The last installment concerning pipe smoking covered the basics of getting a pipe ready to smoke. Lighting a pipe is a subtle art that will take many attempts to perform correctly. Using a match or a soft flame lighter, make a circular motion around the tobacco while puffing through the stem. The circular motion in conjunction with puffing will light the top as evenly as possible. Next, use the tamper and gently tap the embers down in order to help ignite the tobacco below. If the tobacco does go out, simply remove the ash and repeat the process to relight it.
Smoking a pipe is similar to smoking a cigar. Both cigar and pipe smoking require time and patience on part of the smoker. The smoker must remember that pipe smoking is a relaxing activity that is best enjoyed slowly. Smoking a pipe too quickly can create bittle, which is a collection of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Bittle is easy to spot because it creates a gurgle noise in the pipe. Aside from the noise, bittle also leads to tongue bite, which occurs when liquid from the burning tobacco comes in contact with the tongue. This liquid creates a bitter taste and peircing sensation on the tongue. While smoking too quickly can lead to bittle, it is not the only cause of this dreaded occurence. Another cause of bittle is the turbulent space between the point where the stem and the shank connect. This turbulence causes the smoke to condense, which leads to liquids forming in the stem. While bittle is an unforutnate side effect of pipe smoking,it can be managed. If it is the result of smoke condensing in the turbulent space, running a pipe cleaner through the stem will absorb some of the liquid. If bittle is the result of smoking too quickly, slowing down will give the tobacco time to cool and expel less liquid.
Once a session of pipe smoking is over, the pipe should be cleaned. It is imperative to remember to let the pipe reach room temperature before it is cleaned. Disassembling and cleaning a freshly smoked pipe can lead to cracked pipes and broken stems because the heat causes the wood to expand around the stem. Cleaning a pipe is fast and easy; simply disassemble the pipe and run pipe cleaners through the stem, shank, and bowl. Repeat this until all excess tobacco and residue is removed.
Observing these tips will help ensure that a novice pipe smoker has an enjoyable pipe expericence. Emerson’s cigars has a wide selection of Peterson, Nording, and Savinelli pipes in our five Hampton Roads locations, as well as emersonscigars.com. In addition to our selection of pipes, Emerson’s also carries a vast selection of pipe tobacco to meet the needs of even the most selective pipe smoker.