Whole Leaf Tobacco

Tobacco stems - what is the potential?

Paul

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First of all, I am in the UK. Since 2016 we have had no trade in raw tobacco.
I saw it coming and created a decent stockpile... which is now looking small.
In parallel I acquired a Teck 1, which is great fun and cuts tobacco leaves complete with stems (birds eyes).

So, when I saw an advert today for quite cheap tobacco stems (for pigeon nesting material) it made me wonder.
It seems that UK trade in stems is OK, up to 2.5kg.

If I can't acquire leaf, but can acquire stems, is there any value in ordering stems and turning them into smokable material?

The birds eyes that my Teck 1 creates (by slicing the stem across the grain) are perfectly OK as part of a blend. Does anyone have any experience with batches of only stems?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I removed the stems from flue cured Costello Negro. The tobacco had been thoroughly kilned, and the stems were totally black. I rehydrated them and cut them into little nibs for chewing. It was fantabulous. Lots of rich cavendish-like flavour. Now, I didn't smoke it, but the thought occurred to me that it would be really good if you could figure out a way to do so. My first thought would be to use rollers to squish them flat, then shred them lengthwise.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Oh, i also did an experiment where i took Bursa, and Gold something burley stems in high case, ran them through the flattening part of the pasta maker, then vacuum sealed them, froze them multiple times with the idea that it would break down some of the fibers, then fermented the bag of stems at room temperature for 3 months, no, wait, maybe it was in the kiln, sorry that was 2014, I think it was in the kiln... anyways, then chopped it up in a food processor. It's in a lot of hard little bits that go well into a pipe blend. It's chocolatey.
 

Paul

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Interesting. Since I got my Teck 1 I've been saving the "hard little bits" in a jar, thinking they would be good for pipe. I am now regretting the huge volume of stems that I discarded in the past.
 

deluxestogie

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In the distant past, I saved assorted stems from kilned leaf. After a number of years, I sliced the whole stems (into more of a beady, little, mouse eye), and packed them into a pipe. It burns well, the nicotine is lowish, but I simply didn't like how it tamps down while the bowl smokes. The pipe draw becomes either too open or a stem bit at the bottom plugs the smoke hole. The aromas were vaguely similar to the tobacco lamina.

If I were living somewhere undergoing tobbexit, I guess those stems would be mighty nice. Otherwise, despite producing gobs of stems every year, I toss them.

Bob
 

Tommy Tobaccoseed

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If I’m not mistaken, English-style “toast” snuffs are made primarily with stems, or they at least use a fair amount of tobacco flour made from ground stems. One deservedly popular example would be Freibourg and Treyer’s “High Dry Toast”, which is mainly intended, I believe, to be used as a base with which to mix with a small amount of their highly perfumed snuff offerings. The toast turns their other snuffs into something wonderful, but It’s also a lovely snuff on its own.

If you’ve never tried snuff, you’re in for a treat. In the 2 1/2 years since I finally sampled it, I’ve been kicking myself for not trying the stuff decades ago, as it’s rapidly become my favorite form of tobacco, by far.

Toasts are a bit difficult to take as a beginner, as their lack of moisture can easily facilitate snuffing it too high into the nasal cavity - but they’re worth it. But I don’t mean to worry you, I personally started out with American “scotch” snuffs, which are quite similar to toasts, and it wasn’t too difficult to figure it out after a few tries.
 
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