One of the most important steps in producing high-quality tobacco is the curing process. Tobacco leaves must undergo a drying process before manufacturing can begin. This process is also known as curing. During the process of curing, the weight of the raw tobacco can be reduced by as much as 90 percent due to the reduction of moisture from the plant. There are four types of curing methods for tobacco which include air, fire, flue and sun curing. In air curing, there are two types of tobacco: light and dark air cured tobacco.
Cigar and burley tobacco are produced by air curing the tobacco leaves. As the most natural curing process, tobacco that has been air cured has a low sugar content, which offers a mellow, slightly sweet flavor. Air-cured tobacco also has higher levels of nicotine.
During the air curing process, the tobacco is hung in closed barns that are well ventilated for six to eight weeks. Maintaining low humidity levels is critical to this process as humidity contains moisture and will cause the leaves to mold and rot if not limited. Smokeless fires from a coal or gas source can be used to lower humidity levels and aid in the acceleration of the curing process. The air curing process is generally longer than the other curing methods, but the resulting product justifies the time.
Once the curing process is complete, the tobacco is bundled and moved to a storage facility to await grading and transport. Once sold, the tobacco is shipped to a processing facility for further drying and processing. Tobacco can be stored for years, allowing it to age and improve flavor.
Total Leaf Supply strives to be your number one source of high-quality, unaltered whole leaf tobacco. We offer an expansive selection of tobacco leaves to ensure that our customers can find the exact tobacco they desire. We sell only all-natural whole leaf tobacco that has never been altered, and we work directly with tobacco producers to ensure that our prices remain affordable for our customers.