The process of curing tobacco leaves often starts with drying the leaves. Patience is a basic requirement while drying tobacco leaves because no matter what you do, there is no quick way of accomplishing this task. Furthermore, depending on the climate in which the leaves are being dried, a number of experiments may need to be performed before the right system of drying tobacco leaves can be found. Tobacco leaves can be dried both outdoors and indoors.
- String or twine
- Tub or box
- Plastic container with lid
- Paper towel
- Brown paper bag
When drying tobacco leaves outdoors, there are a number of natural elements which can damage the leaves. For instance, long hours of direct sunlight may result in the leaves getting burnt. Furthermore, pesticides may also damage the leaves. For this reason, it is important to choose a place which is safe from such elements. A doorway or breezeway shaded from direct sunlight where the leaves can be hung easily are ideal for hanging tobacco leaves. Tie the leaves that you intend to dry to a piece of twine or string and then suspend them from the stem. Some of the leaves may fall off after you have suspended them. For this reason, it would be a good idea to place a box or tub below the suspended leaves. This will prevent any leaves that fall from damage and also make it easier for you to collect the fallen leaves. Allow enough time for the leaves to dry properly. This may take several days. The leaves will change colour, from green to brown to dark brown, while they dry.
Carefully place the leaves which you intend to dry in a plastic container. Make sure that the container you choose has an air tight lid so that it can be sealed. Place a paper towel on the mouth of the container and then seal it with the lid. The paper towel will prevent the entry of moisture into the container. Place the container in a moderately humid room, and make sure that it is safe from direct sunlight. Allow several days for the leaves to dry completely. Another way to dry tobacco leaves indoors is to place them in a paper bag with their stems facing upwards. Use a piece of rope to tie off the bag’s opening. This way, you will be able to suspend the tobacco leaves. Hang the bag at an appropriate location, such as a door frame, and wait for the leaves to dry.