Category Archives: Cigar Knowledge

Dressing the box Cuba was first to introduce the classic labelled cigar box in the mid-19th Century, and it remains the best known form of Habano packaging The extravagant paper trimmings on the box are called habilitaciones, literally dressings. Each label has its own time-honoured name and all of them are applied by hand. Some labels […]

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Applying the bands Cigar bands were introduced in the 1860’s by Don Gustavo Bock, a European who had arrived in Havana to make his fortune in cigars. Legend has it that the idea sprang from a desire to protect the white-gloved fingers of his more refined customers from staining. Other explanations suggest that bands were […]

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Habanos Sorting the colours No product on earth enjoys a more painstaking treatment in its presentation and packaging, starting with the perfect colour-matching of the wrappers. Wrappers come in many finely distinguished shades of colour, and great care is taken to ensure that all of the cigars in any one box are the exact same […]

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Habanos Quality Control There are strict quality control tests at all stages of hand making. Cigars that fail will never become Habanos.  Everyday the Workshop Manager (El Jefe de Galera) supervises the work of the cigar rollers. At the same time supervisors, who are themselves top grande torcedores , oversee each brigade of 30 to 40 workers watching […]

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Other methods of manufacture The “Totalmente a Mano, Tripa Corta” – totally by hand, short filler technique The trimmings from the bunches of long-filler cigars are combined with other selected chopped tobaccos to create the blends for short-filler Habanos. The Torcedor rolls the filler into full-length binder leaves with the aid of a flexible mat fixed to […]

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The craft of the Torcedor Habanos are made Totalmente a Mano –Totally by hand – as they have always been, by the Torcedores and Torcedoras, whose practiced hands no machine can ever match   This is how they do it For tools they have only a wooden board (tabla), two cutters (the flat-bladed -chaveta – and the little disc-cutting – casquillo–), a guillotine, a pot […]

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Totally hand made long filler Time has done its work, and the leaf is ready at last to play its part in the making of a Habano.   The following pages describe an extraordinary craft that has changed little in 200 years. Variations in the method of making   1. Totalmente a Mano Tripa Larga – Totally hand-made, […]

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Sun-grown leaf for Fillers and Binders Filler and binder leaves on the other hand are subjected to a much more complex and extensive process than wrappers, including several fermentations as is revealed below. 1- Air curing for Fillers and Binders All filler and binder leaves are cured in the farmers’ traditional Curing Barns. As with […]

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Tabaco tapado (shade grown) Shade-grown leaf for wrappers The processing of the tobacco leaves used to make a Habano differs according to their method of cultivation and their final function in the cigar. Below is a brief description of the processes used for the leaves that are destined to become wrappers. Air curing wrappers The […]

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About Cuban Tobacco Processing Growing the leaf is just the start of the story, with many patient stages of processing yet to come. Nothing can be hurried. Many months and in some cases years will pass before the leaf is ready to make a Habano. The diagrams show the path that each type of leaf […]

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