There are three main varieties of pipe tobacco; Virginia, Burley and Oriental ( Turkish ). These are all direct descendants of Nicotiana tobacco.
Let`s begin with the most common tobacco which is Virginia. This variety is a base ingredient for most pipe smoking blends. Virginias are high in sugar content and low in oils therefore they are sweet but burn hotter than other varieties of tobacco.
Usually the color of the Virginia will determine the taste of the smoke. Lighter colors will give your smoke a sweeter and sharper taste while darker color Virginia will produce a deeper flavour and higher nicotine content.
This is a light air cured tobacco often used in cigarettes. It is a low sugar high nicotine leaf and is the second most used tobacco on the market. Burley has a deeper and drier taste compared to Virginia tobaccos.
The third variety can be interchangeably labeled as either Oriental or Turkish tobacco. Oriental tobaccos are usually grown in the Mediterranean areas such as Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Syria. From the dry climate the leaves develop a waxy coating which helps to create a fragrant and dry flavour. This tobacco is usually found in most English blends.
Aromatic vs English Blends. What’s the difference?
Aromatic blended tobaccos are usually made from the Virginia or Burley variety of tobaccos. These tobaccos are processed in various ways to create a pleasant smelling smoke. Many experienced smokers find the taste of aromatics to be too simple.
English blends follow an old British tobacco purity law. These types of tobaccos do not contain any kind of artificial flavourings and preservatives. They are often blends of Virginia and Oriental tobaccos and contain a natural flavour that appeals to experienced smokers.
There are three types of processed tobaccos which are deemed acceptable to be used in English tobacco blends.
Cavendish is a tobacco that has been steamed with sugar then layered and fermented creating a sweet mellow aromatic smoke. Usually Virginia and Burley tobaccos are used.
This type of tobacco was originally produced in the Syrian port city of Latakia. This is an Oriental tobacco that is smoke cured. This process creates a delicious creamy smooth tasting tobacco that is low in nicotine.
This is a Burley tobacco which is grown and processed in St James, Louisiana. It`s a dark oily leaf containing the taste of pepper and figs. Perique has the strongest flavour of all of the tobaccos so it`s used very sparingly.