I bought 25 grams of whole tobacco plant leaf for experimental purposes. The source was a site which is dedicated to ecigs. It sells all sorts of equipment for DIY making of e-liquid as well as e-cigs. No wonder the Psychopathic Zealots of Tobacco Control are hysterical about e-cigs. They say that they are against e-cigs because they look like cigs, but the truth is that c-cigs take control out of their hands. It is very easy, with a bit of practice, to make e-liquid. (Although I haven’t tried it myself)
I paid £5 for 25 grams of whole leaf. That was a high price – or was it? The question of quality arises, and I do not know.
Since then, I ordered a further supply of whole leaf – not a lot since it is for experimental purposes – from a different source. The price worked out at roughly £1 per 20 grams. Clearly, the price is substantially cheaper, but this is where quality comes in. Whereas the first batch was totally yellowish/brownish, the new batch has green patches. On the other hand, the first batch was very, very dry and brittle, whereas the second batch is much more pliable. I posted a couple of pics of the leaf in the first batch in my post of 11th Jan “Whole Leaf”. Here are a couple of pics of the new batch:
You can see that, as with the first batch, the leaf has been folded and compressed and then, probably, dried out. However, in this second batch, the leaf has not been dried out quite as thoroughly. I was able to unfold the leaf:
It is still dry and rather brittle, but not as much so as the first batch.
You can clearly see the main rib. It is hard, but not as hard as a dried twig.
Further, in comparison with the first batch, this batch has hardly any aroma. Therefore, I am not absolutely certain that the leaf has been fermented, even though it has been yellowed. I simply do not know.
To test, I have made up some fags with my tubing machine from that leaf. It is interesting to observe that, without the hard stuff from the mid rib, it tubes very easily indeed. I managed to get 9 fags from it (without any mixing of my home-grown stuff). I am currently smoking one, and I must admit that it is rather pleasant. It is not ‘acrid’; in fact, it is quite smooth. I can certainly see this stuff as being a very suitable mixer for my own stuff. (Excuse my use of the word ‘stuff’ so much – the point is that it should not be described as ‘tobacco’ since I have no idea whether or not it is)
As regards the mid rib, I am currently drying it out completely so that it is very hard. The reason is that my daughter has a coffee-grain grinder, and I intend to use it to grind the mid rib material into small particles – it is the only way to use the mid rib that I can think of without having to snip and snip and risk ripping tubes.
I am trying another fag made with the leaf. I confirm again that it is pleasant – but it is banal. As Acet said, “The ‘dark stuff’ stinks like poo, but it tastes heavenly!”
A final point. GaryK drew my attention to my estimate of ‘cigs per leaf’ in an earlier post. He rightly pointed out that my estimate indicated only two cigs per leaf. My explanation was that not all the leaves were ‘full size’, and I think that that is true. But that cannot be the whole explanation. What cannot be denied is that our curing method definitely shrinks leaves to a very great extent. However, the method, in conjunction with moisturising with orange peel, produces the most heavenly of tastes!
I am smoking another fag made with the new batch. Nothing wrong with it, but characterless. It really is pleasant – perhaps like eating lightly toasted bread with margarine as compared with browned toast and butter.
I am sure that everyone who reads this blog understands the need to experiment. You see, we are in a very grey area when we venture out of our purely home-grown stuff into whole leaf purchases. The grey area concerns ’Tobacco Duty’. I have said several times in the above that my actions are purely experimental, and I mean it. We need to see, touch and smell whole leaf in order to assess its possibilities, and compare that product to our home-grown. I do not advocate the purchase of whole leaf for the purpose of avoiding ‘Tobacco Duty’. In fact, I do not advocate anything at all – I simply describe.
There are vicious psychopaths around us – we need to take care.