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Sipping Versus Puffing

(26 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by irishearl
  • Latest reply from bullet08
  1. irishearl

    irishearl

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    There are some things about pipe smoking where my experiences seem to run counter to the common view. This whole sipping vs puffing a pipe thing is 1 of them. While my puffing isn't significantly stronger than sipping a smoke, I do find that the extra volume of smoke puffing a bit creates makes my blends tastier as the smoke conveys more of their flavor to me than they do if sipped.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    Technique isn't a one size fits all. Do what works for YOU.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. mikethompson

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    I'm still working on my technique, but for me (that's the operative word here) sipping keeps the smoke cooler, and my unformed palette can have a better chance at discerning flavours.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    Mine is definitely a puffing, but I've honed it well. I can puff on temperamental Virginias now, and my pipe won't get hot, and I get a ton of flavor.


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. georgebmcclelland

    georgebmcclelland

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    This is where pipe smoking distinguishes itself from all other forms of tobacco enjoyment. It's different because it transcends the hobby, the past-time, the addiction. It's an art-form, and as such, it usually requires some technique to get somewhere good. Yet, as with any form of art, it also allows for individual style. Technique is an important, but not the most important, factor. The techniques are extremely useful. They're the fundamentals. Learning to breathe and pace yourself, learning cadence, is no different from learning brush strokes or the musical scales. Learning which tobaccos will work well in a blend, and complement one another, is a mirror image of learning the color spectrum.

    In the end, it's all about whatever makes you enjoy your smoke.

    I find that I like to move between techniques and styles. I just make sure not to lose control and end up with an over-heated pipe. After I char-light, I usually start off with a few good puffs to get 'er going, if i need to even the burn I'll just zone out with the breathing method and day-dream for a while. If I feel like seeing some smoke I'll puff happily away for a bit. I also like to sip very, very slowly (and let the smoke gather for a while, before letting it out), especially if I feel like really contemplating on the flavor, and to get a good dose of Nicotine. Most times I'll go back and forth with every bowl I smoke, until I find the niche. I'm searching for that perfect harmony, the pattern, unique to that blend, that pipe, the moment of time and place that I'm in; and when you find it, then everything just sings.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. shanez

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    I find that I like to move between techniques and styles.

    I do this quite a bit. It's fun and interesting to see what affect different techniques will have on flavor.

    I do this weird thing a lot where I don't really sip or puff but instead breath in and out through my nose multiple times and somehow pull a certain amount of smoke into my mouth over a period of time. Sometimes my mouth isn't even fully closed when I do it. I don't think it's quite the breath smoking technique but maybe a variation of it?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. georgebmcclelland

    georgebmcclelland

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    Yeah, that's pretty much it. Some folks are sticklers for the rules; not me. I'm not 100% on the techniques as they are explained, or meant to be done. I tried to learn them all and sort of bastardized them to my taste until they became natural to me. Though I believe what I said in my previous post, I was speaking generally, as in most schools of life I skipped over to the parts that interest me the most, and snoozed through some classes. Since then I've forgotten most of the standard rules of method. Sometimes the smoke just shoots right through the stem, as soon as I put the pipe in my mouth. I have no clues as to the forces of physics at work when that happens.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. cajomu

    cajomu

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    For me, whether to sip or puff depends mostly on the tobacco I'm smoking. I like to sip Virginias, VaPers and the occasional aromatic. It seems to enhance the flavor and also avoids tongue bite. I always end up puffing English and Balkan blends. IME, Latakia tastes better when you puff on it and I like the luxurious mouth feel of the thick smoke.

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    Chemically there is a sweet spot where you’re “steaming” the majority of the tobacco and not burning it. Go “too hot” and it’ll get ashy, but there’s no doubt that the slowest possible burn would also get less flavour, though to flip the equation again in terms of the total volume of flavour over time (theoretically counting the total number of atomized particles you can taste) the slowest burn is probably the most productive.
    It’s a bit ironic that technically no one should ever “burn” tobacco, it is absolutely wasteful, but using the leaf as both fuel and flavor is just convenient enough, and appealing in its own right for us pyromaniacs, that here we are still talking about burning leaf.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    In the end, it's all about whatever makes you enjoy your smoke

    pipe smoking in a nutshell.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. blackadderlxx

    blackadderlxx

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    This is where pipe smoking distinguishes itself from all other forms of tobacco enjoyment. It's different because it transcends the hobby, the past-time, the addiction. It's an art-form, and as such, it usually requires some technique to get somewhere good. Yet, as with any form of art, it also allows for individual style. Technique is an important, but not the most important, factor. The techniques are extremely useful. They're the fundamentals. Learning to breathe and pace yourself, learning cadence, is no different from learning brush strokes or the musical scales. Learning which tobaccos will work well in a blend, and complement one another, is a mirror image of learning the color spectrum.

    In the end, it's all about whatever makes you enjoy your smoke.

    I find that I like to move between techniques and styles. I just make sure not to lose control and end up with an over-heated pipe. After I char-light, I usually start off with a few good puffs to get 'er going, if i need to even the burn I'll just zone out with the breathing method and day-dream for a while. If I feel like seeing some smoke I'll puff happily away for a bit. I also like to sip very, very slowly (and let the smoke gather for a while, before letting it out), especially if I feel like really contemplating on the flavor, and to get a good dose of Nicotine. Most times I'll go back and forth with every bowl I smoke, until I find the niche. I'm searching for that perfect harmony, the pattern, unique to that blend, that pipe, the moment of time and place that I'm in; and when you find it, then everything just sings.

    This is a great post. I'm the same way I'm that I alternate techniques. I will say though as someone who has spend literally days practicing musical scales that I prefer a pipe...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. cosmicfolklore

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    +1 Ash,
    Usually folks will suggest things like slowing down, sipping, or a breath technique, or drying their tobacco, or whatever suggestion, when someone is having an issue. I don't think that means that whatever the technique suggested was is that smoker's only technique. It is usually suggested as a fix for whether problem a forum member may have been having.

    Some tobaccos and pipes just seem to perform better with a stronger pull or puff, some seem to have the sweet spot on a more gentle technique. Whatever brings you the most pleasure. There are no rules here. We don't mean to tell another cowboy how to ride his horse... but if he asks, we can give him suggestions for not getting thrown.

    Michael
    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. georgebmcclelland

    georgebmcclelland

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    You're right, Cosmic, I missed that part. Looking over my post I see that I should have added something exactly along the lines of what you just said. If it came across as a jab at the guidance and wisdom of folks on this forum, that was never my intention. I certainly got a whole boat-load of help from just reading these same forums when I was learning to smoke.

    So forgive me for getting carried away on my ramblings and losing sight of the other side of the coin. When I wrote all that, I was thinking more about how new pipers can get caught up in trying to do things a certain way.

    But, hey, that's what makes this place so great. No one person can learn all they need to know from only one point of view.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. crashthegrey

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    We don't mean to tell another cowboy how to ride his horse
    Who is we? Leave us out of your extracurricular activities. All kidding aside, Ash and Cosmic hit the nail on the head here. I don't do everything the more senior (haha, in terms of experience) members here suggest, but I certainly learned a lot reading their suggestions.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    but there’s no doubt that the slowest possible burn would also get less flavour

    In my 47 years of pipe smoking, I've never experienced that to be the least bit true.

    Smoke anyway you want as long as you're enjoying the experience. For me it's about flavor, not nicotine, so I've learned how to maximize the flavors of the blends that I like, and smoke them accordingly. With each new blend I experiment with moisture levels, packing, cadence, pipes, etc to learn what brings out the most flavors in that blend for me. If someones asks me what I do, I'll happily tell them, but otherwise, it's to each his, or her, own.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. pianopuffer

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    +1 yoda. I too have found that as a VA lover, I can combine a puff/sip technique to get excellent results.

    As a general rule, however, I find that I tend to draw more when I want to stoke the ember. This is usually when I'm tamping as I push the ember lower into the bowl.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. mso489

    mso489

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    I think the advice against puffing is good for new pipe smokers who can be over-achievers, puff wildly and continually, overheat the pipe, get tongue burn, and maybe overdose somewhat on nicotine. If you can get them to gear down into the sipping mode, then they'll develop a range of cadences and enjoy the whole experience more. Don't we all puff, starting out a bowl, or enjoy nice voluminous smoke, or just after a good swig of beverage? You sure need to learn to sip, but you can also puff at will.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. upnorth1

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    If you;ve mastered both, it comes down to what works best for the tobacco/pipe combo you're smoking.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. ken56

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    I am a Puffer - never really got the sipping thing - But I puff slow and steady.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. artificialme

    artificialme

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    I usually puffing. Buy maybe let me try sipping

    Adhie was here
    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. davek

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    I smoke too hot, too often. Now that the weather is colder I find myself doing it more while getting a quick smoke outside. What works best for me when the weather is warmer and I'm relaxing with my pipe more is kind of a fast sipping. I'm taking little sips, but I'm not taking very long between them. Just keeping my mouth full of smoke for a while.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. mso489

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    In praise of sipping, I do throughly enjoy it when the ember is good and steady and I can take my time and go in sips from time to time, and at a meditative pace. Ah.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. kiltedpiper

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    Honestly it wasn't until I found this website that I really decided it was time to start developing techniques like puffing vs sipping. I'm eager to try out the breath method that I've found on here. I am also wondering if the sipping will lead to more flavor for my smokes or not.

    like many of the others have said, half (if not more) of the fun comes from experimenting and to be honest, it is what has drawn me to pipes and away from cigars now as the general pace of it lends more to the contemplative side. Still fighting the urge to get overexcited and hoard a ton of tobacco types and blow the whole budget on new pipes to try different things with.

    Goal for the moment is developing a cadence, sip or puff, that I can start from to prevent bite and burn until I learn the quirks of each new blend I can get my grubby mitts on.

    I'll always puff, just because its fun to blow smoke rings, but flavor is the goal in the end.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. 5star

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    I came to the pipe as a long time cigar smoker. That first week with a pipe I tried to produce the same clouds of smoke that I associated with cigars. I puffed like a freight train.
    At the end of the week my opinion was that pipes produced a paltry amount of smoke. The smoke had next to zero flavor. And, it just didn’t seem to agree with me because I got a bad case of tongue bite.

    Of course, all of the above was caused by my very poor technique. I stuck with it. In time, I learned to slow down my pace & that completely changed my pipesmoking experience for the better.

    As for ‘puffing’ versus ‘sipping’ ? Those terms are not precisely defined. It’s likely that everyone smokes his pipe slightly differently. Your ‘puff’ and my ‘sip’ might even be very similar. Whatever works for you is great.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. paulie66scandinavian

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    Oh Yes,I must confess I have a bit bad habit to puff more rigorously than I ought to, nonetheless I only do this with Burley forward blends(which often may lead to somewhat harsh smoking experience,but no bite,whereas in this regards I find Burleys being more forgiving,but as to any Virginia forward blends,I must be way more careful and avoid puffing and concentrate on my smoking and cadence in so to not have a bad case of tongue bite.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 month ago #
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    bullet08

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    i do this in 3/4 tempo. sip, puff, puff. actually been trying different things. mostly sipping since reading so much about not damaging the pipe. but today was puffing a little after reading this post. after the second light and after tamping. even emptied the ash today.

    Posted 1 month ago #

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