Tuesday, February 23, 2016

3 Questions All Tobacco Experts Should Be Able To Answer

The Internet (and Google) is great sources for any questions you might have on a variety of subjects. It might help you discover a tobacco shop nearest to your location or answer basic questions a new smoker might have. But asking your questions to a tobacco expert can reveal much more about a tobacco shop than one might realize.

Before committing to a particular shop over another, new shoppers will want to make sure they’re buying from a professional, knowledgeable source. The next time you walk into a tobacco shop, consider asking these three questions that all tobacco experts should be able to answer.
  • What Cigar Is Right For Me?

    For being a question with no definitive answer, tobacco experts should be able to make personalized recommendations based on certain traits. Each smoker has a unique and individual palette, making recommendations challenging. However, that’s exactly why an expert should be able to help - they understand the intricacies of different cigars and how much an individual smoker might like them. While there’s no exact science to cigar recommendations, it’s an art that experts can properly practice with just about any smoker. As an added bonus, they’ll be able to offer unique cigars that you might not otherwise consider. They have extensive experience and know unique offerings that will taste perfect.
  • How Do Regional Differences Affect Tobacco?

    Tobacco is grown all over the world and varying climates have different effects on the tobacco growth and characteristics. These regional differences can affect a tobacco leaf’s durability and aroma, even altering the flavor profiles depending on where you tobacco was grown. A tobacco expert should be able to easily explain the differences between regional tobaccos and can help find the appropriate flavor profile for any smoker. Further, they should understand the various methods used to cultivate the tobacco and how it affects the plant. Quite a bit of work goes into the entire process, and understanding the culture that influences it allows them to provide genuinely insightful feedback when you’re considering what to buy next.
  • What Will Pair With This Tobacco?

    Cigar and pipe tobacco pairings are quickly gaining popularity as more and more people embrace wine, beer, and whiskey culture. Some truly incredible combinations of flavor can be created, but figuring them out can be tricky. A great tobacco expert can offer pairing suggestions to make your next smoking experience that much more fulfilling. Even better, they can provide advice for unusual pairings that might not be common knowledge. They have a strong palette and understanding of what flavors work well together, making them qualified to answer any questions on food and drink pairings.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How to Properly Store Pipe Tobacco

There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as smoking good pipe tobacco. The entire process is something special. However, ensuring a great smoke requires a bit of effort. One such task that many smokers ignore is properly storing pipe tobacco. Storing pipe tobacco isn’t difficult, but there are some aspects to proper storage that tend to go underappreciated. Improper storage can damage the integrity of the tobacco, so strong storage habits can go a long way. Here are a few tips on safely storing it to maintain quality and taste.

Use Fresh Storage Options

When storing pipe tobacco, it’s important to note that any old container won’t do. Mason jars are commonly used, and they are excellent for storing tobacco. However, make sure they haven’t been used to store anything else - even if it has been cleaned, it can impart unintended aromas and flavors to the tobacco, and that’s the last thing you want. Instead of using an old storage container, consider investing in a set of mason jars. A fresh set of mason jars isn’t very pricey, and having dedicated storage options makes organization and the entire process of enjoying a pipe much simpler.

Keep It By Itself

Another tip is to store your pipe tobacco by itself. This means that it’s not recommended to store it with cigars, either. It won’t do much to the pipe tobacco, but the characteristics of it will gradually seep into the cigar, changing the intended flavor profile. This also means not to store your tobacco in a humidor. The same issue will occur - it’ll pull moisture from the tobacco, imparting the profile of the tobacco into the humidor itself. Needless to say, this greatly affects cigars stored in the same humidor. Instead, simply keep your pipe tobacco in a container by itself. The container should maintain proper humidity and should be stored away from light.

Treat It Like You’re Cellaring Wine

Storing tobacco is similar to storing wine in many ways. It requires certain humidity levels, no UV light exposure, and proper temperature. Regardless of whether or not you’re aging your tobacco, treating it with respect maintains the integrity of the tobacco. Poorly stored tobacco can burn your tongue, taste bad, and feel harsh on your throat. Smoking it simply isn’t a pleasant experience. Treat it with the same respect you would a great bottle of wine. Considering how easy and cost-effective it is to store it properly, there’s no reason to take the risk. Invest in some air-tight jars, buy your favorite tobacco, and enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What To Look For In A New Tobacco Shop

Visiting a new tobacco shop can be an exciting adventure. Whether it’s brand new or if it’s a location you’ve ignored, there’s always something new to be found in each shop. There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a new go-to spot, though. Not all tobacco shops are the same, but they should follow certain standards. Every shop has its own specialties and can introduce a new smoking experience to each visitor in a safe, informative environment. Here are some of the indicators that a tobacco shop deserves your attention.
  • It’s Clean and Organized

    To start with, a tobacco shop should be clean and organized. The importance of cleanliness in a tobacco shop can’t be overstated; it’s indicative of their attitude toward the product they’re selling. Further, there are a lot of different kinds of tobacco and cigars. Finding a particular brand or name shouldn’t be a chore. After all, the fun of smoking cigars and pipe tobacco is discovering new things. A tobacco shop should be able to accommodate this. Plus, remember that tobacco is something that goes in the body - if it’s sold in a dirty environment, there’s a higher chance of smoking tobacco that hasn’t been properly maintained. 
  • The Staff Is Knowledgeable

    Another important thing to note when visiting a new tobacco shop is the staff. A friendly and welcoming employee can make all the difference in the world, especially when making a tough decision. If they’re unresponsive to questions, it’s a sign that they either aren’t qualified to help or that they simply don’t care. If that’s the case, it might be best to shop elsewhere. However, if they can answer your questions and make recommendations based on what you’ve previously enjoyed, you’ve found a shop that genuinely cares about quality tobacco products and the customers buying them. 
  • Their Variety Is Carefully Chosen

    Finally, a great tobacco shop will carry a specific variety of products that cater to their audience. Specifically stocking certain cigars and pipe tobacco tells you that they put thought into what they’re selling, and that dedication carries throughout the entire business. Sure, it’s important to carry the standard staples like Romeo Y Julieta, Cohiba, and the like, but a good shop won’t stop there. They’ll carry more eccentric and unique options designed for certain kinds of smokers. Think of it like a great wine shop - the selection is large, but it’s obvious that the owner cares about what they stock. Tobacco shops are no different

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