Khidmat Masyarakat

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cornell & Diehl : Cross Eyed Cricket

It was by chance that I came across this blend today. To be frank, C&D blends are  a pretty rare sight in Malaysia. A friend of mine who imports these tobaccos did tell me that they are not as sellable like the other offerings such as Dunhills, Petersons and the rest of the usual suspects. Hence, this particular unheard of blend was definitely not in my shopping list. I've had a particularly unpleasant experience with one of C&D's blends previously, namely the #668 : Dark Caramel. It was at that juncture that I decided aromatics were not my cup of tea and had leant more towards English blends especially those with a generous proportion of Latakia and the occasional Perique.

So, back at the baccy store it boiled down to 2 choices after spending a good 30 minutes sampling the available offerings. A part of me insisted that I was to walk out of the store with anything that has Latakia in it. A part of me was also getting weary of the more straight English blends and wanted to see mountains the LOTR dialogue..what I wanted to say was...ADVENTURE..i wanted something new and fresh and alien to my palette.. I finally decided to give this blend a go because of the tin description. And also I learned that this particular tin has been sitting on the shelf for well over a year and it came with a 30% discount! I saw that as a sign..

Upon opening the tin, the tin note was mix of sour-ish berries and a hint of the camp fire-ish latakia. Not the best tin note by far, but it was different. The moisture content of the tobacco inside was just right, however I hope this will not dry out as quickly as the 668. Only time will tell. Packing the baccy in a pipe was a breeze. Lighting the baccy was easy, thanks to the perfect moisture content.

My initial thought of the first smoke was it was a very sweet yet pleasant taste. The sweetness remained from the initial light until about 1/3rd of the bowl when my pipe went out. I don't recall the presence of the latakia throughout the first few puffs. However the perique lent a distinct sharp yet cool character to the experience. When my pipe went out, i put it down to cool before lighting it again. It was then that the woody character of the latakia made presence in the back of my throat.

What a myriad of characters this baccy has! The second time lighting it I managed to smoke all the way to the bottom of the bowl. The sweetness that was very prominent at the beginning has subdued somewhat, however puff for puff it was still very enjoyable smoke.

In the Vitamin N department or nicotine strength, i would rate this baccy as a very light strength. I see it as an all day smoke perfect for lovers of latakia who is out for some adventure..aro lovers, pick up a tin never know where the journey may take you..I know which path I'm taking on my next journey, that is to find a few more tins of this excellent blend for cellaring purposes..peace!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Peterson : University Flake

You can thank Jim Lilley for this review as reading through his excellent blog I stumbled across a picture of this blend several times, upon which curiosity got the better of me. And so it happened that I was in my favorite tobacco shop earlier and I decided to give this blend a try to satisfy my inner curiosity. Holding the tin in my hand I can't help to wonder how did the good folks at Peterson manage to cram in 50g of tobacco in what seems a miniature tin in comparison to the other blends that I am more accustomed to. The yellow-ish gold hue of the tin is handsomely complemented by the blue label which leaves very little for the eyes to digest. Emblazoned across the top of the label is the manufacturer's logo and a basic description of the blend inside which reads " A mild easy smoking blend of fine Virginias and Burley tobaccos, made the traditional way". I am even more curious at this stage and most eager to find out how the contents fair amongst other blends that I have tried. Off note here is that this is my first time experimenting with a Va/Bur (Virginia / Burley) blend as I consider myself a Va/Lat (Virginia/Latakia) smoker primarily.

Inside the tin

With the lid popped off one is greeted by an aroma that is a concoction of dried fruits, berries and fruit flavoured tea. Upon a quick check I came to discover that the tobacco used in this blend has been cased in plum. The tobaccos were somewhat moist, typical for freshly opened flake tobaccos, however I do not find the moisture level a detractor in packing and lighting the flakes. I am pretty sure a little bit of drying will definitely increase the smoking experience hence I will let time take it's course and revisit this tobacco again. The length of the flakes fits perfectly in the bowl of my Peterson system pipe off which I was presented as a gift from my father in law and recently restored by a good friend of mine, Mr Roslan Johari, or Lan Joe from RJ Pipes.

In the bowl

Once in the bowl, lighting does not take too much effort. I found the sweetness of the Virginias taking center stage with the burley adding depth and character to the smoking experience. The casing does impart a distinct fruity or plumy taste, and I find this much pleasing to my senses. I would classify this as a mild, easy to smoke blend. The tobacco taste is prominent with fruity nuances picking up once in a while. I found it rather strange that some people classify this blend has a rather strong nicotine kick. For me the nicotine level is adequate enough as an all day blend, however not strong enough to complement a nice full meal. I would still resort to my much favoured Dunhill NightCap for my post meal nicotine fix. I am quite fond of the finish this tobacco imparts on the tip of one's tongue at the end of a smoking session, it is a sweet and satisfying taste that lingers.

Solani #763 : White & Black

Today I will be reviewing an offering by Solani, blend no. 763. A quick check on the website describes this blend as a delicious flake with dark Virginia, black Cavendish and Syrian Latakia. Looking at the tin, I am quite impressed with the classy and premium yet minimalistic feel that the packaging exudes. The polished aluminum tin is decorated in black and white decal to handsomely echo the name of the blend. In this part of the world I paid RM 39.00 (approx. USD 12.60) for a 50g tin.

Inside the tin
Once the tin is popped open, one is greeted with a very loosely broken flake format. I observed a well mixed combination of dark black and light brown strands. The tin note is a very inviting sour cream-ish, ketchup and mustard aroma. I can estimate that there quite a "healthy" dose of Latakia present in this blend as there is also the smoky campfire aroma lingering in background. The humidity level of the tobacco inside the tin is what i would describe as spot-on, neither being too moist nor too dry for my liking.

In the bowl
The Solani #763 packs and lights very easily into my Brebbia pipe thanks to it's almost perfect moisture level and the coarse broken flake format. Upon lighting it, one is greeted with the sweetness of the dark Virginias and a pleasant woody aroma.The latakia present in this blend is not overly powering yet it acts as a perfect complement to the black cavendish and virginias. The tobacco stays lit pretty well when packed with just the right amount. This is a blend that I would highly recommend to beginners to English blends and not for die hard Latakia lovers. However, I find it pleasant enough to be included in my regular rotation. Indeed Solani is right to describe this as an "outstanding blend that is as smooth as silk and will soon become a favorite": amongst new and seasoned smokers alike.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Baru nak berjinak dengan menghisap pipe? Sila baca..

Saya rasa terpanggil untuk menulis artikel ini memandangkan terdapat banyak pertanyaan lewat akhir ini daripada sahabat-sahabat baru yang ingin berjinak dengan pipe smoking atau pun bahasa slangnya "ngepuf". Secara jujurnya, saya berasa gembira apabila terbaca komen2 dari sahabat baru terutama lagi dilaman sesawang group FB Mampos. Rata-rata soalan yang diajukan adalah persoalan yang lazimnya diutarakan bagi mereka yang tidak mempunyai mentor untuk membimbing dan menyediakan fakta-fakta yang berguna. Jadi ingin saya mengambil kesempatan disini untuk mengumpulkan sebanyak mana fakta dan tips bagi mereka yang baru dibidang ini.

1) Dimanakah boleh saya membeli Pipe?

Bagi menjawab pertanyaan diatas, pada pendapat saya tempat terbaik untuk anda "shopping" pipe pertama anda adalah dikedai-kedai tembakau seperti Kamelah Tobacco House, The Embershoppe dan sebagainya. Secara peribadi saya lebih menggemari ke Kamelah kerana pada pendapat saya lokasi2 kedai Kamelah adalah lebih strategik dan hampir meliputi kesemua bandar-bandar utama di Malaysia seperti Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor Bahru, Pulau Pinang, Ipoh dan Melaka. Disamping itu juga mereka ada menyediakan kaedah membeli atas talian dilaman sesawang mereka iaitu

Kedai tembakau kedua yang saya sebut diatas adalah The Embershoppe yang berlokasi di The Curve, Petaling Jaya dan Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya. Layanan yang diberikan oleh tuan empunya kedai, En CK Lim dan keluarganya pada pendapat saya tidak dapat ditandingi oleh mana mana kedai lain. Namun, seleksi pipe yang terdapat disini adalah sedikit terhad jika dibandingkan dengan Kamelah. The Embershoppe juga menyimpan seleksi sleksi pipe yang lebih "upscale" ataupun mahal jika dibandingkan dengan koleksi pipe yang boleh didapati di Kamelah, jadi untuk seorang beginner anda mungkin belum bersedia untuk melaburkan jumlah yang besar kepada suatu hobi yang anda belum pasti lagi mahu mengamalkannya dijangka jarak yang panjang. Anda boleh melawati laman sesawang The Embershoppe di

Anda juga boleh untuk mempertimbangkan untuk membeli secara direct daripada pembuat pipe tempatan seperti En Joe Kamari, dan En Jebat Malaya. Kedua2 pembuat pipe tempatan ini boleh dihubungi dengan menyertai group MAMPOS, dilaman sesawang Mutu pipe yg dihasilkan oleh kedua-dua pembuaty pipe ini adalah setara dgn yg diimport dari luar. Selain itu, anda juga boleh menempa pipe yg diperbuat dari kayu2 tempatan selari dgn bajet yg anda ada. Buat pengetahuan tuan2 dan puan2, En Joe Kamari juga mempamerkan koleksi pipe2 yg telah dibuat olehnya di laman

Akhir kata, anda juga boleh mencuba nasib dgn membeli pipe second hand di Mudah. Pipe second hand atau lebih dikenali sebagai Estate Pipe dalah sangat sesuai dijadikan pipe pertama keran harganya lebih murah jika dibandingkan dgn pipe baru. Namun, jika anda khutair tentang kualitinya dan anda tidak mempunyai teman2 rapat atau mentor di bidang ini, saya menyarankan anda supaya berhati hati. Sesebuah pipe jika dijaga rapi dan baik oleh tuannya boleh digunakan menjangkaui usia si empunya.

2) Berapakah harga sebuah Pipe yang elok sebagai Pipe pertama?

Persoalan ini adalah amat subjektif kepada individu yang bertanyakanya. Ianya berpandukan kepada bajet individu tersebut ada. Pilihlah Pipe yang bersesuaian dgn bajet anda dan bukannya menjurus terhadap sesebuah brand atau jenama Pipe tersebut. Namun, jika bajet tidak menjadi penghalang, saya ingin menyarankan supaya anda tidak membelanjakan lebih dari RM500.00 untuk pipe pertama anda. Seperti yang saya maklumkan sebelum ini, anda berada diambang menceburi suatu hobi yang baru dimana anda masih belum pasti sama ada ianya akan berkekalan atau sekadar hangat-hangat tahi ayam sahaja.

Jenis pipe yang saya ingin sarankan adalah jika berkemampuan pilihlah pipe yang diperbuat dari kayu briar. kayu ini lazimnya mempunyai daya ketahanan yang tinggi terhadap kebakaran. Kedua, tanyakan kepada penjual sama ada pipe tersebut mempunyai lapisan carbon atau pun carbonized dibahagian mangkuknya. Pipe yg telah pun dicarbonizekan ini adalah sesuai bagi beginner.

Kriteria ketiga yang mungkin anda mahu pertimbangkan adalah bahagian batang atau  stem pipe tersebut adalah diperbuat dari vulcanite atau acrylic? Jika boleh pilihlan yg jenis vulcanite kerana feel menggigit stem yg diperbuat dari vulcanite adalah lebih baik..seperti membandingkan penggunaan chopstick kayu dan plastic.

3) So, dah beli pipe, leh on lah eh?

Wop, nanti dulu. Selain pipe, anda juga memerlukan beberapa perlatan asas bagi menceburi bidang atau hobi pipe smoking ini. Peralatan yang amat penting adalah pipe tool atau pun alat pipe yang berupa bentuk sperti gambar dibawah:

Pipe tool digunakan untuk mambantu anda mengisi mangku pipe dan juga dalam operasi pembersihan pipe anda. Lazimnya pipe tool adalah murah sekitar RM 10 - RM 15. Terpulanglah pada anda nak pilih yang lebih mahal atau tidak kerana fungsinya adalah sama sahaja.
Eh, terlupa pulak! Off course anda memerlukan tembakau! Tentang isu tembakau ini, saya rasa lebih baik jika saya perjelaskan dengan lebih terperinci didalam entry yang berlainan. Sebenarnya, terdapat terlalu banyak jenis tembakau untuk dibicarakan didalam satu muka surat, dan saya pasti seseorang itu tidak akan dapat merasa kesemua jenis adunan tembakau pipe ketika hayatnya. Ianya umpama perngembaraan yang tiada hujung pangkalnya. Namun sebagai panduan kepada sahabat sahabat baru, terdapat secara amnya dua kategori utama tembakau pipe. Yang pertama adalah dikenali sebagai  Aromatic blend dimana tembakau sebegini dirumus dan diadun untuk menghasilkan aroma yang sedap dihidu oleh orang orang sekeliling. Jenis kedua ini dikenali sebagai English blend dimana rasa tembakau yang lebih asli boleh diamati oleh orang yang sedang ngepuf, namun aroma yang dihasilkan boleh menjengkelkan orang sekeliling. Jika anda dari latar belakang seorang perokok, mungkin anda mahu mencuba english blend yang ringan seperti McLelland's Frog Morton : Across the Pond atau pun Samuel Gawith : Squadron Leader kerana kedua blend ini tidaklah berat untuk orang yang baru. Jika anda lebih menggemari aroma yang wangi cubalah aromatic blend seperti Captain Black (Paket putih, emas atau biru), Borkum Riff, atau pun Peterson (Nutty Cut, Sweet Killarney). Namun begitu saya ingin mengingatkan tembakau aromatic lebih cenderung mengabitkan ketidakselesaan pada lidah atau dikenali dengan tonguebite.
Anda juga akan memerlukan perkakas lain seperti pencuci pipe sperti gambar dibawah:
Jika berkesempatan saya akan memasukkan entry berlainan pada lain hari tentang teknik-teknik mencuci pipe anda.

Nasihat saya pada yang baru ingin mencuba agar mempraktikan kesabaran dalam menghisap pipe anda. Jangan gopoh untuk mendapat kepuasan nikotin, terutama kepada bekas2 perokok.Hayati pengalaman baru ini dengan seperlahan yang anda boleh. Dan akhir kata, selamat mencuba dan welcome!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Competition #1 - Name the blend and the blend could be yours..

Hey guys! Name the blend as per the above picture and you could win this excellent blend. Please submit your entry via commenting in the section below! (Not on FB) Only open to Malaysian residents.