One of the most traditional aspects of human culture is smoking pipe tobacco after its unique properties were discovered many centuries ago during an unknown period in Native American life. It is the oldest form of smoking and is still highly popular to this day.
As they were a highly spiritual people, Native Americans would smoke tobacco during ceremonies as it is believed it had hallucinogenic qualities. After the discovery of the greater West by Europeans, it was adopted and stylised to what it resembles today.
When you compare cigarette tobacco to pipe tobacco, it must be said that pipe tobacco wins out in many respects. For instance, while smoking cigarettes can lead to displeasing aromas that may linger, pipe tobacco is renowned for its much earthier tone as it has an alkaline basis.
As for the actual production, pipe tobacco gives off a much more refined image with plenty of care and professionalism going into its making. Once a harvest is complete, the leaves are heated over periods of days which result in ‘tobacco cakes’. Having the tobacco in this form is ideal to break it down easily from which harvesters can diligently make it into slices; ready for commercial distribution.
Every serious pipe smoker will know that to achieve the best drags and overall palette, the slices must be broken down in the palm of your hand. This can be quite precarious as it deserves a lot of attention to detail and without it, you won’t achieve the best flavour.
There are some essentials that you need to bear in mind when you store your pipe tobacco. For its continued life and taste, following these tips is an absolute must.
What Not to Do
- Mix your pipe tobacco and cigars together. Cigars are conductive to any nearby moisture and will leave your tobacco dry and lifeless.
- On a similar theme, keep your batch away from cigar humidors as they will also remove its moisture.
- Moisturise your batch before storage. This will cause mold to grow on the tobacco and no one likes smoking mold.
- Store in a pre-used jar. Odours from what was previously store in them tend to linger and invade new guests – bad for the richness of your tobacco.
What You Should Do
- Keep your pipe tobacco in a cool, dark place.
- Seal the container lid properly
- Sterilise your container beforehand
As you can see, it’s a lot simpler to maintain your pipe tobacco than you would be led to believe. Ensuring that all common sense is adhered to, you can enjoy your pipe tobacco for weeks, months, maybe even years if you’re truly dedicated!
When you’re out and about, it might be a good idea to invest in a tobacco pouch. This’ll ensure that you don’t suffer from spillage and will also keep your supply nice and airtight which will reduce its chances of losing moisture.
Of course, depending on your variety of tobacco, its longevity and overall taste always differs from blend to blend.
What are some of the most common blends?
Predominantly found within cigarettes, Burley is often found in pipe tobacco as it has a wonderful masking effect. More so, it really rounds off the taste and is primarily used so that it supports the more powerful tobaccos that envelope it. Burley can often provide a heavier taste and is one mainly for enthusiasts.
An exotic Syrian export, Latakian tobacco is often found to round off and deliver a peppery yet flavoursome smoke to anyone lucky enough to sample it.
Although relatively common on the tobacco market these days, there’s still a special and unique taste to be had from Latakia tobacco and this all down to its unique curing process which takes place over an oak wood fire.
Characterised by the region of the world they hail from, Oriental pipe tobaccos are famed for their sweet taste.
You can often find these in English pipe tobaccos as the country’s pipe smokers have an affinity for that spicy taste which hits with every drag.
Dating back to before Columbus’ ship first hit American soil, this form of pipe tobacco is as rich in taste as it is history.
By using unique techniques such as fermenting while the tobacco is still being cured, Perique delivers an exclusive taste which is characterised as spicy and peppery but not so that it dissuades enthusiasts from picking it up time and time again.
Surprisingly, Virginian pipe tobacco is not just commonplace in the U.S as its appeal amd demands spread from Brazil to China and everywhere in-between.
Characterised by their sweet and tangy flavours, Virginia is famed for its inconsistent nature with less-experienced smokers but with the right amount of skill, you’d be seriously hard pressed to find a more rewarding taste than this beloved type.
With all this in mind, you can surmise that finding and selecting your favourite pipe tobacco is a unique principle and one that definitely deserves further inspection if you’re a newcomer. If you’re a seasoned pro, you can’t go wrong with broadening your tastes to find your new favourite type too and UKTobacco offers a plethora of varieties for your interest.