The most impressive thing about the ‘whole leaf’ is the colour. It is bright yellow/brown. It is also aromatic – it smells sweet with certain unidentifiable extras.
Now…….. I do not want to be judgemental. Too many subjective judgements are involved. However, I have to say that, as far as my own taste-buds are concerned, the whole leaf tastes just the same as commercial stuff. It is OK, but rather bland. However, I did remark yesterday about how dry and brittle it was.
And so I ripped the leaf(s) to bits and put them into a container with orange peel. This morning, the flakes were soft and pliable and sweetened by the orange peel. The very dry whole leaf seems to be particularly absorbent – I had to leave the cig which I created for some time because it did not draw well at all – it was still a little ‘damp’. After a couple of hours, it lit and smoked perfectly normally, and, having been sweetened overnight, the taste was enhanced as far as I personally was concerned!
As far as I am concerned, I have no doubt that my own stuff is more concentrated than commercial stuff, which is why I need to mix it. However, I do not wish to be beholden to tobacco companies for the stuff with which I mix my own stuff. So far, I am happy to have found a source of mixable stuff which does not involve the payment of duties, although it is only a stop-gap.
I’m pleased with the direction in which I am heading, although it is by no means perfect. I would like to be able to produce a ‘lighter’ tobacco in addition to the ‘intense’ stuff. I am convinced that part of the difficulty is the nature of the soil hereabouts – it is not conducive to production of ‘light’, pretty yellow/brown, tasteless tobacco leaf.
For this next year, my objective is to grow splendid plants. I want quantity. Quality will depend entirely upon the nature of my soil, although I shall do my best to enhance its productivity.