The One that Got Away

Nearly forty years have passed since I produced my first commercial tobacco blend. It feels like yesterday. It also feels like a lifetime ago. I’d been working part-time at Drucquer & Sons, a well established Berkeley institution with a long and fascinating history. I sort of fell into the job by virtue of the fact […]

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Confessions of a Coffee Drinker

Cutty Pipe and Classic Stovetop Espresso Maker

I love coffee. I always have. Even as a child, coffee had a strange attraction for me. Though I wasn’t allowed more than a sip or two for fear that it would stunt my growth, something which clearly did not occur, I loved everything about it. I can easily recall trips to our local java […]

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How Does it Smoke?

Dr. Grabow Commodore Pipe

Between computer failures requiring the replacement of hardware, accompanied by the expected concomitant grumbling, combined with an attack on my otherwise healthy body by a virus of unknown origin, I’ve spent the last several days being, shall we just say, grouchy. Now that the computer problems are mostly behind me, and my own hardware is […]

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The Pipe Doesn’t Matter

Heeschen Pipe Twins

I hear the rumblings already. “What a load of codswallop, Pease? Of course the pipe matters.” Sure it does, but I can’t count how many times I’ve read similar words to those in the title, and it always makes me a little crazy. Maybe you’re one of those who believes that the briar thing is […]

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The Curse of Expectations

Ogden's St. Bruno Rough Cut

Years ago, a friend, I’ll call him Zeke, gave me two tobacco samples in baggies labeled simply “A” and “B,” asking me to give him my thoughts. I smoked both in a variety of pipes, and gave him a call. “Are you taking the mickey? They’re the same. One may have a bit more age […]

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Latakia Doesn’t Age Well

Vintage Latakia Tins from Gregory L. Pease's Collection

“Latakia goes flat after a few years, loses its flavor.” “Don’t age English blends too long, or you’ll be disappointed.” It’s a fairly common sentiment amongst some die-hard Latophiles. Smoke it up, because over time, that mixture that you once loved will cast little more than a murky shadow in the corner where once its […]

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Breathing Room

G. L. Pease Fillmore Tobacco

I love surprises. A couple months ago, I pulled the rings on freshly minted tins of three experimental blends. These had come out of the press just days earlier, and had no time to settle before being sliced and tinned. They were fresh and young and interesting, but not yet representative of what they would […]

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The Top Half, Please

Charatan Supreme

From a bunch of basket bargains to some very nice hand-made beauties, a great many pipes have passed through my hands over the years. I’ve always loved the hunt for the next member of the stable, and all the horse-trading along the way has done a lot to keep the fun alive. Many pipes, whether […]

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Ask G. L. Pease (Volume 34)

G. L. Pease As I sit down with this month’s questions, I’m enjoying a wonderful bowl in little sandblasted apple made by one of my favorite makers. While this normally shouldn’t be worthy of mention, really, in this case it is. When I got this pipe in trade from another collector, it hadn’t been smoked […]

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Ask G. L. Pease (Volume 33)

G. L. Pease Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that pipe smokers were around even before the interwebs, and our modern technology-driven ability to communicate with one another effortlessly. There was a time when we congregated in tobacconists’ shops, pubs, bars, and other public venues, but so much of that is gone, now, and our numbers […]

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