Tobacco Types

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Aromatic Fire Cured Tobacco

Aromatic Fire-cured tobacco is a variety of tobacco  which is used as a condimental for pipe blends. In the USA, it is grown in northern middle Tennessee, in Virginia and central Kentucky. Aromatic Fire-cured tobacco that is grown in Tennessee and Kentucky is very often used in moist snuff, chewing tobaccos, some special cigarettes. It has an unbeaten, rich, floral taste, and adds aroma and body to the blend.

There is other fire-cured tobacco, Latakia and it is produced from different oriental kinds of N. tabacum. The leaves are smoked and cured over smoldering fires of local hardwoods and aromatic shrubs in Syria and Cyprus. Latakia has a very special flavor and a very nice smoky aroma; it is used in English and Balkan style pipe tobacco blends.

Bright Leaf Tobacco

Bright Leaf tobacco is very well known as “Virginia tobacco”, often regardless of the state from where it is coming from. Before the American Civil War, a lot of tobacco grown from US was fire-cured dark-leaf. This kind of tobacco has been planted in fertile, special places.

After the War of 1812, the demand for a more aromatic tobacco, milder and lighter has risen up. Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and all innovated a little bit with milder types of the tobacco plant. Farmers around the country have experimented with different, interesting, curing processes. But the most important change didn’t come before 1839.

It had been observed for centuries that highland, sandy soil produced weaker, thinner plants. Abisha Slade was the Captain of Caswell County, North Carolina knew a lot of information about sandy, infertile, soil and has planted the new “gold-leaf” varieties on it.

Slade had a slave, whose name was Stephen and around 1839 accidentally made the first true bright tobacco. He used charcoal to restart a fire used to cure the crop. The surge of heat has made the leaves in a yellow color. Using that discovery, Slade organized an interesting system for manufacturing bright tobacco, using charcoal for heat-curing and cultivated on poor soils.

Slade has appeared many times in public to share the bright-leaf process with different farmers. He had built a house made of brick in Yanceyville, North Carolina.

The sandy soil of the Appalachian piedmont was all of the sudden profitable, and a lot of persons quickly developed flu-curing techniques, a better way of smoke-free curing. Farmers discovered that Bright tobacco needs starved, thin soil and other persons who could not grow other crops started to grow tobacco on those fields. The farmers who had no profit for a long time, suddenly had profit with 20-30% more. Till 1855, six Piedmont counties, Virginia conducted the tobacco market.

The soldiers went home when the war was finished and suddenly there was a national market for the local crop. Pittsylvania and Caswell counties were the only two counties in the South that experienced an increase in total wealth during the war.

Burley Tobacco

Burley tobacco represents a light air-cured tobacco used at the beginning for cigarette manufacturing. In the United States of America it is produced in an eight state belt with approximately 70% produced in Kentucky.

Tennessee manufactures almost 20% with smaller amounts made in North Carolina, Indiana Missouri, Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia. Burley tobacco is manufactured in a lot of countries with major production in Brazil, Argentina and Malawi.

In the U.S., burley tobacco is begun from palletized seeds put in polystyrene trays floated on a bed of fertilized water in April or March. Transplanting begins in May and progresses through June with a little percentage set in July.

Manufacturers have to fight against big diseases such as blue mold, black shank and insects like hornworms, aphids and budworms. Topping lets energy that would have made a bloom to expand leaf expansion. At almost four weeks after topping the tobacco plant is cut by using a knife that is shaped like a tomahawk.

Each plant is being spudded; spiked or speared (the terminology depends on the geographic place). Each stick has to have five or six stalks. Sticks of green cut tobacco are most often allowed to field wilt for three or four days prior to hanging in a barn.Tobacco is put to air cure for eight weeks or even more turning from the normal green to yellow color and then to brown.

The high quality achieved by U.S. burley manufactures is due to natural curing conditions. When the are fully cured the tobacco is taken down, sticks are being removed and the leaves are stripped from the plant into grades by stalk position.

Cavendish Cutting Tobacco

Cavendish is more a method of cutting tobacco leaves than a type of it. The cut and the processing are being used to bring out the perfect, natural sweet taste in the tobacco. Cavendish can be made out of any tobacco kind but is almost all the time a blend of Kentucky, Virginia and Burley and is quite often used for cigars and pipe tobacco.

The interesting process starts by pressing the leaves of tobacco into a cake about an inch thick. Heat from steam or fire is applied, and the tobacco is let to ferment. This is made so that in the end the tobacco to be mild and fine. In the end the cake is sliced. These little slices must be broken apart, between palms in circular moves, before the tobacco can be evenly packed into a pipe. Flavoring is very often added before the leaves are being pressed.

There are a few colors: the well-known Black Cavendish, numerous blends, and a big variety of flavors. Modern blends have ingredients and flavor like: chocolate, cherry, strawberry,  walnut, rum, vanilla, coconut and bourbon.

Cavendish tobacco has origins in the end of 16th century, when Sir Thomas Cavendish, in 1585 commanded a ship in Sir Richard Grenville’s expedition to Virginia, and had discovered that by dipping tobacco leaves in sugar it made a milder smoke.

Corojo Tobacco

Corojo is a type of tobacco leaves which are used in the making of cigars, cigarettes originally grown in the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba.

Corojo was in the beginning grown and developed by Diego Rodriguez at his farm or Vega, Santa Ines del Corojo and the tobacco name comes from the name of the farm. It was used as a wrapper for a long period onCuban cigars, but its sensibily to different diseases, Blue mold especiallly, made the Cuban genetic engineers to develop different hybrid forms that would have great wrapper qualities and would be resistant to many diseases.

Criollo Tobacco

Criollo tobacco in the beginning had a few uses in the production of the Cuban cigar. After the discovering of Corojo, Criollo was increasingly relegated to use as filler, and the Corojo, which was better suited for use as a wrapper, replaced it.

Back then was discovered that when Criollo is being grown under cover, the opposed of how was grown in the sun as was ordinary done, it can make a very suitable wrapper leaf, given the proper conditions and care. A few of the first Criollo seed grown for wrapper was grown in the Jalapa Valley, Nicaragua. It was introduced to the non-Cuban tobacco market in 2001 as the wrapper for the Cupido Criollo brand.

The hybrid types, Criollo 98, is Blue Mold resistant, and was well known in Cuba to replace the earlier Corojo hybrid, Habana 2000, which was losing favor because of its increasingly succes.

Oriental Tobacco

Oriental tobacco is the same Turkish tobacco; it is very aromatic, small-leafed kind of tobacco which is sun-cured. Historically, it was raised originally in Macedonia and Thrace, now divided among the Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey, but it is also grown in South Africa, in Egypt, on the Black Sea coast of Turkey and elsewhere.

The name of ‘Turkish’ refers to the Ottoman Empire, which had conducted the historic production areas by the late 19th/early 20th century.

A lot of the first brands of cigarettes were produced entirely or mostly of Turkish tobacco; nowadays its first use is in especially cigarettes (a typical American cigarette is a blend of bright Virginia, burley and Turkish) and sometime in pipe tobacco too.

Turkish tobacco plants are cultivated in Egypt and different corners of the world. Oriental tobacco is sun-cured, that makes it more aromatic and, like flue-cured tobacco, more acidic than air or smoke-cured tobacco, so more favorable for cigarette production.

Oriental tobacco has a mild flavor and has less nicotine and fewer carcinogens than other types.  In order to have the entire flavor, it is put together with more robust tobacco. Turkish tobacco usually has a bigger number and smaller size leaves. These differences can be attributed to soil, climate, cultivation and treatment methods.

Perique Tobacco

Perique tobacco the most strongly flavored among all types of tobacco from Saint James Parish, Louisiana. In 1755 the Acadians came into this region, the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes were cultivating a lot of kinds of tobacco with a special flavor. Pierre Chenet was a farmer; he has created the firstlocal tobacco into the Perique in 1824 with the help of the technique of pressure-fermentation.

Considered the best part of pipe tobaccos, the Perique was used as a component of many blended pipe tobaccos, but it is so strong that it can’t be smoked pure as it is. There was a time when the freshly moist Perique was also chewed, but now it doesn’t exist the selling for this purpose.

It is traditionally a pipe tobacco, and is still very well known among pipe-smokers, typically blended with pure Virginia to lend strength, coolness and spice to the blend.

Shade Tobacco

We have to know that the northern US states of Massachusetts or Connecticut are also two of the best tobacco-growing regions in the country. Long time before Europeans arrived in the area, Native Americans cultivated wild tobacco plants which grew along the banks of the Connecticut River.

Nowadays, the Connecticut River valley north of Hartford, Connecticut is known as “Tobacco Valley”, and the fields are visible to those who are traveling on the road to and from Bradley International Airport, the major Connecticut airport. The tobacco that is grown there is known as Shade Tobacco because it is grown under tents that protect the tobacco from exposure to the sunlight This is almost the same case when trees are growing in tropical areas in the shade.

The result are leafs of beautiful color and of a delicate structure. They are used as outer wrappers for a few of the world’s best cigars.

Nobody knows who introduced the method of growing that tobacco, but is known for sure that is a very good method. And it is also likely that the New York firm of Schroeder & Bon were important in developing this agricultural innovation.

Early Connecticut colonists took from the Native Americans the habit of smoking tobacco in pipes and began cultivating the plant commercially, in the same time the Puritans considered it as the “evil weed”.

The plant was outlawed in Connecticut in 1650, but in the 1800s as cigar smoking began to be very well known, tobacco producing became a huge industry, offering jobs to the farmers, local youths, laborers, southern African Americans, and migrant workers. The conditions for working were different starting from backbreaking work for young local children, ages 13 and up, to backbreaking exploitation of migrants.

Many persons have started with cigarette smoking and forgot about cigar smoking, that have caused a corresponding decline in the demand for shade tobacco, having a minimum in 1992 of 2,000 acres (8 km²) under cultivation. Since that period, cigar smoking has become more popular again, and in 1997 tobacco farmers had risen to 4,000 acres (16 km²). But still only 1,050 acres (4.2 km²) of shade tobacco were harvested in the Connecticut Valley in 2006.

In Ecuador labor is very cheap and that is why Connecticut seed is grown there.

Thuoc Lao Tobacco

Thuoc Lao (thuốc lào) is a tobacco plant and is consumed only in Vietnam. It is most smoked after someone has eaten to “help in digestion”, or together with green tea or beer (most commonly the cheap “bia hoi”). A “hit” of thuoc lao is followed by a flood of nicotine to the bloodstream causing big dizziness that last a few seconds. It must be known that even heavy smokers have had trouble with the big volume of smoke and that side effects of smoking include nausea and vomiting.

The big difference between smoking thuoc lao and the usage of another tobaccos is in the method of consumption. The smoker is presented with a bamboo pipe called a điếu cày (literal translation: farmer’s pipe). The pipe is made of a small wooden bowl thrust into a long cylindrical shaft. The shaft is separated three quarters of the way from the top with a thin layer of bamboo with a hole in the middle.

If offered a lighter, a Vietnamese person would politely decline on using it directly, and instead use a small piece paper to use as a flame. After he burns the tobacco he inhales to create abody of smoke inside the pipe. On the Vietnam’s capital streets in one little bag has enough tobacco for 5 to 8 “hits” retails at 2500 Vietnamese đồng, which is the same thing to about 15 US cents.

Bigger packs cost more than 20000 đồng and would represent almost $1.25 US Dollars.

Wild Tobacco

Wild tobacco is originally coming from the southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts of South America. It has a botanical name: Nicotiana rustica. In Australia it is named “Nicotiana benthamiana” and “Nicotiana gossei”.

Those are two of several indigenous tobaccos that are still used by Aboriginal people in a few areas. “Nicotiana rustica” is the strongest tobacco type known. It is commonly used for tobacco dust or pesticides.

White Burley

White Burley is like Burley tobacco and it represents the best component in chewing tobacco, American-style cigarettes and American blend pipe tobacco.

In the year of 1865, George Webb of Brown County, Ohio planted Red Burley seeds he had purchased, and found that a few of the seedlings had a whitish, sickly look. He transplanted them to the fields anyway, where they grew into mature plants but maintained their light color.

The cured leaves had an impressive fine texture and were brought as a curiosity to the tobacco market in Cincinnati.

The next year he planted ten acres (40,000 m²) from seeds from those tobacco plants, which have brought a premium at auction.

The air-cured leaf is considered to be mild tasting and more absorbent than other type of tobacco.  White Burley, this type was called later and became the main and best component in American-style cigarettes,chewing tobacco and American blend pipe tobacco. The white part of the name is often used today, because red burley, a variety of the mid-1800s, doesn’t exist any more.

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