The early navigators discovered that the tobacco plant was wide-spread (though concentrated most heavily about the Caribbean basin).
The Pipesmokers Council suggest a short list of six tobaccos which have the right smoking characteristics for beginners.
Some of the basic and well known shapes, there are many more but these are the standards.
A suitable pipe is a pipe whose mouthpiece is the right width so that the chompers can get a good grip and the pipe does not slip sideways out of control.
The briar has nothing to do with the briar rose. The name is a corruption of the French word "bruyere"or heath tree, a low shrub found throughout Europe.
The bowl is the fundamental component of any pipe and it should therefore be handled with great care and looked after meticulously.
A system pipe is one that has been fitted with some extra element or an elaborate cooling feature.
Everything you need to know about parts that make up a pipe.
The clay pipes you see are typical of the period, these three look as though they have been well and truly smoked.
Pack a pipe, ensure the pipe is clear of obstructions by blowing down the mouthpiece a few times, trickle the tobacco in until filled to the top, tapping the sides of the bowl with a finger, tamp this down until it feels springy, the pipe should be one third full, do this until the pipe is full, draw on the pipe during the packing process to ensure the tobacco is not to tightly packed.
Lighting, the first light should be a charring light, dance the flame over the tobacco (avoid charring the rim of the bowl) and suck on the pipe to draw the flame down into the bowl ensuring all the tobacco is lit, tamp this down to form a lid of charred tobacco, this not only helps the tobacco to smoke cooler but also helps the tobacco stay alight longer, don't be afraid to keep re-lighting as this is normal and in my opinion part of the enjoyment, the tobacco will still taste the same after many re-lights during a smoke.
Separating the pipe, this should only be done after the pipe as thoroughly cooled down, there by preventing the stem from cracking and less wear and tear on the mortise.
The correct humidity for pipe tobacco is a constant temperature of 18 degrees centigrade and a humidity level of 70 percent.
Rubbing out- this term generally applies to flake, bar and broken flake tobaccos, rubbing out is normally the term used for rubbing the tobacco between the palms of the hand to break up these tobaccos prior to packing the pipe. Ready rubbed tobacco has undergone this process at the origin of manufacture. Mixtures tend not to need this extra process.
Strange taste when I first light up, this may be caused by not letting all the sulphur burn off the match before applying to the tobacco, also petrol lighters may cause tainting. Also tobacco is a great one for taking on tastes of other substances like food for instance, if the tobacco is stored in a none air-tight receptacle near any strong source of odour then expect the tobacco to become tainted.