How To Choose Coconut Shell Charcoal Briquettes Factory for Shisha & Hookah
Table of Contents
Step by step guide on how to choose reliable and trusted manufacturer of shisha / hookah charcoal
There are many coconut shell charcoal briquettes factories who is manufacturing charcoal for shisha and hookah.
How to choose the right one, how to find the real factory, not just a trader? What to pay attention to while choosing a charcoal supplier. What to ask and what to check at the factory This and other questions will be answered in this article.
Trader or Factory
The first what you have to check is if you are dealing directly with factory or just a trader. More tips & tricks on how to check if you can find in this article.
Most of the traders claim that they are the factory, while they are just an intermediate. It is important to work directly with the factory if you want to get a good price and guaranteed quality.
Factories are less flexible in prices compare to traders. As traders can buy from different manufactures and get lower price by compromising the quality of charcoal. But on the other hand you are sure that the quality is stable and the according to the contract.
The second step is to know the real factory location. The size of coconut charcoal factory is huge. Factories have to keep raw material, production equipment, ovens and packing materials.
The minimum size of the factory is from 700 m2 to 5000 m2. Always check if the factory really exists. To do it – just ask your manager to send photos & videos of the factory.
Ask to write your name and date on the pice of paper and put it on the equipment. So you be sure that this photo is not just from Internet, but made specially for you.
Most of the coconut charcoal factories are located in Central Java, Indonesia. There are some factories in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. And just a couple of factories in Jakarta area. There are no real coconut charcoal factories in Bali (as per May 2020).
Why most of the charcoal factories are located in Central Java – the main reason is the level of salaries is less then in other part of Indonesia.
For example, in Jakarta worker will get twice bigger salary than in Central Java. That is why there are almost no factories in Jakarta area.
An example of the location of the coconut shell charcoal factory is by this link. (will open Google Maps in new tab).
Is it Trusted Factory
After you find out that you are dealing directly with the charcoal factory and not a trader and your factory is really exists – check if the charcoal factory is reliable and able to manufacture charcoal on a consistent basis.
So, how to check it: follow our step by step guide
Phone & website
Google the phone number and website of the factory. Do you see their phone number appear on other websites selling NOT a coconut charcoal? If yes – it is very strange, do not believe this factory.
Then phone number should be from Indonesia. Country code is +62. Be careful if country code is different. Mobile phone numbers starts with 8. So mobile number will look like +628. Others numbers are home/office phones.
Very simple, yet powerful method to check the factory is to find reviews. There are many platforms – provide real and verified reviews from the users. Check Google Review and Trust Review websites. If there is no review at all – very strange – do you work with real factory?
But on the other hand, please remember that most probably people will write review if something bad happand, not when they are just happy with the service. So if there is bad review – do not judge to high.
Photos & videos
One of the most important part to understand the quality of the factory. Pay your attention to the following:
How clean is the factory. For sure it should not be too shiny or clean. As we are manufacturing charcoal – and charcoal nature is black and dusty.
How workers are equipped – are they use masks or breath filters? Are they wearing corporate / branded uniform with logo or the name of the factory?
Can you see the stock pile of coconut shells? Zoom the image and try to read what is written on the charcoal packaging. Keep in mind that factory should not keep any wood. As the best charcoal is made from 100% coconut shells only.
How big is the factory. Average size of the charcoal factory is 1000 + sqm. So on video you have to see aproximtly the same size.
Google street view
Open Google maps and write your factory name or address. Than switch to the Google Street View – you will see the factory outside gates. Check if the access road is enough to carry big truck – trailer with 20″ or 40″ feet container.
One of the most important things to check – is factory equipment. If you factory have modern and automated machinery – you will get more stable product. So here are several parts that you have to check before ordering charcoal.
Before sending to you all charcoal briquettes have to be processed (dried) in ovens. It is a long and complicated process. Usually it takes up to 36 hours of drying and 8 to 12 hours of cooling down.
Please check how many ovens the factory operates. What is the size of the oven? Good oven size is 3 by 3 meters. The bigger oven cannot dry charcoal consistently. And small ovens will take to a long time to process your order.
Check if ovens are equipped with industrial fans. How many fans do they use? Airflow circulation is a crucial part of the drying process. You do not want to get partially dried charcoal.
Coconut shell charcoal drum is used to clean coconut shells from dust and other particles. You have to check the length of the drum. The good size is 6 to 8 meters.
For Super Premium types – charcoal factories have to operate at least 12 meters cleaning shell drum. If you see very short (less then 5 meters) drum – be careful – this factory cannot make good quality charcoal
The second step in charcoal manufacturing process is grinding. Check your supplier how many mesh sizes do they have. It should be at least 2 mesh sizes for good quality charcoal.
The charcoal mixer is a big vertical drum where charcoal is mixed with water and tapioca. The good size of the drum is between 100 and 300 kg.
If the drum is smaller then 100 kg – it will take too long to make your charcoal. If the drum is bigger then 300 kg – the quality of charcoal would not be consistent.
Check the quality of the drum. See if there is any rust on the inner side of the drum. If you found rust – go away and never order from this factory.
Even a small amount of rust can destroy the quality of charcoal and make shisha smokers grimaced.
After mixer – coconut shell charcoal entered to extruders hall. This is an area to condense and mix again the charcoal. The best charcoal factories – operate at least 3 extruders line.
Check if the extruders equipped with cooling fans. As it is important to keep the charcoal temperature down, to prevent self-ignition and cracks.
Cutting process is affects the edges and accuracy of charcoal cut. If you want to have sharp corners, straight walls of charcoal cubes – check the cutting process.
Good manufacturing practice for coconut charcoal shells is to use still steel 0.5 mm circle knives. Space should be more than 1000 circles per hour. Less than that make cuts uneven and not sharp.
Charcoal trays for oven
After charcoal cut – it is put on the trays. Best factories use metal trays. If your factory is “cutting corners” on prices – they will use wooden trays.
The most important to check the net on the tray. If it is straight and in good condition. If you find rust on it – be careful. No rust allowed on any metal parts. As it will mix with charcoal and influence the taste.
Packing space should be separate from the main production area. Charcoal production is very dusty. If the final product packing area is located to close to the production area – your boxes will be dirty and covered with black charcoal dust.
Packing areas need to be clean and with good air circulation to prevent your charcoal absorb smells.
Shell storage space
Coconut shells should be stored under the roof and protected from the rain or water. The best way to keep charcoal shells is to put it on pallets under the roof.
Check if it is only charcoal and no wood available. Wood charcoal is not allowed to mix with coconut charcoal as it makes the one very low quality.
The heart of the factory. Check this place very carefully. All quality control is done here. First of all – a laboratory should exist at the factory. Not just a corner, but a separate room with equipment.
Coconut shell charcoal laboratory has to contain moisture meter, weight scaleable to wight 1 mg – to measure the ash content. And the place for burning samples.
Charcoal samples storage
The accuracy of sample storage – is the symbol of accuracy at the factory. If you can see all charcoal samples storage with labels – it is good.
Samples storage should be huge. As from each sample, the charcoal factory has to keep at least 50 kg of samples for future tests.
The last but not the least – office. It is located inside of factory or outside. How many people are sitting there? Is it well organized or not.
How do they keep documents? Can they find documents fast and efficient? Do they have documents storage? Check all these items to make sure your factory is good.
Coconut charcoal Quality
After you check the factory and its equipment now is the time to check the quality of coconut shell charcoal by itself. The most important for shisha & hookah smokers are the following:
charcoal is free from smell and taste
charcoal is free from cracks and sparks
charcoal ash is a very small and light color
charcoal burns long and starts fast
So those was the most important specification that we have to keep.
First of all you can check the quality of charcoal by drawing with it on your hand. If charcoal briquette left the black dots or lines – most likely your charcoal is mixed with wood and of low quality.
This test helps you to understand the inner structure of the charcoal. Just drop your charcoal briquettes (without flame) on the floor and carefully listen for the sound.
It should have a thin and ringing sound. No, a clunk sounds. If your charcoal sound is thin – it is proof that briquette is hard enough.
More information you can see on this video:
The most commonly used test for charcoal. Burn your charcoal for 20 minutes, then drop it on the floor. Then count how many pcs of briquette broken.
To make the right drop test you have to burn your charcoal first then drop it every 20 or 30 minutes.
See the video:
Charcoal burning time is very important to enjoy good shisha. The average time (off shisha/standby) is from 1:20 to 2 hours. Just light up your charcoal and then put it to burn (do not forget to protect it from the wind and air blowing).
Most of the buyers are not asking about flame glowing. While it is a very important and crucial part of charcoal. Glowing should be orange to red in color and consistent during the all burning
No black spots or black areas are allowed in good charcoal. If your charcoal gets black spots – do not buy it, it is mixed with wood or dust.
The Ash color of coconut charcoal is usually grey to white. Some factories claim that they make super white natural charcoal – do not believe them. All super white charcoal uses chemicals to make it color bright.
The best is grey to white color without black or brown dots. Check the ash color for brown or green shades. It should be all in one tone.
Ash content is the main point to choose good quality charcoal. Less ash is better. The average Super-premium quality ash content is between 1.5 to 2%.
Good charcoal contains from 2 to 2.5 % of ash. All that is above is just average or less than average quality charcoal.
Be careful to measure charcoal ash content with the right moisture. Otherwise, you will get very different results every time.
Some factories intentionally increase moisture content, to reduce the ash value. The right moisture should be between 6 to 8 %. No more, no less. It is ideal for good and long burning.
If you have higher moisture – your test will show less ash content, while the actual ash can be very high. Ask your factory about moisture and testing methods.
Coconut Charcoal briquettes Pricing
The other way to check the quality is to compare prices for charcoal. If your price is very low – please think twice. As the production cost for charcoal is hight, the factory margin is low. So good quality charcoal cannot be sold with a price of less than 900 USD per ton.
Before you buy coconut shell charcoal – please check all steps to be sure in the quality of your supplier and quality of the product. Manufacturing of charcoal is not an easy process (even it seems very basic). There are a lot of hidden “stones” that can break your charcoal.
Please choose the right supplier and make sure your clients can enjoy shisha all day long.