The tobacco you buy online or at your local shop is a blend of tobaccos from various parts of the world. Tobacco blenders will use different types of leaves to produce different flavors, burn rates, and mouthfeel. To create unique flavors. Tobacconists blend using the following leaves:
- Virginia: Naturally sweet and light, it burns quick and adds a nice flavor to your smoke.
- Burley: Slow burner that has a nutty, relatively mild flavor.
- Perique: A Louisiana-based leaf with spicy notes.
- Bright: A North Carolina-based leaf with a mild flavor.
- Latakia: Hefty, smoky flavor that adds punch and color to your blend.
- Oriental: An overall category of Middle Eastern leaves (Latakia included) that produce a bold, spicy profile.
Blenders use different proportions of some of these tobaccos to create a unique overall flavor profile. From there, tobacco blends are divided into two categories: aromatics and non-aromatics.
Many of the early brands of cigarettes were made mostly or entirely of Turkish tobacco; today, its main use is in blends of pipe and especially cigarette tobacco. Turkish tobacco is sun-cured, which makes it more aromatic and, like flue-cured tobacco, more acidic than air or smoke-cured tobacco, thus more suitable for cigarette production.