Okay you have embraced the premium cigar or pipe tobacco lifestyle and you want to understand what are the basic rules of the road for etiquette, how to identify or care for a premium cigar, what are the basics about pipe tobacco and more. This blog is for you and we hope it’s helpful, insightful and in a style that makes it easy to read.
Some Smoking Etiquette Rules of the Road
- Lets’ talk about smoking etiquette whether you are firing up a premium cigar or a blunt loaded with your fav pipe tobacco, or whatever. If you are in a crowd or just a room it’s always polite to ask: “mind if I fire up a …….” Just the right thing to do.
- Remember cigars are not cigarettes and you never want to light up a friend’s (especially a lady) cigar, especially if it one they have been saving for a while. This is solo process and they don’t need your help other than passing the butane lighter to them.
- Cigar bands are there for a purpose and in most cases it’s best to smoke 50% of it and then remove the band.
- Don’t be a schmuck, never use a premium cigar like a pointer and you should not squeeze it between your index and middle finger either.
- Chewing gum is one thing; but chewing on a cigar in your mouth is just not going to end well. Wed tobacco is never going to test good.
- Savor a fine cigar and take your time smoking it. Live leisurely.
- It’s cool if you are stubbing out that hand rolled smoke in the ashtray but a cigar should be left to die on its own accord. Place it in/on the ashtray and let it burn out.
How to DIY Your Pipe Tobacco with your own Distinctive Flavoring
First, know that pipe tobacco will not age like a fine wine. As much as we’d like to tell you it will, unless you have a level of expertise that is world class, there is no way to save pipe tobacco more than a few months.
To brew up a batch of your own loose pipe tobacco start with an an airtight container and place a small amount of pipe tobacco in the container. Just like moonshiners, use a small amount of tobacco and test multiple types of flavoring and time variations to see what is optimum.
You don’t want to ruin a five pound bag of OHM Pipe Tobacco at the outset. We’d love your repeat business, but not this way.
Follow these Steps for Home Brewing Pipe Tobacco
- Add the flavoring to the tobacco in an airtight container. How much booze should you add? That’s a hard question to answer; if you are using rum, whiskey or even essential oils (these can be pretty exotic) start with a small amount and use a small test batch of tobacco.
- Once you’ve added the flavoring to the tobacco in the container shake it up thoroughly. That will help to combine the flavoring with the tobacco. Just common sense stuff.
- Let the container sit for 12-24 hours while it is sealed.
- Then, remove the lid from the container and let the tobacco dry out a little. You can try an hour or two a day for drying until the tobacco has the right moisture content.
Flavoring Tips from our in house Tobacconists
Don’t go cheap with the flavoring agent, it will give you a somewhat funky taste. Use better quality booze or flavoring. The end result will be a much better taste.
- You don’t need to pour a shot of booze into a moderate amount of pipe tobacco. A few drops should impart sufficient flavoring, no more or less.
- Got some old stale pipe tobacco laying around the house? Don’t toss it. Revitalize it by mixing some good rum or even Grand Marrnier to give you a unique smoking experience. And, you can impress your friends with your DiY skills too.
- Snuff tins can make great containers, although a bit limited in size as most of you know.
We Get Asked all the Time: What’s the difference between Handmade Cigars vs. Machine?
The bottom line: in most cases handmade cigars are typically more expensive than those that are mass produced, often using more and better quality tobacco, mature leaves and the expert touch of a cigar maker who knows what they are doing. It’ s truly a one off custom product and each one has its own unique characteristics.
- Handmade premium cigars are usually made with longer fillers. These fillers run the length of the cigar, as opposed to just the beginning or a few select parts, typically found with a machine made cigar.
- The makeup of the filler is critical to the taste experience, the filler affects both the draw and the rate at which it burns – ensuring a better taste experience as you smoke your stick.
- Some cigar aficianados believe a hand-rolled cigar is better as the human hands are more apt to roll it without bunches, while others put their trust more in an automated process, believing automation ensure more consistency in the manufacturing process.
- The caps at the end of a hand rolled versus machine made feel different to the touch: the caps on machine-made cigars are pointed while those that are handmade tend to be smooth to the touch, giving you a more pleasing tactile experience.
Pipe Tobacco Customers ask us this all the time: Go with an Electric or Manual Rolling Machine?
Here are six key factors that will help you make a better decision.
- What are your volume needs: how many smokes per day, week or month do you need?
- Cost is not a huge issue; you can find a basic manual machine for under $50 bucks and a good quality electric rolling machine for under $99.
- An electric machine is more sophisticated than a manual product; so, you need some kind of a staging area for the machine and your pipe tobacco. Although the kitchen counter will function if you don’t have a lot of space.
- In this age of convenience speed is certainly an issue. A manual machine takes much more time to operate vs. electric. But, it requires much less space and it’s portable.
- Electric are of course more efficient than manual. Your pushing a button and good to go on production.
- A manual machine requires more hands on operation; in most cases you have to slide an ejector lever back and forth or manipulate a handle as you operate the machine.
What Distinguishes a Fine Cigar or Pipe Tobacco from Mediocre Products
Both products come down to the type of tobacco used in the product, the sophistication of the fermentation (if applicable) how the pipe tobacco or cigar was stored and packaged.
Qualtiy tobacco or not defines a good quality cigar or pipe tobacco and you want and should expect consistency with the tobacco used to make your either product. You want consistency in the raw materials and other processes, as earlier.
- For cigars, the expertise of your manufacture and the people that do the buying help to determine a great tobacco source – a good tobacco buyer travels the world, in many cases has decades of experience assessing and buying high quality tobacco.
- Many have their own network of farmers and growers and they are savvy enough to distinguish between good and bad tobacco and also know when to “stock up” on a particular harvest to ensure each cigar has the same source of tobacco leaf.
Not to too our own horn too much. But, our Au Naturalle Ohm Pipe Tobacco is grown on select organic tobacco farms, using seed stock that has been sourced from plants grown in VA since the late 1800s. Long before pesticides and chemicals were used to grow tobacco, it was grown in Virginia using traditional organic methods based on hand crafted techniques passed down to farmers via Native Americans.
Whether you select our pipe tobacco product or another brand you want an organic product, that has no pesticides or additives and it should be manufactured and stored to exacting standards, to ensure each package is flavor rich and satisfying. If your manufacturer is cutting corners in an step in tobacco selection, manufacturing and/or flavoring it will be reflected in the taste.