Tobacco enthusiasts typically enjoy exploring all corners of the tobacco industry, in order to develop their palate and experience some variety throughout their smoking careers. Many of our customers at BnB Tobacco who come to us out of a love for cigars eventually decide that they want to give our pipe tobaccos a try. But, the world of pipe tobacco is extremely different from that of cigar tobacco, and we know that pipe tobacco beginners can feel intimidated by the entire new selection of tobacco blends that they have to familiarize themselves with in order to choose the perfect option.
Overall, pipe tobacco comes in specific types of blends, and once you understand how each blend can impact your smoking experience, you’ll have no trouble knowing which one is the best choice for your particular smoking needs and palate.
What is Pipe Tobacco?
Pipe tobacco is a looseleaf tobacco that predates both cigarette and cigar tobacco and was the tobacco of choice for centuries. It’s the result of picking the leaves of the tobacco plant, usually grown in Virginia or some other nearby state, and curing it using a specialized process that brings out the most desirable qualities, as well as the ideal consistency for smoking at the proper burn rate.
Pipe tobacco has even evolved over the years as the industry’s palate has developed and as new technology has emerged on the market to make the entire process more customizable and economical.
Categories for Pipe Tobacco
There remains a small number of distinctive pipe tobacco categories that smokers must choose from based on what it is that they crave when they take a pull of smoke off of their pipe.
First, we have regular/natural pipe tobacco, which is the earliest form of pipe tobacco that was first developed by the Native Americans. It is produced using an air-curing process that generally hasn’t changed all that much throughout the centuries, and it’s a process that many companies take pride in.
Air-curing the tobacco leaves using precise methods and a controlled environment yields what we’d say is a medium-bodied tobacco that is neither too bold/harsh nor too mellow/weak. It involves hanging the tobacco leaves in a space that is kept extremely dry, as moisture could cause mold to develop. It’s an extremely lengthy process, but the results are well worth it, as it promotes a low sugar concentration that creates a less acidic leaf. It also yields a high nicotine content as a result of the nature of the process. Overall, regular/natural tobacco is the ideal middle-ground for those who don’t want something too bold or too mild.
While “mild” and “mellow” can refer to the nicotine content in tobacco, most often, when we relate these terms to pipe tobacco, we’re talking more about flavor. A mild or mellow tobacco blend is going to have a flavor that’s smoother and a smoke that’s less harsh on the throat. There are various methods used to produce mild/mellow tobacco, ranging from the selection of tobacco leaves that themselves are mild based on either the cultivar of the plant or its maturity, to using specific processes such as curing and fermenting that change the characteristics of the flavor. An example is Cavendish pipe tobacco, which is steamed to create a milder and sweeter flavor.
Mint/menthol tobaccos involve the application of mint or menthol into the manufacturing process. Keep in mind that mint and menthol are ultimately two different things.
- Mint is a flavor, as it contains the mint leaf with carries flavor molecules.
- Menthol is a compound extracted from mint that has no flavor properties of its own but does produce a cooling sensation when inhaled and exhaled that many describe as exhilarating.
Infusing the tobacco with mint or menthol can actually be done at several different points throughout the manufacturing process, and each company will use their own technique. It can be done at the final stage, where drops of menthol extract are blended with the tobacco, or the tobacco can be cured or aged with mint or menthol infused in it.
Turkish tobacco, sometimes referred to as “Oriental tobacco,” typically has smaller and more abundant leaves as a result of the specific cultivars of the tobacco plant that are native to this region of the world. It’s one of the most aromatic tobaccos in the world, known for its unique depth and complexity. Because it’s sun-cured, it takes on more flavor properties as the sun brings out a distinctively sweeter and almost spicier taste. Yet, it’s actually an extremely mild tobacco, which is why it’s very rare to come across 100% pure Turkish pipe tobacco.
“Ultra light” or “Silver” tobacco usually reflects the density of the leaves, which are lighter than average and therefore create a milder smoking experience overall for the smoker. It’s the least popular form of pipe tobacco since most pipe smoking enthusiasts are attracted to the hobby because of the richness that pipe tobacco is known for, and therefore they aren’t looking for a tobacco with an extremely mild flavor. Most people who gravitate toward this type of tobacco are those who want as little nicotine and tar as possible and are willing to smoke a weaker-tasting tobacco as a result.
Find the Ultimate Pipe Tobacco for Your Needs at BnB Tobacco
No matter what type of pipe tobacco you gravitate toward, you can find it at BnB Tobacco, where we proudly offer a large selection of pipe tobaccos in all varieties from the most trusted names in the industry. Explore the different options and don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the blend that satisfies your specific palate and other smoking-related preferences.