I recently got a new Morta pipe and wanted info on how the start it out, what smoked best, hard info on how it was different. Below are some comments from members experienced with smoking Morta pipes.
Basics: What the hell IS Morta?
So the prevailing wisdom seems to be the it smokes a bit like a meer, doesn't need cake, heats and cools quickly, can tolerate repeated bowls without rest. It can have a funky smell when new that should dissipate by the time you've smoked a half dozen bowls. It's no good for aromatics, but shines with Balkan, Oriental and English blends. VA blends also work, but perhaps on a lesser level.
Below find some member comments:
Very distinct differences from which bog the Morta came from and the kind of muck it was living, err dying in which makes some funk and others not so much.
I would do some heavy Lat in the funk and it should settle down in about 3 bowls, Pirate Kake or ODF or a high Vitamin N rope should bring it around. If the new one is biddable I'd give it a maiden voyage with your favorite VA, Morta is nearly the wood equivalent to meerschaum except once it cools, which is quickly, you can repack for another go, don't let it cake, if pushed too hard your fingers will let you know to slow down and it settles rather quickly. It is very neutral once it evens out any funk and the full flavor of the tobacco shines like no tomorrow. Enjoy your new rack mate
I have about 5 of them, dated from 4 to 8 thousand years. Each one smokes differently. (but then again, it's the same with briars) All of them are exceptional smokers if not counting the one that's heavily ghosted and the ghost doesn't seem to go away no matter what.
There are a few things that can be said about mortas:
1. They heat up very quickly, due to high content of minerals (metal) in the wood. It's more thermal conductor than insulator.
2. They cool as quickly as they heat.
3. They smoke cleaner than briar, not as much as meerschaum, but close.
4. They get ghosted easily. DO NOT EVER smoke Lakelands in morta!!!!! You're gonna have a bad time. (personal experience)
5. They are more heat resistant than briar, you can develop cake, but not necessarily. I don't keep cake on mine, and it's ok.
6. In terms of weight they are lighter than briar, which is a good thing.
7. After the carnauba wax is gone, they retain the shine if polished well.