Whole Leaf Tobacco

WLT 9 Variety Sampler Fun

Iowalez

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So the adventure begins!

I started off over a week ago with organic Virginia flue cured Canadian leaf and whole Perique leaves from Leaf Only and their inexpensive hand cranked shredder. I hadn't discovered WLT and this forum at the time.

The shredder is cheaply made and the clamp on it sucks. The clamp is so narrow I can only attach it to the edge of a wooden tv eating tray, and the clamp is poorly made; it doesn't want to stay clamped on, so I'm going to be upgrading to a better shredder before long.

The box took forever to arrive. 6 days. The leaves decided to spend two days sightseeing in St Paul in the sorting facility, and why it went there in the first place is beyond me. Then, in a matter of hours, it managed to go from there all the way to Des Moines, on to Waterloo, and Decorah before it arrived in my town. I was so impatient when it got delayed!

Opening the WLT box was exciting. I was stunned at how nicely each half pound sample was packed in the vacuum bags. It was a big contrast to the Leaf Only packaging. It was like Christmas coming early!

So far I've shredded the entire sample of Virginia Red, and part of the Prelip, Katarini, and stacked Basma. Shredding the Prelip and Katarini was a real PITA with that shredder. The stacked Basma was very easy to shred. I could do 3 leaves at a time. I'll continue working my way through the different bags as I have time and need distraction from boredom being isolated at home constantly.

Anyways, to taste the new leaves, I took some of the Leaf Only Canadian (pretty mild and neutral) and blended in about 10% Prelip and make 2 cigs, and then added 10% Katarini to what was left and made 4 cigs. I didnt use any casing yet. I started out with Gambler brand tubes from the convenience store, and I don't like them. I got 3 cartons of Mascotte Gold tubes on EBay and I like them much better. The test cigs are in these tubes.

I can taste the Oriental varieties in the cigs very clearly compared to the Canadian leaf blended with 15% Perique I started with. I can already see that I am going to have a lot of fun playing around with this sampler and learning about the flavors they contribute to blends, and how they taste alone. I think I'm going to.have to start a 3 ring binder for my new whole leaf and tobacco growing hobby, like I keep records in for my brewing, winemaking, and knit/crochet hobbies. This is going to be a big distraction from chores and work (I work from home) requiring some discipline or I'm not going to get much done!

Thank you to all of you forum members! I'm grateful for everything I've learned from this forum so far. I didn't know how to even stem the leaves I was ordering until I began exploring all the great threads and posts. You all have contributed a vast wealth of info and knowledge here.
 

Iowalez

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Messages
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Location
NE Iowa
The route was longer than that! That Google Map should have the line go up to St Paul, MN then south 4 hours to des Moines, then 120 miles northeast to Waterloo, and then further 90 minutes northeast to Decorah, before going 35 miles northwest to my post office. I'm five miles from the IA/MN border. Literally just 3 hours from St Paul!
 

ChinaVoodoo

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The route was longer than that! That Google Map should have the line go up to St Paul, MN then south 4 hours to des Moines, then 120 miles northeast to Waterloo, and then further 90 minutes northeast to Decorah, before going 35 miles northwest to my post office. I'm five miles from the IA/MN border. Literally just 3 hours from St Paul!
Haha
Ancient Aliens 18112020183558.jpg

I totally understand the excitement of waiting for a package from WLT. Can you imagine throwing Canadian customs into the mix?
 

Iowalez

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Messages
113
Points
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Location
NE Iowa
Thankfully the merchandise I ship to foreign customers transits Customs okay. I had problems last Spring, when the pandemic broke and flight cancellations affected international mail, but not since then. Leather isn't as controlled as tobacco is, although I do deal with USFW and have an import/export license for wildlife leather. But yeah, waiting 3 extra days for the box to arrive was pure torture. I was seething at the delay. I went to the post office to get the box rather than wait all day for the mailman to deliver it. **** On the good side, the tracking revealed the Waterloo sorting faciility wasn't closed like I was told it had been. I guess I should be glad I don't live in an area of Detroit that only gets mail a couple times a week.
 
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burge

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Black Friday is the huge sale. I am smoking some of the WLT Canadian now and its really good like you tried the competition but had a bad order. I am quite sure you would find the same on the cheap shredder the best value is the heavy duty one. The Canadian leaf here is really good. So many taste changes all for the better when I open a new bag. The sale happens once a year and with here and Big Bonner if something should happen they go out of there way to fix it. The other guys won't . So next week is the once a year to stock up.
 

Iowalez

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Joined
Nov 8, 2020
Messages
113
Points
63
Location
NE Iowa
Black Friday is the huge sale. I am smoking some of the WLT Canadian now and its really good like you tried the competition but had a bad order. I am quite sure you would find the same on the cheap shredder the best value is the heavy duty one. The Canadian leaf here is really good. So many taste changes all for the better when I open a new bag. The sale happens once a year and with here and Big Bonner if something should happen they go out of there way to fix it. The other guys won't . So next week is the once a year to stock up.
Well, I guess I better close some more sales so I can make another purchase on black Friday (how come not Cyber Monday since WLT is an online biz?) I was looking at that heavy duty hand cranked shredder I could fasten to a piece of plywood and use at my kitchen table. The shredder is my most pressing problem. My only options are the kitchen table, the tv tray at a chair in my office, or using the table of my industrial leather sewing machine. My 1881- built house is tiny and I'm crammed in here with an entire farmstead of possessions and a business.

My Leaf Only order wasn't " bad", the leaf I got was fine, but the shredder is poor quality with that bad clamp. Its taking the fun out of the process. WLT has a better selection of leaves, lower prices, better customer service, and facilitates this forum and community, so will get my business until I have homegrown tobacco ready to use.
 

Iowalez

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Location
NE Iowa
I shredded a baggieful of the hand tied VA lemon. I hate that shredder. Its gotten very hard to turn and the handle is beginning to bend. It hurts my hands. A waste of $40. I'm going to spring for a Powermatic S during the sale. I've been reading shredder threads on here. I'm only shredding for myself, a pack of cigs a day. I'll a just have to hang in there a couple more weeks.
 

Iowalez

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How do I use the fire cured tobacco.in the sampler? How is it blended? Any recommendations are appreciated. It smells lovely and the leaves are leathery and tough.
 

Kokomo

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Feb 23, 2019
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How do I use the fire cured tobacco.in the sampler? How is it blended? Any recommendations are appreciated. It smells lovely and the leaves are leathery and tough.
I wouldn't rush to use the fire cured. When I first got my sample pack back in Feb 2019 boy did it smell like a camp fire. Now I never used it but the other week when going over my supply I took a whiff and now it's smells so sweet and of chocolate. Tried a pinch in a test blend (10% or so) and loved it.
 

burge

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The old Drum is 50% fire and 50% virginia. I would personally go for the heavy duty shredder and attach a drill to power it. There are reviews in the shredder section. These don't go on sale but are reliable. I know a lot of people that aren't too happy with the mach 1 or the so called 1 mm cut it to them seemed to be more flakes. The powermatic shredder it is a cross cut, fine and good for rolling cigs but you don't get a nice shag. That is up to you of course.
 

Iowalez

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Messages
113
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Location
NE Iowa
I was going to go for the heavy duty shredder at first. I didn't know I could attach one of my drills to it!' I've got four drills with two chuck sizes! Yes, a woman with a large collection of tools! I'll switch to the heavy duty shredder, then. Thanks for putting me straight. I want nice shreds.

I'll try making a few cigs with the Drum blend to see what its like. The pos shredder issue is holding back my further exploration of the sampler, except for destemming the leaves. I haven't shredded any of the fire cured leaves yet. Its really making the task unpleasant. I've got to watch how much stress I put on my hands; I've had surgery for trigger finger syndrome from badly scarred tendons, and I can't make it worse. I make my living with my hands...
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I shredded a baggieful of the hand tied VA lemon. I hate that shredder. Its gotten very hard to turn and the handle is beginning to bend. It hurts my hands. A waste of $40. I'm going to spring for a Powermatic S during the sale. I've been reading shredder threads on here. I'm only shredding for myself, a pack of cigs a day. I'll a just have to hang in there a couple more weeks.
I clean mine by running hot tap water through it.
 
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