09-12-06

Abouth pipe tobacco...

On the package you very often read: "This blend is made from Virginia, Burley and Cavendish tobaccos. But what is the difference between these tobaccos. Here’s the information. This column we bring you in English, because many visitors are comming from far away borders to take a tour on this blog. Greets to all of them!

 

Abouth Virginia tobacco...

 

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There are generally two main families of raw pipe tobacco, namely Virginia and Burley.

 

Virginia and Oriental tobacco belong to the same type, as they both have high sugar and aromatic content. Virginia has a pH value of about 4.5, which in chemical terms means sour. Burley has a pH value of about 7, or neutral. These main types are broken down into various subtypes, which are described below.

 

Throughout history Virginia tobacco has been highly valued, and today it is the most widely used base tobacco in pipe tobacco mixtures. The popularity of Virginia is owing to the high natural sugar and aromatic content in its leaves. These natural ingredients give Virginia tobacco its sweet and aromatic taste.

 

The Virginia plant develops leaves 20 cm to 50 cm long. Virginia tobacco is harvested in several stages, as the leaves are plucked individually when they are ripe. The ripening takes place on the plant, and the leaves are harvested when they take on a yellowish colour. After being plucked, they are gathered in bundles (10-12 leaves per bundle) and hung on rods in barns to dry. Most Virginia tobacco is flue-cured (dried by warm air), which means that the temperature during the five-day drying process slowly rises to about 80 degrees Celsius. Flue-curing is a precisely controlled drying process in which the relation between temperature and air humidity draws out the natural qualities of Virginia tobacco. The colours in flue-cured Virginia leaves range from light yellow to mahogany.

 

We buy Virginia tobacco in the form of a whole leaf, strip and handstrip, which means that the stem has been removed.

 

The best Virginia tobaccos come from countries where the temperature is about 35 degrees Celsius in the growing period, with about 90% relative humidity. This tobacco is coming in the most way from USA; the states of Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia; the African countries of Malawi and Zimbabwe and Brazil.

 

Abouth Burley tobacco... 

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Burley and Virginia leaves are the same size, about 20 cm to 50 cm long, but their properties and consistency differ. The colour of Burley tobacco ranges from light brown to dark brown.

 

Burley is the second main type of tobacco used for pipe tobacco. It is known for having very low sugar content, and its leaves often contain no natural sugar. Burley tobacco has a robust aroma, burns well in the pipe and carries a slight hint of cocoa in its taste; but it does not have the sweet taste of Virginia tobaccos.

 

Burley tobacco is harvested when the leaves lose their suppleness, so the leaves are green when the harvesting begins. The plants are harvested whole, and hung to dry in barns sheltered from sunlight. No warm air is used, but the amount of fresh air can be adjusted to achieve the perfect drying conditions. The normal drying method used for Burley tobaccos is called air-curing.

There are other methods of drying Burley tobacco, as used on the famous
Kentucky tobacco. After air-curing, this Burley is then fire-cured. A fire giving off a thick smoke is built in the barn, and the aromatics in the smoke are absorbed by the leaves. Kentucky tobacco comes originally from the American state of the same name, but it is also cultivated in other parts of the world, such as Malawi.

Abouth orieltal tobacco...

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Oriental tobacco is a Virginia tobacco type and possesses the qualities that are associated with Virginia tobacco. The concentration of natural sugar and especially natural aromatics is rather high in Oriental tobacco. These tobaccos grow in warm, dry surroundings, and the leaves therefore develop a layer of wax to protect themselves against drying out. It is this wax layer that makes Oriental tobacco very aromatic.

 

Oriental tobacco's leaves are somewhat smaller than Virginia leaves, only 5 cm to 10 cm long, but on the other hand, there are many more leaves on a single plant.

 

The entire Oriental plant is harvested when the leaves are ripe. Afterwards, the leaves are picked individually, then strung and hung to dry in the sun .Oriental tobacco is sun-cured. Most of this tobacco is coming from Greece and Turkey.

Abouth latakia tobacco…

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Latakia is also a Virginia-type tobacco, and it comes originally from Syria. The leaves grow close the ground, and when they are ripe, they are harvested individually, hung on rods and dried by the sun-curing method. Afterwards, Latakia is treated differently than other Virginia types: it is also fire-cured (dried over an open fire). The leaves are exposed to smoke from the fire and thus absorb aromatics from the smoke.

 

This is the quality that makes Latakia special. Latakia tobacco's taste can vary depending on the type of wood used to make the fire. Latakia is also a tobacco we use only as seasoning, because it is very strong, spicy and unpleasant to smoke in a pure form.

Today Latakia is produced in Syria and Cyprus, and there is a difference in taste in the tobaccos from the two regions.

 

Abouth Black Cavendish…

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Cavendish is not a natural tobacco type, but rather the result of a special way of processing Virginia and Burley tobaccos. The most commonly used methods of making Cavendish are, first, pressing the tobacco while adding heat and casing and, second, heating the tobacco by steam processing. Both methods make the tobacco black as well as more mild and sweet.

 

Abouth Modern Cavendish…

 

Cavendish is not a natural tobacco type, but rather the result of a special way of processing Virginia and Burley tobaccos. The most commonly used methods of making Cavendish are, first, pressing the tobacco while adding heat and casing and, second, heating the tobacco by steam processing. Both methods make the tobacco black as well as more mild and sweet.

 

Black tobacco does not necessarily mean strong tobacco, and Cavendish is a good example of this. Cavendish can be produced in many variations.

 

Black tobacco does not necessarily mean strong tobacco, and Cavendish is a good example of this. Cavendish can be produced in many variations.

The recipe for producing Cavendish is a well-preserved secret, and that is part of what makes our tobacco blends special.

 

 

 

 

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