Are Latakia Blends Better on the Moist Side?

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dunnyboy

Lifer
Jul 6, 2018
1,334
14,513
New York
The general consensus seems to be that virginia blends should be smoked on the dry side. But is this also true for latakia blends? My impression is that English/Balkan blends smoke better on the moist side. They're more flavorful and nuanced. Latakia becomes more friable and burns hotter as it dries out, which is why the top half of the bowl tastes better to me than the bottom half. Is this a thing or is it just me?
 
Feb 12, 2022
1,557
21,577
North Georgia mountains.
I don't really smoke English blends anymore, but tend to agree with this sentiment. I prefer my VA and Burley based blends on the dry side, but I do prefer my Lat blends more moist. I'm not sure why that is, I've never given it to though. But I definitely don't dry my English blends out like I do a VA based
 
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karam

Lifer
Feb 2, 2019
1,998
7,785
Basel, Switzerland
I’m in the opposite camp. I like my English / Balkan blends approaching crispy, VA flakes fairly dry but pliable, and recently have come to the conclusion that I prefer my lakelands at full moisture.
Bolded: absolutely, they lose a lot if smoked any other way.

As for the rest, taking Embers' great line "freshly bone dry" does it for me.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,054
50,761
Latakia is a tricky customer, though well-loved by a large portion of the pipe smoking public. I think it may require a level of moisture to give full flavor. It's processing makes it as much a flavoring as a tobacco constituent. I believe with aged blends with Latakia, it can fade fast after opening. You'll get a good smoke or two, and then the Lat tastes gone.
 

Fralphog

Lifer
Oct 28, 2021
1,318
11,624
Idaho
I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule on Latakia blends in general. Of course some blends have more Latakia than others. I tend to dry tobacco’s based on how they smoke and modify dry time for each blend. A blend with 20% Latakia may be considered a Latakia blend but of course other blends that have 30+ percent Latakia will definitely smoke differently. Experiment and modify as necessary.
 
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archerdarkpint

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 23, 2010
141
444
Used to be a time where I thought moisture was desired. Experience has shown me that I derive more from pipe tobacco (latakia, burley, Virginia, etc.), when it's dry. Several cans open (Capstan blue, or Bengal Slices, Early Morning Pipe, etc., for example), that were dead dry a year ago...today it's my preferred presentation. If it's moist, I dry it. If it's dry, I smoke it. I've found that what used to be law (moisture, re-hydrating, packing, re-lighting, dottle and white ash, pipe rotation, etc.), is more subjective. Just like everything else in this world, you find out what works for you...or you find out what doesn't.
 
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Bob the bear

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 2, 2022
261
438
42
Edinburgh UK
I prefer my English blends on the slightly moist side, I use a meerschaum filter to soak up any excess steam. but like you said it does seem to impart a little more flavour as it burns slower . That being said, “moist” for me is ever so slightly springy, if it’s flake it will bend and somewhat break when folded. If that helps at all. But as per the above replies ,each to their own.
 
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