For those who have never heard of Ploom before, Ploom is an upstart tobacco company based out of San Francisco that is setting out to change the way many smokers consume tobacco. On their website, founders Adam Bowen and James Monsees, two grad students at Stanford's Joint Program in Design, explain how the idea of Ploom came to fruition:
Ploom began as a conversation between a smoker and a non-smoker outside a studio at Stanford’s Joint Program in Design in 2004. “What do you hate about smoking?” Adam asked. “What do you love about it?” James responded.
In a quest to reinvent smoking, the PAX and the modelTwo were born. Both heat, rather than burn, plant material.
OK, now onto the point of this post..
Blend X is a pipe tobacco that is meant to be vaped with the PAX, rather than with its other tobacco vaporizer the Ploom modelTwo. I'm already a big fan of the modelTwo and its proprietary tobacco pods which come in 6 different flavors, so naturally I had become intrigued as soon as I heard that Ploom was about to introduce two new Blend X flavors. It was the the modelTwo that got me to make the switch over to vaping from smoking entirely. There really is nothing on the market that delivers in the same way that Ploom does. For those that feel that there is "something missing" in their vape, this may be what you have been looking for.
The two new flavors that have been added to the original Blend X line of pipe tobacco are:
- Blend X Hazelnut-A balanced blend of Burley and Virginia, augmented by toasted Cavendish and hints of hazelnut. Smooth and pleasing. Delivers an optimal Pax experience.
- Blend X Black Raspberry-A perfect blend of Virginia Golden and Burley Black Cavendish tobaccos with an irresistible berry finish. Rich and delightful. Delivers an optimal Pax experience.
Last week, after waiting with anticipation for my order to arrive, I received one tin of Blend X Hazelnut and one tin of Blend X Raspberry in the mail. Each arrived packaged in its own air-tight tin. Upon first glance, it appears that a lot of love, time and fine tobacco craftsmenship has gone into creating this line. This is not your average corner store bought tobacco. This is the type of tobacco that can only be found at a fine tobacconist shop, of which there are precious few. The price, at $12.99 per 1.75 oz. tin, is surprisingly reasonable. Just one of the many benefits of vaping tobacco is that a little goes a long way, thus making vaping Blend X tobacco the more economic option for some tobacco connoisseurs and vapers looking for an alternative to what is already commonly available on the market.
So how do the new blends taste? I can honestly say that I love both the Black Raspberry and the Hazelnut; both are a vast improvement in the flavor department when compared to the original Blend X. It's not that I never cared for the original Blend X, it's just that I like the new blends better. I used to mix various teas in with the original Blend X in an attempt to extract the same amount of flavor that I have grown accustomed to getting from the modelTwo's proprietary pods. With the new blends I find that they are quite enjoyable all on their own. As a major fan of the modelTwo, I must state that Ploom's flavored pods are a tough act to follow flavor wise. The Black Raspberry and Hazelnut deliver in a major way, minus the added humectants.
Now for a bit about the PAX from the company website:
Small enough to fit in your pocket, Pax heats, never burns your tobacco, releasing a delicious, satisfying vapor. It's the world's most pocketable, premium loose-leaf vaporizer.PAX features:
- Three temperature settings-
- Low-370 F-
- Med-390 F-
- Hi- 410 F-
- Retractable mouthpiece that turns device on and off-
- Long-lasting permanent internal lithium ion battery-
- Automatic motion-based temperature control-
- Indicator shows status, temperature setting, and charge status with a gentle shake-
- Wide heater chamber for no-effort refill-
- 30 second heat-up time-
- Laser-welded stainless steel air path-
- Standby mode after 30 seconds of sitting idle-
- Measures 4 1/8 ” x 1.4” x 7/8”-
- Available in multiple colors-
- 1 hour charge time-
- Continued use of up to 2 hours-
- 10 year warranty-
There are a few things that I like particularly about the PAX as compared to other portable loose leaf vaporizers that are on the market. The retractable mouthpiece makes it virtually impossible to accidentally activate your PAX while in your purse or pocket. I also really love the standby mode feature as it both saves your tobacco and your power if you're a slow puffer like me that likes to savor the experience and the flavor. There are other loose leaf vaporizers on the market that take quite a bit longer to charge. PAX's relatively quick charge time makes it the perfect vaporizer-alongside the modelTwo-for those on the go. There is also a car charger that can be purchased. Another thing to note is that all of Ploom's proprietary chargers are uniquely distinct and therefore impossible to confuse with any other chargers that you may have lying around the house, car/truck, or suitcase. I like to think of this as an added safety feature.
As an aside, I should mention that vaping with either the PAX or with the modelTwo is an entirely different experience as compared to that of smoking, or even to that of other liquid vaporizers. There is no smell, and while there is visible vapor, there are no massive clouds produced. Cloud chasers may not like what Ploom has to offer, but those in search of flavor will most likely be pleasantly surprised. Ploom has the flavor angle down in spades. I'd still be smoking if I hadn't come across the modelTwo a year ago. In my own personal experience I have also found that the experience is much more enjoyable if approached more like that of (puffed on, rather than inhaled directly) a cigar or pipe. I also noticed something about vaping tobacco that I can't quite explain. There is more of a sense of "fullness" after a good vape. I find that I can go for longer periods without thinking about it as a result. All of that changes however, if there is a glass of red wine in my hand. Everyone is different. Ah, the good things in life are often those little treats that you allow yourself to indulge in at the end of the day. I don't write reviews on this blog very often, but every once in a while there is a product or company that I really can't help writing about, well, because I like it so much. Ploom is one such company.