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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Comparing Tobacco Varieties for Pipe Blending

alPol05

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#1
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

I am asking for comments on the following:

I identified a component of the blend I am working on for a while as the one that introduced very strong bitterness. It is one of the Oriental tobaccos that I use in the blend. There are four other Orientals in the blend. I would like to withhold the name of this tobacco for various reasons. I will probably reveal the name later.

Here are the symptoms: the lining of my mouth becomes sour and irritated, and I can taste strong bitterness. The sourness appears on the inside of my lips and inside lining of my cheeks. There is no tongue bite or any other unpleasant sensations except bitterness that I can taste on the further part of my tongue and throat.

Anybody had a similar experience? What would be the reason?

Thanks much,
Wiktor
 

alPol05

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#2
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

I am asking for comments on the following:

Here are the symptoms: the lining of my mouth becomes sour and irritated, and I can taste strong bitterness. The sourness appears on the inside of my lips and inside lining of my cheeks. There is no tongue bite or any other unpleasant sensations except bitterness that I can taste on the further part of my tongue and throat.

Anybody had a similar experience? What would be the reason?

Thanks much,
Wiktor
Since nobody bothered to comment, it looks like I am the only one experiencing this kind of symptoms. Or are there any other reasons? The Oriental I am dealing with is Krumovgrad, a Bulgarian variety I purchased some time ago from Leaf Only website. Here is the description: [FONT=&amp]This tobacco, very similar to Basma, is a golden yellow / brown Oriental type tobacco leaf that is grown in Bulgaria, a country with a tradition in production of high quality tobacco. This is a quick growing, shorter and smaller leafed tobacco that provides a sweet, pleasant flavor and smooth burn that Oriental tobacco is known for. "

Since it was one of four other Orientals I used in the blend, it was difficult to identify. It was only after I went back several testing blends and found one just before the introduction of[/FONT]
Krumovgrad, I realized that this is the one causing my symptoms. After that loaded the pipe with just this tobacco and smoked it to see if I am correct. Yes, I am correct - this is the culprit. Unfortunately, I don't remember test-smoking it right after I purchased this small sample. What puzzles me is this part of the description: "tobacco that provides a sweet, pleasant flavor". I can't find any sweetness in the flavor. Instead, I experience sourness in my mouth and bitter, strong peppery taste.

I would appreciate if anybody cares to comment.

Wiktor
 

Garlisk

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#3
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

Wiktor, I cannot give you too much specific information, but I can say that humans can have odd reactions to some things based on genetics.

A studied example of this is Cilantro: https://gizmodo.com/5942551/genetic-proof-that-you-really-do-hate-cilantro

It is possible that your body simply does not like that strain of tobacco. I am guessing there could be a number of other reasons as well, but that's the one that popped into my head.
 

alPol05

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#4
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

It is possible that your body simply does not like that strain of tobacco. I am guessing there could be a number of other reasons as well, but that's the one that popped into my head.
This is a possibility... I am determined to get to the bottom of this and will test-smoke all my Orientals today. I will post what I find.

Wiktor
 

deluxestogie

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#5
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

Since nobody bothered to comment...
I was waiting for you to reveal the dramatically withheld name of the suspect.

Seriously, I have no idea why one Basma-type tobacco would be unusually bitter. Sometimes leaf gets fumigated in a warehouse. Bitter is usually associated with alkaline pH, while sun-cured Orientals tend to be slightly acidic. Most of them, however, are not particularly sweet.

Bob
 

alPol05

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#6
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

I was waiting for you to reveal the dramatically withheld name of the suspect.
Bob
I suspected that withholding a name could be a turn off for some. The reason I didn't name it was that I didn't want to introduce anything that would skew the answer. My primary interest was in finding if anybody else had an experience like that and what could be a cause of this bitterness. Later today or maybe tomorrow I will "re-smoke" all my Orientals to see what I will find and post it here.

Now, what to do with tobacco that is so bitter? I don't see what it would add to the blend except for a bit of a fragrance. But then I would have to find a way to neutralize the bitterness. And is it worth it? Or it is really a trash can destination?

Wiktor
 

deluxestogie

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#7
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

Smoke some. Then mist it with lemon juice. After it dries down, smoke some more. There are some sources of bitter that will be unaffected by lowering the pH.

Bob

EDIT: There are about 3000 varieties of Nicotiana tabacum. I would guess that few people have ever sampled (i.e. smoked) more than a couple of hundred of those. Sometimes, members' questions are impossible to answer, even with all available information. When you throw in sourcing from distributors who may or may not be reliable, it all gets pretty murky.
 

DistillingJim

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#8
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

Krumovgrad isn't one I know but as Garlisk said, peoples pallettes can handle things differently.
 

Jitterbugdude

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#10
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

Wiktor, I think maybe the description of "provides a sweet, pleasant flavor" is just something that each vendor cuts-n-pastes from someones else's description. I doubt the vendor you bought if from has even smoked it. Case in point. Back in the 1880's Killibrew published a very good book about tobacco. In it he lists and describes many tobaccos. This is what he had to say about Yellow Orinoco... " principally for plug work and smokers; sweetest variety grown." If you look at any vendor's description of Yellow Orinoco you will probably see this exact wording. I have grown Yellow Orinoco and it is definitely NOT sweet.
 

deluxestogie

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#11

alPol05

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#12
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

JBD and Bob,

Thanks for the comments. I contacted the Only Leaf in their Chat yesterday. I explained the situation and asked if they have any suggestions or explanation. Unfortunately, as soon as they read my message, they assumed that I want a refund. They explained to me that I am not eligible for a refund since my contact yesterday was way over of 1 week from the day of purchase. After my insistence that I am not looking for a refund but for some sort of explanation of the issue, I was told that I can contact the manages with an email. That really got me going... Next, I found out that the manager is reading my explanation. She confirmed that I am not eligible for a refund. I started the whole talk over again and explained that I am not looking for a refund, etc. I suggested that maybe they will be interested in me sending the sample tobacco back to them so they can smoke it and see if they have any explanation. They were not interested and told me that they will not pay for shipping the package to them. My statement that I am not asking for shipping payment or refund was not at all appealing to them. They already tested this tobacco and they don't have anything to add as an explanation. What a losers!!! JDB, I think you are correct - they don't know what they are selling and are not really interested to find out about their product or educate the customer.

On a better side of the issue - Last night I treated two tablespoons of Krumovgrad with lemon juice, as Bob suggested. This morning I smoked a small load of it and the lemon juice did its work. The bitterness is almost gone, although there still is tartness on the lining of my mouth. It is, however, manageable and not as severe as after the initial test. I can register the aroma of Near and the Far East, incense, etc., something I expected from Orientals.

Oj, Oj,... this chemistry... never liked chemistry and I consider it to be a Russian plot! Just kidding!

I thought about the whole thing last night a bit more and re-read some of the info available on the net. I think I will need a bit more time to think through issues associated with Orientals and organize my thoughts into more cohesive "lessons learned" write-up.

For now, thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I also downloaded the books - looks like more to read!:rolleyes:

Wiktor
 

greenmonster714

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#13
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

You'll never have those kinds of issues with wlt. I've read some similar comments about leafonly and the majority of them were not very good. Stick with wlt and avoid problems like you stated above.
 

alPol05

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#14
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

You'll never have those kinds of issues with wlt. I've read some similar comments about leafonly and the majority of them were not very good. Stick with wlt and avoid problems like you stated above.
Jeff,

I purchased this leaf months before I found out about WLT and this forum and figured out the relation. And I agree, the best way is to have one supplier, however, it is not always possible.

Wiktor
 

greenmonster714

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#15
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

Jeff,

I purchased this leaf months before I found out about WLT and this forum and figured out the relation. And I agree, the best way is to have one supplier, however, it is not always possible.

Wiktor
There are two excellent vedors here at this site. One is of course WLT and the other is BigBonner (Butcher Farms). Ya should shoot BigB a message and ask him to send you a price list of what he has available. Nothing wrong with shopping around.
 

alPol05

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#16
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

There are two excellent vedors here at this site. One is of course WLT and the other is BigBonner (Butcher Farms). Ya should shoot BigB a message and ask him to send you a price list of what he has available. Nothing wrong with shopping around.
I have a list from BigBonner since 2 weeks ago. Between WLT and BigBonner I think I am covered.

Wiktor
 

alPol05

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#17
Seriously, I have no idea why one Basma-type tobacco would be unusually bitter. Sometimes leaf gets fumigated in a warehouse. Bitter is usually associated with alkaline pH, while sun-cured Orientals tend to be slightly acidic. Most of them, however, are not particularly sweet.

Bob
I reviewed some of the threads, related to Turkish/Oriental tobaccos on this site I have read at the beginning of the year. I again noticed that in some places Turkish/Orientals are characterized as being sweet. This is probably why the Krumovgrad from LeafOnly caught my eye. Now that I reviewed some of these comments, I am not sure if sweet was used to describe aroma or flavor. It seems that aroma can be described as sweet, but this is not what I understood. I interpreted it as a sweet flavor. It is interesting that none of the commercial websites describe Turkish/Orientals as sweet, but one - LeafOnly about Krumovgrad.

I am also changing my descriptions. Instead of bitterness, I prefer to use spiciness and instead of sourness, I prefer to use tartness. It is more accurate of my experience.

Wiktor
 

deluxestogie

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#18
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

Wiktor,
From time to time, I lapse into a tirade on the unfortunate silliness of our tobacco terminology. Tobacco blending is a haphazard art, but its communication requires a more scientific objectivity. Sometimes, "a generous portion of Latakia", just isn't an adequate statement, but that's what a vendor says. Calling something "sweet" is yummy, and makes us salivate (c.f. Pavlov), regardless of the nature or quantity of the sugars in a marketed item. [My dog was sweet.]

English has pilfered too many alternative adjectives from too many disparate languages. We can express ourselves poetically and with originality. But English can be a sharp stick in the eye of clarity.

Alkaline is bitter. Acid is sour. Tart means sour. "Spiciness" is a truly vague term. Is that spice cayenne or is it mace? Or maybe spiciness is asafoetida. Bitter and sour relate directly to pH. "Spiciness" is nonspecific and uninformative. Sweet is not an aroma. Sweet is a discernible taste. "Sweet" as an aroma (e.g. sweet smell of honeysuckle) is a metaphorical use of "sweet". Sweet is a taste that can be quantitatively measured as the content of specific carbohydrates.

The entire tobacco marketing industry (and as a consequence, we tobacco creators and users) has filled the tobacco literature with food similes ("tastes like creamy, chocolaty hazelnuts, with an undertone of salted caramel"). I suppose they fulfill their purpose of getting us to purchase a product, or admire a reviewer. But for dialog between blenders, the adjectives need to be more objective, in order to be useful in guidance.

I am always baffled as to how to describe tobacco aromas. I hate to use food terms, since they are just plain misleading. I do use somewhat misleading terminology from non-foods, such as "woody" or "leather" or "oboe". Somehow we are stuck with dependence on a synesthesia that is fortunately not present.

For taste, we have:
  • sweet
  • sour (acidic)
  • bitter (alkaline)
  • salty
  • umami (glutamate)
Bob
 

alPol05

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#19
Re: Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make

Bob,

Help me tighten up my description a bit more.

First I made a major mistake. My description of Krumovgrad effect on the lining of my mouth is wrong. My mouth was sore, not sour. As to word spiciness, I am trying to describe a taste. The analogy would be a teaspoon of curry put in my mouth. I felt like I swallowed a dose of spicy mix that I can't identify. We know (more or less) the ingredients of Curry - it's a combination of different spices. My taste of "spiciness" is a lump of mixed, unknown spices which burn my throat. This is the most accurate description I can come up with - it's soreness and spice mixture burning my mouth. In case of Krumovgrad it is very strong.

On other topics - I wish you would continue the tirade on terminology. If any group, this one should get the terminology as tight and cohesive as possible. Maybe putting together a Terminology Help File would be a way to go, in addition to tirades. I know I would use it!

The language it a tricky business. It can be used to precisely communicate concepts, but it can also be used to influence our perception of reality. In case of tobacco marketing industry and use of words, I believe they purposely appeal to the most infantile portion of the human psyche and where Pavlov flourishes. From the first day of our lives, we learn that the milky, sweet, chocolaty, tasty, etc., are all good, safe and fulfilling. So there you have it - a blast of aromatic mixtures and descriptions that make one salivate and reach for the wallet. Classic Pavlov.

And, as you suggest, language is a complicated skill and art. In actuality, we all operate in limited language domains - profession language domain, daily language domain (family, cooking, politics, etc.), hobby language domain. I am not a linguist, so these are only my definitions, but you get the point. I think when we enter a new language domain we tend to transfer some meanings from old and known to a new and unknown domain. Effectively, we cook a spaghetti sauce. But I am getting into some weeds here that I don't know much about.

Another one is a character like me, where their English is not a native language, and they confuse sour with sore and appears that acid and alkali mix in a small close space. :confused:

In any case, it would be beneficial to this group to start using "the adjectives ... more objective, in order to be useful in guidance."

Wiktor
 
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