With Pipe and Pen  Blog » Pipe Tobacco

Pipes or Tobacco – What’s Your Passion?

    June 16th, 2011


By Bob Tate

tobacco-or-pipesPipes and Tobacco. Tobacco and Pipes. You can’t really have one without the other to enjoy all of the pleasures that pipe smoking has to offer. There are some exceptions when it comes to pipes though, as I know of people who don’t really smoke their pipes and just buy them for the art that they are and the collect-ability factor. There is nothing wrong with this, but I don’t consider these people as pipe smokers, I consider them pure collectors.

Pipes are wonderful and I enjoy them immensely. I love looking at them and, like most of you I presume, some of them just call out to me. Some of them are pure works of art that demand attention and respect for the carvers’ abilities. But for as much as I enjoy pipes, I can’t say that they are my passion.

Although I enjoy looking at them, buying them, and smoking them, I never get really passionate or obsessed with them. I don’t pour myself over the pipe inspecting the grain, the stem, the symmetry, and other things that the people who are really passionate about the actual pipes do. I more or less look at the pipe as a whole and the overall look and feel of the pipe. If I like it, I like it. If I don’t, I don’t.
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The Mystery of Balkan Blends

    March 24th, 2011


By Bob Tate

Balkan BlendBalkan Blend. That term is very mysterious.
Is there really such a thing?
If there is, what is it?
What distinguishes a blend as a Balkan Blend?
These and many other questions arise from the mysterious term of Balkan Blend. This is one of the most debated and discussed subjects amongst pipe smokers when talking about blend genres. This is a subject that can seem very confusing because there doesn’t seem to be any real, clear cut, definitive definition for Balkan Blends. It seems to me that the definition for Balkan Blend is based solely on conjecture and personal opinion.
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English Blends and Latakia Blends - One and the Same?

    March 9th, 2011


By Bob Tate

English Pipe Tobacco Blends

Some of you may know from reading my articles, reviews, and from discussions in our forums, that I normally use the term ‘Latakia Blend(s)’ and not ‘English Blend(s)’ when I am talking about a blend that contains Latakia tobacco. The reason why I don’t like to use the term English Blend when associating it with Latakia is because the addition of Latakia into a blend does not make it an English blend. I have no idea where that connection started from and most people that I have talked with whom are from Great Britain do not understand it either.

I believe that the term ‘English Blend’ started being used in the American pipe tobacco market. Maybe they began using it to distinguish between English blends of the day that were manufactured under the tobacco purity laws of Great Britain and the blends that were made in America. It is also possible that it may have started off as a marketing gimmick that caught fire and spiraled out of control. Regardless of how it started, it is erroneous to refer to all blends that contain Latakia as ‘English Blends’.
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How to Rehydrate Pipe Tobacco - Rehydrating Pipe Tobacco

    July 5th, 2009


By Bob Tate


If you store your pipe tobacco properly, it should not dry out. But I am sure that it has happened to us all at one time or another. We open a tin, pouch, or baggie to smoke some tobacco and place it back on the shelf and forget about it being open and it dries out. Don’t throw it away because it can be saved. Pipe tobacco is not like cigars, it can be rehydrated very easily. In this article, I will talk about some ways to rehydrate pipe tobacco if it gets too dry to handle.

First let me say that you don’t have to rehydrate and some people actually prefer their tobacco on the crispy side. There are certain tobaccos that I prefer on the really dry side. However, there are those who say that if the tobacco gets too dry, it loses some of its flavor and needs to be rehydrated so you can taste the ‘actual’ flavor. It’s all about personal preference.
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Pipe Tobacco Storage

    June 22nd, 2009


By Bob Tate


A lot of pipers wonder if and how they can store their pipe tobacco. There are ways to store your tobacco and it will last for years and if done properly, it will allow the tobacco to age and this is a good thing. Aging a tobacco allows the blend to ‘marry’ together for awhile longer sometimes creating a slightly different taste than what the blend originally started off as. But seeing as this article is not about aging, but storing, let me begin. Read the rest of this entry »