There are basically three different types of pipe tobacco—aromatic blends, Virginia blends and English blends.
These tobaccos exhibit their own characteristics but generally the aromatics are flavored, Virginia blends tend to be sweet and English blends are typically stronger.
Choosing the appropriate tobacco is an important part of pipe smoking. Take time to reflect on your mood and choose wisely. Consider the blend by reading the information on the container. What types of tobacco have gone into the blend? Some blends are so complex that they incorporate tobaccos grown on as many as three, sometimes four continents.
Look at the blend. How is it cut? Blenders pay close attention to how the different tobaccos will look in the tin. How does the dark leaf look next to a bright yellow strand of Virginia tobacco?
Bring the tin up to your nose and take a deep sniff. What do you think of when you first sniff the aroma? Is it light and fruity or is it pungent?
Pipe smoking is as much ritual as it is enjoyment and the smart pipe smoker will take time to study the blends that he smokes.
Remember, tobacco blending is an art and the tobacco blender an artist who must account for his blends’ appearance, aroma and taste.
Smoking a pipe should garner your respect and attention and it can be a vehicle for thoughtful contemplation.
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