Whole Leaf Tobacco

import some leaf into New Zealand

BoxShot

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okay , I'm not sure what happened , i ordered on the 28th of April and arrived at customs on the 30thof April but my parcel was held in customs for 7 days and now the USPS delivery tracker says it has been released from customs and is out for delivery . No letter from customs or heat treatment .
Is this normal? first time ordering , just wondering if this is normal or did the tabacco gods smile down on me hahah .
 

Orson Carte

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okay , I'm not sure what happened , i ordered on the 28th of April and arrived at customs on the 30thof April but my parcel was held in customs for 7 days and now the USPS delivery tracker says it has been released from customs and is out for delivery . No letter from customs or heat treatment .
Is this normal? first time ordering , just wondering if this is normal or did the tabacco gods smile down on me hahah .
No, it's not 'normal'. I think you've just been blessed with 'beginner's luck'. Rejoice because it won't happen like this very often.
You will very likely have it on your doorstep in a day or two.
However, strange things sometimes happen. I've had parcels 'out for delivery' and they've been 'delivered' all right - straight to MPI for Heat Treatment.
To me it is inexplicable that a sizeable number of people, ordering for the first time, have this experience - getting it through unchecked. It may be purely random that a few parcels don't get held up but you'll wait a long time until it happens like that a second time.
 

stic

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You're damn right...they've had mine for 30 days now...and still not released...:rolleyes:
 

NOvice

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Hi, BoxShot. The nzpost tracking site seems to recognise usps tracking no's and gives more detail of where packages are. My casing from HLT has arrived and it seems excellent to me-removed 90% of burn/ bite from my cutters and now it is comparable to my old park drive mild, very happy.
 

burge

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okay , I'm not sure what happened , i ordered on the 28th of April and arrived at customs on the 30thof April but my parcel was held in customs for 7 days and now the USPS delivery tracker says it has been released from customs and is out for delivery . No letter from customs or heat treatment .
Is this normal? first time ordering , just wondering if this is normal or did the tabacco gods smile down on me hahah .
It is normal if you check tomorrow it will tell you where the package is and the expected delivery
 

grannynic

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Hey I’m from New Zealand, I have ordered 3pounds of unmanufactured tobacco to be delivered to New Zealand, I was wondering what is the maximum you can order and import to New Zealand? Is there regulations on limit etc cheers
I think it's 15kg per year, check this out in the Importing laws thred
 

Orson Carte

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It's a bit unclear as to whether or not this is correct.
The '15kgs' law applies to how much homegrown, processed (ie. stripped and shredded) tobacco any individual may hold in their possession, for personal use, at any particular time.
I believe that this means that a grower may actually hold in excess of 15kgs, so long as it has not been processed.
It is further stipulated that it must be grown on the property owned by the grower and cannot be sold, given away or bartered with. This fact throws up complications - such as, are a husband and wife, joint owners of the property allowed to grow and possess 15kgs of processed leaf each? Regardless, I don't think that these 'homegrown regulations' can be directly applied to imported wholeleaf. Even if they do, can a 'family' of say, five smoking adults import 15kgs each to the same address?
Despite the red herrings thrown in here and to confuse the matter, what I think the poster was asking was how much wholeleaf could he have shipped into NZ at any one time; and the answer to that is there is no limit to what anyone can import but if the amount that is considered 'a commercial' (ie. not for 'personal use') it gets a little complicated. The most obvious disincentive is the fact that you will be charged around $1200 per kilogram Excise Duty before it can be released from Customs.
The answer that I think the poster wants to know is that they can safely import amounts not exceeding 8 pounds - the only added extra charge will likely be a $70 fee for Heat treatment at Quarantine.
(I've never been able to find out for certain what the weight threshold is whereby they will deem a shipment 'commercial'. What I do know is that 8lbs (3.6kgs) gets through and that 15lbs doesn't.
 

raucher

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I ordered a 5lb sampler pack to NZ from Whole Leaf Tobacco and it arrived in about one month after going through quarantine and heat treatment. I was wondering if you know what actually happens to the tobacco in the heat treatment process. Those of you who have received the leaves both with and without heat treatment, how big a difference does it make? Someone already said in this thread that they had to occasionally chuck all the leaves to the compost. Mine do all look pretty dark brown and some of the stems are almost black. When smelling the contents of the package you really get this sensation of mildly burned product. This smell is quite nice, but I doubt it is supposed to be like this.
 

Orson Carte

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I'm in the position of knowing a group of people who import whole leaf tobacco (and often seeing just what they are receiving).
Although the packages are almost always 'heat treated' I've also see a reasonable number of those that aren't.
Although I've never seen the treatment process I believe that it's done in largish appliance, very similar to a microwave oven. It is also of significance to know that the packages or the box they are in are not opened. They do this twice a week - on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
There is no doubt that the process changes the tobacco. It certainly darkens it.
However, in my opinion, I don't think that the inherent quality is changed or degraded by it.
Some of my acquaintances, myself included, actually think the heat improves it - particularly the aroma. The 'mild burning' which you mention is probably exactly what I'm talking about - and you mention it 'smells quite nice'. As you probably know, some people, in processing their tobacco, 'toast' it. The end result of that is pretty similar to what heat treatment does for 'free'.
The only drawback with stuff that has been treated is that the leaves are usually sort of 'stuck together' in the package. They don't just easily separate like they usually do in an untreated lot. It takes a bit of time (a day or two) using water spray, steam, or a humid day to get them pliable enough to handle.
It is easy to blame heat treatment for what comes out of the package - for making it brittle or 'rubbishy',etc. But I've seen plenty of leaf that could be described as this come out of untreated bags.
So, it's not all bad. The other thing that is quite positive is that they seem to have got their act together a bit better at MPI. Not too long ago it was often taking eight weeks or more from go to whoa. Just lately packages seem to be getting through from ordering to delivery in just over a month.
 

NOvice

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Hi Orson, I also had no trouble with 8lb of my cutters. Came through customs no worries BUT nz post then read 'In transit to local depot' and 10 days later I received a letter inviting me to pay $70 to MPI! Has anyone an opinion on what to get for a mid strength tobacco? There seams to be a shortage of this in whole leaf form. Has anyone tried Canadian Virginia Flue Cured? Many thanks-bruce
 

Orson Carte

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As I've said a number of times in here already, when you see 'In transit to Local Depot' don't start drooling, because the 'local depot' it's off to usually means 'MPI' (quarantine), for $70 worth of Heat Treatment.

Perhaps if Don gets to see your query about a recommended 'mild' variety he might be able to shed some light on what appears to be his serious shortage of cigarette whole leaf varieties.
As a New Zealand buyer it is now down to just two choices of Virginia - red leaf and thin leaf. And, for me personally, it's down to one. The 'thin leaf' I've seen just hasn't impressed me.
The 'threshed lemon' and 'threshed brightleaf', are there but are out of the question for us on two counts - firstly because 11lb exceeds the 'personal use' limit and secondly, because it's threshed, I don't think it would pass as 'unmanufactured tobacco' (and therefore will face $1200 per kilogram Excise Duty on landing in NZ).
 

deluxestogie

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VA "Thin", which is a low priming, and quite mild, exhibits, like all lower leaf of every variety, superb combustion, but minimal flavor. The hurricanes last fall wiped out a huge fraction of the American (specifically, North Carolina) flue-cured crop for 2018, and Big Tobacco snatched up most of what was on the market. I understand that a new source of excellent flue-cured Virginia has been identified, and is about to arrive. I'm sure Don will announce that when it becomes available for shipping.

Bob
 

Orson Carte

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VA "Thin", which is a low priming, and quite mild, exhibits, like all lower leaf of every variety, superb combustion, but minimal flavor. The hurricanes last fall wiped out a huge fraction of the American (specifically, North Carolina) flue-cured crop for 2018, and Big Tobacco snatched up most of what was on the market. I understand that a new source of excellent flue-cured Virginia has been identified, and is about to arrive. I'm sure Don will announce that when it becomes available for shipping.

Bob
It was the damage to the Thin Leaf crop that I was alluding to.
I hope that the new stock arrives before all the remaining Red Leaf is gone.
 

FmGrowit

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While some information being offered here might very well be accurate, it appears as though customs itself is unaware of some of these restrictions. We regularly send quantities of 10 pounds to NZ as well as 11 lb. bags of threshed tobacco and have been doing so for years. In order to stay below the $400 limit (promoted here regularly), we omit the invoice and send a "packing slip" which does not include shipping costs, thus keeping the total under $400 New Zealand dollars.

The new crop of Flue Cured Lemon and Bright leaf is being readied for shipment. The tobacco is tied in hands and is some of the best Flue Cured we've ever offered. Your patience will be rewarded.
 

JennyLeez

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@NOvice,

I would like to add my 2 cents worth regarding the Heat Treatment Customs forces upon us.
I completely loath it.
As far as I am concerned it ruins the tobacco to the point I have thrown much in the rubbish. I have had 2 boxes come through untreated. Both the Virginia Lemon and the Bright Leaf were a nice light yellow colour and tasted excellent. Especially the Lemon as it was mild as I prefer. I will be pleased when WLT once again has the Lemon for sale :)

The heat treatment seems to me to be inconsistent. Sometimes a pound will be a light brown which is ok but other pounds will be a dark brown and the worse scenario black. Both these are strong with the blackened leaves horrible. They are just plain over cooked.

Of recent I have received a 2 pound bag with much of the leaf dark brown to black on 1 side. This is so disappointing and of course a total waste of money. I just threw it back in the box disgusted and buried the box on the bottom of the pile. I will go through it and sort out the lighter stuff when my anger subsides or I run out of better stuff.

However this said. Even throwing away the odd pound or two, it is still far cheaper to purchase the whole leaf from across the world than to buy within NZ. I just live in hope that from one box to the next, 1 will slip through the cracks and not be heat treated :)

Cheers
Jenny
 
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stic

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I can't really say as i've never received a package without having it heat treated. However, I find the heat treated red leaf an excellent smoke, dark and strong.

When I receive my package, I slice the top off the bag and steam the leaf over a kettle a few times, fold the bag and let it rest for a while which brings it back to a nice soft and pliable condition ready for shredding.
 

raucher

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I would be hesitant to throw any of the tobacco leaves to rubbish, but probably worst case scenario would chuck it on an open fire. I just discovered the other day what I think IS the original way of smoking tobacco...
 

deluxestogie

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Sometimes a pound will be a light brown which is ok but other pounds will be a dark brown and the worse scenario black.
...a 2 pound bag with much of the leaf dark brown to black on 1 side.
This suggests that the heat treatment is performed within a very large container (perhaps even a surplus steel shipping container) that is being brought up to temperature too rapidly. The target (average) temperature may be perfectly reasonable. But when the skillet is too hot, the outside of the burger blackens, before the center has adequately cooked.

Maybe some courageous NZ tobacco purchaser (who doesn't mind bringing upon himself/herself the focused attention of the Destroyer of All Things) might track down the specific people in charge of the heat treatment, and suggest a more gradual application of the heat. It may be that their throughput burden has encouraged the aggressive temperature ramping.

I would be hesitant to throw any of the tobacco leaves to rubbish
If there are any Kiwi pipe smokers on the forum, they might find the nasty black tobacco of interest for blending.

Bob
 

NOvice

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Hi JennyLeez, I had some virginia bought in nz. I found it terrible/ cooked --which my neighbour had a go at. Shredded then 50/50 straight bourbon/dark rum left to stew in a bag for 2 weeks. Unbelievably this became smokable though it lost nearly all flovour/scent but a sweet molasses like flavor. I must try a blend with my cutters to see if I can return some tobacco scent! Remember I am a total novice with whole leaf an this is probably already known to you. Anyway, best of luck--bruce.
 
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