Light your match or butane lighter and hold it horizontally over the bowl, puffing and moving the match in a circular motion over the tobacco until it is alight. Avoid burning the edge of the bowl when you light up. After a little while, the tobacco may go out. If so, tamp it down a little and re-light. If there‘s a lot of ash in the bowl, empty it out without knocking the pipe, then tamp and re-light. You may only get several good puffs from each light, which is OK. Unlike a cigar, re-lighting does not create a bad taste.
You may find the pipe getting a little juicy as you smoke. To avoid this, try to keep your mouth as dry as possible. If the pipe does get juicy, run a cleaner down it to clear it out. Let the pipe cleaner sit for a moment and withdraw. However, don‘t take the stem off the pipe while it‘s still hot, as this will eventually cause the stem to get loose or even break.
Try to puff rhythmically. If the pipe gets too hot, or if your tongue gets "bitten", slow down, or lay the pipe down and let it cool. If the pipe goes out a lot, speed up your pace. Before too long you‘ll find a good rhythm.
Try to smoke your pipe all the way down, as long as the taste is pleasant. This helps build up an even layer of "cake" (carbon) inside the bowl. When you‘re done, clean all the dottle (ashes and unburned tobacco) out of the bowl with the reamer. Avoid banging your pipe on the ashtray, as this can damage the pipe. Insert a pipe cleaner into the cooled pipe until the next time you smoke it. This will absorb any leftover juice and help keep it clean.... to be continued
Prossimo articolo: How to Begin - part III