270 - October 6, 2011
Across the (e-)Counter
Way back in 2000, when we set up our website, we received more questions, queries and orders from people outside South Africa than from the local folks.
On reflection this shouldn’t have surprised us – we didn’t have a computer database filled with local pipe and cigar smokers, and our older, loyal “mail order” people were mostly unfamiliar with the Internet and uncomfortable with buying through this relatively new medium.
But times have changed, and although we still ship products to distant countries (which is interesting) many of the questions now come from the “local folks”.
Some are straightforward and some require research.
All-in-all they add interest to the day’s work.
Here are some of the questions I feel appeal to a wider group of readers.
Thank you for your message - I'm glad to say that the pipe and accessories did indeed arrive, and in perfect condition. I have been refining my packing, lighting and smoking technique, and have recently found it quite easy to maintain a lit pipe to the very bottom of the bowl without any relighting after the initial charring light - provided, of course, that conversation at the time does not get too engrossing as to make me neglect my pipe!
I do, however, have a quick question regarding tobaccos. Nearer the end of this year, I will be sharing my house with several guests for a week or two; and although they claim to not mind my pipe (which I do not smoke often, and only ever outside), I would like to try an aromatic blend that will be as pleasant as possible for them whenever they cross downwind or are exposed to my smoke should I light up while we are out and about together. I am also quite keen to try an aromatic as a new experience, what with my only two pipe tobaccos tried so far being English blends. I am wary of cherry flavours as I find the general taste and smell of cherry products slightly sickening (perhaps an association with medicine), but vanillas have always intrigued me.
Are there perhaps any recommendations on aromatics that you could make for a novice pipe-smoker?
My two suggestions from our Houseblends are No.43 Old Gold, and No.46 Full Gold.
No.43 – Ideal for a mid-morning or before-dinner smoke. Very pleasing aroma.Other than cherry our most popular aromatic tobacco. It’s a combination of US Burley (which holds the flavour) and a local Virginia / Turkish flake.
No.46 – Same pleasing aroma but more full flavoured with natural matured tobaccos and a hint of Perique. Better suited to an after dinner, or after lunch smoke.
Neither of these should offend your guests. You might even get a few compliments.
I’m not sure which English blends you have been smoking, but you should be able to blend in a little No.43 for aroma without altering the taste too much
(A further email: I can quite confidently say that from the very first light, No. 43 became my new favourite tobacco! It is exactly the kind of blend that I imagined as the ideal smoke for the situation - light, sweet, and with a beautiful aroma. I have already had some of my friends complimenting its note, and I've found it to be near-perfect for everything from strolling the suburbs to relaxing after a large meal. Well done on a brilliant blend!)
Are you guys able to source a Kruger Opstaan?
The Kruger Opstaan was a variation on an Oom Paul pipe, made solely for South Africa and widely available in the 1970s. Its popularity was due to the full bend which made it light on the teeth, and the fact that it was self-standing.
We currently carry the Oom Paul from Lorenzo in various sizes and finishes – also self-standing. And the Savinelli Dry System has great balance in the mouth.
I have a Savinelli Duca Carlo Pipe Shape 616 KS. The mouthpiece is broken. Any chance you perhaps have a replacement mouthpiece for me?
I’m not sure where you live. Can you by any chance get the pipe back to us so that we can do a proper job on it – cleaning and refreshing included? Pipe mouthpieces are not all standard sizes. They need to be trimmed and polished.
Alternative: 6mm or 9mm pipes have a standard inside bore, so that if you don’t mind the outside fit we can send you a mouthpiece approximately the same as the one in your picture
Posting tobacco products
Do you have any further clarification on the new tobacco law regarding sending tobacco via post? It's so far for me to travel to my nearest Wesleys.
To the best of my knowledge, the law is unchanged: we may not send, and you may not receive, tobacco products through the post. This does not apply if we are shipping to another retailer. Maybe you have a friendly shop in your area that sells some tobacco products, eg cigarettes. There would be a profit in it for them.
Cleaning your pipe – this was a really interesting question:
I have a query that I wonder if you could help with.
I have read about the salt treatments that can be done on pipes, and I’m assuming that normal drinking alcohol is not the right kind to use. is there a specific type or does wesley's maybe sell a pipe treatment kit.
As far as pipe cleaning is concerned I don’t know of “salt treatment”. Where did you hear about this?
Here is a link to a salt treatment description: http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Pipe_care/cleaning#What_can_I_do_when_my_pipe_.22turns_sour.22.3F
I have read about it on several pages on the internet, aswell as on youtube.
I’ve now read about the “Salt Treatment” (thank you) which I had never heard of before.
I noted though that there were some reservations about certain pipes being able to withstand the treatment.
The charcoal pellet treatment also sounds a bit drastic.
I also noted the sentence about using a bristle cleaner dipped in “pipe sweetener”.We have excellent results using just the Pipespray and bristle cleaner as described in http://www.wesleys.co.za/refurb.html#prof
Why not give this simple method a try – you may not need the complicated systems.
Visit our website and select some bowl polish, mouthpiece polish and a can of aerosol spray.
Then prepare yourself to clean up a pipe watching a World Cup Rugby match.It may relieve the tension.
I believe I was supposed to indicate on my order whether I wanted the Pavia with 9mm filter or not; I hope you might have gathered from the 9mm filters in my order that I was looking for a Pavia with filters;
The words “Optional 9mm filter” refer to the fact that space is available in the mouthpiece / shank for a 9mm filter, but you have the option to use the filter or to fill the space with the adapter provided if at any time you don’t use the filter.
When I receive my pipe with the “optional filter” does this mean that I can smoke with either the filter or the adapter? And does the adapter come with the pipe
Filter pipes must be smoked with either the filter or an adapter (usually supplied with the pipe). Smoking without the filter (or adapter), even once, will allow moisture to condense in the empty space and seep into the shank, causing it to swell. This will result in a cracked shank, or a loose mouthpiece which is very difficult to remedy. If this happens to you, take it in to your nearest Wesley’s for an opinion.
The Tenon/Peg is tougher than the wood! Keep it clean so it won’t stick. Wipe and pencil it occasionally so it slides easily. Have a look at the Gallery
Because of the metal band, Savinelli Dry System pipes are excluded from this warning – and also the Marca Parma back in stock at last.
Talking of the Marca Parma being “back in stock at last” – a welcome return after nearly 5 years -
how about ……..
We have a lot of fun – we’re always learning something new!
No.270 October 6-19, 2011
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