How to Choose the Best Pipe Tobacco
As the most traditional pipe filling, plenty of pipe smokers have had their dance with tobacco. There are a plethora of tobacco brands on the market available for anyone who wants to smoke a pipe traditionally. Chances are if you’re a fan of cigars, you’ll prefer stronger blends over others. Less seasoned smokers are likely to have a different palate that leans towards lighter blends. Similar to finding the right wine or whiskey to suit your liking, the journey to finding the best pipe tobacco for you is about learning about the offerings and trying them out!
Common Types of Tobacco
The average tobacco blend is a combination of tobacco from different parts of the world. As a result, the mixture of different leaves creates different flavours, mouthfeel and burn rates. Most types of tobacco are a blend of these leaves:
- Virginia: Count on these being light and naturally sweet. Also, this tobacco burns quickly and adds a pleasant flavour to your smoke.
- Perique: Hailing from Louisiana, this pipe tobacco offers spicy notes in its smoke.
- Bright: This North Carolinian leaf creates a mild and enjoyable flavour.
- Latakia: Add colour to your blend and a strong, smokey flavour with this tobacco leaf.
- Burley: With a mild, nutty flavour, this tobacco provides a slow burn.
- Oriental: As an overarching category, tobacco leaves from the Middle East are known for their bold and spicy flavours.
Alongside these leaves, there are two types of blenders to consider: aromatics and non-aromatics. First of all aromatics, like Cavendish, often include casing which is a syrup made from sugar and flavourings. Some of the most common flavours include fruits like cherries or blackberries. On the other hand, non-aromatic tobacco doesn’t include casing. This is because these types of tobacco have very bold flavours, leading them to be blended with aromatics that complement them.
Selecting Your Pipe Tobacco
One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing the best pipe tobacco for you is that smell and taste don’t always coincide. You may love the way a blend smells, but when you smoke it, it may not tickle your fancy as much. Ergo, it’s a good idea to visit the nearest tobacconist to get some suggestions about what to try. After that, it’s all about doing a taste test to see what you like most. Be sure to try various cuts, blends and dabble in both aromatics and non-aromatics to find what works for you.
Keeping Your Tobacco
Of course, we can’t skip out on the opportunity to talk about the importance of storing your tobacco properly. The best way to ensure that your tobacco stays fresh is by keeping it in an airtight container. You can use anything with a tight sealing lid to keep your tobacco from drying out or you can also store it in a glass container. Should you find yourself with dry tobacco, there is still a chance to revive it using a damp cloth draped over a bowl or container with the tobacco inside. However, ensure the cloth isn’t too wet and don’t leave it on too long as you may risk it getting mouldy.