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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Comparing Tobacco Varieties for Pipe Blending

Kos

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#61
Hey Wiktor,
For some reason I didn't receive notification that someone had replied to that thread. I did received the first time, when Bob replied.

Kos,

From your comments, it looks like you are in agreement with a point I was making a while back. I suggested that Oriental tobaccos can't be exchanged 1:1 in the recipe because of their different characteristics and the impact. In our example, 5 g of Samsun can't be exchanged with 5 g of Krumovgrad because Krumovgrad is much "stronger" than Samsun (according to a scale from Wiktor Index).
No they can't. "Oriental" is as loose term as "Cigar leaf". Samsun is mild. Krumovgrad is stronger. Xanthi - even stronger.
Furthermore their flavor profile doesn't match. "Macedonian" or "Balkan" varieties have different flavor from the Turkish ones.

My advice will be to create flavor and taste couples with Flue cured and Orientals first, then move to more complicated blends. Explore how given variety develops in different quantity. In the case of Balkan tobaccos start with 10%.
Also age them. I wouldn't expect the flowers in the Balkan flavor to come before some ageing.
 
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#62
Just to chime in. Kumanovo is a Hungarian tobacco, and kilned for two months, it's just awesome. I smoke it alone in the pipe. Even air cured, it maintains an element of sweetness. Almost like an oriental/Cavendish mix. It's the only Hungarian tobacco I've tried.
 

alPol05

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#63
Just to chime in. Kumanovo is a Hungarian tobacco, and kilned for two months; it's just awesome. I smoke it alone in the pipe. Even air cured, it maintains an element of sweetness. Almost like an oriental/Cavendish mix. It's the only Hungarian tobacco I've tried.
Thanks for your comments. I understand that Kumovgrad is Bulgarian tobacco. It is listed in the post by Istambilin here: http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/1937-Bulgarian-Varieties/page5?highlight=Bulgarian.

The LO also lists it as Bulgarian tobacco. Aside from that, I am suspect it is also grown in Hungary. Both countries are neighbors, and I would be not surprised to see it being grown in Hungary.

The most interesting part of your post is your testimony that you grown it and can smoke it with ease. Wow! Very interesting. When you talk about sweetness, are you talking about taste or aroma? It is often mixed.
 
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#64
Thanks for your comments. I understand that Kumovgrad is Bulgarian tobacco. It is listed in the post by Istambilin here: http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/1937-Bulgarian-Varieties/page5?highlight=Bulgarian.

The LO also lists it as Bulgarian tobacco. Aside from that, I am suspect it is also grown in Hungary. Both countries are neighbors, and I would be not surprised to see it being grown in Hungary.

The most interesting part of your post is your testimony that you grown it and can smoke it with ease. Wow! Very interesting. When you talk about sweetness, are you talking about taste or aroma? It is often mixed.
Oh, I'd say both. If you smoke in the car and come back an hour later, there's a nice lingering scent.
 
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alPol05

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#65
Oh, I'd say both. If you smoke in the car and come back an hour later, there's a nice lingering scent.
Very interesting! Do you think that due to the difference in climate your crop could be different than what I received for LO?
 
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alPol05

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#66
Hey Wiktor,
For some reason I didn't receive notification that someone had replied to that thread. I did received the first time, when Bob replied.

No they can't. "Oriental" is as loose term as "Cigar leaf". Samsun is mild. Krumovgrad is stronger. Xanthi - even stronger.
Furthermore their flavor profile doesn't match. "Macedonian" or "Balkan" varieties have different flavor from the Turkish ones.

My advice will be to create flavor and taste couples with Flue cured and Orientals first, then move to more complicated blends. Explore how given variety develops in different quantity. In the case of Balkan tobaccos start with 10%. Also age them. I wouldn't expect the flowers in the Balkan flavor to come before some ageing.
Kos,

thanks for getting back to me on this issue. This is a really important point, at least for my understanding of Orientals. Unfortunately, I didn't find any study on differences in Oriental tobaccos from the user point of view. It is also possible that I didn't spend enough time to research this topic. The realization that strength of these different tobaccos makes all the difference for me to understand how to use them.

I am currently working on a few different blends and I am taking the much slower pace and more deliberate approach. I clearly understand the mistakes I made in a blend that I presented initially in this thread. Too many variables that are difficult to control is the main problem I created myself. At this slower pace, I am discovering many attributes of the tobaccos I use that I didn't pay attention to before. As to aging, although I knew theoretically it is needed, I really was too impatient to wait. Actually, right now I am testing a mix in several days intervals and I am able to register the difference in aroma and taste.

Again, thanks for your comments. Stay engaged and contribute your experience as much as you can to this forum. It is helpful.
 
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#67
Very interesting! Do you think that due to the difference in climate your crop could be different than what I received for LO?
I'm sure Krumovgrad is different from Kumanovo, and that the phonetic similarity doesn't suggest genetic similarity. I had only mentioned it because it's a good pipe tobacco. But let's suppose you could buy whole leaf Kumanovo, it would probably be relatively close to what mine was like before I kilned it. It was grown in black dirt fertilized with composted cattle manure, cured at 90F. It's not like we're growing on an undisturbed mountain top, or in a fen within an old growth forest.
 

alPol05

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#68
I'm sure Krumovgrad is different from Kumanovo, and that the phonetic similarity doesn't suggest genetic similarity. I had only mentioned it because it's a good pipe tobacco. But let's suppose you could buy whole leaf Kumanovo, it would probably be relatively close to what mine was like before I kilned it. It was grown in black dirt fertilized with composted cattle manure, cured at 90F. It's not like we're growing on an undisturbed mountain top, or in a fen within an old growth forest.
ChinaV,

I misread the name of your tobacco. Speedreading is not my strong trait.
 

Kos

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#71
Hey Wiktor,
This thread got me interested and I went ahead and purchased a sample of Krumovgrad, along with some other stuff.
I wasn't expecting my package to arrive so soon, neither to bypass the customs, so was pleasantly surprised at the post office. Couldn’t wait and unpacked it on the route home. Little by little, at every traffic light.
The leafs are orange to red-orange with very small percent of green-orange. Size is as expected.
First thing I did home was to pack some of the broken pieces in a cob.
A wonderful tobacco! This thing is everything I expect from Krumovgrad. Milder than Xanthi, little stronger than Enidje.

Taste is typical "Macedonic", I prefer to call "Balkan". Lots of earth and clay, some cumin and spices, some jasmine and wildflowers. I was actually surprised that it already has flowers but it has at least 6 months of age, it can't be from the future crop, right :)
In fact right now I feel as if I was sniffing a jar of wildflower honey - that pleasant warmth in the chest. Having repeated "flowers" a few times, to clarify - the flowery note is still pale. It will age nicely.
I dint’s feel the slight grassiness (green grass, not hay) I was expecting, neither the slight "munching olive tree branches", but then I was smoking it straight.
The bottom half of the bowl had quite a bit nicotine, but nowhere near the Xanthi hammer. I'm little too sensitive to Nic.
At no point I felt bitterness, although the smoke is on the alkaline side. I didn’t actually put indicator paper in my mouth. I'm from the other half of the population that gets bitten by Virginias and not by Burley.
That "B" word is just to piss Bob ;)

So this is my theory - your body chemistry. I think Bob had said everything about PH level in the blenders thread.
This is a beautiful leaf, on par with my expectations. My only criticism is that it was put in a bag, and the flat bag was twisted and stuffed in a small box, resulting in a lot of broken leaf and dust. Not really a problem, but kind of rude and sinful.

A note to Bob: Bulgarian authorities classify Krumovgrad as "high altitude Yaka", whatever this means.
 
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Kos

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#72
I forgot.
What is the chance that you have sampled the tobacco moistened?
In my experience alkaline tobaccos become stronger in bitterness, nicotine and taste with moisture.
I would like to hear other members opinions on this as well.
 

alPol05

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#73
Hey Wiktor,
This thread got me interested and I went ahead and purchased a sample of Krumovgrad, along with some other stuff.
The bottom half of the bowl had quite a bit nicotine, but nowhere near the Xanthi hammer. I'm little too sensitive to Nic.
At no point, I felt bitterness, although the smoke is on the alkaline side. I didn’t actually put indicator paper in my mouth. I'm from the other half of the population that gets bitten by Virginias and not by Burley.

So this is my theory - your body chemistry. I think Bob had said everything about PH level in the blenders thread. This is a beautiful leaf, on par with my expectations.
Kos,

You are a gentleman and a scholar! Thanks for taking an extensive interest in this issue and your help in getting me closer to understanding the difficulties I was experiencing. You made the most appreciated step - let's experience this tobacco together and draw observations based on that.

A few points are educational for me; first, we experience tobacco in different ways. I think (still need to explore that more) I am on the Virginia side. I like a different type of Virginias but never really liked Burley after trying it in various forms.

Second, your comment on PH indicator paper. Never thought of using it, but it looks like this is what I need.

Third, the body chemistry. Although Garlisk, seconded by DistillingJim, pointed this to me right away, it was the least acceptable option for me. I think I was wrong. My tip of the hat to Garlisk and DistillingJim!

As to the tobacco being moistened during the test - no, it was dry. Except for your point on body chemistry, which I need to understand and test my self, I am also sensitive to nicotine. I always smoked cigarettes "Light" and although I tried stronger varieties (French Gitanes and Gauloises) in my youth I never really liked these. I am also, interestingly, quite sensitive to an acidic of tobacco. Although I like Lemon Virginia from WLT, I have to use it in moderation in my blends and it looks like I am drifting more and more toward darker Virginias.

All this is a great and new adventure for me, and I do enjoy it!

BTW, I still plan to do another test of all Oriental I have, but I will need to prepare myself a bit better. First step - to smoke less and get rid of so much nic in my bod! :D
 

deluxestogie

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#74
Wiktor,
With regard to actually measuring acidity quantitatively, the pH of the smoke is what determines the ionization of nicotine molecules. That can be tricky, since most simple measures are colorimetric (e.g. Hydrion paper), while at the same time, nicotine itself is colored.

Bob
 

alPol05

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#75
Wiktor,
With regard to actually measuring acidity quantitatively, the pH of the smoke is what determines the ionization of nicotine molecules. That can be tricky, since most simple measures are colorimetric (e.g. Hydrion paper), while at the same time, nicotine itself is colored.

Bob
Bob,

I am not sure what are you saying... I ordered some paper last night and will have it in a few days. As to nicotine being colored, are you saying that the color of nicotine will interfere with a paper strip color as I test pH?
 

deluxestogie

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#76
Color interference depends on the specific pH range of the "paper" that you use. The 5.5-8.0 range hydrion paper, for example, utilizes some fairly light colors between pH 5.5 and 6.0, and this may or may not be affected by the darker color of oxidized nicotine. Is the nicotine oxidized in the smoke? I don't know.



It's also not clear to me if measuring the pH of your saliva is indicative to the pH of the smoke.

Wider range hydrion paper will likely not be particularly useful.

Bob
 

alPol05

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#77
Color interference depends on the specific pH range of the "paper" that you use. The 5.5-8.0 range hydrion paper, for example, utilizes some fairly light colors between pH 5.5 and 6.0, and this may or may not be affected by the darker color of oxidized nicotine. Is the nicotine oxidized in the smoke? I don't know.

It's also not clear to me if measuring the pH of your saliva is indicative to the pH of the smoke.

Wider range hydrion paper will likely not be particularly useful.

Bob
I guess we will never know until we try!
 
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