What is the Best Pipe Shape for a Beginner?

When it comes to choosing the best pipe shape for a beginner, two classic options stand out: the billiard and the apple. These shapes have been tried and tested for generations, making them easy to smoke. They can also be slightly curved or half bent, but highly curved hangers should be avoided as they can be difficult for beginners to handle. Cavendish is a popular blend of tobacco that is often used in pipes.

It is made up of 54% tobacco, 22% water, 8% alcohol and 16% sugar or flavoring. It can be purchased as a pure blend or as an additive to modify existing blends and give them a milder, sweeter flavor. Perique is another type of tobacco that has been around for centuries. It was first developed by the Choctaw Indians who would pick the tobacco, store it in a hollowed out log and then subject it to fire and curing.

In the 19th century, Pierre Chenet witnessed this process and began growing his own crops. When subjected to high levels of pressure, the natural juices in the tobacco are filtered, starting a fermentation process that gives Perique its unique flavor. Modern times have seen a modernization of this process. Nowadays, Perique is stored in old bourbon barrels and squeezed to remove all air from the barrel.

This is important as air can cause the tobacco to rot. After this process is complete, the barrels are stored for three months before being opened to allow the tobacco to breathe. After 12-24 hours, the barrel is re-sealed and re-pressed three times to properly age and prepare the Perique. When it comes to packing a pipe with tobacco, it's best to start small and gradually increase the amount of tobacco in the bowl over time. This will help create an even cake from bottom to top inside the chamber.

Most pipes need at least a dozen smokes before forming a good cake with an optimal thickness of 1.5mm (about the thickness of a dime). If the cake gets thicker than 2mm, it's time to remove some of it. It's important to allow your pipe to dry after cleaning it. To be on the safe side, wait at least 12 hours before smoking it again. If you plan on running a pipe cleaner through each piece separately, make sure you let your pipe cool completely before removing the stem. Pipe tobacco is cured and seasoned differently than other types of smoking tobacco, giving it its own unique flavor and aroma.

Once you get comfortable with smoking your pipe, you can start exploring different types of tobaccos from around the world and begin collecting pipes. When cleaning your pipe, make sure you don't separate the two pieces while it's still hot as this can cause the shank to expand and contract at different rates, resulting in a loose joint. The moisture content and cutting style also affect the flavor of pipe tobacco so make sure you choose wisely. It's best not to start reaming your favorite pipes right away but rather use a variety of tools until you find one that works best for you. With a little guidance from an experienced mentor or this handy guide, you can easily start enjoying this relaxing hobby. The last step in making a good cake is being careful when emptying your pipe as this will help preserve its flavor and smoke quality over time.