Saturday, November 13, 2010

Types of Tobacco

Many kinds of tobacco are grown in the world, with a variety of uses. The types of tobacco vary according to tobacco classes in various countries and elements such as manipulation of nitrogen fertilization, plant density, time and height of topping, harvesting and curing are added to favorably influence the usability of the cured leaves for specific products.


Some of the most common types are listed below.

1.       Virginia (brightleaf tobacco) (70 % of world tobacco production)

Virginia is high in sugar and low in oils. The color of the leaves ranges from bright lemon yellow  to  medium  brown;  the  lighter  colors  being  spicier  in  flavor  and  the  darker colored leaves having a more deeper and complex taste. 

Virginia is used almost entirely in cigarette blends.  Some of the heavier leaves may be used in mixtures for pipe smoking.  Some English cigarettes are entirely composed of Virginia tobacco.

Major producers in the world are China, U.S.A., Brazil, India and Zimbabwe.

2.       Burley (11 % of world production)

 It is high in oil, low in sugar and has a nutty type of flavor. Burley is usually light air-cured, derived from the White Burley which arose as a mutant on a farm in Ohio in 1864.  Burley is used primarily in cigarette blends.  Some of the heavier leaves are used in pipe blends and also for chewing.

Cured burley leaf is characterized by low sugar content and a very low sugar to nitrogen ratio (high nicotine). This is enhanced by high amounts of nitrogen-fertilizers, harvesting at  an  early  stage  of  senescence,  and  the  air  curing  process  allows  for  oxidation  of  any sugar which may have occurred. 

Main producers:  U.S.A., Italy, Korea, Brazil, Mexico

3.       Maryland (small total world production)

It is a neutral type of tobacco with a mild flavor. Maryland is another usually light air-cured type.  It is used in some American blended cigarettes and to a greater extent in certain Swiss cigarette blends.

Maryland  tobacco  is  extremely  fluffy,  has  good  burning  properties,  low  nicotine  and  a neutral aroma. 

Production countries:  U.S.A. and Italy

4.       Oriental  (16% of total production)

Oriental tobacco is mild with a very characteristic aroma. Resins, waxes and gum exuded by glandular hairs (trichomes) supply the aroma. Nicotine is low, averaging around 1,0%. The tobacco is usually sun-cured.

Main producers: Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Romania, Italy


5.       Rustica

When the first settlers reached Jamestown, Virginia (in what is now the USA), they found the Native Americans smoking Nicotiana rustica which contains about 10% nicotine. Over the  following  300  years,  rustica  lost  a  lot  of  ground  to  nicotiana  tabacum.  Nowadays rustica is grown and used in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Russia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Burma, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, parts of Africa and parts of South America.

Nicotiana  rustica  is  smoked  primarily  in  water  pipes  but  is  occasionally  smoked  in cigarettes or chewed.

6.      Pipe tobacco

Pipe tobacco is divided into 2 main categories. First category includes English and Scottish brick tobaccos that ripen in pressed bricks and are released from sugar that forms naturally. Second category includes tobaccos of American type in which different flavor additives are used.

7.      Kentucky

Kentucky tobacco takes its name from American state with the same name. This tobacco dried with fire can be met in USA, Malawi, Tanzania, Italy, Poland and Indonesia, it has dark-brown, close to black color and strong, saturated taste. Nicotine content is bigger than in Burley sort - quite strong tobacco. Addition of Kentucky in blends gives them special strength, original flavor.

8.      Cavendish

Danish Cavendish is mixture of different tobacco leafs, such as Burley, Virginia and Maryland that were pressed in bricks for ageing. Any tobacco that meets these requirements is named Cavendish. Cavendish bricks are cut in small cubes but cubes in turn are cut on thick and thin flakes.

9.      Black Cavendish

Black Cavendish is more dries version of common tobaccos Burley from Tennessee and Kentucky and also some sorts of dark tobaccos of air drying from Central Virginia. Such tobaccos are often aromatized with different impregnations and herbs.

10.  Latakia

Tobacco Latakia, named after small Syrian seaport, is grown mainly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus. This sort is dried on the sun and as result it acquires special pleasant aroma.

11.  Perik

Previously Perik was used as semi-finished product for snuff tobacco, but at present moment Perik is used in blends in very small quantities for giving them special delicate taste. After gathering this tobacco is quickly dried out and then aged about 8-10 months in big oak casks with prune juice, spices and fruit pulp. As result comes out blue-black aromatic tobacco.

12.  Turkish tobaccos

These tobaccos, in spite of their names, mainly grow in Greece. They have very pleasant aroma, but for different reasons very seldom are used in pipe tobaccos, only in exotic blends.

13.  Criollo tobacco

Criollo tobacco is a type of tobacco, primarily used in the making of cigars. It was, by most accounts, one of the original Cuban tobaccos that emerged around the time of Columbus.

14.   Dokham

Dokham, is a tobacco of Iranian origin mixed with leaves, bark, and herbs for smoking in a midwakh.

15.   Y1

Y1 is a strain of tobacco that was cross-bred by Brown & Williamson to obtain unusually high nicotine content. It became controversial in the 1990s when the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used it as evidence that tobacco companies were intentionally manipulating the nicotine content of cigarettes.


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