Tobacco Types

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by cellophane, Mar 28, 2011.

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  1. cellophane

    cellophane Member

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    I was pondering over the weekend - what makes the different types of smokes different from one another - aside from the labels of pipe tobacco, cigar tobacco and cigarette tobacco? Is it just the processing that makes them different or is there something else? Unless it is incredibly relevant and I don't know it - I'm choosing to overlook delivery method at the moment for the sake of discussion. If it is relevant then feel free to correct me ;)
     


  2. DMWyatt

    DMWyatt Member

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    There are probably as many answers to this as there are forms of tobacco. The regions where they are grown, the soil they're grown in, the amount of sunlight they get, the way they're processed, the type of seed used, etc...etc...etc.

    Tobacco is a pretty sensitive little plant when it comes down to it, and almost any variation in the process produces a different result.
     
  3. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it, this is pretty much dead on. Species, strain, terroir, and processing.

    It's like wine. You can't make the same wine from sauvignon blanc grapes as from malbec grapes. A Washington state sauvignon blanc will far different from the grapes produced in Marlboroug, New Zealand. Once you have the grapes, thats just a starting point - it takes someone who knows what they're doing to really make them sing.

    There are genetically different varieties of tobacco, and the variety makes a big difference. Where and how they are grown makes a big difference. The different methods of curing makes a big difference. The final processing and blending makes a big difference.

    Tons of factors!
     
  4. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    Dag, chad.... I though you had to learn that stuff in the 3rd grade in Kentucky.

    What DM said above is accurate. Small differences in soil and climate account for differences in tobacco quality and price at market. The same grower who had fields where I used to live in Nashville/Nash County, NC said his crop, from the same seed, was very different where it was grown 30-miles away (Tarboro/Edgecombe County). Then there's burley, one variety of leaf, won't grow economically in Nash county where flue-cured virginia (brightleaf, here) tobacco does well. Toss in historical personnel issues about handling, curing and marketing and you find something that works "there" just won't work "here." Complicate that further with 60 or so species of tobacco and it creates a broad pallette from which to draw.

    (In this same vein, there has been a lot of discussion (elsewhere) about the very distinct differences in cuban cigar leaf between this-and-that valley according to soil and micro-climate variation. As cigar smokers know, a Connecticut shadegrown wrapper can be quite good but you'll never duplicate a good CT-grown wrapper if you try to raise it in VA or NC.

    I have some firsthand comparison smoking with Kentucky tobacco and tobacco from the same seed that was taken to the banks of the Semois River in Belgium about 100 years ago. I have smoked Semois and Kentucky and there is no POSSIBLE way anyone could confuse them. The two crops have become as different as Coors Light and pastrami sandwiches.

    It's a big book to explain all this... it goes on and on.
     
  5. cellophane

    cellophane Member

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    I think they do cover it, but in 3rd grade I was living in south Florida ;) I was super excited to go to the tobacco exhibit at the state fair last year because it was all new to me. /nerd
     
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