Making of Tobacco

Scandinavian Tobacco Group Assens – a world supplier

Our factory in Assens, Denmark, produces pipe tobacco for 75 countries around the world. STG Assens is a world leading manufacturer of pipe tobacco.

Passion in pipe tobacco

Working with fine, fragrant pipe tobacco is a passion. The blending requires knowledge and tobacco insight.

Brands are what we do

Our company is built on strong global brands that enjoy category leadership in their markets.

Pipe tobacco production in Denmark

Our pipe tobacco is produced on the small island of Funen in the middle of Denmark – an island with a rich tobacco history.

Meet our Artisans

Lasse Berg

joined Scandinavian Tobacco Group in 2007

“I find my inspiration in nature, walking in the woods – or on a quiet Sunday morning with time for reflection. As a tobacco blender I draw on my knowledge of the history of tobacco, current trends and, not least, what comes next?”

I find my inspiration in nature, walking in the woods – or on a quiet Sunday morning with time for reflection. As a tobacco blender I draw on my knowledge of the history of tobacco, current trends and, not least, what comes next?

HANDMADE CIGARS VS. MACHINE-MADE CIGARS

Handmade cigars take longer to make than machine-made cigars and they are more labour-intensive.

Another difference is that handmade cigars are most often, but not always, made with so-called long-fillers that are tobacco leaves that run the length of the cigar. They can, however, also be made with half tobacco leaves. Handmade cigars are a humidified product.

Learn More

Another difference is that handmade cigars are most often, but not always, made with so-called long-fillers that are tobacco leaves that run the length of the cigar. They can, however, also be made with half tobacco leaves. Handmade cigars are a humidified product.

Our Tobacco

From seed to pipe tobacco

1. Planting

Tiny, coated seeds are planted into a sterilised growing medium where they germinate. The seeds are monitored closely and grown under controlled temperatures and in strict humidity levels. Seedlings are planted in the field – either by hand or by machine. Tobacco leaves mature from the bottom of the plant upward.  The positioning of the leaf on the tobacco plant determines its aroma and strength. The lowest leaves create the mildest tobacco.

2. Harvesting

Leaves are picked two or three at a time, starting from the bottom of the plant. Priming takes place on a weekly basis. The leaves are tied together by their stems and taken to curing sheds where they are hung under the roof.

3. Curing

Curing means the managed drying of leaves. The leaves change colour – depending on the leaf types and the curing processes used. A leaf can go through different kinds of curing – such as drying in the sun, the air, above a fire or at a high temperature – depending on what taste profile the blend should have.

4. Conditioning, Sorting and Grading

Moisture is applied to the leaves. This makes the leaves easier to handle and reduces the risk of breakage. The leaves are ready to be sorted according to their colour, quality and size.

5. Processing

The tobacco is ready to be processed into the form and quality that the customer wants.

6. Packing

The pipe tobacco is boxed and shipped to Scandinavian Tobacco Group, a world leading pipe tobacco manufacturer.

7. Arrival at Scandinavian Tobacco Group

The pipe tobacco is re-humidified and goes through several of the steps listed below – depending on the requirements for the final product and brand.

8. Casing

Casing is not to be confused with actual flavouring. It is more accurately described as a process that “rounds” the raw tobaccos before actual flavour is added. Casing can be done with sugar, molasses, cocoa and various other ingredients depending on the manufacturer.

9. Blending

The different tobaccos are blended in the proportions that match the individual manufacturer’s product recipes.

10. Flavouring

The possibilities are endless. To name just a few examples, one can add anything from single-malt whisky, peach, liquorice and cherry - to champagne and coffee flavours.

11. Pressing

The tobacco is pressed into firm cake-like blocks of approximately six kilograms each.

12. cutting

The tobacco is cut into one of the many tobacco cuts, such as loose cut, flake, ready rubbed or a mixture. 

13. Packing into tins or pouches

The finished blend is packed into either tins or pouches.

Pipe tobacco types and origins

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  • North America (2)
  • South America (2)
  • Europa & Africa (1)
  • Asia(1)

LATAKIA

Basically, Latakia is Oriental tobacco. However, a step is added to the curing process in which the leaves are fire-cured over a fire made of green plants. The leaf colour is black and the tobacco has a very strong aromatic and smoked taste. It is grown in Cyprus.

KENTUCKY

Kentucky tobacco leaves are 30 – 70 cm in length, with a dark brown colour. Kentucky, like Latakia, is very aromatic. After air curing, the curing continues over a hardwood fire. It is grown in the US.

VIRGINIA

Virginia is the most used leaf tobacco. Its leaves are 20 – 50 cm in length. Leaf colours are lemon, orange and mahogany. Virginia has a high content of natural sugar and a sweet taste. It is harvested leaf-by-leaf from the bottom of the plant. Leaves are dried with hot air (flue cured). It is grown in the US, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Brazil and India.

PERIQUE

BURLEY

Burley is the second most widely used leaf tobacco. Its leaves are 20 – 50 cm in length, and their colours range from light brown to very dark brown. The taste is full-bodied with notes of chocolate and nuts. When the medium leaves are harvested, either the whole plant can be cut down and dried – or the plant can be harvested leaf by leaf – this depends on where it is grown. Burley has a low content natural sugar content. The leaves are dried with natural ventilation (air cured) and not by the sun. It is grown in the US, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Mexico.

ORIENTAL

Oriental leaves are 2 – 15 cm long. The leaf colours are light golden to dark orange. Oriental tobacco leaves have a light and sweet aroma. The plant is harvested leaf-by-leaf and is grown in nutrient-deficient soil in a hot and dry climate; this produces leaves containing a high level of aromatic oils. The leaves are dried on a string in the sun (sun cured). It is grown in Greece and Turkey.

Pipe tobacco formats

Pipe tobacco comes in many shapes and sizes. It comes in different cuts and is sometimes flavoured. 

The major pipe tobacco cuts are:

  • Loose cut

    Burns quickly and can burn hot. If it burns too hot, the smoke can cause a burning sensation on the tongue.

  • Mixture

    The mixture is a blend of different cuts and/or blends of tobacco.

  • Flake

    Flake needs to be rubbed up and packed into the pipe. It requires a bit more effort to pack and smoke. Flake gives a slower and cooler burn, and the flake cut preserves flavour and moistness well.

  • Ready rubbed

    Ready rubbed is less demanding than flake. It is slightly easier to pack and smoke the pipe. It gives a slower and cooler burn and preserves flavour and moistness well.

Pipe Tobacco facts

Sir Walter Raleigh – a well-known pipe smoker – popularised tobacco in the 16th century.

The process of creating Black Cavendish tobacco takes place at the Scandinavian Tobacco Group Assens operation in Denmark.

Scandinavian Tobacco Group produces 5,000 tons of smoking tobacco a year.

Scandinavian Tobacco Group Assens produces pipe tobacco and fine-cut tobacco in the two Danish towns: Assens and Holstebro.

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