Cuban Cigars : Rolling Process and Crop Gathering

Cuban Cigars : Rolling Process and Crop Gathering

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Cuban Cigars: The Rolling Process and Gathering the Crop

In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the island now known as Cuba. Along with the discovery of Cuba, Columbus also discovered tobacco. Since that time, Cuba has developed the reputation as having the finest tobacco and finest cigars in the world. The following article will discuss how the crop is raised and harvested. Furthermore, the art of cigar rolling will be discussed in detail.

What makes Cuban tobacco the world's finest tobacco? The answer lies in Cuba's climate and in the uniquely composed fertile fields in which the tobacco is raised. Cuba has a topical climate; this, combined with a temperature that is tempered by trade winds makes the island quite tobacco friendly. Cuba's fields, in which the tobacco is grown, have a unique composition that gives Cuban tobacco its own distinct and unmatched color and flavor.

The tobacco crop goes through a long and tedious process before it is ultimately ready to become a Cuban Cigar. The first step in the process is to prepare the beds for the tobacco seedlings. After the beds are made, the tobacco seeds are planted. The next step involves topping the plants and removing the suckers. This is done to increase the vitality of the plants. After about 2 ½ to 3 months, the plant reaches maturity and is then harvested. The tobacco crop is harvested leaf by leaf.

After the tobacco crop is harvested, the next step is to cure the crop. Curing is done in a very methodical manner. First, the tobacco leaves are strung together with a cotton thread. They are then hung out to dry for a few months. They are then considered cured. After "curing" the leaves, the plant goes through a series of natural fermentation steps. The tobacco at this stage is graded according to size and quality. The leaves at this point are ready to be wrapped and rolled into cigars. Before this is to occur however, the tobacco leaves are arranged according to thickness and length to match the type of cigar that is to be produced.

The process of rolling a cigar is a very detailed and meticulous one. Cigar rolling requires expertise and care. Interestingly, the tools used to roll cigars have also remained virtually unchanged for generations. A small wooden board is needed, along with a semi-circular blade, and a small container of clear purified rubber resin, which is used to shape and seal off the ends of the cigar.

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The cigar that is rolled has to be perfect. The perfect cigar is neither too tight nor too flabby and loose. Either of these deficiencies would ultimately ruin the flavor of the cigar. There are also other qualities to look for in a cigar. A good Cuban cigar must have a smooth surface with no dark stains. Cigars must also have no holes on them; with holes, the cigar is not fit for smoking. To the touch, a cigar must have a soft, supple feel to it. If the cigar is squeezed between your fingers, it must not crack and should return to its original shape. Good cigars also have a spicy aroma to them; bad cigars have an herbal odor to them. Finally, no two Cuban cigars taste the same. The taste varies widely according to the handicraft of the cigar roller.

The usual process for becoming a cigar roller starts by being apprentices in a cigar factory. One usually begins with the chores of sweeping the cigar factory floor. Gradually, the student works his or her way up to actually working with the tobacco. Master rollers are able to produce an average of 10 cigars per hour. Cigar rollers are regarded widely as experts in their field. Many fine hotels throughout the world employ master cigar rollers from Cuba, to roll cigars and display their showmanship in the craft of cigar rolling.

The final step in the cigar making process is packaging the cigars. The cigars are selected according to color. After this is done, the cigars are packed in cedar boxes, which usually contain artistic designs and special decorations. This tradition dates back to the time when the boxes in which the cigars were packaged were specially designed for emperors and princes.
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