Our Guide To Tobacco Pipes
While our focus at Cigars on Sixth is obviously on cigars, we do offer some tobacco pipes and pipe tobacco. While many think of pipes as an antiquated smoking option, tobacco pipes do still find new enthusiasts, especially among those who enjoy a thoughtful ritual accompanying their smoke. Here’s our overview of tobacco pipes, to shed some light on this rewarding pastime.
While pipes can vary dramatically in look and construction material, their basic anatomy is as follows: The bulbous end’s exterior is the ‘bowl’, and the interior where you load the tobacco is the ‘chamber’. The bottom of the chamber where the smoke leaves is the ‘draught hole’, which is enclosed in the ‘shank’ which connects this section of pipe to the ‘stem’. Inside these two sections the ‘mortise’ and ‘tenon’ mate to form a connection. The ‘bit’ is the section you put in your mouth, the end of which is the ‘lip’ and the hole you inhale from is the ‘bore’.
Pipes can vary from crude corncob versions to elaborately carved pieces that are works of art. Wooden pipes are most commonly made from briar which is extremely resistant to fire. There are numerous other woods used in pipes, such as cherry, oak, and maple. Meerschaum pipes are carved from a beautiful white mineral deposit, and often hold elaborate designs. The porous nature of the mineral allows the pipe to ‘season’ and will change color over time and use. Pipes can also be made from materials like gourds, clay, metal, and synthetic polymers.
Like cigars, pipe tobacco is generally savored by not inhaling into the lungs. Pipe tobacco is very flavorful and aromatic, and in our next blog we will explore the varieties further. Smoking a pipe rewards the relaxed, thoughtful smoker, who has the time and interest in the ritual of keeping their pipe lit.
If you have any questions or would like a closer look at a tobacco pipe, stop by our shop, we have a few in stock!