't spray all over the place when you blow off the top of your bowl to clear it. When I finished the hookah session with these, I didn't have to wipe up ash from the floor like I usually do. It was nice. Also, there was only the tiniest amount of ash that fell through the foil into the shisha bowl. I had to look twice to see any at all.

Danger factor:

I've never used finger coals before and I worried that they would roll a lot but they didn't. While heating I did have to take an extra second or two to make sure they were stable on the electric coil, but they didn't move after I had them stabilized. One chunk sparked when I split it, but there was no other sparking. Moving the coals around on the bowl didn't produce any sparks or coal explosions.

Splitting them:

Once heated, very easy but with some minor crumbling. Other than breaking them into chunks, I didn't try cutting them while they were still cold.

Taste:

No taste and no smell. They burned exceptionally cleanly and seemed to be an even cleaner burn than Shishaco or Coconaras.

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Guest Genie

One finger (log, really) of Stargate is big enough to make four perfectly sized coals. Splitting them after heating can cause them to crumble. Breaking them into four chunks by hand is difficult, easier to break them into three. However, I have learned to score them prior to heating, they snap easily where they've been scored and I can snap them into four chunks that I find much easier to work with

To heat them, I finally learned to lay them between the electric coals instead of across them, they light just as quickly if not faster this way. They will roll around on the bowl and can be difficult to get them to stay put on the bowl, I learned to make a bit of a lip with the foil on the bowl to keep them from rolling off, at least. They have a tendency to want to roll towards the center of the bowl now if I'm not careful how I put the foil on the bowl. After they've been burning for a little while, it's easier to get them to stay put as they don't stay so perfectly round.

So there's a bit of fussing involved, but they are worth it for the quality of the smoke.

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