The art of pipe smoking is the oldest form of tobacco use, and the one most often overlooked by the modern smoker. In this day and age of instant gratification and fast-paced living, replete with instant coffee and five-minute cigarettes, the pipe remains a comforting bulwark again the general flow. Pipe smoking is a remarkably challenging, yet extremely rewarding hobby for those with patience, and can easily be regarded as the most sophisticated form of smoking.
1. Find a pipe that suits you. Tobacconists are more than happy to help you find your
perfect pipe. Prices can vary from cheap to a small fortune.
2. Experiment with different tobaccos in order to find a preference. There are many varieties of pipe
tobacco, including Aromatics, American blends, English blends, Virginias, Burleys, amongst others.
A tobacconist will be able to help advise you on their individual characteristics. People completely
new to smoking may enjoy an aromatic or lighter tobacco, while on the other hand a habitual
cigarette or cigar smoker might prefer a heavier blend. Buy small amounts representing several
3. Pack the pipe. Fill the pipe loosely with tobacco and compress it lightly. Compressed halfway from
the bottom of the bowl to the top. Fill again to the top and compress with a little more force. This time halfway from the top of the previous packing to the top. Now top it off and compress a bit harder. Again half way from the last point to the top. It must not be so dense as to prevent air from being drawn through the pipe; you should be able to draw air through with little or no resistance. The tobacco should be springy to the touch. It's best to have your tobacconist or an experienced pipe
smoker demonstrate. Correct packing takes practice, and has a major impact on how enjoyable your experience will be.
4. Light the pipe with a wooden match or a butane pipe lighter. If using a match, let the sulfur burn off
for a few seconds. Move the flame around the surface of the tobacco while drawing gently until evenly lit, then tamp it gently with a tamper. Let it go out, then relight the same way.
5. Puff slowly and rhythmically. Patience is rewarded with aroma and a cool smoke. Puffing too fast will result in tongue bite - a burning sensation on the tongue.
6. Tamp the tobacco gently and periodically throughout the smoke to ensure the bowl remains
correctly packed while smoking. Don't worry if the pipe goes out from time to time. Simply relight,
after the pipe has cooled.
7. Make sure you smoke your pipe to the end to create a nice 'cake' (layer of carbon deposits) at the
bottom and side of your pipe bowl.
8. Relax and enjoy. Pipe smoking is the quintessential art of smoking.