THE TYPES OF TOBACCO WE USE
Burley tobacco is a light air-cured tobacco used primarily for cigarette production, but also incorporated in pipe tobacco and some chewing tobacco products. It is grown in an eight state belt. Approximately 70% of the crop is produced in Kentucky. The high quality achieved by US burley producers is primarily due to natural curing conditions.
Burley tobacco is cut from the bottom of the stalk and hung in a large barn with ventilation doors to regulate ambient weather conditions of humidity and heat. It takes about three months to air-cure burley. Fully cured burley is tan to reddish brown in color.
After curing, burley leaves are stripped from the stalk and segregated by stalk position.
Flue-cured tobacco is the main flavor component in American, English, and Turkish blends. In the United states, Flue-cured is grown primarily in Virginia, North Carolina, and the coastal plains regions of the Southeast. It is the most widely produced variety in the world. Flue-curing Involves the use of a flue (chimney or stove pipe) that utilizes an indirect source of enclosed radiant heat that promotes the accelerated drying of the stem or mid-rib, and causes the green tobacco to turn from lemon to orange to deep mahogany in color.
Flue cured tobacco ripens from the bottom of the stalk upwards, so farmers harvest the lower leaves first and cure them in a heated enclosed structure. As the next leaves up the stalk ripen, the farmer repeats this harvesting/curing process two or three times until all of the leaves have been gathered.
Turkish tobacco is a highly aromatic, small leafed variety of tobacco which is sun cured. It has a much milder flavor than other varieties. It is grown primarily in Greece and Turkey.