Develop Your Technique
You may be asking, "How does one puff hot smoke without burning oneself?"
The answer, my friend, is technique. In short, don't pull so hard. Over-smoking draws in more air, creating a bigger flame, and thus generating more heat, steam, and smoke capable of burning your mouth. Smoking your pipe with slower, more controlled pulls will keep the flame alight without forcing it to scorch the entire bowl, giving you that cool air of sophistication that separates dorky novices from debonair pipesmen. Mastering a controlled technique goes a long way towards never having to worry about tongue burn again.
Watch Out For Moisture
Excessive moisture is the biggest culprit behind tongue burn cases in smokers. Blends that are still extremely moist generate very high temperature steam when lit and stoked, especially when stoked excessively. This leads to the standard burn we've grown to loathe.
Another issue to look out for is moisture getting trapped in the pipe itself. We recommend periodic cleanings with a pipe cleaner. If you definitely prefer your blends moist and fresh, but are tired of being burned, grab a pipe with a filter and puff away to your content. Honestly, 9 times out of 10, if you're suffering from constant tongue burn, you're having a moisture issue and should probably dry your blends a little more and be sure to keep your pipe clear of moisture.
Adjust Your Blends
Now things get a little more technical. Tongue burn is the result of a chemical burn to the mouth. The question to understand in order to avoid the burn is, what causes this to occur at all? Research pins the blame on the differing pH characteristics inherent in individual blends, which react with people's mouths differently. Plainly stated, some blends may just be too "spicy" for some people. Of course, not everyone is susceptible to tongue burn just like everyone isn't allergic to peanuts. The key here is understanding what applies to you.
To combat this, we recommend adjusting your blend for a more balanced pH, as well as staying away from acidic drinks during and just after smoking. Acidic blends like Virginias can offset more alkaline blends like Burleys. Try experimenting with different percentages to find a blend that's right for you.
So, now you know what tongue burn is and how to avoid it. But what if you already have one? What if you're the poor soul who stumbled upon this article seeking a cure? Fear not friend, we've got that too.
Aside from drinking water constantly as a way of life, we also recommend drinking it during and after a good smoke.>>