Burley tobaccos are air cured and harvested by the stalk. The air curing process which takes place in an open barn under natural weather conditions takes 4 to 6 weeks. The leaves will turn from green to light tan or brown. The world's best Burleys are grown in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Virginia tobaccos are cured after they are harvested, leaf by leaf in the fields, when the tobacco is ripe. The green leaves turn yellow during the curing time. Virginia tobaccos are grown in many countries around the world. The Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia produce outstanding flue cured tobaccos.
Breaking in your new pipe is a crucial step in making a sweet tasting, long lasting pipe. It takes time, patience and skill. It is an investment whose rewards will be reaped manifold. The goal when breaking in a pipe is to remove any remaining impurities in the briar and to develop a uniform cake around the wall of the entire smoking chamber. The cake, like the firebrick in a fireplace, serves to insulate the briar while reducing the possibility of burning out your new pipe. As your pipe develops a carbon cake, the flavor of your tobacco will change and you will experience a cooler, drier, more mellow and richer smoke.
The first rule in selecting a pipe is to purchase the best possible pipe you can afford. The ultimate price of all pipes is determined by briar quality, stem quality, and the quality of workmanship. The quality of briar is determined by a number of factors including aging, grain texture and the lack of imperfections. This quality determines how smoothly your new pipe will break-in, how dry and mellow your pipe will smoke and how resistant to souring-out your pipe will be during its life.