RYO Tobacco History In a Few Words

Back in the 1800’s or even earlier here in America RYO tobacco as a term didn’t exist. Tobacco was smoke in pipes, ranging from fine meerschaum (the landed gentry) to simple pipes carved out of stone or wood. 

Truth be told, If you wanted a “cigarette” back in the 1800’s you were probably going to roll some tobacco leaf that may or may not have been well processed using any old piece of newspaper laying around in the house or back forty. The taste was not too great as a result and the quality of the tobacco didn’t have to be great. It was being smoked in a rolled up newspaper right? 

Pipe tobacco was central to the colonists lifestyle and in Virginia it was at the time coin of the realm (excuse the pun) at that point in time – it was quite common to pay your debts off using some quantity of tobacco. 

The colonists were exposed to tobacco smoking by native Americans and the popularity took off back in the 1600 and 1700’s here in America. And, as more people returned to England tobacco became all of the rage in the King James Court and then spread to the rest of Europe. 

Later in the 1900’s here in the U.S. the process of growing, harvesting and processing of tobacco became much more mainstream and every GI pack distributed by the military had a pack of Camels or Luck Strikes in it and this helped to popularize smoking here in the U.S. 

And, the birth of RYO tobacco was born in the early 1900’s in terms of it becoming a more mainstream popular product. Consumers who want to save money were buying small bags of tobacco and papers and hand rolling their own cigarettes and as the swinging 60’s took off hand rolling tobacco and other substances became much more popular.

Today you can get tobacco in anything from a few ounces up to five pounds of RYO tobacco goodness and your choices for taste and blends are almost endless: chocolate, rum, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, vanilla and more exotic “Turkish” blends that make you feel like you are back in the old walled city of Cairo and hanging out with a Sheik who may take you for a camel ride out into the desert. #fun 

And, manual and electric cigarette machines can be purchased starting at a few dollars running into the thousands of dollars for a top of the line exoctic machine that will text your iPhone once a pack of cigarettes are ready to go. Automation at home is now an integral part of smoking RYO tobacco at home. Giving you as a consumer the ability to easily and cost effectively produce a cigarette at home or any number of cigarettes in just a few minutes.

The Birth of Modern RYO Pipe Tobacco 

The good old days are gone. Today’s consumers want great products from manufacturers who carefully adhere to sourcing great tobacco (farmers) and who pay attention to every step in the manufacturing process. 

What are the primary differences between the different blends of pipe tobacco? You have three primary types of pipe tobacco (ignoring more specialized exoctic blends):

  • Virginia, which is a classic tobacco, know for a mild somewhat sweet taste and if the tobacco has been properly grown, stored and processed, one of the best in the world and approximately 70% of pipe tobacco comes from Virginia;
  • Burley is the second most popular type of pipe tobacco and the name refers to how the tobacco is processed, it’s air cured in open barns, helping to give it a unique taste;
  • Cavendish is another term you’ll here frequently, it’s not really a type of tobacco it is similar to Burley in that the name really refers to how the tobacco is processed: its a Virginia tobacco that has been cut (the leaf) to accentuate the inherent sweetness.
  • Spice is another term bandied about when people reference pipe tobacco; it is not a specific type of tobacco, this term refers to 2-3 types of tobacco that have been blended to create a special one of a kind taste.

A small plug for our OHM Pipe tobacco. It’s one of our most popular sellers, garners excellent product reviews here on our site and our prices are the best in the industry. The source tobacco originates with growers in Virginia we have been working with for ten years – and we offer a broad number of blends and flavors including: Bold, Blue, Mint, Silver, Natural, Turkish Red (exotic), Turkish Yellow and Super Mint. 

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