Patent application title: Charcoal for Hookah Tobacco
Randy Bahbah (Anaheim, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AC10L544FI
Class name: Fuel and related compositions coal treating process or product thereof
Publication date: 2011-12-29
Patent application number: 20110314729
One embodiment of the present disclosure is a piece of charcoal (also
referred to as a charcoal body) that has been formed to create an air
passageway on a lower surface. The air passageway may be formed as a
notch defining an angle therein. In another embodiment, a plurality of
feet are formed on the lower surface of the piece of charcoal.
1. A charcoal for use with a tobacco pipe comprising: a charcoal body
having an upper surface and a lower surface, and defining a height
between the upper and lower surfaces and a width orthogonal to the
height; wherein the lower surface is configured for placement on a bowl
of tobacco, and the lower surface is formed to have an angle that extends
across the width of the lower surface.
2. The charcoal of claim 1, wherein the angle is between 45 and 175 degrees.
3. The charcoal of claim 1, wherein the angle is approximately 127 degrees.
4. The charcoal of claim 1, wherein the angle is formed by first side and a second side.
5. The charcoal of claim 1, wherein the charcoal is configured to be placed on a bowl of tobacco such that the angle faces the bowl of tobacco.
6. The charcoal of claim 1, further comprising a second angle formed in the lower surface of the charcoal.
7. The charcoal of claim 1, further comprising a second angle formed in the upper surface of the charcoal.
8. A charcoal for use with a tobacco pipe comprising: a charcoal body having an upper surface and a lower surface, and defining a height between the upper and lower surfaces and a width orthogonal to the height; wherein the lower surface is configured for placement on a bowl of tobacco, and the lower surface is formed to have at least one notch that extends across the width of the lower surface.
9. The charcoal of claim 8, wherein the notch is an angle.
10. The charcoal of claim 9, wherein the angle is approximately 127 degrees.
11. The charcoal of claim 8, wherein the charcoal is configured to be placed on a bowl of tobacco such that the notch faces the bowl of tobacco.
12. The charcoal of claim 8, further comprising a second notch formed in the lower surface of the charcoal.
13. The charcoal of claim 8, further comprising a second notch formed in the upper surface of the charcoal.
14. The charcoal of claim 8, wherein a plurality of feet are formed on the lower surface of the surface of the charcoal body.
15. A charcoal body to be positioned on a flat substrate, the charcoal body comprising: an upper surface and a lower surface, the lower surface defining a contact surface area and a footprint that is greater than the contact surface area; wherein the charcoal body is formed to further define an air passageway.
16. The charcoal body of claim 15, wherein the lower surface defines a notch thereon.
17. The charcoal body of claim 16, wherein the notch is an angle.
18. The charcoal body of claim 15, wherein the contact surface area has a passageway defined therein.
19. The charcoal body of claim 15, wherein the charcoal is configured to be placed on a bowl of tobacco such that the contact surface area and at least a portion of the air passageway face the flat substrate.
20. The charcoal body of claim 15, wherein the charcoal is configured to be stackable.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
 The present invention relates to charcoal used in conjunction with a tobacco pipe, for example a hookah tobacco pipe. More particularly, the present invention relates to a piece of charcoal that includes an air passageway for keeping the charcoal hot.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
 The present disclosure relates to one or more of the following features, elements or combinations thereof. A piece of charcoal, i.e. a charcoal body is disclosed. The charcoal may be used with a tobacco pipe and may include an upper surface, and a lower surface. The illustrated charcoal defines a height between the upper and lower surfaces and a width that is orthogonal to the height.
 The lower surface may be placed on a bowl of tobacco. In the illustrated example, the lower surface is formed to have a notch, e.g. an angle, that extends across the width of the lower surface. The contemplated angle is between 45 and 175 degrees. As illustrated, the angle is approximately 127 degrees.
 The charcoal is placed on a bowl of tobacco such that the angle faces the bowl of tobacco. Additional angles may be formed on the lower surface and/or on the upper surface.
 In another embodiment, a charcoal body is disclosed. The charcoal body may have a plurality of feet on a lower surface so that the feet engage a substrate when the body is positioned on the substrate. In this embodiment, the feet may take on the shape of elongated rectangles.
 Additional features of the disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments exemplifying the best mode of carrying out the invention as presently perceived.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The detailed description particularly refers to the accompanying figures in which:
 FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the charcoal;
 FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the charcoal shown in FIG. 1;
 FIG. 3 is a bottom perspective view of the charcoal shown in FIGS. 1 and 2; and
 FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a charcoal.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 One embodiment of the present disclosure is shown in FIGS. 1-3 in the form of a piece of charcoal (also referred to as a charcoal body) 10. In the illustrative embodiment, charcoal 10 has been formed to create an air passageway on a lower surface 12 such that air can flow along at least one side of the charcoal.
 As shown in FIGS. 1-3, an notch 14 is formed on lower surface 12 of charcoal 10. Notch 14 is illustratively formed at an angle 16 in the range of 45-175 degrees. However, it is contemplated that other angles are within the scope of the invention. In the illustrative example, angle 16 is approximately 127 degrees.
 In the illustrated example, notch 14 is formed to have a first notch side 18 and a second notch side 20, both of which are positioned to create angle 16 therebetween. Notch 14 may extend across the entire lower surface 12, from first charcoal side 22 to second charcoal side 24. In the illustrated example, such a configuration can lend to two "feet" 26, 28 that are substantially rectangular on their lower planar surfaces 30, 32.
 However, it is contemplated that other arrangements are within the scope of the disclosure. For example, charcoal 10 may have a plurality of notches or the notch 14 may be formed in a variety of ways, maintaining the goal of providing a passageway for air on lower surface 12. Charcoal 10 may also have a notch on a plurality of surfaces, rather than just a lower surface. For example, charcoal 10 may have a notch on upper surface 34.
 The following paragraphs are meant to describe the use of charcoal in a traditional hookah (aka "shisha") tobacco pipe. However, it should be understood that the presently disclosed charcoal 10 may be used in other applications, particularly where it is desired that the charcoal rest on a flat surface or substrate.
 A traditional hookah tobacco pipe will hold tobacco in the ceramic bowl at the top of the hookah tobacco pipe. It is customary to cover the ceramic bowl and tobacco with punctured aluminum foil or some other type of screen. A piece of heated or burning charcoal is then placed on top of the aluminum or screen so as to heat the tobacco, thereby causing the tobacco to smoke. The charcoal will have a lower surface that rests on top of the aluminum/screen, and such surface will direct the largest amount of heat to the tobacco adjoining the aluminum/screen, resulting in the desired smoke.
 When using traditional charcoal, the charcoal is preheated before placement on top of the aluminum/screen, and typically requires reheating or replacement with fresh charcoals every few minutes in order to maintain smoke from the tobacco pipe. This is because the charcoal loses its heat over time, since it is no longer adjacent to a heat source and has no way to maintain the heat by itself. In order to prolong the heat-producing period of time for a piece of charcoal, users will commonly flip over the charcoal repeatedly, thereby exposing the lower surface to air and (hopefully) rekindling the heating effect.
 One additional problem encountered by this method is the scorching of the hookah tobacco that can occur when the heated charcoal is first placed on the aluminum/screen. At this point, when the charcoal is at its hottest, the tobacco is at risk for being overheated and therefore scorched, leading to a less desirable taste.
 Some attempts have been made to incorporate additives into the charcoal to prolong the heating effect of the charcoal. However, such additives may drift into the inhaled smoke, thereby altering the flavor of the hookah tobacco. Moreover, additional harmful chemicals may be added to the stream of smoke.
 The present invention overcomes these problems by providing a structural solution to the problem. Charcoal 10 illustratively incorporates a passageway for air on lower surface 12, thereby allowing charcoal 10 to hold a higher temperature on its lower surface for a longer period of time. It is well understood that charcoals and fires require air. Notch 14 provides the required pathway for air to pass over lower surface 12 while charcoal 10 is being used. In particular, each time a user breathes in through the hookah pipe, air will be pulled through the passageway, thereby feeding lower surface 12 with heat-maintaining air.
 The disclosed charcoal 10 also provides the advantage of distancing the hottest part of the charcoal from the aluminum/screen and the immediately underlying tobacco. Many hookah tobacco smokers are aware of the scorching that can occur when hot charcoals are placed too close to the hookah tobacco. See, for example, this discussion, in which the author suggests a second layer of aluminum to prevent scorching: http://3rdkindgfx.awardspace.com/archives/hookah-3/. The present invention overcomes such a problem by providing a charcoal 10 having an active portion--for example the part defined by the notch 14 (and fed by the passing air)--that is distanced slightly from the aluminum/screen, and therefore also distanced from the tobacco.
 It is contemplated that the disclosed charcoal 10 may be configured to be stackable, such that the lower surface 12 mates with an adjoining upper surface of another piece of charcoal. This can be accomplished by forming an angled upper surface 34 of the charcoal that is positioned to fit inside the notch 14 on lower surface 12.
 Alternatively, charcoal 10 may be configured in any number of sizes or shapes that provide the advantages discussed herein. For example, charcoal 10 may be formed in the shape of an elongated donut, shown in FIG. 4. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, a core 36 may be formed in charcoal 10, thereby permitting the passage of air through charcoal 10 and providing the advantages discussed herein.
 In still other embodiments (not shown), charcoal 10 may be formed in the shape of an X, a semi-circle, or any other shape that defines a particular foot print. In such embodiments, charcoal 10 is formed in a way that permits a flow of air to pass by the charcoal, yet minimizes the contact surface area of the charcoal, wherein the contact surface area is defined as the surface that touches the aluminum/screen immediately under the charcoal. In the described embodiments, the contact surface area may be significantly less than the overall dimensions, or footprint, of the lower portion of the charcoal. As noted above, this provides the advantage of a distancing potentially scorching portions of the charcoal from the underlying tobacco, as well as the advantage of providing additional ventilation to the charcoal.
 While the disclosure is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific exemplary embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and have herein been described in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intent to limit the disclosure to the particular forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the disclosure as defined by the appended claims.
 A plurality of advantages arises from the various features of the present disclosure. It will be noted that alternative embodiments of various components of the disclosure may not include all of the features described yet still benefit from at least some of the advantages of such features. Those of ordinary skill in the art may readily devise their own implementations of a piece of charcoal that incorporate one or more of the features of the present disclosure and fall within the spirit and scope of the claims below.
Patent applications in class COAL TREATING PROCESS OR PRODUCT THEREOF
Patent applications in all subclasses COAL TREATING PROCESS OR PRODUCT THEREOF