Smoking a pipe is English, and indeed many people believe that the male population of the island consists mainly of pipe-smoking gentlemen in plaid tweed suits. Even though this picture is only partially true, the Old World still owes its pipe to an Englishman, Sir Walter Raleigh, who taught us tobacco enjoyment. After the death of his patron, Elisabeth I. Sir Walter fell out of favor and was finally sentenced to death. According to legend, he still smoked his pipe while walking to the scaffold and then died probably with the tobacco smoke in his mouth. “Death, where is your sting?”
The pipe smoker thinks while the nonsmoker shakes off such anecdotes, shaking his head. The enthusiasm of the pipe smoker for his smoking instrument and the genius of a well-smoked pipe remain strange and incomprehensible to him. And indeed, the world of pipe smoking, unfortunately, opens up to only a few, although almost every man in his life at some point makes the attempt to befriend with the whistle. But many give up early and disappointed again. No one really knows what that is. Maybe it’s a special gene that decides who’s going to be a pipe smoker and who’s not.
So what’s makes pipe smoking so delightful among gentlemen? The pipes are not exactly affordable (given that it’s just a tube to suck smoke), the accessories are not always easy to find, and certainly, no man wants to run around in public with an arrow in his mouth – it does not look good on anyone. So why the pipe? Presumably, it is, in addition to the pure tobacco pleasure, just the seemingly awkward trappings, which contribute to the joy of pipe smoking.
But the choice of the pipe requires thorough consideration, the frequent visit of quaint, and well-equipped specialty stores which allow the purchase of interesting pipe literature. In short, it is a spent pastime that makes for a classic kind of science. In contrast to real science, the whistle is accessible to anyone who only has the ability to enjoy tobacco. As I said, Pipe smoking works and is very English.
One of the most famous brands is Dunhill, a name that is common to most non-smokers as an exclusive label for clothing as well as beautiful and ingenious accessories. A Dunhill is as popular with pipe smokers as a Leica photographer and has a quite comparable reputation. You can see them immediately at the white dot on the mouthpiece. But Dunhill offers the smokers not only pipes but also fine tobacco.
In the famous shop on Duke Street No. 30 in Westend, London, the smoker can still put together his personal tobacco blend, whose recipe can be noted and mixed on request again and again. Other good English pipe brands are Charlatan – Loewe, GBD, Parker, and Barling just to name a few. The allegedly best-selling English whistle is the Falcon, a patent whistle in which only the head is made of wood. The spar on which the head is screwed is made of aluminum. This design is very useful because it allows the replacement of the pipe by replacing the head, which saves a lot of space especially when traveling. In addition, the smoke cools well in the exposed metal smoke channel and the whistle is lighter overall.
Of course, there are also excellent pipes outside of England. For example, in Italy, the Savinelli brand offers excellent quality and good pipes are also made in France, Germany, and Denmark. In addition to entertaining with the smoking utensils per se, the pipe smoking also offers the advantage that this form of tobacco pleasure is generally the most tolerated. The smell of pipe tobacco is pleasing to most people, and fears of the dangers of secondhand smoke rarely occur in its presence. Again, as pipe smokers are thoughtless, calm, and comfortable and thus, not least, trustworthy people, the whistle is recommended to those smokers who are tired of constant remarks – both well-meaning and even hostile – about their love of tobacco.
If you look attentively at the expenses of a cigar shop, you will generally discover cigars in three different colors: dark brown to black, beige and beige olive types. The dark ones are Brazil cigars, the beige Sumatra and the beige olive Havana. Of course, this is only a very rough classification, and the exact color values could certainly be discussed, but the main point here is to name the three classic regions of origin. The most popular and best cigar is certainly the last mentioned, Havana. Thanks to a change of image in the nineties, it is now literally on every gentleman’s lips.
What was previously reserved gentlemen and was occasionally laughed at mockingly, is suddenly even in the ladies en vogue. How durable the current trend for the cigar is, will prove to be. The cigar fashion has certainly made life a lot easier for the passionate cigar smoker. Just a few years ago, cigar smokers had to deal with a wry look in public every time he lit his cigar. But even though the number of occasional smokers is likely to have increased, the community of intensive smokers will not have increased significantly.
Depending on the country, cigar makes up a greater or lesser share of tobacco consumers. In Spain, this proportion has traditionally been higher than in Northern Europe. In Barcelona, Madrid or Seville have always had many cigar smokers, the smell of cigars is omnipresent in the air. Even in America, the cigar was always present, and perhaps that’s why the smokers there so naturally resorted to them, as the publicly smoked cigarette began to be detrimental to their own reputation. Similar to the pipe, the cigar is relatively immune to the hostility of the tobacco opponents who want to make the most of the cigarette.
Anyone who decides to try cigar smoking will quickly realize that it’s not quite as easy as cigarette smoking. Of course, he can go into a good cigar shop, ask for the best cigar and then light it up when the opportunity presents itself. But the cigar fervor will not bring the right enjoyment in the first attempts. The potential cigar smoker needs some patience at the beginning, and, of course, a little cigar savoir-faire. The taste of every cigar depends on its moisture content – so it’s not too dry. Since cigars can taste very different, we recommend a detailed consultation with the dealer before the cigar purchase. From the range of his offer, he can put together a selection of half a dozen cigars, which are then tasted like a wine tasting. So, slowly, your own taste can be circled.
Once found, the question arises as to the storage of the now to be purchased cigar store. This is best done in a humidor, an air-conditioned and tempered box. It is available in all sizes, from the size of a shoebox to a walk-in closet. Here, the cigars keep their moisture, because a dried out cigar is irreversibly lost. If you are in the early stages of cigar smoking and you do not want to invest in a humidor right away, experts recommend different storage options, for example in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Others advise keeping the cigars and cedar wooden box in the wine cellar. If you do not have a wine cellar, you can put the cigar box in a cling bag together with a damp sponge. Both must then be stored cool because, in humid climates, the cigar can fall pests.
Those who are particularly lucky live in the immediate vicinity of a good cigar shop. Here you can buy your weekly cigar needs fresh. There are also cigar clubs offering storage options to their members. Everyone has their personal humidor, which is rented like a bank locker with valuable treasures in the cigar tray. They are consumed with pleasure alone or in the company of other cigar friends. These establishments also solve the odor problem. If you do not have a smoking room, you will be reluctant to smoke cigars at home unless you don’t mind being hassled by your roommates because of the thick smoke.