Orlik Tobacco Company Video Tour (Part II)
- Industry Spotlight
- Orlik Tobacco Company Video Tour (Part II)
- Kevin Godbee
- Aug 16, 2011
- 1 min read
By Kevin Godbee
In Part II, and the conclusion of our Orlik Factory Video Tour, you will see some interesting contrasts in production. There is some highly impressive automated machinery, but the video opens showing the handwork that goes into making of Luxury Bull’s Eye Flake. Watch carefully as the intro photo slideshow goes right into the Luxury Bull’s Eye Flake production as the music continues. We kept the music going here as there was a lot of noise from the factory and all of the conversion was inaudible.
Next, you get to see the de-stemming machine, which is actually called a "threshing machine". The process of de-stemming tobacco is referred to as threshing. You get to see the casing machine in action, and much more. After the video we have a few photos of parts that weren’t shown.
See the Orlik Tobacco Company Video Tour (Part I) Here
Kevin Godbee is the Operating Manager of Right Click Media, LLC, which is the the owner & publisher of PipesMagazine.com. Kevin started smoking pipes and cigars in 1998 and started the online magazine & community site, Cigar-Review.com in 2005. The site was acquired in 2008 and no longer exists. PipesMagazine.com was launched in 2009.
In the beginning of his career, Kevin worked in the hobby and specialty toy business for 16 years in sales, marketing, advertising and product development for three different manufacturers, and with his own company.
Over the last 10 years working in the online business, he has become an expert in Internet Marketing and SEO. Kevin is also a Certified Salesforce Tobacconist (CST) through Tobacconist University. In his spare time he sings, plays guitar, cooks, and takes long walks on the beach. (Seriously, you should see how tan he is right now.)
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In attempting to make sense of my years-long pipes and tobacco hobby, I have looked back and ahead through the mists of time. My muses on June’s contemplative journey with you are quotes from the Pulitzer Prize-winning and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Frost, the great New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra’s unassailable philosophy of life, and the distinguished historian and writer James Michener. First the Poet: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Now the Catcher: “When you come to the fork in the road, take it!” And the Historian: “…millions of years ago, when the continents were already formed, and the principal features of the earth had been decided, there existed, then as now, one aspect of the world that dwarfed all others. 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Oh, the geologist replied, 600 million years ago, give or take a million or two, when the world was flooding, erupting, uplifting, arising. That’s known as the orogeny, or mountain building time. These spectacular events took place as massive tectonic plates muscled against each other for dominion. Thus did the valleys and ridges of our very own Blue Ridge Mountains form. In fact, all portions of our present land assembled in similar fashion and pace, followed by our vast oceans and all flora and fauna. Trees and oceans are the two major sources for many pipes we enjoy today. The burl of the flowering heath shrub is native to the Mediterranean and provides briarwood for our precious pipes. Briar burl is part of the tree’s root system. Seas off Turkey formed the ancient raw materials for meerschaum pipes. Meerschaum translated means “sea foam,” or sepiolite, from compressed prehistoric animal bones and sea shells. The silica-like glittery detritus of animal bones and sea shells settled on sea floors near Turkey over the eons. And why is Pundit staring out into space? It has to do with looking back over a lifetime of writing and pipe smoking, give or take a year or two. Like you, I have pipes dear to the heart. Smoked, loved, and retired as good soldiers must. And there were the missed opportunities. In the 1960s, a young Pundit failed to do the right sort of search and research for his pipes and tobacco obsession. Many famously named pipe brands sold for what today would seem bargain-basement prices. But out of reach of a poor college student. Looking at some of those same pipes today on estate sales has Pundit’s head a-twisting. Like those tectonic plates. And have you noticed the price of vintage tobacco? Yes, like you, Pundit cellared his favorite blends, especially the beloved and now departed McClelland’s brand. Not just some of them. 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It doesn’t happen very often – I’m usually a pretty laid back guy – but there are times when I can get really cranky. Usually, it’s over a driver performing stupid human tricks on the overcrowded California highways. Or it can be some loudmouthed wackadoodle, clearly unfettered by even a rudimentary knowledge of the pertinent facts, regurgitating preposterous propaganda. Most often, it’s something I’ve read on the interwebs about things I care deeply about that raises my ire. Maybe I’m not quite as Jimmy Buffett laid-back as I’d like to be. A brief holiday in Margaritaville might be in order, or a cheeseburger in paradise. If you haven’t sussed it, I’m proudly wearing my cranky pants today. Why? A friend made me aware of comments made by a self-styled expert in which a tobacco was described as “garbage.” No, it wasn’t one of mine; the manufacturer and the blend are irrelevant. What set my neck hairs on edge was the fact that this “expert” hadn’t even finished one bowl of the blend, and felt fully and righteously justified in proclaiming it as worthy only of being consigned to the rubbish bin. We’ve all seen similar comments; they’re all over the interwebs. A brief scan of the review sites for any kind of product reveals similar silliness; the web has made it far too easy for people to say all kinds of nasty things without the restraint of being eye-to-eye with someone when they do it. This sort of thing drives me crazy in general, but when it’s about pipes and tobacco, the twisting of my knickers is soon to follow. I haven’t tried them all, but it’s highly improbable that any pipe tobacco being made today is deserving of this sort of damning. Every manufacturer of premium pipe tobacco on the planet carefully selects their leaf, and contrary to statements made by someone who should have known better, the leaf available to us today is as good, and in many cases better, than it’s ever been. By the time we make our selections, inferior leaf has all gone on to other products, and we’re choosing from high-quality, carefully aged tobaccos. All of us. We are actually afforded some slight benefit from the fact that our little corner of the overall tobacco market is a small fraction of what it was decades ago. The competition for premium leaf is not as high as it once was, so we get to choose from some really good stuff. The leaf we’re offered is carefully managed from grower to supplier, is properly cured and aged. It’s then skillfully processed into thoughtfully considered blends. The finished product may not be to our tastes, but that’s okay. There’s a lot of stuff out there that I don’t care for; that doesn’t make it bad. 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Fact is, no matter how long we’ve been at this, pipe smoking remains an art of exploration. It’s all about experiences, […]
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Excellent and informative video. I thought the casing machine was especially cool, but the entire factory is fascinating. I never thought much about it, but it makes a lot of sense for Orlik to produce a large quantity of base tobacco, and then divide it up for individual treatment to create their various blends.
Thanks for this insider view of the manufacturers’ role in creating our favorite tobaccos. Maybe some day I’ll get a taste of Capstan. Some tease, Kevin! 🙂
Ha ha Cortez!
i also have to say, the “director” of the video made my day!
i would really not argue with going through some of their trash, i imagine they sweep up more tobacco off the floor every day, than most can smoke in a year!!
@shimrra – “i also have to say, the “director” of the video made my day!”
We only work with the best!
I forgot to mention in the articles that these videos almost got lost forever. While in Denmark, I moved the files onto my laptop and removed them from the video camera.
Then my hard drive had a critical, unrecoverable error. My computer was dead. I couldn’t even boot up.
Luckily, Sykes suggested that we share all of our files and he had already copied everything onto his laptop as well.
There was some other content that did get lost forever, which hadn’t been copied over to Sykes’ machine. Now when I am on the road I make triple back-ups of all content.
Was there smoke and clicking?
Makes me want to see more and more.
I was amazed how organized and clean the factory is, plus how well it is managed to plan and produce more than 1000 SKUs.
Amazing stuff 4 sure.
VERY kewl and informative!
As a former smoker of Capstan, both mild and full varieties, I too wish it was still available in the U.S. St. Bruno flake, also.
Great video, Kev. As always, everything that you post is very informative. Just curious though, and I’m sure you may have addressed this before, why is Capstan not being exported (or imported) to the US? This curious mind wants to know as Capstan is one of my favorites.
@RAM – “why is Capstan not being exported (or imported) to the US? This curious mind wants to know as Capstan is one of my favorites.”
Good question, and I can only speculate that through very sophisticated market research that the suits decided there’s not enough market demand to make it worth the effort.
Either that, or someone forgot to place an order.
What a cool set of videos kevin, It tickled my creative juices in seeing how i can do that on a small scale
Wow! I have personally never tried Orlik brand – and didn’t Know they put out so many blends, many I regularly enjoy – seeing how Luxury Bullseye is made is really awesome! – You are a blessing to the pipe community -Thanks again, Kevin!- ps Is there a possibility we will see you inside the hallowed halls of Lane Limited?
@gentlemanjerry – “Is there a possibility we will see you inside the hallowed halls of Lane Limited?”
I’ll see if we can arrange that for next year.
I always love these factory tours, makes me want to drop everything and go work for a tobacco company. Thanks Kevin & Sykes!
Excellent job once again gentlemen…thank you.
Really enjoyed the videos guys. Grat job!
Very informative video.. always wanted to see the manufacturing process. Excellent work Kevin, keep ’em coming!
Capstan and Orlik Golden are regular go-to blends for me, both being well priced and top quality. Virginia Flake and Navy Flake are originally a British pipe smoking tradition, more so than say English latakia blends. Germans tended to smoke aromatics and of course the Dane’s smoked Danish style aromatics. These local old trends have changed a great deal, the English don’t smoke pipes so much these day actually.
I suspect VA flakes are still not a big seller in the USA, but growing in popularity. The Americans are traditionally Burley and Aromatic smokers. Just my take on why Capstan and Three Nuns are not sold in the US, but as I mention, it’s all changing.