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How To Smoke a Pipe

Filling the Pipe
Lighting the Pipe
Pipe Maintenance and Care
Reaming the Bowl

Breaking in the Pipe

Aldo Velani Budget Italian Pipe A broken in pipe (or seasoned pipe) will provide a pleasurable smoking experience as it's essentially the sweet-spot of the pipe's overall condition. Over time with patience, skills and correct technique the inner side of the pipe bowl will gradually build up a thin layer of carbon (otherwise known as 'cake'), which is a natural carbon deposit from both the ash and sugars in the tobacco. The outcome will result in an overall sweeter taste whilst maintaining a 'cooler' pipe over the years.

The layer of carbon acts as insulation and moisture trap, which provides a barrier of protection (reduces the chances of burning out the new pipe) whilst refining the taste becoming sweeter. Generally the thicker the layer of carbon, the less chance for the pipe will heat up thus allowing the air to circulate through the pipe (due to the porous characteristics). The way the carbon absorbs sugars from the tobacco, will effect the overall flavour of the smoke.

Nowadays, it's possible to purchase a pipe that has been 'pre-carbonised' where the pipe will smoke and feel as though the pipe has been broken in. The advantage of this will mean that your first smoke will be much more enjoyable and pleasurable as the briar isn't being charred during smoking as well as reducing the chances of damaging the pipe in the initial build up.Generally all new pipes must be broken-in slowly and gradually over time.

The correct way to break in the pipe are as follows:
- Tightly pack your bowl half filled
- Draw slowly (ensure that you avoid windy environments to prevent the wind flaring up the flame)
- Between each puffs, tamp the tobacco to ensure it doesn't start to over burn and get hot
- Consistently and slowly draw through the pipe until the level reaches the base of the bowl (preventing the carbon from building up where the embers are located)
- Ensure to be careful towards the bottom of the bowl as this the most important yet difficult area to build up the layer of carbon.
- Allow the pipe to cool down and naturally air overnight when finished.

Repeat the above steps to help gradually build up the amount of tobacco until there is a good uniformed level of 'cake' around the rim and walls of the smoking chamber/smoking hole. After several pipe fills you'll need to carefully remove the moisture from the bowl whilst not interfering the cake, you should notice a difference from the first light.

In conclusion, breaking in a new pipe is a vital process of maintaining a long lasting pipe whilst enjoying a more sweeter taste. Time, patience and skill will pay off for the results, which are well worth the wait for an investment for a more rewarding smoking experience.

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