A pipe smoker never forgets the first time they found themselves drawn to smoking a pipe. Maybe a favourite relative introduced them, someone from the past or a favoured character on the TV or Cinema screen. Whatever it was, it made enough of an impression to get you started with a tobacco pipe. The reality of smoking a pipe for you might not quite reach the glamour and style you imagined but what is true is there is a lot more to pipe smoking than many people realise, there is a very close community around pipe craft, that can help with your experience if you want to take it further. Here is a look at some expectations you might have versus the reality.
1) It’s not as quick and easy as experienced pipe smokers make it look
When you watch someone with some years of experience who all their tools just how they need them and pipe that fits perfectly in their hands you see them pack their pipe, expertly light it, and keep it burning you might think that pipe smoking is easy. But it is not, and that is okay that it is not, that is part of the process. As you learn better it will get easier, but even a great burn can go out, it does not mean you have done anything wrong.
2) You actually are better off having more than one pipe
You might see Sherlock or Gandalf with the same pipe all the time but if you are wanting to be fully committed to this you would be better off with having more than one. You do not have to dive fully into the crazy collector stage but it is true that once you start appreciating a great pipe, you are tempted when you see more! There are so many places you can explore, a tobacco shop, online sites, local specialty shops and various boutiques. Why do you need more than one? When you do not give your pipe long enough to cool down it affects the flavour. Pipe experts tend to suggest having one per day.
3) Tobacco is more complex than you might think
If you are coming from smoking cigarettes you likely have less of an understanding that tobacco is more complex than you realise, and that you can get a large range of tobaccos to enjoy. Blending tobacco at a tobacco shop is a profession and some claim it an art form.
4) Do you have to spend a lot of money on your pipes?
There is quite a range of pipes out there and they range in prices from very affordable to very expensive. You do not have to break the bank on your tobacco pipe/pipes. You can pick something up for $25 and then spend into the thousands. The important thing is the quality of the pipe and what your intended use for it is. If this is your first pipe it makes sense to keep it to under $100 for your first pipe so you are happy still if you choose not to stick with it.
5) Does a fancier shape create a better smoking experience?
As attractive and creative as pipe shapes can get, something more fancy or ornate does not necessarily smoke better, and something simple might be a better choice for you anyway if you tend to rest your pipe in your mouth when it’s not lit or like to use it as you drive.