How to Fill, Light & Smoke a Pipe
Fill in pinches.
Hold your pipe, look inside the bowl, and blow through the mouthpiece. Tap it against the palm of your hand to make sure that any tobacco left in it, or anything from your pocket that inadvertently got in there, is out. A clean pipe is a sweet pipe. Now you are ready to fill your pipe using the ďpinchĒ method in stages, whereby the tobacco is gradually laid more consistently and with an increasing pressure. The first pinch that you put on the bottom should be very light; get the air bubbles out by lightly pressing down with your forefinger and concentrating on the edges of the bowl. The next pinches should be packed down with a medium pressure, and the top pinch should be the most firm.
Draw on the unlit pipe to determine if it was packed correctly. The resistance of the tobacco should be the same draw as a lightly rolled cigar, you should not have to suck your teeth in. The nice thing about packing your pipe lightly is that if the draw is too light, you simply press the tobacco down firmer on top. But if the draw is too difficult, you must dump out the tobacco and repack the pipe. If you donít start all over, it will be very difficult to smoke and you will have a bad experience.
Light and look for white.
With a properly packed pipe, you are ready to light it. Put the pipe in your mouth and place a flame down over the tobacco and draw in with a couple of deep puffs. At the moment of lighting, the surface of the tobacco will rise (due to the moisture in the tobacco), so be prepared to tamp the edges with a tamper and relight it. You need to do this step three or four times to ensure a good light. An ideal light will have a white ash all the way across the top with no black or unburned tobacco. You must tamp down the tobacco as you smoke, as this keeps the draw and the tobacco at the same consistency. That white ash will continue to move down. The most common mistake is to pack the pipe too tightly, which will cause it to burn down the middle or down one side.
Smoke it slowly.
Now comes the best part. You are ready to smoke and savor your pipe. Smoking should be done with slow, even puffs. Donít be a freight train and try to smoke all the tobacco in 10 minutes. Tamping while smoking is important. Always tamp the edges and the middle will take care of itself. If the pipe goes out, this is not uncommon, particularly if you start talking and relaxing, just tamp and relight. Expect that if youíre not puffing on your pipe and drawing air down into it, itís inevitable that the light will go out. But having to relight it is a small price to pay for a sweet and savory pipe experience. It is also recommended that you keep pipe cleaners handy; using pipe cleaners while smoking will keep the pipe clean, dry and sweet. Enjoy!
And don't forget...For a Good Smoke You Need a Good Pipe, Good Tobacco & a Good Smoking Technique!