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 Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.

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RobT

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Age : 39
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2010-08-13

PostSubject: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:14 am

I'm opening a new thread so as it's not off topic on another..

Furthering a discussion with Piet, there are few good tobacconists in the Cape Town area:

Sturks in Greenmarket Square is about the most well known in the city bowl (they've been in business since the late 1700's and only owned by 3 different families)

Curiosity Hut in Somerset Mall is also pretty good - they stock a large range.

Then there's just the Cock 'n Bull franchise which is more of a curio type store selling poker sets, tot pourers and er tobacco stuff.

Anyone know of any others?
Is this just a CapeTonian thing, or do any of you have the same problem in your hometown?
R
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PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:05 am

Rob,
Good thing you stared a new thread, we were a little of topic on the Stanwell thread Agreed!

Bro, we have the same problem up here. I think one of the only worthy tobacconists in the country would be Wesleys in Jhb, Rosebank Mall. www.wesleys.co.za
Colin has just got the Dunnie agency back and he stocks a great variety of pipes.
That would be that, so it is not just a Capetonian thing.

It may be good to start this thread as it is way over due. Believe it or not, I had the opportunity to chat to the great master Greg Pease and he was encouraging me to put up a thread on Pipe lore in RSA.

Back to the subject at hand. All baccy shops here in Pretoria (and there are 4 in and around the University of Pretoria where I work) Suck!!!!!!
Owners are not up to speed with anything. They have no idea that baccy can be cellared for example and do not see the need for importing good tobacco as our OCT crap seems to sell real well, eg. FOX ,JOCK, ASSEGAI etc.
House blends are even worse!!!!! All local blenders here use a VA base tobacco which Muddler and I have figured out come from Van Erkoms in Potgietersrus, we think!. They are the largest producers of baccy here. All the stuff is top dressed with some kind of musky sent which is really off putting. This nasty sent is evident in all private blenders stuff right across the country. What is the worst is that some of these guys are importing good stuff like Perique, Latakia and American Burley which are of high quality. They then add this musky VA to each blend which is real bad.

We were under the impression that it was just in blends made in Gauteng province but under closer inspection, Sturks blends have the same varient which is just as bad.
Muddler was on about the rave reviews Sturks was getting for their Bulkan blend. I brought up 200g of the stuff.
It contains high quality, lat, basma, and other oriental variants but again the blend is spoilt by this horrid musky dressed VA.

Now the fact remains. Why are our local tobacco's so bad then when compared to other countries.
We are a couple of KM south of one of the worlds biggest VA producers - Zimbabwe.
International tobacco prices are fixed in Dollar. The A grade VA is for export only to the US and Europe.
The Z grade worm infested, bottom of the barrel stuff is reserved for us. (poor exchange rate $ vs ZAR)
Here I have no proof but I am under the impression that the quality of the tobacco is masked by heavily top dressing it.
The other reason for our poor baccy is that there is just not enough competition among blenders or large tobacco producers in RSA. There is thus no bench mark and ignorance is bliss.

The worst thing that could have happened to me was to sample some good imported tobacco sent to me by the BOB and that which Muddler and I have acquire via 4Noggins.com
I have since been dedicating myself to slapping together a cellar full of imported stuff. It has been almost a year since I have smoked anything local.
I am even willing to say that I will stop smoking pipes if as soon as I can no longer indulge in the imported good quality stuff.

Brothers send me the good stuff, Muddler and I continue to import from 4NOGGINS where Muddler is well connected.
We think the noose will tighten in future but for the time being we hoarding like mad men.

The only quality imported tobacco we get here, and it is scarce, is some of the Peterson's range and not all of it either!
We cant get 3P plug here for example.
We think the import hereof will stop in the near future due to the high prices. I now put a part of my salary aside to buy 2 tins of Peterson tobacco each month like clockwork. UNI FLAKE and IRISH OAK.
Ignorant South Africans are quite happy to smoke crap in crap pipes!!
EG. FOX in a Keyser........ as far as I am concerned, bad baccy, low grade pipe!

We have a Professor here who has a pipe collection of 50 crappy pipes. He has been smoking Jock OTC for 30 years. He stores his pouches in the fridge to keep tobacco fresh...........
He has never ventured out of this comfort zone.
He has no idea of a flake tobacco, what is perique etc, he saw a ziplock with FVF bulk in it on my table in the office and asked me if I had been hunting because the thought the flakes were Biltong (Jerky)
I offered him some and said he was not interested. When he found out what it cost he asked me if I was MAD!

I have nothing against this outlook on pipes and smoking in RSA or againt people like the dear Prof I have just mentioned. I choose not to be part of this clan as the pipe cuts a little deeper for me than this!
I got tired of hitting my head against a brick wall and being frustrated all the time. I now choose to hang out with my own kind here on BOB, where Muddler and I feel right at home.

I take this opportunity to thank all the brothers for their support and countless shipments of tobacco sent over here.
To my buddy Muddler, the Baccy GURU who has smoked almost everything out there for sharing info and assisting in my pipe education.
So Rob, you seem to be a man great aesthetic, hop along for the ride, we need more people here like you bro!!!!!





cheers cheers cheers


Last edited by Piet Binsbergen on Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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2asprins

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Age : 60
Location : Illinois
Registration date : 2010-07-08

PostSubject: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:37 pm

Piet, and RobT, I am so sorry to hear the difficulties to get good tobacco where you are. Here I am, grumbling about the taxes our fearful leader here in the States is imposing, and never knew it could be that much worse in other countries. I have to thank the stars it has not come to that point yet here, but I fear it will come sooner or later. Just rescently I have decided to cellar all that I can to fortify myself with the upcoming situation, but I'm afraid I started a day late and a dollar short. I sincerely hope you are able to acquire a good supply before the hammer drops.
Also, in a nicer thought, (Sorry to change in mid stream) Piet, I saw your link to your site with the artwork and must say I appreciate your style very much. I hope to be able to see more soon. Blast my working schedule, it sorely hinders any enjoyable time I can spend here on BOB.
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PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:17 pm

HEY 2ASPRINS.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the kind words about my artwork.
I am in the same boat here starting my collection for the cellar a little late. Mine is quite small in comparison to what I have seen here on bob.
I am making some good ground with loads of help from brothers here and Friends like Mudd.
I am fortunate to have a good teacher and mentor in him.

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Kapnismologist

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Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:04 pm

Piet,

A very informative post indeed; I had no idea that the situation was so bad - but very clearly, you and Muddler have addressed it with a good deal of acumen!
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PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:12 am

Kap, thanks,
I am afraid that I woke up a little late in starting a cellar!
It is getting there but I have much to catching up to do, Mudd has been of great help in the process, I will get there in time!
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Hermit

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Age : 64
Location : Ascension Parish
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:19 am

Piet Binsbergen wrote:
Kap, thanks,
I am afraid that I woke up a little late in starting a cellar!
It is getting there but I have much to catching up to do, Mudd has been of great help in the process, I will get there in time!

How long ago did your taxes go goofy?
Did you have any warning?
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RobT

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Age : 39
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2010-08-13

PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:25 am

It's been a gradual process over the last 15 years - each year the 'sin tax' percentage gets increased a little bit. We don't get much say in the process - the minister of finance give's his budget speech in March and tell us what we'll be paying. It has been really gradual though - so subtle that sometimes you just wake up and think 'Wow. When did this stuff get so expensive?'
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PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:34 am

Hermit wrote:
Piet Binsbergen wrote:
Kap, thanks,
I am afraid that I woke up a little late in starting a cellar!
It is getting there but I have much to catching up to do, Mudd has been of great help in the process, I will get there in time!

How long ago did your taxes go goofy?

id you have any warning?

Hermit, besides What Rob said, what really pisses me off is that crap tobacco is taxed so high that by the time a tobacconist gets hold of the good stuff, it costs a small fortune!
SO.......... the solution, Don't import any good baccy, the nation needs to stop smoking anyway!!!! confused confused
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bluedigital

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Age : 47
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2010-09-07

PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:47 am

Hi there I am a fellow SA Pipe Smoker (Cape Town) and am also really struggling to get any good baccy. (Piet I have PM'ed you in this regard) And to top it all I just stumbled on this gem, courtesy of our wonderful government (founded on the principles of freedom, just how “free” are we really?)

New Tobacco Control Legislation
Prohibitions in respect of tobacco products
(5) (a) No person shall sell, offer to sell, supply, distribute or buy any tobacco product through the postal services, the internet or any other electronic media.
(b) The prohibition contained in paragraph (a) does not apply to any commercial communication between a tobacco manufacturer or importer and its trade partners, business partners, employees and shareholders.

So my question is "What to do?" I haven't even started cellaring anything, being relatively new to the art of pipe smoking I am not too knowledgeable in such things.
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PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:02 pm

Hey BD.......... We know all about it, even our American brothers know about it, as they feel our pain back here!
No worry, Where there is a will there is a way bro,
PM SENT!
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ftrplt

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Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:50 pm

My too-short visit to the RSA and Jo'Burg led me to Wesley's at RoseBank Mall. Colin is a grand gentleman. Can't recommend his establishment enough. There was/is a tobacco shop in the Nelson Mandela Mall. Only good for tobacco purchases; no briars that I remember. I was able to purchase several pouches of Balkan Sobranie there however. FWIW, FTRPLT
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PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:54 pm

ftrplt wrote:
My too-short visit to the RSA and Jo'Burg led me to Wesley's at RoseBank Mall. Colin is a grand gentleman. Can't recommend his establishment enough. There was/is a tobacco shop in the Nelson Mandela Mall. Only good for tobacco purchases; no briars that I remember. I was able to purchase several pouches of Balkan Sobranie there however. FWIW, FTRPLT

Ahhh FTRPLT, the good old days have long since passed, now Colin has awesome pipes and no or Crap tobacco.
Here Have a Dunnie for 6 grand, uhmmmmmmmm, here is a sample of Dog excrement to go with that collectors piece you just purchased!!!, hope you like it!
Really, the boys will back me here, lots of good quality briar to be had here, problem is there is nothing to smoke in them!!!!
Evil or Very Mad
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Irene Adler
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Age : 30
Location : Berkeley, California
Registration date : 2008-11-25

PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:02 pm

RobT wrote:
I'm opening a new thread so as it's not off topic on another..

It's funny. Most threads just go where they go. Some people on on this board (not naming names...or pointing fingers...) have a bad habit of just hijacking random threads.

<-------------------------Cough, cough. Evil or Very Mad

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PostSubject: Re: Tobacconists in Cape Town and surrounds.   Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:05 pm

Irene Adler wrote:
RobT wrote:
I'm opening a new thread so as it's not off topic on another..

It's funny. Most threads just go where they go. Some people on on this board (not naming names...or pointing fingers...) have a bad habit of just hijacking random threads.

<-------------------------Cough, cough. Evil or Very Mad


Ahhhhhhhh the Smoke Goddess joins the thread!
We have officially been hijacked by a Smoking babe, Kinda cool!!!!! Maybe we will get a better hit rate now!!! cheers cheers cheers
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umfunix



Registration date : 2014-02-04

PostSubject: Baccy Shops in SA .... :-(   Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:04 am

I agree with Rob and others here.  I'm in Nelspruit and we have a Wesleys franchise here.  I've started with a local tobacco blend-journey awhile ago and had to report on my website the disappointment of local tobacco shops (to be fair, obviously I had only access to a few).

"Well-known Shop" - well, he is very well known but his franchise sales people doesn't know anything about tobacco.  Those in Nelspruit are as dry as winter grass in the highveld!  Then, I understand he is not smoking himself - for a non-smoker he makes a decent bend but I always wonder how do you make a good blend without tasting the start-up, mid-bowl, end, sweet / leathery / mouldy / smoky notes etc.  Some OK blends but since I got hold of Dunhills and Peterson tobaccos.... Sad

"High Class" - high class shop in Sandton & Nelson Mandela Square, but rated in knowledge ability, BAD.  Didn't even know what was the different van Eerkoms blends they had.  And seems as if they don't blend any themselves; only supplier blends.  The best "High Class" franchise in terms of knowing something about tobacco and blends were the Pretoria Woodmead franchise.  Sad

Centurion Tobacco shop - Biggest Peterson selection but again, not a "tobacconist" as sales person.  The owner apparently blend but all his blends were, to my liking, just overly Virginia and overly aromatics.
Menlyn Mall shop - interesting guy from oriental origins; interesting tobaccos and blends.  Closest to the term "tobacconist".  Sad

And then my favourite "Shop on the Greenmarket Square" - The only one I would ascribe the term "real traditional tobacconist".  Nice blends, nice atmosphere, nice and knowledgeable staff.   Very Happy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFzTZBR0wbY

I've done video and blog reviews of my journey which are available at
http://www.twaksak.co.za and http://www.youtube.com/user/afrikaansewoord
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umfunix



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PostSubject: Awesome Post   Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:37 am

Thanks Piet, this was an awesome post and confirm my own journey this year (and thanks for the new stem on my 30 year old GJ) Very Happy .

I'm also in the process of hoarding like a mad man (and occasionally I do enjoy Sturks - to me the "best" local available. But when I first tried GL Pease, Dunhill 965, EMP etc., I realised how disadvantaged we are! Anyway, I'm hoarding Dunhills, GL Pease, Frog Mortons (4Noggins) in the English / Balkan Blend category. Any more suggestions welcome!

Thabo

Guest wrote:
Rob,
Good thing you stared a new thread, we were a little of topic on the Stanwell thread Agreed!

Bro, we have the same problem up here. I think one of the only worthy tobacconists in the country would be Wesleys in Jhb, Rosebank Mall. www.wesleys.co.za
Colin has just got the Dunnie agency back and he stocks a great variety of pipes.
That would be that, so it is not just a Capetonian thing.

It may be good to start this thread as it is way over due. Believe it or not, I had the opportunity to chat to the great master Greg Pease and he was encouraging me to put up a thread on Pipe lore in RSA.

Back to the subject at hand. All baccy shops here in Pretoria (and there are 4 in and around the University of Pretoria where I work) Suck!!!!!!
Owners are not up to speed with anything. They have no idea that baccy can be cellared for example and do not see the need for importing good tobacco as our OCT crap seems to sell real well, eg. FOX ,JOCK, ASSEGAI etc.
House blends are even worse!!!!! All local blenders here use a VA base tobacco which Muddler and I have figured out come from Van Erkoms in Potgietersrus, we think!. They are the largest producers of baccy here. All the stuff is top dressed with some kind of musky sent which is really off putting. This nasty sent is evident in all private blenders stuff right across the country. What is the worst is that some of these guys are importing good stuff like Perique, Latakia and American Burley which are of high quality. They then add this musky VA to each blend which is real bad.

We were under the impression that it was just in blends made in Gauteng province but under closer inspection, Sturks blends have the same varient which is just as bad.
Muddler was on about the rave reviews Sturks was getting for their Bulkan blend. I brought up 200g of the stuff.
It contains high quality, lat, basma, and other oriental variants but again the blend is spoilt by this horrid musky dressed VA.

Now the fact remains. Why are our local tobacco's so bad then when compared to other countries.
We are a couple of KM south of one of the worlds biggest VA producers - Zimbabwe.
International tobacco prices are fixed in Dollar. The A grade VA is for export only to the US and Europe.
The Z grade worm infested, bottom of the barrel stuff is reserved for us. (poor exchange rate $ vs ZAR)
Here I have no proof but I am under the impression that the quality of the tobacco is masked by heavily top dressing it.
The other reason for our poor baccy is that there is just not enough competition among blenders or large tobacco producers in RSA. There is thus no bench mark and ignorance is bliss.

The worst thing that could have happened to me was to sample some good imported tobacco sent to me by the BOB and that which Muddler and I have acquire via 4Noggins.com
I have since been dedicating myself to slapping together a cellar full of imported stuff. It has been almost a year since I have smoked anything local.
I am even willing to say that I will stop smoking pipes if as soon as I can no longer indulge in the imported good quality stuff.

Brothers send me the good stuff, Muddler and I continue to import from 4NOGGINS where Muddler is well connected.
We think the noose will tighten in future but for the time being we hoarding like mad men.

The only quality imported tobacco we get here, and it is scarce, is some of the Peterson's range and not all of it either!
We cant get 3P plug here for example.  
We think the import hereof will stop in the near future due to the high prices. I now put a part of my salary aside to buy 2 tins of Peterson tobacco each month like clockwork. UNI FLAKE and IRISH OAK.
Ignorant South Africans are quite happy to smoke crap in crap pipes!!
EG. FOX in a Keyser........ as far as I am concerned, bad baccy, low grade pipe!

We have a Professor here who has a pipe collection of 50 crappy pipes. He has been smoking Jock OTC for 30 years. He stores his pouches in the fridge to keep tobacco fresh...........
He has never ventured out of this comfort zone.
He has no idea of a flake tobacco, what is perique etc, he saw a ziplock with FVF bulk in it on my table in the office and asked me if I had been hunting because the thought the flakes were Biltong (Jerky)
I offered him some and said he was not interested. When he found out what it cost he asked me if I was MAD!

I have nothing against this outlook on pipes and smoking in RSA or againt people like the dear Prof I have just mentioned. I choose not to be part of this clan as the pipe cuts a little deeper for me than this!
I got tired of hitting my head against a brick wall and being frustrated all the time. I now choose to hang out with my own kind here on BOB, where Muddler and I feel right at home.

I take this opportunity to thank all the brothers for their support and countless shipments of tobacco sent over here.
To my buddy Muddler, the Baccy GURU who has smoked almost everything out there for sharing info and assisting in my pipe education.
So Rob, you seem to be a man great aesthetic, hop along for the ride, we need more people here like you bro!!!!!





cheers  cheers  cheers
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