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Ouellette's Tobacco Cuts and Processes

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Here, I'll address cuts and other processes, to give some idea of their use.

Cavendish- A very important process in today's tobaccos. Cavendishes, in older blends, generally referred to tobaccos which had been treated with flavorings or even sugar water, sometimes steamed (mainly in Black Cavendish), pressed, cut, and rubbed-out. These were the original aromatics. Through the years the term has become watered-down, and is commonly used to refer to any flavored tobacco blend.

Flake- Tobaccos, normally whole-leaf, that have been pressed, and usually sliced, are called Flakes. The pressure aids in the maturing process, and brings out a richer flavor. The most common Flakes are based upon Virginias, and Virginia blends.

Krumble Kake- Cut tobaccos which have been pressed are sometimes referred to as Krumble Kake. It is so named since a chunk of it can be easily rubbed-out into small pieces.

Cubed- Pressed tobacco which has been cut into fine or coarse cube-shaped pieces is called Cubed, with the most common type being Cubed Burley. The thick, chunky pieces burn slowly, so Cubed tobaccos are normally quite cool.

Rough Cut- Tobaccos cut into larger flat pieces are called Rough Cut. This cut burns slowly, and can be used to keep hotter tobaccos from burning too fast.

Broad Cut- Wide, ribbon-cuts, which burn at an average pace, and pack well, are often called Broad Cut.

Ribbon- Narrower than Broad Cut, it burns more readily (a good cut for tobaccos that don't burn easily), and packs well.

Shag- A very stringy ribbon cut, Shag can easily pack too tightly, and burns easily. At one time Shag was considered an inferior cut.

Twist, Roll Cut and Rope- All are rolled tobaccos, twisted (at least to some degree) to create pressure to help mature the tobacco. Sometimes the tobaccos are cased for flavor. They are normally cut into "coins", and can be packed whole, or rubbed-out.

And two terms that are important to know:

Casing- Referred to earlier, Casings are flavorings, sometimes using an alcohol base, that are added early in the processing. Casings are primarily used to add flavor to a blend.

Top Dressing- Top Dressings are added toward the end of processing, and their main purpose is to enhance room note, or aroma.
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