Horst Lichter’s Espressotabak by Vauen

Horst Lichter’s Espressotabak by Vauen. What a name.

And what cover art. You know, without regard to the flavorings within, the smiling fellow printed on the lid might alone be enough for some people to grab a tin. Just look at him. The man is the definition of friendly. And he’s a pipe smoker too, so that’s one thing we might talk about together, should we ever meet in a friendly atmosphere.

From my very limited research, I’ve put together that Mr. Lichter is a German cook and TV personality who teamed up with German tobacco blender Vauen to create a series of limited edition pipes and tobaccos. Here is one such tobacco. As the name “espressotabak” indicates, it is flavored with espresso.

If you’ve read my review of Vauen Auenland: The Shire, you’ll know that Mr. Lichter’s blend will be my second ever tobacco from Vauen, and that so far I’ve enjoyed the brand.

Let’s see if the trend continues, shall we?


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The smell arising from this tin is really something.

THE BASICS:

Horst Lichter’s Espressotabak by Vauen is a black cavendish/burley/Virginia blend described as:

“…a mixture of dark cavendishes, a pinch of burley, and several Virginias, before introducing an exclusive, rich, and aromatic espresso flavor.” [1]

As laid out above, this may be a limited production tobacco. I purchased this 50g tin from SmokingPipes.com for $12.33 USD, so it is out there. In either case, tins seem out of stock at many retailers (at least at the time of writing this), and it doesn’t appear to be offered anywhere in bulk.


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A closeup of the leaf showcases black cavendish peppered with Virginia.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

Re-pressurizing the contents within and opening the tin reveals generic sweet raisin and fig aromas. Venturing farther to peel back the paper liner exposes an intoxicating chocolate mocha character. There is certainly a dark roast undertone, but with a creaminess that cuts through any sharp spice or dull earth tones. Nibbles of dark fruit await deep inhalers.

The cut, though listed online as “ribbon,” is pleasantly varied. I’m reminded very much of Vauen’s playful Auenland Shire blend. Out of the tin the leaf feels just on the wet side of perfect, and will do well with a 20 minute relaxation on a well-ventilated surface. After drying, it remains ever so slightly tacky to the touch, but certainly ready for pipe-loading.


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Any roast will complement Espressotabak nicely, even your cheapest supermarket entry.

THE SMOKE:

The first light combusts and there’s sweet mocha and bitter roast coffee being held up by a soft tobacco flavor. Retrohaling brings a caramel sweetness that is ever so slightly spicy. Espressotabak’s bittersweet flavors combine into a sort of holiday spice, and I’m thinking of wreathes and gingerbread cookies as the very pleasant room note settles in.

The smoke so far is light to medium bodied and feels creamy and bite-free on the tongue. Any spiciness tends to congregate at the back of the throat, mimicking the esophagus hit of a much-too-hot gulp of coffee. Light, peppery flavors are perceivable in the corners of the mouth and there is a noticeable, but mild nicotine hit.


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A good blend for an overcast day (as my lighting betrays me).

The second half of the bowl is more sweet than the first. Some savory nuttiness comes out, very soft, and plays well with a Dead Guy Ale (or any other sufficiently malty brew). The holiday spice at the back of the throat cools off and sweetens, but remains stimulating enough to be interesting. Towards the bottom of the bowl, the tobaccos take over.

Perhaps a touch too tame for the expert palate, Espressotabak is nevertheless a friendly choice for a relaxing smoke, or those new and sensitive to bolder blends.

Need pipes, tobacco, and supplies? You might be surprised what Amazon has to offer:

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