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 Latakia Info Needed

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badfinger

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Age : 40
Location : Portland, Oregon
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:36 am

As I learn more and more about piping and the processing of pipe tobacco, one bit of information has seemed to be out of my reach so to say. That is, I would like to know the traditional method of producing Latakia tobacco. Does anybody have any information on the subject? I would greatly appreciate the info.


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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:58 am

I don't know much, but I know that it is fire cured, giving it its, well, smokey flavour. There are some good articles online if you hunt for them.
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Hater

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Age : 44
Location : Ojai, Ca.
Registration date : 2012-03-20

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:36 am

Latakia is an Oriental tobacco which is sun-cured in the normal way and then fire-cured. (The curing process which uses small fires in an enclosed space to flavor tobaccos. Fire-Curing involves using aromatic woods as fuel, which imparts flavor into the tobaccos. Fire-Curing can be done after a Sun-Curing, as is the case with Latakia tobaccos.) Small fires are created in an enclosed space with aromatic woods and fragrant herbs used as the fuel. The smoke produced by these fires coats the tobacco and infuses its own flavor. Latakia has a naturally “smokey” quality yet will vary in flavor+aroma depending on where it is from, (Syria, Cyprus, & Greece), and what wood and herbs were used to fuel the smoke. The length of curing will influence the flavor+aroma strength of the tobacco, but the nicotine and sugar levels will remain relatively low.

Like so many other tobacco discoveries, Latakia was unintentionally discovered. During the 1800s in Syria, a bumper crop of tobacco was left in the rafters of a house for many months and exposed to household fires and smoke. The result of this accident was revolutionary in that it gave birth to a new category of pipe tobaccos and flavor+aroma possibilities. Today, Latakia is the key ingredient in English/Balkan blends and prized the world over for its uniqueness and character.

Latakia is the quintessential condiment or “spice” tobacco: too strong and spicy to be smoked alone, but a unique enhancement which will fortify and distinguish a blend.



Tobacconist U
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:05 pm

It is worth noting, I believe all Latakia being produced currently is Cyprian. I know for a fact Syrian Latakia is no longer being made due to Syria (as a country) deciding to eliminate all production and export some years ago. Any Syrian Latakia you find is from stock withheld from before the cessation. Certain tobacco companies no longer have access to the Syrian product, only the Cyprian. Other countries, like Greece, may make a Latakia-type tobacco, but (as I understand) it's not particularly good.

This is all worth noting due to the fact the processes may differ somewhat in making each type of Latakia.
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dshpipes

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Age : 34
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:13 pm

You're all wrong. Latakia is cured by hanging the baccy in a barn which is full of camel dung. The dung is then ignited and allowed to smolder, giving off a horrendous smell. This gives the tobacco that fantastic flavor many of us crave. However, this is the reason so many hate the smell.

After the initial curing, the tobacco is bunched in bales by dwarves and stored in underground mines for no less than 2 years to cure further. Then, just before shipment, it is sprinkled with the blood of 1,000 virgins and whacked with unicorn hide.

I can't believe you guys didn't know this stuff. Evil or Very Mad
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:15 pm

So, Syria ran out of virgins and unicorns. No wonder they're all uppity these days. That makes sense. Cool
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:57 pm

UberHuberMan wrote:
sprinkled with the blood of 1,000 virgins

Now, were these male virgins who played too much D&D, or females who were just kind of homely?
Because it probably makes a difference.
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badfinger

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Age : 40
Location : Portland, Oregon
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:41 pm

Thanks for all the answers guys. However, the specifics of what I want to know are still going unanswered. Which woods are used in combination with what types of herbs.


Has anyone ever produced a PNW Latakia using Apple wood? How about smoking it with coffee grounds? How do the different woods affect flavor, and how long are they actually smoked?

I guess when it comes down to it, I'm looking to make some new styles of tobacco but need info on old styles first. Thanks again for all the help fellas.
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:51 pm

You'll need to ask someone who makes Latakia over in the Middle East as from what I've read, just the overall general facts are known about the process of these tobacco's as all the producers want their process to be 'secret". Cypria is supposed to be a nice sunny, friendly place these days and i think you can get visas to travel there these days so maybe its time for you to take a "road trip " Razz
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jefe1037

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Age : 35
Location : Mr. Pleasant, SC
Registration date : 2012-02-07

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:00 pm

monbla256 wrote:
You'll need to ask someone who makes Latakia over in the Middle East as from what I've read, just the overall general facts are known about the process of these tobacco's as all the producers want their process to be 'secret". Cypria is supposed to be a nice sunny, friendly place these days and i think you can get visas to travel there these days so maybe its time for you to take a "road trip " Razz

cypria? Cyprus perhaps?

I went to Syria and just started walking around and asking about tobacco. It went over well... oh yeah, I was dressed like this guy:




These were all the friends I made


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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:02 pm

I stand corrected Razz Having never been there I just know it's "across the big pond" over there and would be the place to find the answers Razz
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dshpipes

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Age : 34
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:47 pm

Harlock999 wrote:
UberHuberMan wrote:
sprinkled with the blood of 1,000 virgins

Now, were these male virgins who played too much D&D, or females who were just kind of homely?
Because it probably makes a difference.

That's why Syrian is no longer available. They ran out of female virgins. Fortunately for Cypria, there's no shortage of male D&D virgins.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:24 pm

badfinger wrote:
Thanks for all the answers guys. However, the specifics of what I want to know are still going unanswered. Which woods are used in combination with what types of herbs.


Has anyone ever produced a PNW Latakia using Apple wood? How about smoking it with coffee grounds? How do the different woods affect flavor, and how long are they actually smoked?

I guess when it comes down to it, I'm looking to make some new styles of tobacco but need info on old styles first. Thanks again for all the help fellas.

Good point. To my knowledge, specific oaks and native shrubs are used in any location, which is why the Latakia changes from place to place, and also why Syria opted out of continuing making it--apparently it was bad to clear-cut areas just to burn for making smoked tobacco. Then there's the method, which if curing is any indicator, probably has to be very specific or you could screw up a whole batch mighty quick. If it's indirect smoke or just simply hung in a hut someplace and inundated with smoke, I'm not sure. Greg Pease might be able to shed light on this.

I've often wondered what it would take to make "Nevadakia," because there's some native plants around here that smell excellent when burning, and meat is often smoked around here with these woods.

With Greg in mind, feel free to inundate your brain with his thoughts at his site, specifically, here:

http://glpease.com/Articles/Latakia.html
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badfinger

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Age : 40
Location : Portland, Oregon
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:47 pm

Ok, I've emailed GL Pease with a few questions, so we'll wait and see if he gets back to me. I think with the lack of good Latakia in the market, that there is definitively room small batch Lats to be produced stateside.
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:07 pm

UberHuberMan wrote:
Harlock999 wrote:
UberHuberMan wrote:
sprinkled with the blood of 1,000 virgins

Now, were these male virgins who played too much D&D, or females who were just kind of homely?
Because it probably makes a difference.

That's why Syrian is no longer available. They ran out of female virgins. Fortunately for Cypria, there's no shortage of male D&D virgins.

Yes, Cypria is where the dungeons, virgins, dragons, unicorns, master curers and their camels are. The tobacco itself is imported there from a place called Cyprus, which is known far and wide for it's lack of imagination and poor taste in music.
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williamcharles

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Age : 66
Location : Indiana
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:15 pm

I've read articles that claim the wood used to smoke latakia is a mixture of pine and oak. No mention of the herbs was made.
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:18 pm

MisterE wrote:
Yes, Cypria is where the dungeons, virgins, dragons, unicorns, master curers and their camels are. The tobacco itself is imported there from a place called Cyprus, which is known far and wide for it's lack of imagination and poor taste in music.

lol!
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dshpipes

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Age : 34
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:22 pm

Harlock999 wrote:
MisterE wrote:
Yes, Cypria is where the dungeons, virgins, dragons, unicorns, master curers and their camels are. The tobacco itself is imported there from a place called Cyprus, which is known far and wide for it's lack of imagination and poor taste in music.

lol!

+1 double lol!
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:25 pm

Caprican Latakia--smoked tobacco using burnt cylon refuse. Cool
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:27 pm

The heck with all this relying on traditional methods which keep the cost of the stuff high, we need a good 'ole Amurican to start growing a Faux Latakia that has all the flavor geneticaly engineered into it so all ya got to do is harvest and process it into Amphora so that you can market it to BOTH clubs, Lat freaks AND Aro freaks. Kinda like that new Faux Perique they are growing. That's the Amurican Way Razz


Last edited by monbla256 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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dshpipes

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Age : 34
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:28 pm

I live for the day when someone figures out how to grow tobacco that tastes like well aged OGS right off the stalk.
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badfinger

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Age : 40
Location : Portland, Oregon
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Here's the response I received from Greg:


I wish I could tell you! The process is held fairly secret, though if I could go there personally and watch, I'd be able to figure it out. I do know that in Syria, the indigenous pine was one of the woods used, not hardwoods, but I suspect other shrubs were also involved. In Cyprus, my guess is that it's something more akin to a hardwood, but I can't be sure. The result is a little sweeter, less resinous. But, they also start with different leaf.

The temperature would be something that would have to be experimented with. The smoking has to finish the curing, but not too quickly. Too long, the leaf would get too smoky, not long enough, not smoky enough. Just like with smoking meat, there's a balance that has to be struck. I've considered trying to smoke some leaf in my smoker, but haven't done it yet. One of many projects...

I'm also trying to get more information on dark fired Kentucky for an article. So far, not much luck there, either.

It's an intriguing idea to play with, but the costs associated with doing it on a commercial, or relatively commercial scale might be prohibitive. Planning on trying it? I'd love to know what you come up with if you do. The Cypriots use a Smyrna leaf, the Syrians an local, large leaf variety called Shek-il-bint. (You'll see it spelled differently; Arabic doesn't Romanize consistently.)

Cheers,
Greg




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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: Latakia Info Needed   Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:30 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Caprican Latakia--smoked tobacco using burnt cylon refuse. Cool

I got it! Laughing
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