Towards the end of each year and into the new year, I tend to reflect upon the tobaccos that I've smoked and enjoyed the most in the past 12 months. And since 2014, I've made a "Top Tobaccos" video for my YouTube channel. This goes back a couple of years before The Pipe Nook even existed, and it's always been a fun exercise. If you've never seen my YouTube channel, you can check it out here. But for now, let's get down to the list!
A few ground rules went into the creation of this list. First, it is based on my somewhat limited memory of the various tobaccos I smoked this past year. This old brain just ain't what it used to be. Next, it's not necessarily my "Top Pipe Tobaccos of All Time" list. While I still enjoy all of the tobaccos in the lists from previous years, some of my favorites didn't get smoked as much this year and don't appear on this list, for the simple fact that I smoked a good bit of new-to-me blends this year, and there's just not enough time to smoke 'em all as much as I'd like. Perhaps one day I'll have tried every blend out there and can settle into smoking primarily my very favorites...but I don't foresee that day coming any time soon! There are literally thousands of blends on the market, and while I try to carry a highly curated set of offerings here at The Pipe Nook, I just recently surpassed 100 blends that I try to keep available on the shop! So I've got my work cut for me to stay on top of what's out there.
Also of note is that all of these blends are available here at The Pipe Nook. That's not because I'm a corporate shill; it's because I sell the brands and blends that I enjoy the most. Of course, as a businessman, I'd like to sell a few tins...but quite honestly, I won't get rich selling tobacco! Single tins of tobacco are not a loss-leader...but close enough for a "small fry" shop such as mine. What I'm most interested in, just like many of you, is sharing the things that I gain the most enjoyment from, with like-minded people who enjoy pipe smoking as much as I do.
Finally, you'll see that this year's list leans very heavily towards blends that include either Perique or Dark Fired Kentucky (sometimes both), and towards flakes. Those are the blends that I gravitate towards the most. So this is neither an all-inclusive nor best selling list; it's simply a list of my favorite blends that I've smoked the most this past year. You'll see that there's nothing in the way of aromatics or English blends included (although I'll provide some special mentions). While I do enjoy those kinds of blends from time to time when I'm in the mood, I suppose I've just found my wheelhouse and primarily stick to that. In comparison, sometimes I really enjoy a good salad...but I'd rather have steak! Just my personal preference.
Honorable Mentions - Aromatics
Cornell & Diehl's Autumn Evening - This is a simple base blend of Virginia and Cavendish, to which is added a nice maple flavor. I'd say this is a medium aromatic, not an overly topped blend, which makes the base blend all that much more important.
GL Pease's The Virginia Cream - The name seemingly says it all, but there's more going on here than one might expect. Yes, a pleasant Vanilla & Bourbon flavor is present, but in addition to the "usual suspects" of Virginia and Black Cavendish found in most aromatic blends, Mr. Pease decided to add a bit of Dark Fired Kentucky and Perique to this blend, giving it a different spin than the vast majority of aromatics out there.
Honorable Mentions - Latakia Blends
Captain Earle's Reflections - If you like Latakia in smaller portions, or if you've never tried a Latakia blend and are looking to dip your toe in the shallow end of the pool, this is a great place to start. A mixture of various Virginias, Orientals, Cavendish, and Latakia, there's just enough of that smoky leaf to notice it's there, but it's never overbearing.
Captain Earle's Ten Russians - This is the other side of the Latakia spectrum. You wanna know what a heavy Latakia blend is like? Then welcome aboard! There are Virginias and Orientals present to provide a bit of balance, but there's no doubt who's running the show here.
MY TOP 10 TOBACCO BLENDS OF 2019
10. GL Pease's Penny Farthing - A fine shag cut, this blend isn't for everyone. Shag cut tobacco will burn more quickly than any other tobacco, much like pine straw burns more quickly in a campfire than twigs. As such, if you push it too hard, it will burn hot and not taste like much. However, if you can remember to sip slowly, there is much reward. Comprised of Virginia, Perique, and Dark Fired Kentucky, this blend proved to be right up my alley! And the different cut from the rest of my favorite blends made it all the more interesting. This is currently the only shag cut blend I carry at The Pipe Nook, and it was introduced in 2019.
9. Cornell & Diehl's Bluegrass - Another blend made of Virginia, Perique, and Dark Fired, this one is presented in a broken flake. Actually, I would say that it's somewhere in-between a ready rubbed and a broken flake, depending on the tin. Regardless, it's fairly easy to rub out into something that's fun to load into your pipe, and enjoy the robust flavors of these components.
8. Cornell & Diehl's Blue Ridge - A blend of Virginia, Black Cavendish, Orientals and Perique, this is a well balanced smoke that has a good bit of complexity. Presented in a fairly standard ribbon cut. The Perique doesn't steal the spotlight here. That's for another blend...
7. Cornell & Diehl's Chenet's Cake - Do you like Perique? Do you? Well, let's just find out how much. This blend will tell you, and fast! There's no denying Perique is front and center in this blend. Considered the truffle of the tobacco world, Perique in larger quantities can be musty to the nose, which it is here...but oddly, in a good way. It's hard to explain. I'm a big Perique fan, but any more than what's placed in this blend would be too much for me! Presented in a wonderful crumble cake that crumbles out easily into a short ribbon cut.
6. Captain Earle's Honor Blend - I know I gave honorable mentions to two Latakia blends from Captain Earle's already, but of the 8 blends in the line, this is my favorite. It is the only one of the 8 that doesn't contain any Latakia, but it is presented in the same crumble cake as all of the other Captain Earle's offerings. A mixture of Virginia, Orientals, Cavendish and Perique, this blend is similar to Blue Ridge, perhaps with a bit more of a pronounced taste from the Orientals, which to me provides a slight semblance of tartness, but your mileage may vary.
5. GL Pease's Navigator - Similar to C&D's Bluegrass, but without the Perique, this broken flake is a no-nonsense mixture of Virginia and Old Dark Fired, enhanced by a light Rum infusion that marries into the blend during the pressing and aging process. It's like a Navy Flake, but with Dark Fired taking the place of the Perique that's in a standard Navy treatment.
4. Peterson's Flake - This is a straightforward Virginia Flake made primarily of Medium-Bodied Brown Virginias. Peterson has revived this, as well as many other Dunhill blends. And good news: they all taste exactly the same as they did when the Dunhill name was on the tins! Providing an ever-so-slight sweetness with hay-like notes, this is one of the all-time great Virginia Flakes. If you're into straight Virginia tobaccos and haven't tried this flake, you've got some homework to do!
3. Peterson's University Flake - Another simple blend, this time with Burley and Virginia. While I sometimes use the comparison of Peterson's Flake to the taste of tea, University Flake is somewhere in-between my Number 4 and my Number 2 picks when it comes to strength and body. No wonder it wound up in the number 3 slot.
2. Peterson's Irish Flake - While I draw comparisons of Peterson's Flake to tea, Irish Flake is more like coffee. Strong, rich, and robust, this is a blend of Virginia, Burley, and Dark Fired tobaccos. Also known to be a stronger blend when it comes to nicotine, I would recommend sipping this one on a full stomach!
1. Mac Baren's HH Old Dark Fired - It will come as no surprise to those that know me from my YouTube channel that this is once again at the top of my list, where it's been for a few years. Sharing many of the qualities of Peterson's Irish Flake, I sense a bit of an Anise aftertaste, and a slightly lesser strength overall. Still bold, but a bit more refined than the Irish Flake, this is my go-to blend, and what I smoke the most.
So that's my list for 2019. While it was by definition geared solely to my personal tastes, a large part of the joy of pipe smoking can be found in discovering what types of blends you enjoy the most. I've found mine, but I'm always open to new blends, as well. And I encourage you to do the same! If any of these blends strike your interest, throw a few in the cart and see what new favorites you might find in 2020!
You can check out the video presentation of this list on my YouTube channel, here. And please subscribe if you enjoy this conversational style of discussion regarding pipes and tobaccos.
Keep 'em lit,
Just a quick announcement to let you know about an exciting new documentary that is available for purchase or rental that's all about pipes! "Father the Flame" is a film project I've heard about for a few years now that has finally come to fruition, and I'm thrilled to report that it's a beautiful documentary which takes great care to present a highly artistic, yet approachable and honest snapshot of many aspects of modern-day pipe smoking and pipe collecting!
Directed by Chad Terpstra, "Father the Flame" takes us on a journey of discovery about pipes, pipe smoking, and pipe making. The film covers much during its runtime of 79 minutes, including snapshots into the past of pipe smoking, American artisan pipe makers, the Danish masters, Mimmo and briar harvesting, the Chicago Pipe Show, Native Americans and pipe smoking, and so much more. "Father the Flame" is a fantastic accomplishment that's not to be missed!
"Father the Flame" can now be rented or purchased on Amazon Video, here.
In addition, a DVD will be released on June 18, 2019, which can be preordered here.
Don't miss this wonderful and insightful look into the art, passion, and tradition that is inherently bound to this hobby we all love!
Keep 'em Lit,
Greetings from The Pipe Nook! I hope you've had time recently to smoke your pipe, and to reflect on the many blessings in life. Recently, I've been compiling a list of some of my favorite quotations in regards to pipe smoking, which I thought would be fun to share with you. The first of these has even found its way onto the back of my business cards. So without further ado, here's the current list!
“The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected.”
-William Makepeace Thackeray, from “The Social Pipe”
“Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes.”
- The Results and Merits of Tobacco, 1844, Doctor Barnstein
“A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan.”
-Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
“I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.”
-Albert Einstein, 1950
“The fact is, squire, the moment a man takes to a pipe, he becomes a philosopher. It’s the poor man’s friend; it calms the mind, soothes the temper, and makes a man patient under difficulties. It has made more good men, good husbands, kind masters, indulgent fathers, than any other blessed thing on this universal earth.”
-Sam Slick, the clockmaker
"If you can't send money, send tobacco."
-George Washington to the Continental Congress, 1776
"I toiled after it, sir, as some men toil after virtue."
-Charles Lamb, when asked how he became such a prodigious pipe smoker
"As the priest is characterized by his cassock, so the smoker by his pipe. The way in which he holds it, raises it to his lips, and knocks out the ashes, reveals his personality, habits, passions, and even his thoughts."
-E. Th. A. Hoffmann
"...pipe smoking is properly an intellectual exercise."
-Christopher Morley, 1916
“There is no composing draught like the draught through the tube of a pipe.”
-Captain Frederick Marryatt
“A pipe is to the troubled soul what caresses of a mother are for her suffering child.”
“I hated tobacco. I could have almost lent my support to any institution that had for its object the putting of tobacco smokers to death…I now feel that smoking in moderation is a comfortable and laudable practice, and is productive of good. There is no more harm in a pipe than in a cup of tea. You may poison yourself by drinking too much green tea, and kill yourself by eating too many beefsteaks. For my part, I consider that tobacco, in moderation, is a sweetener and equalizer of the temper.”
-Thomas Henry Huxley
“There is nothing like being left alone . . . to walk peacefully with oneself in the woods. To boil one's coffee and fill one's pipe, and to think idly and slowly as one does it.”
"On land, on sea, at home, abroad,
I smoke my pipe and worship God."
-Johann Sebastian Bach
I hope you enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed compiling it!
Keep 'em lit,
Today, I'd like to discuss some of the reasons that many who try their hand at pipe smoking often decide to quit. This is a topic that hits rather close to home to me, as I came very close to quitting before I really figured out how to smoke a pipe and how to achieve the level of enjoyment I've attained with pipe smoking.
As I've mentioned before in various blogs, my great-grandfather was the one and only pipe smoker in my life as I was growing up, and while many friends and family just saw him as an oddball, or saw pipe smoking as "his thing," I was always drawn to it.
Around the age of 20 or so, I decided to give smoking a shot, and I started with cigars. Eventually, I bought a cheap pipe from the drug store and tried smoking a pipe with my great-grandfather. Unfortunately, he wasn't the best instructor...he'd smoked a pipe for about 70 years at that point, but his only instruction was, "just jamb some tobacco in the bowl and light it up!"
Well, that didn't really help me, so I wound up frustrated and tongue-torched more often than not. This went on for nearly 20 years...I'm not exaggerating. During that time, I primarily smoked cigars, but would occasionally drag out my pipe and give it another go. I always wanted to smoke a pipe, but just never got the hang of it.
Just before I turned 40, I decided I was going to learn to smoke a pipe the "right" way, or I was never going to try again. I turned to YouTube for assistance, thinking that perhaps I would find some pipe smokers who had made videos about how to smoke a pipe. Lo and behold, there were a handful of folks, and with the help of a few YouTubers such as Jayson Dagner (The Smoking Dagners), and Kel (SmokeRingsPipeDreams), I got the hang of it, and have enjoyed pipe smoking immensely ever since.
But had I not found those instructional videos, I wouldn't be here today, running a small online pipe shop, and writing about this. So let's delve into some of the reasons people give up on pipe smoking too soon.
Cigars are Easier
I found this to be true in my own experience. While there are techniques to smoking a cigar that prove helpful and assist in the overall enjoyment of cigar smoking, it's much easier to get the hang of it more quickly than pipe smoking.
With cigars, you clip the end, light it up, and you're off to the races. Cigars burn more evenly and stay lit better, because they are designed to do so. Provided they're made well, they will smoke evenly to the end with few (if any) relights. Cigar smokers who try pipe smoking will find that there is much more involved in pipe smoking: proper loading of the bowl, treatment of various types of tobaccos, the false light and true light, tamping technique, and relights.
Because pipe smoke doesn't linger on your person as long as cigar smoke, I find that my wife prefers that I smoke a pipe. That's just one of the many reasons I prefer pipe smoking myself, but many cigar smokers who have an interest in pipes simply discover that they'd rather be able to just light up and go. But I found that there is such more satisfaction in taking the time to learn how to smoke a pipe!
Cigarettes are Much Easier
While the vast majority of us would agree that cigarette smoking is the worst form of smoking when it comes to health risks, those who are cigarette smokers definitely have the hardest time adjusting to pipe smoking. This is largely due to the fact that cigarettes are the easiest form of smoking, and pipes are the most difficult. They are at opposite ends of the difficulty spectrum.
You can grab a cigarette, light it up, and be done smoking by the time a pipe smoker can properly load his or her bowl! And when you light a cigarette, it won't go out. Once lit, a cigarette will burn itself down more often than not without you even having to take a single puff after getting it lit. This falls in line with the "instant gratification" mentality that pervades our society today.
Without even getting into the health risks of sucking cigarette smoke into your lungs (most pipe smokers taste rather than inhale), or the extra chemicals that come from burning bleached white paper in addition to the low quality tobacco, I think we can all agree that cigarettes are the "fast food" of the smoking spectrum, whereas premium cigars and pipes are the "Filet Mignons" of smoking. I find that there is simply no comparison between the two, and while eating steak for every meal may not be the healthiest for you, I know that eating fast food for every meal is about the worst diet you can have.
Nevertheless, if we step away from the food analogy, we can see that cigarette smoking is simply the quickest and easiest form of smoking, and those who have smoked cigarettes find that the pipe smoking ritual is much more time consuming and difficult, at least until you get the hang of it. Because of this, cigarette smokers are much more likely to give up on pipe smoking.
No Local Pipe Shops
This one also hits home with me. Two years ago, the last local brick and mortar shop that carried pipes and pipe tobaccos in my hometown closed its doors. Because of this, there are no places left to go to be "in the scene" so to speak. There are no shop owners to provide much-needed information, or to host pipe club meetings, etc.
Now, my hometown has a greater-area population (including suburbs and smaller satellite communities) of about 500,000 people. If such a population couldn't support even one pipe shop, I couldn't help but think that there are small to mid-sized towns all over the country who were in the same boat.
This is what gave me the initial idea to start The Pipe Nook, with which I strive to attain the atmosphere of a "virtual brick & mortar" shop...one that provides information to those interested in pipe smoking. I try to be as helpful as I can to those who contact me with questions, in much the same way that a good local shop owner would.
No Guidance from Other Pipe Smokers
In much the same way that a lack of local pipe shops limits interpersonal learning, the very fact that so few pipe smokers exist these days limits an individual's chances of picking up tips from a friend or neighbor who smokes a pipe. It's very rare indeed these days to see a pipe smoker out for a stroll.
This lack of pipe smoking visibility, in conjunction with a lack of local shops, is what causes many new pipe smokers to obtain their purchases, and find their sense of community, online. Which brings us to the final reason that many interested parties give up.
Too Many Choices
Searching online for pipes and pipe tobaccos provides a daunting amount of choices! There are literally thousands of pipes and pipe tobaccos to choose from. Which pipe brand should I start with? What size and shape? Should I buy a filtered pipe, or non-filtered? What is a Flake, Coin, Ribbon, cake, or plug? What's the difference between Cavendish, Burley, Virginia, Latakia, and Turkish? What the heck is Perique?
It can be overwhelming, and many quickly decide it's just not worth the effort. That's why when I started The Pipe Nook, I decided that every brand I carry would be a personal recommendation from me. I sell Savinelli pipes because I smoke Savinelli pipes. I sell Cornell & Diehl tobaccos because I smoke Cornell & Diehl tobaccos.
Now, I smoke other pipes and tobaccos that I don't carry here at The Pipe Nook. But if I decide to carry it on the site, it's a brand that I feel is an essential part of the pipe smoking world today. I only carry items that I feel the beginner pipe smoker could most easily get into. I never carry anything simply from a sales perspective, and I've gotten many positive comments from customers who are thankful for The Pipe Nook both as a source of information, and as a limiter of choice in the marketplace that only carries optimal selections for those new to pipe smoking.
I hope you've found this article thought-provoking, and I hope you'll stick with it and be patient with yourself if you're struggling with pipe smoking. If you're interested in further information about the pipe smoking hobby, I would recommend the following blogs here on the site:
"What Pipe Tobaccos Should I Smoke"
"Pipe Smoking 101: How to Smoke a Pipe"
"How to Smoke a Pipe Video Series from The Pipe Nook"
Please feel free to share this blog, as well as these other three, with anyone you know who would like to learn more about the incredibly satisfying world of pipe smoking!
Keep 'em Lit,
I was looking through my personal pipe collection the other day, and came across my 1987 Tinder Box Christmas Pipe. This is a beautiful pipe (most likely made by Ardor, given the time period) that has significant sentimental value to me, and is ultimately a part of how The Pipe Nook was born. Here's the story, and a bit of discussion about online pipe retailers versus local brick and mortar stores.
In the Fall of 2015, I learned that the only remaining pipe store in the Pensacola, FL area (a Tinder Box location) would be closing its doors after Christmas. I was quite deflated to hear this news, since The Tinder Box had been a fixture in the mall since I was a child. For more than 35 years, it was managed by a great guy (Bobby), who commuted from Mobile, Alabama every day. Now both Bobby and the owner were looking to retire, and there just wasn't enough local interest to pass it on to another management team. Memories of the Tinder Box down through the years poured into my thoughts. I would walk by the storefront as a boy and be amazed by the sights and smells, the giant stuffed brown bear in the front window, and the guys smoking at the counter, swapping stories, sharing laughs. There was just something magical about the place. As a young man, I would visit and pick up cigars. It was always a friendly and helpful environment. When I finally figured out the pipe smoking thing, Bobby witnessed my cigar purchases dwindle while my pipe and pipe tobacco purchases increased. But time would be short for me to benefit from the pipe knowledge to be found therein.
Pipes and pipe tobaccos were probably only 25% of the Pensacola Tinder Box's overall sales, but it was the final place in town that still carried pipes of any kind. No, they didn't carry everything I wanted, but I did my best to support them as I could, and wound up making online purchases for other items of interest not available locally. I truly wanted to do my part to keep them in business, as I'd seen two other local cigar shops in recent years completely stop carrying pipes and tobaccos, and the downtown pipe shop, The Pipe Rack, had closed its doors. By the time The Pipe Rack had closed, they had pretty much become a general store in order to stay afloat, carrying newspapers, magazines, cigars, candy, snacks, drinks, and whatever else they could to stay in business. But it wasn't to be.
Pensacola is a medium-sized city, and I was certain that if the greater Pensacola area (more than 350,000 souls) didn't have enough pipe smokers to keep even one local pipe shop in business, there must be many in the same boat as myself whose only recourse, barring extensive travel, was to purchase their pipes and tobaccos online. Then, the idea sparked. I wanted to create a web store that had the feel of a brick and mortar, not a "big box" online outlet, and thus The Pipe Nook was born.
Every brand that I carry is a personal recommendation from me as a pipe smoker. It is never my intention to grow as large as the "Big Online Shops," so I'll never have everything. But what I do carry is tried and true in my book. And while I do appreciate some of those bigger online sellers, the sad truth is that at their level of sales, they can't help but take sales away from the local brick & mortar pipe shops.
My intention is not to compete with those local shops at all. What I'm trying to provide is a smaller, more personal option for those in cities and communities like my own that don't have a local purchasing option. I can't tell you how many times I've been traveling, looked up a pipe shop or two, and walked in the door only to find they only sell glass pipes. We all know those aren't tobacco pipes, so we'll not discuss those any further! But the sad truth is that in the vast majority of small to mid-sized towns and cities in America, there are no longer any legitimate pipe shops.
So, how do I try to make an online shop have the personal feel of a local brick & mortar? Well, the personal recommendation aspect is a big one. I will never carry any product simply because it's a "hot item" or just a commodity. Pipes and fine tobacco blends mean more to me than that. In addition, I maintain a "Pipe Clubs" page where people can find like-minded individuals in their own local communities. I'm hoping that this section grows over time! Beyond that, my Blog section and my YouTube channel provide a means of direct communication between myself and my customers, many of whom I can happily say have become friends.
One special note: If you do have a local pipe shop in your town, and if they provide good customer service and decent prices, by all means do what you can to support them! They are so few in number these days that to have one in your area is a wonderful thing that should be treasured!
So that's the "rest of the story" of The Pipe Nook. I hope to grow this business in the years to come, and to be part of what I hope will become a resurgence of the pipe smoking and pipe collecting hobby!
Keep 'em Lit,
I've been a member of the YTPC, or YouTube Pipe Community, longer than the Pipe Nook has been around. I discovered the YTPC while I was looking for tips on various pipe-related topics, and it can't be understated how important the YTPC has been in my pipe-smoking journey. But for whatever reason, I haven't shared my channel here on The Pipe Nook yet. Well, today seems like a good time to fix that!
As I mentioned in my long-winded introduction Blog several months ago, about 3 years ago, I was ready to "put up or shut up" when it came to pipe smoking. I had tried off again, on again to smoke a pipe for nearly 20 years, but just never got the hang of it. I can't tell you how frustrating it was for me to burn my tongue, fight keeping my pipe lit, etc. So in desperation, I did a YouTube search, and found Jayson Dagner's video on how to smoke a pipe. I was amazed at how easy it could really be if you took your time and learned how to do it! Then I noticed on the "related videos" sidebar that others were also making Pipe related videos, and many of them were commenting on each other's videos. I soon discovered this "YouTube Pipe Community," and jumped in! Since there wasn't a pipe club anywhere near me, the YTPC became my "Virtual Pipe Club."
I've made many videos, gained a good bit of subscribers, and met many friends through the YTPC. If you haven't discovered this group of pipe smoking enthusiasts, click the image above to check out my channel, and look for those who comment on my videos...many of them have pipe smoking channels of their own!
One special mention: When I launched The Pipe Nook, I was given a lot of early support from members of the YTPC. The Pipe Nook would not be what it is today if not for the encouragement and support of those people. So I want to take the time here to thank each and every one of you in the YTPC who have helped me along the way. It means so much to me!
So, if you found The Pipe Nook elsewhere and would like to put a face and an actual person with this humble web store, check out my channel, and don't forget to comment. I love the interaction as much as I love the pipe smoking and pipe collecting hobby itself.
Keep 'em lit,
I love starting the day with a few moments of quiet composure, gently smoking a pipe and sipping a cup of coffee. It's a treasured time that I try to carve out each day to come up with a daily game plan and mentally prepare for the challenges that await. Additionally, I find that the best way to end each day is to enjoy a hearty blend. Pipe smoking creates an atmosphere of reflection to thoughtfully consider the highs and lows of the day, and the many things for which I have to be thankful. It's a fantastic accompaniment for reading and writing, as well.
But, what makes it so? I've mentioned these things in a previous blog, but they are worth revisiting here. For me, pipe smoking is relaxing, stress relieving, and just plain fun. It can help create a time of thought when you're alone, and it can make times with friends even better. It can help you focus on the simple joys of all the senses, as you feel the pipe's finish and shape while holding it, see the beauty of a well-crafted smoking instrument, hear the gentle sizzle of a pipe that's "in the chuff," smell the aroma of a fine tobacco blend, and of course taste any number of flavors available today. In essence, pipe smoking is a celebration of many of the positive aspects of what it is to be human!
In today's high-tech, fast-paced world, it can be very easy to get completely caught up in the stress and mess of things. After some time, we may find ourselves completely lost in the chaos of the day-to-day grind, never taking time to pause and collect our thoughts. This is why I believe pipe smoking is making a comeback--it's low tech. The pipe forces you to calm down and take each moment as it comes. You can't rush through it like so much else in life. You have to settle yourself, and live in the here and now, not whatever is happening on your social media feed, or whatever notifications keep popping up on your smart device. And even if those things encroach upon your precious down time, having a pipe in hand simply gives it all a better sense of perspective.
Ultimately, I believe that pipe smoking has assisted me in my journey to becoming a more considerate husband, a more patient father, a more thoughtful friend. And I don't know anyone who wouldn't desire those attributes!
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