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Classic Tin-Same Great Taste

Southern African snuffs?

GregghowieGregghowie Member
edited January 11 in General
Good day ladies/gents
Wonder if I could ask for some assistance from anybody who has tried magnet or taxi.
We were busy discussing some southern African snuffs Magnet/Taxi and they appear to have an earthy smell/nose to both of them. They are obviously mentholated but there in another smell going on.... someone described it as “the smell of tarmac when it gets wet after a hot day”, I personally believe it smells of sheep/cattle manure (but not in a bad way).
Does anybody have any idea on what may be causing these aroma?
Many thanks in advance


  • Just a guess, but I think fermentation can give off that sort of aroma.
  • Yes fermentation and added potash or other alkalis.
  • It's ammonia, I would say.

    I'm not sure about Magnet, tho - only tried Magnet Peach once (10 years ago), there was a super strong peach flavour and not a hit of anything else. I remember it being a fine dry snuff, light in colour. Nicotine was all-right, but nothing to write home about (medium potency). It wasn't the typical SA snuff. I didn't detect any ammonia there.

    Worth noting one peculiar thing about the typical ones - moist and coarse SA snuffs. They loose all their potency with time. I have received two old (dried-out) cans of Taxi Red, large and small, and a can of bone-dry plain Babaton, which didn't deliver a fracture of nic. That makes me think that pH of these snuffs are buffered with ammonia water or ammonium carbonate, both are volatile and evaporates / decomposes with time.
  • Hi guys appreciate the comments. Possibly the fermentation has added to the earthy undertone. I did wonder if this was the case but the tobacco itself is a rich gold color which made me think that it hadn’t been darkened/fermented but I appreciate what your saying and possibly it’s the case.

    VOLUNGE I never tried peach but yes I think there is a lot of moisture applied to the tobaccos either through ammonia or poly glycol casings which are probably lost when opened or not sealed correctly. As for loss of nics I am not sure if they are lost. It’s my opinion that I think the southern African manufacturer utilize low grade tobaccos which are cost effective for the market and then add components for the flavors and tastes rather than blending tobaccos.

    But thanks for the input guys much obliged
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited January 12 PM
    @Gregghowie, Magnet Peach was not fermented. Taxi/NTSU/Babaton are highly alkalized (ammonia water and ammonium carbonate are strong alkalizers) and contains 30-49% water. Sufficient amount of alkalis and high moisture content is enough to darken the snuff. It happens really fast in warm environment.

    I didn't mean the loss of nicotine. Actual potency and nicotine are two different things. Snuff can contain whopping amount of nicotine, but it won't be uptaken at low pH. With the loss of ammonia, Taxi looses it's potency.

    I'm not sure if folks in SA still stick to Gothiatek standard, but back in the day when Taxi was made by Swedish Match, it shined at surprisingly low TSNA amounts, which might indicate a fermentation-free process (which in turn might or might not include the pasteurisation). On the other hand, Swedish Match company is known to be very picky about the raw tobacco it uses.

    You can run a very simple tobacco flour alkalization experiment, which would result in some fat pinches of potent plain snuff. Dissolve 0.8 gram of sodium carbonate (or potassium carbonate) in 5 grams hot water and mix it with 5 grams coarsely ground bright tobacco (bright just for the full effect; you can use any tobacco if you don't have a bright leaf). Thoroughly mix, transfer into a tin or tiny jar of appropriate size, close the lid and leave overnight. Next day give it a very good stir or shake and check the presence of barnyard smell. You'll notice the change of the colour. Continue giving a few daily stirs/shakes for 3-5 days. That's it. It won't be a Taxi, but fairly close to it, if you match the grind.
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