Pipe Tobacco Care and Restoration Basics

Pipe tobacco in general won’t keep forever. Unfortunately, like a lot of consumer products that are perishable, pipe tobacco will dry out over time. It’s just a fact of life.

We get asked all the time: how long? The short honest answer is it depends on the type of pipe tobacco you are using, where and how it is stored and under what conditions? 

Some absolutes about taking care of pipe tobacco every roll your own smoker should know.

Most good quality pipe tobacco will last from 30-90 days, assuming it is stored in a cool dry place. Part of the determination of how long your pipe tobacco will last can be directly attributed to the type of tobacco cut: 

  • Fllake Cut: the tobacco is comprised of large flat flakes; must be rubbed to separate individual flakes. In some cases this type of cut may stand up to a longer storage period.
  • Ready Rubbed: this is a flake cut tobacco that has been rubbed prior to its being packaged; neutral call in terms of storage properties. 
  • Ribbon cut: this is tobacco that has been cut into long thin ribbons.
  • Shag: very finely shredded pipe tobacco; works well in a manual or electric cigarette rolling machine and it may dry out a bit faster on you since the tobacco is finely shredded into smaller pieces. 
  • Cake or plug cut: most cake tobacco is soaked in honey which helps to bond the tobacco together and makes it sweet. The pipe tobacco is then rounded into molds for manufacturing. This will stay fresher longer due to the cakes or plugs, as air is only getting to a large surface area.

You cannot and should not ever put tobacco in the refrigerator. Some smokers think this will help to revive and/or prolong the life of the pipe tobacco. Just like premium cigars, the humidity (even in a compartment in the fridge) will ruin your tobacco. It will not prolong the life of your tobacco: don’t do it ever under any circumstances.

You can revive and/or restore some pipe tobacco that may have dried out. It’s not a zero sum equation though. The actual restorationl of the tobacco depends on how far gone it is too. But check out our how to revive pipe tobacco video (under 90 seconds: short and sweet). 

Thinking that you cannot customize or flavor your tobacco and must be dependent on flavors or blends created by pipe manufacturers. It’s not as hard as you would think and this video below will give you a two minute overview on how to flavor your own pipe tobacco at home. 

Every pipe tobacco has origins in these different types of tobacco leafs or blends.

  • Virginia is the mildest of all tobacco blends and the most popular type of tobacco.
  • Bright: is a very light tobacco, most frequently grown in North Carolina.
  • Burley: a thicker leaf than a classic Virginia tobacco leaf.
  • Black Cavendish: Virginia tobacco is heated and cured to produce and bring out the natural sweet flavor of the tobacco leaf.
  • Navy Cavendish: aged tobacco that is combined with some type of Jamaican rum or other types of spirits. 

In terms of storage (as we touched on earlier in this post) of these individual types of tobacco the thicker cut tobacco will last a bit longer than some of the other types. Ignoring the Navy or Black Cavendish, you won’t see much of a difference from the other types of pipe tobacco.

If you have questions about storing your pipe tobacco or about any of our 2,500 roll your own friendly products please message us via our contact form or call us via our toll free number – we typically answer the latter from 9-5 CST and providing customer service excellence is extremely important, so please reach out!