Esoterica Tobacciana foil bags

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Kip
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Esoterica Tobacciana foil bags

Post by Kip » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:27 pm

So, my prejudiced pipe tobacco preconceptions have been strongly challenged this afternoon. As a little background for those who haven't heard as much on the pipe shows, I've long been a proponent of emptying non-tin containers into jars for longterm storage. The 8 oz. bags that Esoterica uses were atop that list. From everything I'd gathered over the years, they simply don't work for longterm storage and will allow the tobacco inside to dry out - even if they're sealed, conventional wisdom says the bags are selectively permeable and will allow the blend's "essence" and moisture to escape.

Well, back in 2009 I was in the final throes of my pipe tobacco purchasing days. I'd assembled far more tobacco than I'd ever smoke in a lifetime (I was sometimes immoderate in my youth). Through some long forgotten chain of events, I managed to end up with a few bulk bags of tobacco in my cellar that weren't transferred to jars. One was MacBaren Navy Flake, a couple MacBaren HH Vintage Syrian, and today's topic - Margate, from Esoterica Tobacciana. These bags lay dormant in the back of my cellar until I came across them one day and realized it had been too long to transfer them to jars. I could have, but my thought was any damage was done and wouldn't get worse; they should have long dried out if they were going to do so. So...they sat. Fast forward to the past year. I have opened the MacBaren bags and found, as suspected, very dry tobacco. I made feeble attempt to rehydrate and got something smokeable but knew I'd screwed the pooch. The MacBaren bags were not designed for long term storage, so I refrain from saying they "failed". I did the failing by putting them through something for which they weren't designed.

Fast forward, once again, to today. I pulled out the bag of Margate which is dated either Dec 9th, 2009, or January 29, 2009 - apparently, I was too lazy to put dashes on the day I wrote the date on it, simply scribbling '12909'. I opened the bag expecting dry tobacco. I was surprised to find tobacco in about as perfect a smoking condition as I've ever seen. So much so that I sent a little video to Craig demonstrating the "pinch" to show it. I'm dumbstruck.

I know this is a single event, and doesn't disprove anything - but man am I astounded by this. I would have bet my last dollar that this tobacco would be crispy crunchy. I'm happy as a clam, though. Margate is good stuff....
White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise....

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kurtdesign1
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Re: Esoterica Tobacciana foil bags

Post by kurtdesign1 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:24 pm

Kip's payment has cleared and I can confirm <checks notes> THE TOBACCO LOOKED GOOD AND SPONGY AND NOT DRY AND WHATEVER ELSE KIP SAID. HE IS THE BEST PIPE TOBACCO MAN I KNOW.
That all being out of the way, why was the MacBaren bag so inferior to the margate bag? Completely different makeup or just a successful attempt at sealing and an unsuccessful one?

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Kip
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Re: Esoterica Tobacciana foil bags

Post by Kip » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:14 pm

kurtdesign1 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:24 pm
That all being out of the way, why was the MacBaren bag so inferior to the margate bag? Completely different makeup or just a successful attempt at sealing and an unsuccessful one?
Well, that I don't know. I can speculate a bit. First off, they are completely different materials. The MacBaren bags are sealed on both ends, but are still just plastic bags. It's heavier than even the heaviest gauge Ziploc bag, but still just simple plastic. The Margate bag, however, is no simple bag. It looks like it is a multilayered foil/plastic pouch that is hermetically sealed on the ends. It is shiny silver foil inside, and some colored layer outside - and both inner and outer surfaces seem to have some type of plastic coating. I may be misreading what this looks like - it may actually just be one layer of really thick foil with colored print on the outside. Either way, it is noticeably more substantial than the MacB bags.
White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise....

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kurtdesign1
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Re: Esoterica Tobacciana foil bags

Post by kurtdesign1 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:50 am

Kip wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:14 pm
kurtdesign1 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:24 pm
That all being out of the way, why was the MacBaren bag so inferior to the margate bag? Completely different makeup or just a successful attempt at sealing and an unsuccessful one?
Well, that I don't know. I can speculate a bit. First off, they are completely different materials. The MacBaren bags are sealed on both ends, but are still just plastic bags. It's heavier than even the heaviest gauge Ziploc bag, but still just simple plastic. The Margate bag, however, is no simple bag. It looks like it is a multilayered foil/plastic pouch that is hermetically sealed on the ends. It is shiny silver foil inside, and some colored layer outside - and both inner and outer surfaces seem to have some type of plastic coating. I may be misreading what this looks like - it may actually just be one layer of really thick foil with colored print on the outside. Either way, it is noticeably more substantial than the MacB bags.
What about a pipe tobacco humidor for these? I know humidity isn't the real issue here but I mean some sort of dedicated, sealed supplemental container so that any slow "leak" is mitigated by the overall housing. I mean, serious cigar aging is done in a humidor with "freezer" type bags or vacuum sealing around each box. It can't be much different, though I understand pipe tins are completely sealed and so inherantly different there. My guess is that pipe tobacco will age "worse" when in that setup than a tin but will still age satisfactorily in the big picture. No?

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