During the years of practice there were discovered over one hundred sorts of tobacco
All of them were obtained from two basic sorts:
- Virginia tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.)
- Rural tobacco (Nicotiana rustica L.)
V irginia tobacco is about two meters high, has strong stalk with rotating leaves. On the top, stalk becomes a flower panicle. One plant has from 8 to 20 leaves about 60 centimeters in length. Out of this sort of tobacco all other sorts of tobacco, which are used for the producing quality products, were discovered. Apart from Virginia tobacco, Maryland tobacco, Kentucky Burley, oriental and Havana tobacco and others are used.
Rural tobacco is grown for cheap cigarettes and tobacco. Few people know that popular Russian shag is the sort of rural tobacco. The height of this sort is not more than one meter and it is not whimsical to the climate conditions.
During the harvesting, leaves little by little are broken off from the stalk and dried. The most quality have the leaves from the middle part of the stalk. Leaves are dried in the shadow and in the sun or in the smoke. After drying, leaves are bind into the small sheaves and start the next important operation – fermentation. Fermentation is a natural change in chemical structure of tobacco, during this process, it is under baller in a warm place. Because of fermentation, starch turns into sugar, content of nicotine becomes lower, and proteins divide into simpler substances. Time of fermentation is strictly defined, the temperature is not more than 50 degrees. In case of not following the temperature regime, aroma oils influenced on the tobacco’s taste, can be burnt out. After fermentation, tobacco is dried again and is sent to the tobacco’s factories, where it further converts.
Tobacco for cigarettes, cigars and pipes has different preparing. Tobacco for pipes is a mix of some different sorts of tobacco, which were grown in different places. Basis of tobacco for pipes consists of Virginian and burley. For this, main sorts are added to other sorts, which have an influence on its taste, in the same way as spices have influence on the taste of different dishes. As additive, latakia is mostly used, that gives spicy and gummy taste to English tobacco. After that, fragrant black tobacco “perik” is added that also contrasts with light yellow Virginian tobacco. Lately, tobaccos with fermentation twice become more popular ; after second fermentation they have soft spicy taste and dark color.
At the factory, raw tobacco for smoking is firstly sorted and then is separated from liquid. Wastes are added to the cheapest tobacco such as “Bacha”. Ready tobacco steeps with aroma essences, sometimes in vacuum. This primary process of steeping is called “kecing”. “Kecing” has influence on tobacco’s taste when smoked. Next step is pressing and cutting tobacco according to its sort. After mixing, tobacco is steeped with aroma essences from different plants and fruits. This process is called “flavoring” and has influence the smoking smell that distributes by smoking.