Dec 08 , 2020
There are over seventy different species of tobacco plants in the world. This excludes unknown or rare wild varieties that have not been studied extensively. While the variety may seem to be astounding, not all tobacco plants are commercially cultivated.
Tobacco is the common name of the plants in the genus Nicotiana and the family of Solanaceae. If you were wondering where the term nicotine came from, it is derived from the genus Nicotiana. Among the seventy species, around a dozen or so are widely grown in different parts of the world.
Tobacco Species vs. Varieties of Leaves
Before we delve into the difference between dark leaf and blonde leaf tobaccos, it is essential to understand the distinction of species from varieties. Species pertains to the type of tobacco plant. Varieties pertain to how a particular tobacco plant is grown or cultivated, harvested, processed, and then blended with other ingredients before being packaged as a finished product.
While species are natural, unless genetic alterations are brought about into a particular type, varieties can be worked on in a myriad ways. For instance, how a particular type of tobacco leaf is dried or cured determines its composition and all constituents. Throughout known history, tobacco has been dried and cured using sunlight, fire, air, flue, molasses, and honey, among others. The species and the manner in which a particular type of tobacco leaf is processed or treated lead to the distinct nature of the finished and packaged product, in this case shisha flavors.
Introduction to Dark Leaf and Blonde Leaf Tobaccos
As the names imply, dark leaf is supposed to have a denser hue and blonde leaf is expected to sport a lighter color. However, do not conclude these two varieties to be worlds apart. The same species of tobacco plant can be the source of both dark leaf and blonde leaf. This is because processing and production play a key role in the entire scheme of things.
In the context of shisha flavors, blonde leaf was the more dominant and preferred choice until a few cultivators and manufacturers experimented with dark leaf. Today, there are fans of both varieties. You are likely to find as many shisha flavors using blonde leaves as there are comprising dark leaf tobaccos.
Difference between Dark Leaf Tobacco and Blonde Leaf Tobacco
Dark leaf tobacco is unwashed during production post-harvest. A lack of washing using water or any solvent lets the nicotine content in the dark leaf unaffected. This simply means that dark leaf tobacco retains most of its natural nicotine. Thus, dark leaf tobacco has a richer, denser and stronger flavor.
Blonde leaf tobacco is washed or rinsed during production post-harvest. This act of washing affects the natural nicotine content. Effectively, the nicotine content is reduced. This leads to a lighter tobacco flavor. Blonde leaf tobacco is not as heavy or strong as dark leaf tobacco.
The nicotine content is not the only differentiating factor between these two popular types of tobacco leaves. Dark leaf tobacco is usually cured using molasses. Blonde leaf tobacco is typically cured using honey. Manufacturers can and do have their own proprietary methods, of course. Not every company uses the same processing technique. Also, the type of molasses or honey, the compositions of these curing agents, and other ingredients used during the processing of a shisha tobacco flavor do vary from one brand to another.
Dark leaf and blonde leaf tobaccos look different as well, not only after processing but also in the finished product. Dark leaf has an obviously darker shade, in some cases almost black, and in other instances a rich brownish hue. Blonde leaf tobacco has a lighter hue, usually golden, orange, or some other such shade depending on the ingredients used. This difference is why dark leaf is known as black tobacco and blonde leaf is called golden tobacco.
Which One is Right for You?
The purpose of any assessment of dark leaf vs. blonde leaf is to identify the one that is more suited for a smoker. Beginners prefer blonde leaf as it is lighter. Experienced smokers prefer dark leaf. This does not imply in any way that beginners would not like dark leaf or connoisseurs do not buy blonde leaf.
Most smokers, irrespective of experience and familiarity with shisha flavors, tend to love a blend of lighter and heavier flavors, whether it is density or richness of tobacco and nicotine. The two types of tobacco leaves can also be paired for a delectable combination of flavors.