Even those strictly devoted to cigar or cigarillo smoking can usually recognize the warm, sweet fragrances of pipe tobaccos. Pipe tobaccos are among some of the most distinct in the industry, and have a long, rich history that's evolved over the years. The pipe smoking faithful have remained steady over the years, but their lush, precious blends couldn't be admired without one very important tool- the pipe itself.

While the number of blends and variations of pipe tobaccos have dramatically increased over the years, technology, manufacturing and increased logistics have brought a tremendous influx of smoking devices as well. From some of the most traditional, to the modern break throughs, here's a quick look at some of the most common tobacco pipe found today:

Whether you're new to the game, or prefer a much more conventional approach to pipe smoking, the 'Cobcorn Pipe' is one of the mainstays of pipe smoking. These easily affordable devices are economically practical, but also durable and disposable. As the name would imply, these pipes are made from corn cobs, which harken back to some of the earlier pipes ever fashioned. An effective, low-priced option, this is one pipe that will fit anyone's needs.

Perhaps the most utilized though, are 'Briar Pipes.' Briar pipes have remained the go-to for pipe smoking connoisseurs. These pips are made from the burls of the Heath trees found throughout the Mediterranean. These burls are extremely durable, hold up well to intense heat, and only mature with age. While maturing a Briar pipe may take time (years and years), the notion only adds to their appeal, and in turn rendering a product that can be tough to find at times.

The value and practicality of briar pipes is regulated by age. Aged briar has become a commodity throughout pipe and other smoking circles. Properly aged briar doesn't require the use of filters because the material itself is extremely porous. Older Briar pipes can be considered an heirloom through generations, and a novelty for newer smokers and collectors, increasing their price. If anyone wanted to be certain the pipe they're smoking from is made from genuinely aged briar, the pipe itself will be lighter than others, as less-expensive and generic pipes use newly harvest burl, which weighs a little more.

For pipe smokers on a budget, or looking to switch things up without breaking the bank, there are pipes that are constructed from sandblasted briar. This briar is almost that of 'seconds' in the cigar industry, a product that didn't quite made the cut. To enhance their efficiency and aesthetics, this briar is sandblasted, becoming very porous and practical, despite their flaws.

Finally, for the top-shelf pipe smoking connoisseur, there are 'Meerschaum Pipes.' These gems are derived from the fossilized shells from the ocean floor, some of which could potentially date back millions of years ago. The highest quality meerschaum typically comes from Eskisehir, Turkey, where the practice has become an artform. Meerschaum pipes absorb far more moisture than any other pipe, giving the tobacco within a very unique, and almost "cooled" smoking flavor. When made, Meerschaum pipes are pearl-white in appearance, and over time and use, begin to exhibit a distinguished, deep brown appearance. Meerschaum pipes are universally esteemed, and considered a prize to any pipe collection.

While corncobbed, briar and meerschaum pipes may be among the world's most common and utilized handheld pipes, there are still many others one can opt to experiment with. There are still other variations that are equally effective, albeit not as popular as the three noted above. These pips include 'Calabash' pipes, 'Hookahs' (or water pipes), and handmade pipes created from bones, clay, or metals.


POSTED ON Apr 04, 2018

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