Written by Puff Staff

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

User Rating: / 51

dr grabow pipesparker pipes
tobacco tips and tricks

Compared to smoking a cigar, smoking a pipe was a lot of work. Cigars need to be stored at the correct temperature and humidity to preserve their integrity and maximize the enjoyment, and when you are ready to smoke one, you clip the head, light the foot with a match or lighter, and hope that the Torcedor has done their job well. Adversely to enjoy a pipe, the tobacco had to be the right moisture, and the pipe needed to be filled with a soft hand, and a technique that I did not possess. While smoking you need to be able to puff at a tempo that will keep the pipe from going out, and while simultaneously not letting it burn too hot, all the while using a pipe tamper to control the resistance, and compactness of the burning tobacco in the chamber. It seemed as if only someone with the motor skills, and mental fortitude of an attack helicopter pilot possessed the skills needed to properly smoke a pipe. I had never flown a helicopter. I had no skills.

Fast forward to a couple years ago, I don’t remember what it was that jogged my memory, or sparked my interest in pipes, at this point mine had been sitting in an empty cigar box buried in a drawer, but something lit a fire inside my mind that I needed to figure this out. It started right were my last attempt had left off, at the tobacco shop buying bulk from a jar. Only this time I added a new pipe, I was getting serious. The new pipe was a Parker, not an expensive pipe but it was significantly more than that Dr. Grabow I had started with years before. I took my new pipe and tobacco home and sat at my computer bound and determined to get it right. After reading everything I could find on how to smoke a pipe I felt like I was ready.


Those next couple attempts were better. They still weren’t the relaxing experiences I had gotten from a cigar and its mouth filling flavor and full plumes of smoke, but it was better than before. Maybe there was hope after all. The next couple weeks I literally lived to smoke a pipe, free moments were used to research pipes and the tobaccos that were smoked in them, there was so much new stuff to learn and I wanted to know it all. Evenings were spent sitting out on the back steps carefully pacing my breaths through the pipe, and using the tamper sparingly. Somewhere along the way all the pieces fell into place. I had purchased a few more pipes by now and was trying out different blends of tobacco from various blenders. There was never a Eureka! moment, just better experiences. It has been a constantly evolving process, of tinkering and learning how each of my pipes likes to be filled or what types of tobacco smoke best in each pipe.

I still have that cooler full of cigars, I haven’t given them up by a long shot. But now they are usually reserved for occasion or to be passed around a group of friends. For my everyday enjoyment my pipes are where it’s at. Sure they take a little more effort, and not every bowl is fantastic, but for me the experience of filling, and smoking and maintaining that pipe is just as much part of the experience. Just like that vintage car, pipes have souls, no two are alike, and every smoke is different, and yes sometimes I do like to just sit and look at them.


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