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nathaniel

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 4, 2011
788
485
Been smoking pipes over half my life. Of course we always hear and recommend "smoke slow". But that's so subjective. I don't think I've ever heard a specific metric to interpret that advice by.

Myself, I typically puff as frequently as possible until i notice my mouth gets a bit hot/fatigued, then i back off. I suppose as frequently as nearly every breath - blend or pipe permitting. So about every 8 seconds.

And as slow as every 3-4 breaths. I probably smoke too fast, because it does taste better at a slower cadence, but even after 15yrs i find it hard to keep most blends lit at that pace.


What's your cadence range?
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
15,782
29,601
45
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I don't think about it. Seriously I am from the school of sipping. If I focus on pulling really gently kind of close to minimally I don't have to worry about rhythm or cadence at all. And after a while it turns into just stick the dang pipe in your mouth and you'll do your thing naturally. Also you already know what a sip is. To get a good idea of how little effort you need do a few rounds of breath smoking just to see how little draw is needed.
 
Oct 3, 2021
1,103
5,106
Southeastern PA
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In all seriousness though, if I am in the middle of doing something or watching something that gets me riled up, then I tend to freight train my pipe. Mostly because I'm not paying attention and just puffing away. But if I am relaxing and sitting out back on my patio, I pay close attention to my cadence which is about 3-5 sips per minute, I'd say.
 

brian64

Lifer
Jan 31, 2011
9,634
14,737
I probably smoke too fast, because it does taste better at a slower cadence, but even after 15yrs i find it hard to keep most blends lit at that pace.
This is why I prefer the tobacco nearly bone dry. It varies a bit depending on the blend, but with my favorite OJK for example, when dry I usually do not have to draw on the pipe at all except when first lighting up and a little when tamping. The rest of the time I'm just breathing through my nose.

I've been smoking some Black XX lately as well, and even thoroughly dried out I find it requires a bit of occasional gentle puffing to stay lit...but if not dry, it's just an exercise in frustration.
 
1, 2, 3, 4, puff, 1, 2, 3, 4, puff, 1, 2, 3, 4, puff, 1, 2, 3, 4, puff...

Actually, I passively take in a little smoke with each breath, as it is called breath smoking. When you breath through your nose, you still expand your throat (gullet) a little, which bellows in a little smoke each time.
After the pipe is going, I never actively puff on my pipe.
 

LeafErikson

Lifer
Dec 7, 2021
1,924
16,441
Oregon
I think everyone is different but for me it depends on the blend and activity. I tend to smoke my burley blends faster than my Virginias because I can push them more and still get good flavor while keeping them cool. If I'm sitting down in the evening watching the sunset or whatever I tend to sip slower than when I'm doing work around my property.
 

bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
8,941
37,944
RTP, NC. USA
People actually count to smoke? When I say cadence, I usually mean don't smoke fast. Take your time and slow down. But that has to fit individual's way of smoking. When I smoke pipe, I don't stop to pull the smoke. The smoke more or less continuously comes into my mouth. The smoke is held in the mouth, and exhale throw nose or mouth depends on how I feel. It's almost like circular breathing. It might sound like a lot of smoke, but very little comes in. Of course, there are times when I will pull hard, but I really don't think about how I smoke.
 

PaulDM

Lurker
Dec 12, 2022
31
175
I like to see voluminous clouds of smoke. I am much like the OP - I tend to freight train it through the first 1/3 of the bowl and then I notice the bowl is heating up and slow down. Sipping really doesn't work with me, although I make an extra effort with good VAs and most aros which I find particularly unforgiving and tend to get get hot and flavorless. English blends are great for agressive chooching.
 

VDL_Piper

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 4, 2021
997
10,776
Tasmania, Australia
My big pipes I smoke from the hand like @OzPiper and they are generally a long smoke, maybe 2 hours or more but my smaller pipes I clench and rarely take them out of my mouth until smoked. Maybe if I don't get the right drying on a Gawith blend I have to stop and relight to sort it out but the breath method is the only way to go once mastered. Very hard to freight train when you're using your own breath rhythm to smoke.

As a foot note, I think a lot of people start to puff more when looking for flavour and as a result lose the flavour and scorch their mouth.
 

proteus

Lifer
May 20, 2023
1,160
1,935
53
Connecticut (shade leaf tobacco country)
Like Mr. Miagi said, smoke in, smoke out.

Seriously though the way I approach it is summarized by Chasing Embers' name. I chase the ember. I Just give the bowl enough air to keep it lit. I know by the quantity of smoke I get when inhaling through my nose with a good seal around the stem. I enlarge the airway too. The smoke tells me what I need to know.
 

DeerparkDays

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 30, 2022
180
634
Dannevirke, New Zealand
View attachment 243474

In all seriousness though, if I am in the middle of doing something or watching something that gets me riled up, then I tend to freight train my pipe. Mostly because I'm not paying attention and just puffing away. But if I am relaxing and sitting out back on my patio, I pay close attention to my cadence which is about 3-5 sips per minute, I'd say.
Ahhhhh my 4 and a half year old told me that that’s not a freight train, it’s a passenger train! 🤣😂🤓
 

shanez

Lifer
Jul 10, 2018
5,203
24,141
49
Las Vegas
Also, there is no 100% correct cadence. Everyone is different, and everyone enjoys different aspects of the hobby. Slower, typically is where you get the most flavor. As you get comfortable with the whole process, you will fall into the grooves that fit you best.
I, for one, don't mind re-lighting and don't like the feel of a hot pipe.