Tobacco Junction Newsletter
TJ's Cigar Lounge   
Temple  Gatesville  McGregor
October 1, 2010
Dear ,Tobacco Junction strives everyday to bring you choices.  In today's market it is increasingly difficult to find someone in the tobacco business who is local and has the same interests that you do.  Here at Tobacco Junction we have a passion for Premium Cigars, Pipes,  tobacco's and all the accoutrements that go with that passion.
 
This newsletter will keep you informed as to what we are up to and bring you information on new products, events, and legislative updates that affect our passion for Fine Tobaccos.
 
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Pipe Tobacco Council Submits Comments on Pipe vs. RYO Tobacco 

The Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a request for comments to distinguish between pipe tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco for federal excise tax purposes based on the physical characteristics of these two tobacco products.   
  The Pipe Tobacco Council, a trade organization of pipe tobacco manufacturers, has submitted a set of comments, briefly, the Pipe Tobacco Council has included in its comments  six different physical characteristics of legitimate pipe tobacco and proposed four objective and enforceable standards including (1) total reducing sugars by weight, (2) moisture content by weight minimum, (3) a tobacco cut meeting or exceeding 1/16th of an inch in width,  and (4) measuring the height of pressed tobacco pieces.  In addition, the Pipe Tobacco Council has proposed that the final TTB rule include a provision which establishes a rebuttable presumption based on (1) whether the tobacco in question meets one of these four objective standards and/or (2) whether the product was regularly sold under a pre-existing brand name, trade name or trademark predominately associated with pipe tobacco or RYO tobacco before January 1, 2009.
 
The reason this is important is that they are still considering raising the pipe tobacco tax from less than $2 a pound to over $25 a pound.  The SCHIP bill passed by President Obama 30 days into office raised the tax on RYO to over $25 a pound, effectively putting that business out of business.
 
The RYO companies then re-tooled their RYO and added moisture to it and called it "pipe tobacco", skirting the tax and staying in business.
 
 The point is, that the government can pass a tax on a product unfairly putting it out of business.  If you think it can not happen to cigars, well it almost did.  The bill included a $10 PER STICK excise tax on cigars and only through the efforts of our lobbyists, pleading from all the major cigar companies and even intervention of other countries governments was it dropped back to current levels.  
 
When Texas comes back into session we need to stop ANY new taxes.  I think by now we have learned not to give them an inch, they will not stop there.
 
 

 
For those of you who have not visited the lounge yet, let me fill you in on some of the things we do and do not do here.
 
 First, the lounge is a place that is quiet, relaxing, and a great place to visit.  We are BYOB so we do not serve liquor, but we do have set ups for those who want to bring it.  Even when we have big events, the lounge is a nice place to be that is not loud, or too smokey.  Our ventilation system works well. 
 We do have the sports games on the 4 big screen TV's and you are welcome to come watch, have a cigar and your favorite beverage and watch the game.
For those that do not wish to smoke a cigar we have coffee, oversized leather furniture, free wi-fi, tables available to play dominoes, chess, Texas Hold'em or other forms of card playing (we have cards, dominoes and chess boards available).
Now and again we have live music (TBA) and other events. 
In summary, we have a place that is nice to visit, do some informal business, read a book or just relax.  Our coffee and tea is unmatched and will stand up to anyone's critique.  This is a self-serve venue and we love to talk cigars, politics, or just whatever.  I believe in GOD and Country and those like minded are welcome, others can smoke outside. 
We have a 400 sqft humidor, and over 5000 sqft facility dedicated to your experience.  Knowledgeable staff to answer your questions and assist you in your selections are available.
Come on in and see for yourself, smoking is an art, not science!
 
                 

Geography and Climate 
  
While tobacco is grown as far north as Canada and as far south as New Zealand, the greatest cigar tobacco growing region on earth is located between the Tropic of Cancer (23.5˚ North of the Equator) and the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5˚ South of the Equator).
 
AFRICA
 
The Countries of Cameroon and the Central African Republic produce tobaccos commonly referred to as "Cameroon", but more accurately called "Central African".   Originally descended from Sumatran seed, today's Central African varietals are known for their rich flavors and aromas.  The hearty soils in this region of Africa yield a distinctive tobacco which does not need fertilization and is grown under direct sun.  Consistent climate and cloudy conditions allow wrapper cultivation without the use of shade cloth.  Central African tobacco lends itself to wrapper production due to its appearance, supple texture, and resilient strength.  These wrappers have a luscious dark brown color, often with an attractive reddish tint.  They are fuller flavored, and can have a unique "toothy" or grainy texture:  traces of the toothy texture are still visible on the cigar ash after it is smoked. 

Traditionally, most Central African tobacco produced smaller sized leaves.  Today, the quality and size of the leaves are making larger wrapper leaves possible; and therefore larger cigars.   It is worth noting that the cigar growing regions in these countries are typically very isolated within rain forests and mountainous areas.  Growing tobacco in Africa is a very labor and resource intensive enterprise.  While the French started growing and developing Central African tobacco in the 1950s, the quality was more generic or commodity oriented, rather than luxury.  Throughout the 1990s, the Meerapfel family pioneered the development of premium Central African tobacco by investing heavily in infrastructure and human resources.  Due to the isolation of much of the great cigar growing areas, often entire villages were built, and labor forces relocated, in order to accomplish the task of producing premium tobacco.  Today, the supply of Central African tobacco is much closer to meeting consumer demand because of the sacrifices, commitment, and long term vision of these extraordinary cigar makers.


 



 
      
 We serve Arbuckle coffee in McGregor and sell the beans as well, if you need them grinded just say so!
 
 
In addition to the distinct coffee from around the world, we offer flavored coffee such as chocolate hazelnut, cappuccino, amaretto, cinnamon orange, hazelnut, mudslide, irish cream and others.
 
We also offer a selection of hot tea for those who wish.  The Numi teas are of the highest quality and will make your evenings here the most relaxing you have had in a long time...
Gaming at TJ's Cigar Lounge
Texas Hold'em, dominoes, chess

 
The lounge area is great for those who wish to play cards or other games.  We  have tables, a poker template if needed, and so forth. 
 
At the present we do not sanction any events, this too will come....
 
 
Pipe Corner
Just a quick thought...
  
Cigar smoking and pipe smoking have several things in common, and not in common.   Pipe smoking is more about the ritual, coupled with the enjoyment.  We hope to bring just a few hints about how to enjoy a pipe here.

 How to pack and light a pipe

 No matter how good the tobacco or the pipe is, they will still smoke poorly if the correct filling technique is not achieved, like all good things in life it takes practice and patience, don't get discouraged if your first attempt fails, remember we all had to learn.
Firstly check that the pipe is clear of obstructions by tapping it in the palm of your hand (Tip: make sure you hold the pipe stem as close to the bowl as possible to avoid cracking the stem) and then blowing into the mouthpiece, (Tip: when I do this I have the bowl facing downwards, that way I don't get an eyeful of dottle or what ever else is lurking in the depths of my pipe). 
 
Secondly when the pipe is clear and clean, fill the pipe with pinches of tobacco tamping each layer and sucking on the pipe every so often to ensure the tobacco is not to tightly packed, you should be able to get the feeling of sucking through a straw, (Tip: the first layer should not be packed too tightly), try to maintain a "springy" feeling to the tobacco, (Tip: if the pipe is a new, never smoked briar, only fill half way for the first two to three bowl fulls, this will help to achieve an even "cake" build up).
Thirdly, once the pipe is packed, it is time to light the tobacco for the first time, called the charring light, you need to achieve a complete charred lid of tobacco, this is done by dancing the flame over the tobacco and drawing on the pipe and sucking the flame into the bowl at the same time, be careful not to char the rim of the bowl, once all the surface of the tobacco is charred, re-tamp the tobacco.
Lastly, this is the time for pleasure, you may now add the final light, once again dance the flame over the charred lid of tobacco while drawing on the pipe, sucking the flame into the bowl, there you go! Enjoy yourself, you have deserved it.  During the coarse of smoking your pipe, you may have to re-light often, this is nothing to worry about, just re-tamp the tobacco, insert a pipe cleaner if needed and re-light, I tend to leave the ash in the bowl when I re-tamp and re-light because I find the pipe smokes cooler and stays lit longer, I even let the pipe "go out" on purpose because I like the feeling of relighting a good smoke, takes all sorts I suppose.  The main objective is to enjoy yourself.
 
Pipe Repair Reference 
Upcoming Events
October

October will see two events, so far.  One will be at Indian Springs Park in Waco where we will participate in the Food and Wine Festival with the Waco Humane Society, and the other will be Drew Estate here at the Lounge on October 29th.
 
The Waco Humane Society has their annual fund raiser as the Food and Wine Festival.  This year it will be at Indian Spring Park on Saturday the 19th.
 
    
 

The Drew Estate event will be here from 5pm until we kick him out!  This will be a popular event so plan on getting there early!
 

La Flor Dominicana

New in the Humidor


Tobacco Junction is a family owned business here in Texas and has been here since 1997.  It is always a pleasure to visit with everyone, if you have any questions or concerns please ask for me personally, I will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
 
Sincerely,
 
David Livingston     bluediamondshop@sbcglobal.net 
Temple 254-773-3103     Gatesville 254-248-0068     McGregor 254-840-4477
FREE
BIRTHDAY
CIGAR
If you want to celebrate your Birthday with a Cigar we can help!  Just show us your ID and we will give you a Cigar with a retail value up to $5.00, or take five dollars off your favorite Cigar....ENJOY!
 
Offer subject to change or cancellation at any time.