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Which tobacco builds cake thicker/faster?

I notice some pipes develop cake thicker and faster.  It raised the question, is it the pipe or the tobacco.  I believe cake is the result of the tobacco smoked.  Any opinion as to which type of tobacco cakes a pipe more than other tobaccos?


  • MontecristoMontecristo Master
    edited August 23

    Virginia tobacco is known for creating a cake in a pipe more than other tobaccos. This is because Virginia tobacco is naturally sweet and sticky, which helps it to adhere to the walls of the pipe. Additionally, Virginia tobacco is often cut into a ribbon or flake, which also helps it to cake more easily.

    Other tobaccos that can cake a pipe well include:

    • Burley tobacco: Burley tobacco is also naturally sweet and sticky, and it is often used in blends with Virginia tobacco.
    • Latakia tobacco: Latakia tobacco is a dark, smoky tobacco that can help to create a strong cake in a pipe.
    • Perique tobacco: Perique tobacco is a very strong and flavorful tobacco that can also help to create a cake in a pipe.
  • PappyJoePappyJoe Master
    edited August 23
    @HarryMamassian Welcome to This Pipe Life. 

    Like @Montecristo said, Virginia tobacco will build cake.

    That being said, the theory of you have to have about a dime's thickness of cake in the bowl is considered by many as being unnecessary.
    I actually believe that having too much cake in a pipe contributes to ghosting. (There's a lot of pipe tobacco which will ghost a pipe including latakia, perique and blends with Lakeland essence). 

    Many old pipe smokers now believe the best thing for a new pipe is to smoke it and then wipe the bowl out with a twisted paper towels. This will leave just enough carbon to coat the bowl and as long as you wipe it out after each use, you'll be good.
  • edited August 23
    Sadly. I don’t know that I could smoke any single pipe enough to build much of a cake.  I have to many pipes, and I don’t smoke four bowls a day.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be dead before I get any real cool patina on a meer.  When I am done with a smoke in a briar, I just shake the ash with my thumb covering the top of the bowl, then dump the ash, run a pipe cleaner or two through it, blow air through the pipe…let it rest/dry for a few days (bowl down, without a pipe cleaner jammed in it).  I have refurbished some old, well smoked pipes with very, very hard and pretty thick cakes.  When reaming them back to briar, I get an aroma, it’s been the same every time with the super hard cakes.  I believe it to be one of the old, easily attainable OTC “codger” blends.  I haven’t exactly placed it yet, but I think it is probably SWR, Velvet, PA, less so Half&Half, Borkum Riff, SWR-A.  I have yet to try Carter Hall, or Grainger, but I think they are in the running.  The pipes I have refurbished with a nasty ass latakia funk all had much softer, tar laden (might as well be creosote) cakes, and silly amounts of gooey tar in the shanks.  I would be surprised if a latakia laden tobacco would make a hard cake.  Burley is not a sweet, high sugar tobacco.  I could see a burly creating a very hard cake over time, because it seems to leave such a thin layer after a smoke, thinner, tighter, more layers should make for a very hard cake, but it would take much longer.
    These are my opinions, take them with a grain of salt, I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground compared to real, dedicated, old school, pipe smokers.🙂
         I use a twist of tissue paper (ok, I’ll say it, “shit tickets”) to wipe out the bowls of my meerschaum, clay, and kiseru’s (metal), pipes after every smoke.
    P.S. Wait for a meerschaum to cool down all the way before “tissue-ing” the bowl.
  • motie2motie2 Master
    edited August 23
    ….. or just a light coating of honey, applied before smoking a new (or newly reamed) pipe.
  • Thanks for the comments.  Sounds like I'll have some fun trying some old favorites again.
  • Latakia, Black Cavendish, and Madiera Wine

    Wally Frank's Old King Cole (Black Cavendish, Latakia, and a coating if Madeira Wine,) built  a good, hard cake for me. Most likely due to the sugar in the wine 


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