Posted on 2nd Jul 2021
There is something quite unique about smoking a tobacco pipe, whether it is a contemplative moment by yourself or a long conversation with friends.
Pipe smoking is a wonderful way to switch off and unwind, so whether you are trying it for the first or hundredth time, there is a pleasure in preparing your bowl and sitting back for a long draw.
If you are looking for some advice for the perfect smoke, check out five tips from GQ Tobaccos below.
1. Keep Your Pipes Clean - There is plenty of debate about the benefits of pipe rotation, with the argument being - should you allow your pipe to rest and dry after use? You will need a number of pipes for this to happen. Alternatively, many veteran pipe smokers will only use tobacco pipe.
Regardless of your take on rotating tobacco pipes; the fact is you need to clean your pipe to experience a good, consistent smoke. Getting into the routine of using a pipe cleaner once you have finished and the pipe has cooled, will ensure your next bowl tastes fresh.
2. Find the perfect tobacco - If you start to experience too much 'bite' while pipe smoking, try using a different blend could make your smoke more enjoyable.
There are plenty of different pipe tobacco on the market, such as aromatics and non-aromatics. The major difference to consider is the blend, as most pipe tobacco features either burley or Virginia tobacco, or a chosen combination. Burley has a more mild flavour, while Virginia can be sweet and sharp.
There is also cavendish tobacco, which can lead to lighter versions of burley or Virginia. We recommend experimenting with different blends until you find the best tobacco for you.
3. Pack the tobacco right - Another crucial part of pipe smoking is knowing how to pack your tobacco. The tried and trusted method of packing your pipe is known as the three-pack method. Firstly, fill the bottom half of your bowl and part of the chamber with tobacco and lightly press it down. Second, fill the bowl to the top and press it down a little more firmly until it is three-quarters full. Finally, fill the bowl again and press down to create a gap between the top of the bowl and the tobacco.
Mastering packing goes a long way to ensuring your tobacco is evenly lit and smoked throughout your pipe.
4. Master lighting - There are plenty of opinions on the best way to light a pipe and the type of instrument to use. Generally, you should use a wooden match or a specific pipe lighter. The most important factor is ensuring the tobacco is evenly lit before you start smoking, which can be achieved by drawing a circular motion with the flame.
Once you have packed your tobacco ideally and smoked at a relaxed rate, you will not need to relight your pipe. If you notice the pipe becomes too hot to handle, this could be a sign the tobacco is being overheated, which impacts on its flavour. If this happens, let the heat go out and relight.
5. Set the mood - Pipe smoking is as much about the setting as it is the smoke, with ambience playing a notable role in how much you enjoy your pipe.
The most important part of pipe smoking is taking your time, making sure you relax and enjoy your pipe. This time allows you to prepare properly and smoke slowly, preventing the tobacco from overheating. Conclusively, the more you enjoy your setting, the more you will enjoy pipe smoking.