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Return to Piping - A Fortnight's Review

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Following is what I've discovered over the last two weeks of taking up the pipe hobby again after nearly a decade. I wanted to record this part of the journey to help other new pipers and to look back later and see where I started. If this helps you, let me know, and if you've got advice, I'd be stoked to hear your perspectives. Thanks!

Learned:
- How to pack and light properly (Frank Method)
- Basic Breathe method (amazing revelation)
- different styles and characteristics of blends
- how to store your blends
- importance of cellaring
- how to tamp (another amazing revelation)
- how to daily, deep clean, and sweeten pipes (tried on estate pipes)
- strong black tea with milk is good side beverage
- how to ID, avoid, and treat tongue bite (chocolate)

Bought:
10 types of baccy (1oz each, mainly English, but 3 aros and 2 burleys)
2 estate pipes (rusticated billiard made in London, Comoy's Lumberman)
Pipe stand
Pipe tool (cheapy)
Pipe cleaners

Blends Tried:
C&D Autumn evening
Mac Baren Seven Seas Royal
C&D Super Balkan
C-D Granby Station
Sutliff English
Sutliff Aromatic English
C&D Pegasus
Sutliff Dunhill 965 Match
Fav - Granby (could it be the perique?)

Realizations:
- I've been smoking pipes 'wrong' in the past (poor packing technique, no char light, non-existent tamping, puffing like a freight train to keep the blasted thing lit)
- smoking them 'right' is vastly more enjoyable (also the importance of having a nice pipe)
- pipe smoke doesn't stick to you/things and stink up the place like I thought (or even as much as cigars do)
- go for estate pipes at antique stores
- don't trust that 'smoke shops' have actual pipe gear (we need a revival of true pipe culture)
- I should probably try a VA forward blend next
- I should start cellaring
- I should ask for advice about "where to go from here" from some experts
 
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I've messed around with pipes a little bit, but never got serious so I don't know too much about them I have a couple of Bones pies plus a couple of others and tobacco, but I always seem to find myself reaching for a cigar. Probably a good part of the reason is that I haven taken the time to learn the characteristics of the different tobaccos. As for pipes, I always seem to like pokers. Looking forward to following this thread to learn some more.
 
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Very interesting Ben. I've been lurking around the pipe sites lately and thinking about adding pipe smoking to my smoking hobby.
I think @Alwayslit and @OneStrangeOne might have the expert advice your looking for???

I'm still a pipe noob. I started back in late '17. :smuggrin:

Following is what I've discovered over the last two weeks of taking up the pipe hobby again after nearly a decade. I wanted to record this part of the journey to help other new pipers and to look back later and see where I started. If this helps you, let me know, and if you've got advice, I'd be stoked to hear your perspectives. Thanks!

Learned:
- How to pack and light properly (Frank Method)
- Basic Breathe method (amazing revelation)
- different styles and characteristics of blends
- how to store your blends
- importance of cellaring
- how to tamp (another amazing revelation)
- how to daily, deep clean, and sweeten pipes (tried on estate pipes)
- strong black tea with milk is good side beverage
- how to ID, avoid, and treat tongue bite (chocolate)

Bought:
10 types of baccy (1oz each, mainly English, but 3 aros and 2 burleys)
2 estate pipes (rusticated billiard made in London, Comoy's Lumberman)
Pipe stand
Pipe tool (cheapy)
Pipe cleaners

Blends Tried:
C&D Autumn evening
Mac Baren Seven Seas Royal
C&D Super Balkan
C-D Granby Station
Sutliff English
Sutliff Aromatic English
C&D Pegasus
Sutliff Dunhill 965 Match
Fav - Granby (could it be the perique?)

Realizations:
- I've been smoking pipes 'wrong' in the past (poor packing technique, no char light, non-existent tamping, puffing like a freight train to keep the blasted thing lit)
- smoking them 'right' is vastly more enjoyable (also the importance of having a nice pipe)
- pipe smoke doesn't stick to you/things and stink up the place like I thought (or even as much as cigars do)
- go for estate pipes at antique stores
- don't trust that 'smoke shops' have actual pipe gear (we need a revival of true pipe culture)
- I should probably try a VA forward blend next
- I should start cellaring
- I should ask for advice about "where to go from here" from some experts

Muttnchop Piper - YouTube

I found this channel to be a good resource when I was beginning.
 

Thebutcher

testing testing.....is this thing on?
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Gonna follow along here too. Been an occasional piper for like a decade, really just a few times during the cold months each year if that. But I still struggle like hell to keep it lit, in spite of watching technique tutorials. :cautious:

Me to!!

I have a pipe I like and tobacco that I not only like but the aroma is so pleasant my wife will let me smoke in the house.

But as been said I just haven't bothered to refine ther art of the pipe.

I find them fussy?? and I always reach for a cigar instead.

I barely have a handle on cigars, but I have a good enough grasp of humility and temp to keep and them and smoke them without to much trouble.

I will check out the youtube channels listed above and try again but I have struggled with keeping them lit and proper packing AND im not sure about the tobacco and how dry or not it need to be. :unsure:
 
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Gonna follow along here too. Been an occasional piper for like a decade, really just a few times during the cold months each year if that. But I still struggle like hell to keep it lit, in spite of watching technique tutorials. :cautious:


Pipes are not like cigars and will go out much easier. I'd rather not keep a pipe lit throughout the whole bowl since it will get rather hot over the course of the smoke.
 
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Thanks for all the feedback, gents!

@Alwayslit Yes Muttnchop! He's a boss for sure. Highly recommend his pipe lighting, tamping, and breath method videos for those getting started - those totally changed the game for me. I'm going to try participating in his Blend Club this year - lots of neat blends in the lineup. Any of y'all do blend club before? Plus he seems like an all-around good guy with a variety of cool interests.

Getting a basic proficiency with the breath method makes me want to try a Peterson System pipe since they were supposedly designed to be smoked that way :)

@Thebutcher Indeed, pipes are more "fussy" than cigars. I think that's part of the appeal for me, haha. Being prone to test and tinker and fiddle with things, the multitude of factors involved in "tuning the smoke" with a pipe is part of the fun. It's a cool feeling to take what you learn with each bowl to the enjoyment of the next. Though I agree sometimes it's easier to grab a cigar, especially with a group, as the process is much more straightforward.

That's something else I learned - there's no shame in relighting, it's almost expected when enjoying a pipe. Though I am still hesitant to smoke all the way down to the bottom - I'm afraid it'll get all sour and ashy (yuck). I usually knock it out when there's about 1/4 bowl left.
 
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That's something else I learned - there's no shame in relighting, it's almost expected when enjoying a pipe. Though I am still hesitant to smoke all the way down to the bottom - I'm afraid it'll get all sour and ashy (yuck). I usually knock it out when there's about 1/4 bowl left.

It's great if the tobacco smokes to a fine ash but there have been many a time when I'm removing dottle from the bowl.
 
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