The following passage is mainly for Cuban cigars, however the process is, broadly speaking, related elsewhere.
Cigars are a pure product; the quality of a cigar is directly associated to the sort and high quality of leaves used in its building, just as the standard of wine depends on the sort and high quality of grapes used.
Tobacco seedbeds need to be in flat fields, in order that the seeds aren't washed away. After being planted, the seedlings are covered with material or straw to shade them from the sun. This masking is gradually eliminated as they begin to germinate, and after round 35 days (during which the seedling will likely be sprayed with pesticides), they're transplanted, often within the second half of October, into the tobacco fields proper. The leaves are watered each by rain and the morning dew, and irrigated from below.
The tobacco plant is considered in three parts: the top (or corona), the middle, and the bottom. As the leaves develop, buds appear. These should be free worldwide shipping
removed by hand to prevent them from stunting leaf and plant growth. The quality of wrapper leaf is crucial in any cigar. Crops called Corojos, specifically designated to provide wrapper leaves for the perfect cigars, are always grown under gauze sheets held up by tall wooden poles. They prevent the leaves from changing into too thick in a protective response to sunlight. The technique, called faucetado (covering), additionally helps them to stay smooth.
When harvesting time arrives, leaves are eliminated by hand using a single movement. These selected as wrappers are put in bundles of five, a manojo, or hand. The leaves are picked in six phases: libra de pie (at the base), uno y medio (one-and-a-half), centro ligero (light middle), centro fino (thin center), centro gordo (thick center), and corona (crown). The libra de pie part is not used for wrappers. Every week passes between each phase. The best leaves discovered in the midst of the plant; the top leaves (corona) are often too oily to be used for wrappers, aside from home consumption, and are often used as binder leaves. The entire cycle, from transplanted seedlings to the end of harvesting takes some one hundred twenty days, with each plant being visited a mean of one hundred seventy times making it a really labor-intensive process.
Wrapper leaves grown beneath cover are categorised by color as ligero (light), seco (dry), viso (shiny), amarillo (yellow), medio tiempo (half texture), and quebrado (damaged), while those grown beneath the sun are divided into volado, seco, ligero, and medio tiempo. The ligero leaves from the top of the plant have a very robust flavor, the seco from the middle are much lighter, and the volado leaves from the underside are used to add bulk and for their burning qualities. The art of creating a superb cigar is to blend these, together with a suitable wrapper leaf, in such proportions as to offer the eventual cigar a light, medium, or full taste, and to ensure that it burns well. The leaves are additionally labeled by dimension (giant, common, small) and by bodily situation (unhealthy or damaged leaves are used for cigarettes or machine-made cigars). If all the leaves are good, each wrapper plant can wrap 32 cigars. The situation and high quality of the wrapper leaf is crucial to the engaging appearance of a cigar, as well as its aroma.
The bundles of leaves are then taken to a tobacco barn on the vega, or plantation, to be cured. The barns face west in order that the sun heats one finish within the morning and the opposite in the late after-noon. The temperature and humidity in the barns is rigorously controlled, if mandatory by opening and shutting the doors at each ends (often kept shut) to take account of modifications of temperature or rainfall.
Once the leaves attain the barn, they're strung up on poles, or cujes, utilizing needle and thread. The poles, every holding round 100 leaves, are hoisted up horizontally (their position high within the barn permits air to circulate), and the leaves left to dry for between 45 and 60 days, relying on the weather. Throughout this time, the green chlorophyll within the leaves turns to brown carotene, giving them their characteristic color. The poles are then taken down, the threads minimize, and the leaves stacked into bundles based on type.