Tobacco


Forms

Mixture: Here the way the ingredient tobaccos were before blending is the way they remain once the mixture is finished and ready to be smoked. Of course, a blender may choose to use a flake, rub it out, and mix it with other ingredients; however, in this case the tobacco form before blending, to me, is the rubbed out version and not the flake, since it is the the RR version that you see in the final product (i.e., mixture). Examples: St. Bruno and Walnut Flake.

Flakes: Once the tobacco blend is made, it is exposed to varying degrees of moisture, pressure and heat to turn it into "blocks" of pressed tobacco that are then cut and slices into flakes.

Slices: Same as Flake, but usually thicker (and sometimes longer). Examples: Bengal Slices and Edgeworth Slices.

Ready-Rubbed: Flakes or Slices already rubbed out before being tinned. I find this to be no different from the so-called "Cavendish Mixtures", such as several of the Amphora tobaccos (mainly Brown and Red). Examples: Rattray's Old Gowrie and Pipemaker's Dark Strong Flake.

Navy Cut: This is the most mysterious and confusing term. It has been used to describe "flakes" but mainly flakes that are different in a way or another in size (length and width) and as well form. For example: Player's Medium Virginia comes in a form like flakes, with each flake cut almost in three smaller pieces. Another example is Mac Baren Navy Flake (another weird combination of words; here the 'flakes' are cut to fit into the small rectangular tin, one on top of the other. Most examples of "Navy Cut", I think, fall into this category.

Curly Cut: The most commonly used name to tobaccos rolled into a "rope", with pressure, heat and moisture, and then slice into little round discs. Typical examples include: Four Squares Purple and Three Nuns. Other names for the same tobacco form include: "Roundels" (which I've seen only on the now discontinued State Express Roundels, "Sliced/Cut Twist" (mainly used and produced in the UK).

Twist: The procedure to make a Twist is very similar to the one used to make cigar: There is a filler and a wrapper, and the whole is made in a sort of "rope". This long rope is then cut into longer pieces, and sold either by weight or by length. Twist tobaccos are generally more expensive than other tobacco form because its production is a labor-intensive process. Examples: Gawith Pigtail and Gawith Hoggarth Black Irish Twist. (This type is known in the USA as "Rope".)

Sliced/Cut Twist: Another way to describe "Curly Cut". Example: Gawith Hoggarth Sliced Brown Twist.

Plug: When a whole "block' of pressed tobacco is produced, and instead of cutting it into flakes or slices, the manufacturer would cut it into smaller "blocks" or "cubes", usually each weighing around 50g. (25g Plugs are also available in the UK, but they're rarer.) In the UK, this tobacco form is also sometimes referred to as "Bar". Example: Warrior Plug, Gawith's Kendal Plug, and Gallaher's War Horse Bar & Condor XX Bar.

Cut Plug: Another way to say "Flake". Example: G. Hoggarth Coniston Cut Plug and Fribourg & Treyer Cut Blended Plug.

Bar: A "bar" is usually used to refer to a whole block of pressed tobacco before being cut into "plugs"; a retailer who stocks a bar would cut it into pieces according to the amount desired by the customer. The word "bar" is sometimes maintained (and used) by manufacturers for the final product (i.e., "plug").

Hatband: This is an old, and now little known and used, term. It was used in yesteryears to refer to chewing tobaccos that miners never left home without. As miners couldn't smoke underground, they would keep the tobacco under their hat bands; when the shift was over, they would come up to the surface, slice the tobacco, fill their pipes and puff away. Such a great way to relax and get ready to resume such physically demand work!



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