A pipe used for pipe smoking acts just like a filter – it disperses the heat and absorbs the moisture. The pipe will absorb flavors from the tobacco, as well as add to the tobacco flavor.
The tobaccos available for pipe smoking vary greatly. Aromatic tobacco blends are quite moist, therefore they require more heat to burn. A non-aromatic tobacco blend will burn much cooler because is it much drier.
Packing Your Pipe
“Tongue bite” is a tongue irritation that occurs if your pipe has been packed too soft or too tight. There are only three basic steps for packing the perfect pipe:
1. Gently sprinkle (don’t pinch and pack) tobacco into the pipe bowl, filling the pipe to the brim. Then, press the tobacco down so that the bowl is now half-full.
2. Gently sprinkle more tobacco into the bowl, up to the brim again. Press the tobacco down again, so that the bowl is now 3/4 full.
3. Fill the pipe to the brim again, then sprinkle more tobacco on top, creating a small mound that rises above the brim. To finish, press down, making the tobacco flat across the brim.
Lighting Your Pipe
Take care not to burn the bowl rim when lighting your pipe. The tobacco should be lit slowly, and in a circular motion, until the top layer is glowing gently. After taking a few light puffs of the pipe, the tobacco will rise slightly. You should pack the pipe flat again, then relight.
Smoking Your Pipe
A well-packed pipe will smoke soft and cool. To smoke a pipe properly, take regular shallow puffs. Drawing too hard or fast on the pipe will make the tobacco burn too hot. This will ruin the pipe, not to mention the taste of the tobacco.
Tamping Your Pipe
Your pipe will need to be tamped occasionally, to ensure that the lower layers are properly lit. The unburnt tobacco should be encouraged to smolder, by pushing the burning ashes down very gently. Pushing too hard will put the pipe out.
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