The Tan Saarlander
In general, the amount you're putting into the bowl is too much. And it takes quite a bit of time
until you are willing to accept that it's too much.
My advice: listen to your pipe.
Draw on your pipe before lighting. If there is any kind of restriction now, you will never have a chance to
smoke this. I've had flakes expand on me to a point where it took effort to get them out of the pipe.
If the draw is absolutely free, meaning you're under the impression you have way too little tobacco in your
pipe, you've probably got about the right amount.
Once you set flame to your flake, it probably will not take the fire quite as fast as you're used to. Don't worry,
it's supposed to be that way. Compressed tobacco will burn slower, and therefore it takes a couple of seconds longer
Also: while I hardly ever do this with ribbon cuts, a flake likes a charring light before the "true light".
The amount pressed tobacco expands differs a lot from blend to blend. For most manufacturers it's pretty
similar between their blends, but not always. I myself find it disappointing when I have to dump a bowl and
waste tobacco, so using less than you think is always a good idea, and starting with half bowls when you get
to know a blend is a good idea - at least for new flake smokers.
I will later show pictures of how much tobacco I load into my pipes. I can't remember ever putting more
than 2 flakes into a regular size bowl, and many times even that's too much.