Smoking A Pipe

Watch an experienced pipe smoker. He selects a pipe from his rack to fit his mood, for every pipe is unique. He checks the bowl to see if it is clean, makes certain there are no obstructions in the stem, then carefully fills the bowl with his favorite tobacco.

Our old pro places the tobacco in the bowl and presses it in properly, not too firmly, but just right. He lights up. After a couple of puffs he tamps the tobacco again and may have to relight it. He is then ready to relax and enjoy his pipe.

He puffs slowly and easily. He may relight his pipe from time to time and, before he finishes, can experience as much as an hour of smoking pleasure from a single pipeful. When he is through, he carefully knocks the ashes from the bowl and runs a pipe cleaner through the stem before placing the pipe back in its rack.

Pipe smoking requires certain equipment. First, of course, there is the pipe. Second, tobacco suitable to your taste. Then there are appurtenances ranging from cleaners to reamers, which your local tobacconists can tell you about. They will show you how they can help make your pipe a greater source of pleasure.

With the basic equipment in hand, the neophyte needs only a little patience to acquire the art of pipe smoking. There is nothing difficult about it if you keep this in mind. Don’t try to accomplish everything at once. The payoff in contentment, relaxation, and satisfaction is worth waiting for.

Just like a marathon runner needs to start slow and work up to the full distance, the same is true for a new pipe smoker. If you start with a quality briar pipe and a good, mild tobacco (like an Altadis brand, of course), you will have no difficulty. Begin with a little bit the first day and go slowly to learn all the incredible pleasures and nuances pipe smoking offers.

Here are a few tips:

  • Fill the bowl of a new pipe one-half to two-thirds full, using your finger to tamp each layer firmly, but without losing the feel of springiness in the tobacco.

  • Light the pipe evenly all around. Tamp the tobacco again and relight. Proper packing and occasional tamping will keep it lit.

  • Smoke the first few bowlfuls slowly. Allow your pipe to cool and dry between smokes.

  • Remove ashes by gently slapping the bowl on the palm of your hand. Hold it by the bowl, not the stem, and avoid striking your pipe against hard objects.

  • Keep your pipe clean and dry. Use a pipe cleaner occasionally.

  • Rest your pipe between smokes bowl down.

  • A good retail tobacconist can answer any questions you have about pipe smoking.

Although pipe smoking is an art, it is based upon science. A pipe bowl is simply a combustion chamber in which fuel is oxidized. The intensity of oxidation (burning) is governed by the kind of fuel and amount of air drawn through the flue (pipe stem). With a clean chamber, good fuel, and proper air supply, combustion will be complete and a maximum amount of energy released. In a pipe, pleasure, not energy, is the product. For the best results, you need the right combustion chamber (pipe) and high quality fuel tobacco like our Sutliff Private Stock line.