Meerschaum or Morta?

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64alex

Senior Member
May 10, 2016
382
2
Hello everybody. I am smoking pipes in the last couple of years using corn cob and clay (Lapeltier) pipes which I enjoy. I smoke mainly Em/orientals but also Va/Per and occasionally Burley, never aromatics.
I am thinking to expand my pipe mainly for exploring other materials. My criteria are for pipes which:

1. Smoke as dry as possible preventing as possible the formation of water,

2. Are neutral as possible not giving their own taste,

3. Do not ghost.

Based on this criteria I tend to disregard briar and other woods and I am instead interested in Meerschaum and Morta. Any comments and which one would you choose?
In addition I am cosmetically attracted by bamboo stems but I am afraid they might ghost or impart their own taste in which case I would not take them. Any comment on this?

 

rigmedic1

Preferred Member
May 29, 2011
3,892
0
Welcome! You have high criteria, friend. Depending on where you live and what you are smoking, moisture is part of the deal. A well seasoned briar, and many tobaccos, will smoke dry and clean. However, if you are going for flavor of tobacco, a Meer is your best bet. Imparts no flavor, similar to clay in that regard. Morta is supposed to be flavorless, but since it enhances Latakia like it does, I would only recommend it for English, Dark Fired Kentucky, and Heavy Perique blends,

I do like the Lepetier Clays, and wish they still made some of the earlier models. I only have one left.

 

drennan

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2014
344
0
Normandy
In my experience both materials smoke alot drier than briar, as I've never had any issue with moisture in either I couldn't say which of the two smokes drier.
Morta sometimes has a flavour and in my experience this can be smoked out of the pipe after so many bowls thus giving a neutral smoke. Meerschaum is neutral from the word go. You will find that whilst both morta and meerschaum pipes will smoke neutrally, in that they don't add a flavour, they will smoke certain blends better than others.
Both can be ghosted if you smoke enough of any blend through it.
I have both meerschaums and morta pipes in my collection. Morta pipes are far easier to transport and thus smoke out and about so as a result my meerschaums are house pipes. Personally I prefer morta

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,474
49
Monterey Peninsula
I'd go with a meer, unless as drennan suggests, you need to take it out and about. Plus, there are good and poor mortas, whereas a decent block meerschaum is consistently good.
But none of the 50+ briars I smoke have a problem with moisture, as I dry my tobaccos before loading, and usually smoke all or most of the way down. Pipe comes out dry, and the heat at the end tends to dissipate moisture if any.
Happy smoking!

 

mackeson

Preferred Member
Mar 29, 2016
758
0
Meer for neutral. I have never smoked a morta, but my understanding is that they do impart their own flavors. I would love to try a morta someday, but would still have chosen a meer 1st if I had it to do over again

 

dottiewarden

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2014
3,051
0
Toronto
In order for the Meer to perform as it should, it is essential that you keep it clean by wiping it out thoroughly after each smoke. Cake does not belong in a Meer!

 

theloniousmonkfish

Preferred Member
Jan 1, 2017
767
0
It's all subjective. My Meers have cake and perform flawlessly, doesn't affect coloring and doesn't ghost anymore than Meer is capable of, which it is. Really enjoy the African Meers for being able to withstand everything I've thrown at them so far.
If you like Bamboo go for it. The only taste I can detect is when the pipe isn't lit, if you pull you'll get a reedy light musty kind of flavor, not off putting, I like it, reminds me of the woods. It doesn't translate into the smoke for me though, too light too impart anything and I sense none of it when lit.

 

ophiuchus

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2016
1,197
4
:puffy: -Just a spectator on this one.
After over 30 years of pipe smoking, I have yet to try either. I've always considered myself too much of a klutz for meerschaum pipes (I've gotten better :wink: ), and I've only become aware of morta pipes in the last few years through this forum. Thanks to this place, I have a feeling that the next time I succumb to PAD, I'll feel compelled to try both. :mrgreen:

 

metalheadycigarguy

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,579
0
Washington State
I don't own a morta, so I can't comment on that material; however, I do own 7 meerschaum pipes and they're great smoking pipes. Definitely recommended. Of course you could just get one of each.

 

blueeyedogre

Preferred Member
Oct 17, 2013
1,540
0
Like most commenting I own quite a few meers but never smoked a morta. That being said if I came across one I liked I would still snap it up. I have heard good things about mortas but I know good things about meers. Choice is yours, so follow your gut and desire and enjoy whichever you decide on as I don't think there is a wrong way to go.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,024
0
OP
Both materials will ghost, full stop. Both are less apt to do so than briar. Both materials produce a drier smoke than briar and perform similarly in this regard. I find both tend to slightly color the smoke but less than briar. I tend to think meer cools while morta warms a flavors profile.
However, my recommendation for your usage is a meer with a briar style mortise and tenon. Screw tenon meers can smoke wet and with morta you can never be sure how strongly you'll taste the bog, some pipes are mild while others are downright funky.