Keep It Clean
It should go without saying, but it’s absolutely crucial to keep your pipe clean. From your first smoke, regular maintenance is important; begin each smoke by running a pipe cleaner through the pipe to break up any residual tobacco. When it’s cleaned out, pack the tobacco and light it. However, when lighting it, avoid burning the rim, as damage can accumulate over time. Remember while you’re smoking to take note of the taste. If you note any off tastes, it’s probably time to clean. After smoking, remove all buildup in the pipe after allowing it to cool. Maintaining a certain level of cleanliness makes every smoking experience more enjoyable.
Know What You’re Smoking
Tobacco comes in a stunning array of varieties. There is no one-size-fits-all for pipe smokers, and for good reason. Each tobacco you smoke will bring with it different aromas and flavors, making each smoke unique. As such, take the time to figure out exactly what you enjoy from various options (and possibly enlist the help of an expert at your favorite tobacco store). As for your pipe, the quality of the tobacco you smoke will determine how smoothly it will break in, so to speak. However, don’t let this frighten you too much - at the end of the day, it’s all about smoking what you enjoy, and if your pipe sees tobacco you love, you’ve got a happy pipe in your hand.
Pack It Properly
Packing tobacco properly is a skill that takes a fair bit of practice. The tobacco near the bottom needs some air, but near the top, it needs to be packed tightly enough to maintain a proper light. Learning to strike this perfect balance is a bit tricky, but with practice, it’ll come naturally. If you breathe in and it’s like sucking from a straw, it’s too loose. On the other hand, you shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to pull liquid concrete through the pipe - if it does, it’s too tight. With a perfectly packed bowl, maintaining a clean, strong light is no trouble at all, and your smoking experience will continue to improve. Plus, as always, remember to light your tobacco with a match.