PRODUCTION
 

The tobacco plant:

The main features of the Nicotiana gender can be resumed shortly:

They are annual or perennial plants. on the first case the have an herbaceous shaft and in the seconnd a woody shaft

They are big leafs and perfectly isolated with much veins and generaly not wavy

Hermaphrodite flower with flared chalice, with tubular corolla fringed by a 5 lobe limbo with 5 stamen frequently  unequal. Ovary composed by two cavities (sometimes by four but less frequent)

Seeds extremely small and very numerous, contained in a capsule

Detail of the tobacco flower

 




The origin of the pure cigar is the plant of the tobacco; very little places of the world have temperature, humidity and appropriate floor so the seed can grow in a plant, whose leaves could be used  to elaborate a pure cigar. The plant of the tobacco belongs to the family of the "solanáceas", native from America; their root is fibrous, shaft of 5 to 12 cm of height (hairy and with white marrow), alternating leaves, big and glutinous; flowers in cluster with the tubular chalice and red purple corolla or pale yellow.

The Tobacco Plant

The lands of San Andres Tuxtla in Veracruz, Mexico are used for cultivating the tobacco leafs of Don Manuel cigars. Two types of plants of tobacco are used in the elaboration of the Cigar: the "corojo" of which they are obtained the leaves for the layer and the Creole of sun, that provide the leaves for the filler and the binder. The cultivation of "corojo" plant is made under low cotton canvases, (covered, this is what is known as "los tapados" in order to protecting it from the excess of sun, winds and parasites, the leaves have an uniform appearance and soft and silky texture; each plant contains 16 or 17 leaves (that they will permit the elaboration of about 30 layers). The Creole of sun grows to the bleakness with 12 or 13 leaves.

Tobacco plant

 

 

The agriculture of the tobacco begins with the selection and preparation of the lands;it will be avoided those that they have very marked slopes, in order to avoid the haulage of the seeds. The roots of the plants of tobacco are very delicate and require loose land to grow. converting the vegetation in a natural nutrient of the floor. In order to avoiding the structure of the floor to change, alone the animal traction is used.

 

 

 

Cigar Manufacturing


The making of a premium hand-rolled cigar is a complicated process. In some factories, a leaf may be touched by human hands up to 40 times before the cigar is completed.

Growing the Tobacco
Cigar tobacco reaches the factory after a series of six-week periods; six weeks to germinate seeds before transplanting to a field; six weeks to grow the tobacco plant to maturity; six weeks for a complete harvest, followed by a series of periods of fermentation. In the fermentation stage, workers pile slightly moistened tobacco in huge bales or stacks; temperatures inside the bales reach as high as 140° as the cigar "sweats" during the early stages of the fermentation. Some tobacco may be "turned" up to three of four times and remoistened before fermentation finally ceases. The process releases ammonia from the tobacco and releases overall nicotine content.

Fermentation stage of the leaf

Fermentation stage of the leaf


Workers then wrap the fermented tobacco in bales, usually surrounded by burlap, to age. Standard aging time is 18 months to two years, although some manufacturers keep inventories of tobacco as old as 10 years. Before workers turn over the tobacco to the rollers, they "case" it, or slightly dampen it again, to make it supple.

 




 


 

 

Making the Cigar


A cigar blend is created by a master blender, someone who combines tobaccos of varying tastes and strengths to create a particular taste in a balanced, harmonious smoke. Depending on its ring gauge, a cigar will contain a blend of between two and four different tobaccos. Each type of tobacco leaf is placed in different boxes at the roller's desk, and the roller is given the formula for the cigar he or she is making.
 

 

 

 

The roller takes the leaves and presses them together in his hand; he then places the leaves on a binder leaf, a flat, somewhat elastic leaf of tobacco. He rolls them together into a "bunch," cuts them to the appropriate length and then places them in the bottom half of a wooden mold. After he puts the upper half of the mold in place, he puts the entire box into a screw press. The press operator will usually break down the press once, turn the bunch inside the mold and then rebox and press the bunch again, for a total pressing time of about an hour.

Once the worker has pressed the cigar, he returns the wooden molds to the rolling tables. The roller removes the bunch and wraps it with the wrapper leaf, a supple, very elastic and visually beautiful leaf that has been cut in half. Keeping constant pressure on the bunch and the wrapper, the cigar maker rolls the leaf around the bunch and applies a bit of vegetable glue to bond the wrapper leaf together at the head so the cigar won't unravel.
 

 

Supervisors inspect each cigar by hand. They feel it for weight and for any hard spots, which could indicate a plug, or soft spots, which can cause an uneven burn. They reject defective cigars. Then, in most factories, workers weigh the cigars in bunches of 50. Good cigar makers will have less than 1 gram of variation between 50-cigar bunches. Bunches with significant weight variations may be returned to the roller.

 

Aging the Cigar


The next stop for cigars is the aging room. Most factories age their cigars for at least 21 days, and some leave them in the aging room for anywhere from 90 to 180 days. This allows the different cigar tobaccos to "marry" and create a more balanced smoke. After aging, the cigars are selected for each box, checked for fine gradations in wrapper leaf color, and finally, they are packed in boxes for shipping.