Re: ugh. my first exotica experience..
If they crack they are in no way good. if a coal cannot even hold together with heat it's not a useable coal. When they are cracked they will split in half while ashing. Why get coals that crack when lighting which makes them weaker when there are plenty of clean coals that don't crack? Exoticas do last a while, but at 1/4 of their lifespan there is not enough heat to do anything with them. Their over-all size at that time is so minimal you would need 10 to smoke a regular sized bowl. They look like radioactive kangaroo babies!
A lot of people get good Exoticas, but when they crack and break and don;t retain heat correctly they are a bad batch, smell or no smell. Yes, they are cheap, but you have to hope you get a good batch everytime you spend 8 bucks (plus shipping)?
Dunkel trusts his Exoticas, as do many people, and I trust them that they are fine coals and do their job well. The issue isn't the coal's comparison, the issue is the Quality Control Exotic Imports lacks. When Dunkel says he has great coals, i believe he has great coals, but i don't know whether i will get the same coals he ahs when i make a purchase. So far, after 5 tries, i have not recieved a capable batch and have had to switch to cococnaras, which i prefer based on certain things i value.