The Right Way to Light a Pipe

Leave the first response July 14, 2009 / Posted in Cigar Smoking Tips

Lighting a pipe, and packing it beforehand, are part of the overall pipe-smoking experience. While the tobacco itself does provide a great deal of pleasure, a lot of what makes a pipe so relaxing is the entire ritual. There are several steps involved in getting just the right combination of packing, lighting and smoking the pipe.

The pipe lighter will have a wide hole in the screen instead of the several small holes characteristic of cigarette lighters. This allows the flame to be drawn into the pipe easily. Ideally, one shouldnt hold the pipe lighter perpendicular to the tobacco but, rather, at a slight angle. The flame can be easily drawn down into the bowl by lightly puffing until the tobacco reaches a temperature sufficient to sustain combustion but which is not so hot that it results in a harsh smoke.

Some individuals are sensitive to the taste of lighter fluid in the first few puffs. While many smokers don’t notice it at all, some of the higher-end lighter fluids advertise that they impart no flavor to the smoke during the lighting process. If one happens to detect a bit of fuel taste while lighting the pipe, switching fluid brands will likely alleviate this problem. Again, this is a matter of personal preference. Fuel should always be of a high quality simply to preserve the lighter and to ensure a reliable light.

Lighting the pipe is much different than is lighting a cigar or a cigarette. First, one must eliminate any moisture from the tobacco. Hold the flame above the tobacco and draw it down by puffing lightly. Get the tobacco smoking but don’t light it. The tobacco will puff up and take on a shaggy appearance. Tamp it back into the bowl and level it out again.

Again, hold the flame above the tobacco and draw it in by puffing lightly. Pipe tobacco is most flavorful when it’s not burning overly-hot so only light it until it begins to burn on its own. This ensures that the smoke will not be harsh and that one gets the very best flavor from their tobacco. A properly-lit pipe will burn for a long time and will emit a rather pleasant-smelling smoke. If the pipe tastes sharp or harsh, it’s likely that the tobacco is burning too hot. One can simply let it burn down a bit before puffing again to even out the temperature. The process is complicated and may take a few times to master but, once one does it right, it becomes almost as enjoyable an experience as is smoking the pipe itself.

Leave the first response Subscribe via RSS

Comments are closed.