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Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 11 May 2013

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Next, we’ll look at terms used in the growing of tobacco and the making of cigars. The process starts with a Vega, or tobacco plantation.

 



The rows of leaves on a tobacco plant are known as Primings. The average number of primings per plant is six, with the first priming closest to the ground and the sixth near the top. This matters because the higher the priming, the stronger the resulting tobacco.

Tobacco grown in direct sunlight is called “Sun-grown,” and has a thicker leaf with thicker veins. A Tapado is a cheesecloth tent used for cultivating shade-grown tobacco.

One of the biggest problems for tobacco growers is peronospara tabacina, or Blue Mold. This nasty airborne fungus can lay waste to a tobacco field in a few days, leaving leaves riddled with small round blemishes.

Burros are piles (or bulks) in which cigar tobacco is fermented. They can be as high as six feet and must be carefully monitored. If the heat level inside the burros grows too high, it must be taken apart to slow fermentation.

 



Planchas are boards on which tobacco leaves are spread before starting fermentation. Fermented tobacco is shipped to cigar factories in large, bark-wrapped bales called Tercios.

Once the cured tobacco makes its way to the cigar factory, workers will “Case,” or slightly moisten the aged leaves so that they will be easier for the hand rollers to work with.

 


A “Chaveta” or roller’s knife is the implement used in a cigar factory for cutting the wrapper leaf.

“Book Style” (or Booking) is a rolling method that involved laying the filler leaves atop one another, then rolling them up like a scroll. This rolling style is common in Honduras.

An alternative rolling style is known as “Entubar.” For this method, the roller folds each separate leaf back onto itself, then bunches the leaves together. This method originated in Cuba, and is thought to create better airflow through the cigar for a more even draw and burn.

Escaparates are the cooling cabinets at the factory in which cigars are kept for a few weeks after being rolled.

Next week, we’ll be looking at mistakes novice cigar smokers make and give some hints on choosing the perfect humidor for your collection. In the meantime, head over to our Puff.com forums to meet other cigar aficionados and discuss your favorite smokes.






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