Friday, 23 March 2007 23:30

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

It's here! I received my sample order of briar from Calabria Pipes and it looks fantastic! I'm going to make a couple of pipes from this batch to make sure the smoking qualities are as promising as the grain and over all appearance. If they are, I've got myself a new supplier!

This order has a variety of cuts so I could see the various offerings. The top grade Plateaux is stunning! Every bit as promising as what I've seen from the big name cutters. I also got some ebauchons, and they are really nice. The long M blocks look more like Plateaux in terms of the grain and cut--very nice, I'll certainly get more! The R blocks show some very nice birdseye on the sides. These all have the look and feel of very well cut, nicely cured, and well aged blocks. I'm really excited!

Dealing with these guys has been really interesting, and an amazing challenge.

We are communicating by E-mail through automated internet translators. It took three attempts to get my inquiries answered at all. Several more to figure out how to order samples, and then three attempts to get the wire transfer payment to go through (they kept giving me the wrong IBAN number!). Then two weeks after the transfer finally went through I get an E-mail telling me something went wrong with the shipping but it's on the way, and that they will cover the added expenses. Then I get a call from UPS's customs office asking what the heck this is that I've ordered from Italy (the forms are filled out in Italian), then two days later I receive it via UPS Express! That cost them over 70 Euros even for this little order.

Well, it's all been very worthwhile and even sort of fun. I keep reminding myself that if it were easy to order from these guys, everyone would do it, and then I would not be looking at such great briar!

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 September 2010 23:35