Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cigars 101

Intro to Cigars

Cigars start with tobacco seeds planted in the right soil, climate and right geographic location to achieve the desired tobacco plant. The seed, the soil, the climate and the location play an integral role in how the cigar tastes once the tobacco leaves are dried, cured and rolled into cigars. So tobacco leaves from different parts of the world influences different blends of cigars.
Best know cigar growing regions in the world are located in the Caribbean - namely Honduras, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and even Mexico. The least known regions being Sumatra, Indonesia to name a couple.

Once the seeds are sown it takes roughly four months before they can be harvested. In the mean time different growers use different methods to tent to their tobacco plants. Some cigar blenders use mixture of fully sun exposed leaves, some use partially exposed leaves and some blenders who want to achieve a milder claro blend use leaves from the bottom of the plant. Once harvested they tobacco plant is bunched up and sorted according to its exposure to the sunlight. 

Now the tobacco leaves are ready for the curing and fermentation process. This depends on the growers, cigar blenders desire for a particular leaf color combined with different tobacco leaves. The curing is basically a process to let the leaves shake some of its moisture and is weather dependent if air dried. Modern cigar curers use mix of climate controlled barns and air dry techniques. Air curing requires roughly about forty five days to sixty days whereas climate controlled curing requires roughly about twenty five days. 

After curing comes fermentation. In other words the cured tobacco leaves are left to bake so to speak. The leaves are piled and are rotated to that each batch has the same exposure. The fermentation process turns the tobacco leaves into smokeable state once rolled.

If you want read more about growing, curing and fermentation visit 

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