Maybe this is because it is the result of a long process in which nothing is left to chance. In Cuba, the best regions for growing tobacco are Vuelta Abajo, in Pinar del Río, and Vuelta Arriba, in the north of Villa Clara, although in the latter the crops are smaller.
Cultivating Cuban tobacco
Everything begins in the fields with the intervention of the producer, a person with a special talent and a gift to communicate with the soil and the seed.Cuban Farmer in Viñales Valley
In Cuba, the process of growing tobacco has a long tradition, enriched for centuries, which is part of the culture of the country. The task of the Cuban veguero – the tobacco producer requires a passion for this work, experience, and ability to work in extreme conditions.
There are two different ways of growing Cuban tobacco depending on the function that each leaf will have in the elaboration of the Habano.
To understand this process well, it is necessary to previously define the three parts that make up a Habano: the filling, which contains up to 4 different leaves (Volado, Seco, Ligero and Medio Tiempo), the binder, whose function is to wrap the filling; and the envelope, on which the final touch and the final appearance of the Habano depend.
Outdoor maturation is another step in this long process. The collected leaves are taken to the tobacco house, its first laboratory after being harvested. This moment requires extreme vigilance and temperature, humidity and humidity must be controlled.
After that, the mature dehydrated leaves are joined in bundles (rolls) and taken to the fermentation room. There they are piled up in large bunks half a meter high and stored for 30 days.
Creating the Cuban Habano
Habanos are the only cigars that are still manufactured.
Totally by Hand: totally handmade for more than 200 years. In the reception and packaging of tobacco leaves. In the case of wraps, they receive a much more careful treatment.
These delicate leaves are prepared for their final function in the department known as Moja – Mohostation.
Here, the clusters of 40 or 50 leaves are moistened with a thin stream of water to restore the silky and uniform appearance of the leaves, as well as their elasticity.
Subsequently, they extract the vein or central stem of the leaf, dividing it into two halves and leaving it ready for classification. The chooser -grader- joins the wrappings in 25 vitolas and shades, classifying them according to their color, vitola, and texture.
The blender Ligador -master- is the key person when it comes to maintaining the consistency of a mixture. Your task is to maintain the stay of the contingent in relation to the aroma, flavor and strength of each vitola and brand.
The galley or rolling room is the heart of the factory. Here the twisters -cigar rollers- make different vitolas.
Its only tools are the wooden board, two cutters, the flat blade key and the small speaker, the guillotine, the vegetable glue (flavor and toilet), the template, the press, the molds and, above all, the hands of the torcedores, their skill, and experience.
With the leaves in their hands, the rollers begin to roll up the leaves: first, they are placed correctly to form the filling that is covered with the binder and placed in the mold.
This filling and binder compound is called bonche – bunch. The molds are closed and placed in the press for approximately 15 minutes for each side. Subsequently, the group is passed through the dreaming machine to verify the draw.
If everything is in order, the wrapping is passed to the twisters to cut the sheet to the required size with the key, stretching it carefully to wrap the Habano with its dress.
After making them and before taking them to the boxes, the Habanos are placed in the rounds in the showcase-room of conditioning, where they are left to rest in cedar-lined cabinets to eliminate excess moisture. The Showcase is often referred to as the “treasure” because it is here that the true wealth of the factory is stored.
Although all Cuban cigars are only Cuban, not all Cuban cigars are Habanos.
The name is reserved for the selections of the most outstanding brands and they are elaborated in accordance with the most rigorous standards of the leaves cultivated in certain areas called “fine prime vegas” (first class fine meadows).
Habanos are classified by color: light red, red, light red, green and ripe red. Its fame gave rise to points of sale specially designed for the conservation and enjoyment of a fine cigar in ideal conditions.
Casas del Habano authorized dealers throughout the country and abroad, also have handmade humidors made of precious woods, true works of art to keep the Habanos in an adequate environment and maintain their original flavor and aroma.