As soon as I open the tin, put my nose inside and inhale deeply, a smile lights up across my face. The delicious smoky Cyprian Latakia comes out first followed by the sweet Virginias. Then, once I realize there are Oriental tobaccos from reading the tin label, I can detect their special nuance that mingles everything together into a mouth-watering tin aroma. Man, this smells so good, I just keep sticking my nose in the tin and sniffing deeply. Mmmm.
The sensory experience of the lighting and smoking went in a different order than the tin aroma experience. Upon lighting Chelsea Morning, the sweet Virginia tobacco makes its presence known first, followed by the tangy Orientals, and then followed by the Latakia. As a few minutes pass, I realize, as the tin says, that there is "just a pinch of Perique". I can’t really detect the Perique individually, but I am sure it is in there doing it’s job as a "condiment tobacco".
I’m smoking Chelsea Morning in one of my favorite pipes, my Ardor Giove Ninfea – 114 (YS). The pipe seems to be smiling and thanking me .. and I think, "well, no … thank YOU."
There is a little bit of a creaminess and sweet-spice that mix together and deliver a smooth and flavorful smoke. A little nose-exhale provides even more of a taste-treat. I would classify Chelsea Morning as light-bodied, complex English blend. It’s creamy, toasty, and smoky.
Surprisingly, the moisture content is a little high when the fresh tin is opened. Many of you probably know that G.L. Pease blends are made by Cornell & Diehl, and they usually have their tobacco more on the drier side. The first bowl I smoked was a little too moist. I left the tin opened overnight and that got it to the right dryness level without drying it out completely. Then it stayed lit with little effort, which of course makes for an enjoyable smoke. I bought this tin in October 2009 at the Richmond Pipe Show, and opened it for the first time in May 2010. I have smoked 4 bowls since then and it has consistently delivered fine taste nuances and smoked extremely well. The slower you smoke it, the more flavor you will get. No individual tobacco stands out on its own, but they all create a perfectly orchestrated symphony providing a unique, complex blend.
Please pardon what seems to have become a cliché now, but it did smoke down to a fine white ash. The first few times I smoked it, I just filled the pipe right from the tin. On this 4th smoke, as I write the review, I decided to lightly rub it out, and I like it even better this way. Others have said the opposite, so to each his own. Try it both ways and see what you like best.
I think I could recommend Chelsea Morning to just about any pipe smoker regardless of his or her preference of tobacco. It’s obviously not an aromatic, but I think it might be flavorful enough to satisfy an aro-smoker. It’s not real sweet, but there is a nice overall flavor there. It could also be good for the person wanting to try a "Latakia-Lite" blend, but with an overall medium body with enough punch halfway through to work as an evening smoke too. I would say it’s a full morning smoke, or a light evening smoke with no too much Latakia. You get some smokiness, but it is not in-your-face. It is just hanging around in the middle of the blend. Don’t rush this one or you will miss out. Smoke this slow and relaxed with your morning coffee and newspaper (or online news source) and you will have a wonderful start to your day.
|A look inside the tin at Chelsea Morning
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|Close-up of Chelsea Morning Virginia, Oriental, and Latakia Tobaccos
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|Back of the Tin Label of Chelsea Morning Pipe Tobacco
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Brand: G. L. Pease
Blender: Greg Pease
Tin Description: Sweet red and bright Virginias, fragrant orientals, a bit of rich Cyprus Latakia, and just a pinch of perique. The leaf is blended in layers, briefly pressed, then sliced and tumbled into ribbons. Lively and engaging, with a subtle fruitiness, and an elegant, creamy texture, it’s a great bowl to accompany the morning cup.
Country of Origin: US
Curing Group: Flue Cured
Contents: Virginia, Latakia, Perique, Oriental
Cut: Ready Rubbed
Packaging: 2oz. tin
Strength: Mild to Medium
Flavoring: Very Mild
Taste: Medium to Full
Room Note: Pleasant to Tolerable
Recommendation: Highly Recommended