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Pipe Smoking for Beginners

Back To Pipes

If you’re just getting into pipe smoking, we get that it can be a bit overwhelming with hundreds of options and variations of pipes and pipe tobacco to select. Having so many options can make it hard to know what to start with. That’s why we’ve put together this little Pipe Tobacco for Beginners guide to help you out! 

Selecting Your Pipe

First, in a beginner’s pipe-smoking journey, you’ll want to pick your pipe. There are three main elements that go into the decision of selecting a pipe:

  1. Do you like the appearance?
  2. How you generally smoke your pipes.
  3. Economics (The Price)

With so many different options it can be a daunting task but trust your gut and you’ll be on a steady path to enjoying some delicious blends in no time! To dive deeper into how to select your pipe, check out Selecting a Pipe by our master blender Russ Ouellette.

All About Pipe Tobacco

Now that we have your pipe selected, you’ll need some tobacco suited to your tastes. We’ve included everything you’ll need to choose the best tobacco to get started. If you are interested in learning more about pipe tobacco, check out some of our other articles like Aging Pipe Tobacco and Buying Bulk Pipe Tobacco.

What’s the Best Pipe Tobacco for Beginners?

When choosing the best pipe tobacco for beginners, you’ll want to consider a few things. 

  • If you like cigars, most likely you’ll enjoy non-flavored tobaccos like a mellow burley. A mellow Latakia blend may also work well. Try to avoid overly moist aromatics until you have your technique refined.
  • If you’re going from cigarettes to tobacco, you may want to try something that contains some dark Burley, dark-fired Kentucky, and/or Perique. Former cigarette smokers tend to have a higher tolerance for nicotine, so you’ll want something with a bit more “kick.” 

Other things to know when picking out tobacco are to not make your selection based on smell alone because what you’re smelling doesn’t always translate to its smoking properties. Consider the body of the tobacco, starting out you probably don’t want anything too overpowering that would be full-bodied. 

How Much Tobacco Do I Need?

When determining how much pipe tobacco you’ll want to purchase, consider how often you plan to smoke your pipe. If you know it won’t be too often starting out, then 2oz. tins or sampler packs are a great option to figure out exactly what tobacco you prefer. Once you know what tobacco you really like and are smoking more regularly you can find your favorites in bulk to enjoy every day. 

How to Store Pipe Tobacco

Last but not least, you need to know how to store your tobacco correctly. The best way is to transfer your tobacco to a mason jar with the lid screwed on tight. This will keep the tobacco from getting dry and stale. Use a tobacco pouch to store your tobacco for the day’s use. Browse our selection of pipe tobacco pouches and jars to find your perfect storage option!

How to Smoke a Pipe

We’ve assembled all the necessary components, now it’s time to learn how to use them. This article will not go into depth on all of the aspects of smoking a pipe, but we’ve included resources that will dive further. The basics of how to smoke a pipe are:

  1. Pack your pipe - This is the process of packing your tobacco pipe with your selected tobacco. There are many schools of thought on this subject. You can find our thoughts and further instruction in our article How to Pack a Tobacco Pipe.
    If this is your first time smoking your pipe, you should also check out our article on How to Break in a Brand New Tobacco Pipe. In this article, we walk you through how to go about getting a nice “cake” that needs to be built up.
  2. Light your pipe tobacco and enjoy your smoke.
  3. Clean your pipe – Once you have finished smoking and your pipe has had time to cool, you will want to make sure to clean your pipe so that you can keep it in pristine condition. We’ll walk you through the process step by step in our article How to Clean a Tobacco Pipe

Russ Ouellette’s Tobacco University

One last resource that our resident tobacco guru Russ put together is “Russ Ouellette’s Tobacco University.” He has compiled the following compendium of information for the learning masses:

If there is anything you need to know about a blend, cut, component, or history of a tobacco blend, Russ is the guy to see. If you still have further questions, you can contact Russ directly by emailing him

We hope you found this guide useful in beginning your journey into pipe smoking. Keep reading our other articles to further expand your knowledge and find all the best pipes, pipe tobaccos, accessories, and more, here at Pipes and Cigars!

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