Curing is the term used for drying tobacco, and is performed after harvesting the leaves from the field. It plays a major role in defining the final quality and character of the tobacco leaf.
Tobacco curing must be carefully controlled to bring out the different characteristics of each tobacco type. Curing methods vary depending on the type of tobacco.
Virginia tobacco is flue-cured, which means that the leaves are hung into curing barns, where heated air is generated to dry the leaves. As they lose their moisture, they develop their distinct aroma, texture and color.
Burley tobacco is air-cured by hanging the leaves in well-ventilated barns, and the tobacco is allowed to dry over a period between four to eight weeks.
Oriental tobacco is sun-cured by hanging the leaves outside into the sun for about two weeks.