The underworld don of yesteryears, with style and elegance at his moves, smoking a cigar, was a common sight. Cigars defined the style status of villains in cinemas across the globe. The style is accentuated if the cigar is Cuban made. Cuban cigars are one of the most sought after cigars in the world that comes with a history of fame. Bolivar, Cohiba, Cuaba, Punch, Ramon Allones and many more of the Cuban legends, the ultimate of Cuban cigars that relives the smoke of renaissance out of you.
Cuba is known as the land of the best tobacco, tobacco being one of the primary productions of the country. The Cubans called it the ‘Cohiba’, which was a vital factor for them in their social, religious and political ceremonies. The use of cigars had been identified as early as the 10th century and it is still dominating the markets world over.
Tobacco leaves are harvested and dried to reduce the sugar and alcohol content in it. This is called curing and forms the first phase of cigar making. The second phase is where the leaf is allowed to die slowly (without rotting). In this phase, the aroma and other characteristics required for the flavor of the cigar are added. These are used as characteristic fillers and is stored under suitable conditions so as to not to lose the flavor.
A cigar has 3 types of leaves in it that determine the flavor and brand namely - the wrappers, the fillers and the binders. The wrappers are the outermost leaves and are responsible for determining much of the cigar’s character. The fillers constitute the ‘blend’ of it and the binders are elastic leaves that hold together the fillers.
Cuban cigars are produced under government supervision. It is churned out from leaves produced throughout the country. Cuban cigar rollers, also called the ‘torcedores’ are regarded as highly skilled rollers of the world. The labels are marked Hecho En Cuba which means Made in Cuba.
Cigar smoking is also associated with tobacco related health effects. It increases the risk of lung and heart diseases. A lot of counterfeit Cuban cigars are also found in the market these days. They posses higher risk of health hazards as the constituents are unhealthy. It reminds us that the pleasure that comes out of it is not without any pain.
Cuban Cigar History in Brief
- 1492 Columbus "discovers" indigenous tobacco in Cuba and takes it back to the Old World
- 1920 Cigar making machines introduced into Cuba
- 1960 Castro nationalises the Cuban cigar industry on 15th September
- 1994 Habanos S.A. (Habanos Sociedad Anomina) created as the commercial (sales) arm of Cubatabaco. Cubatabaco retains control of all aspects of cigar production
- 1999 Altadis S.A. formed by merger between Spain's Tabacalera S.A. and France's SEITA
- 2000 Altadis S.A. purchases a 50% share in Habanos S.A
- 2001 Tabacuba formed and takes over from Cubatabaco as the manufacturing arm of Habanos S.A. Internacional Cubana de Tabacos s.a. formed to manufacture & promote the Guantanamera brand and the various brands of mini cigars (mini, club, & puritos)
- 2006 Arguably considered as a highpoint in modern Cuban cigar quality.
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