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Why Are Cuban Cigars So Expensive?

Why Are Cuban Cigars So Expensive?

as a child i had one specific vision of what a successful person looked like a person sitting at a big mahogany desk in a silk suit with a rolex on their wrist and a cigar balanced perfectly in their hand and as i’ve grown into a successful adult i must say my vision wasn’t too far off cigars are still as much of a luxury staple as rolexes are but their history as items that show sophistication and wealth goes back nearly four times further and when it comes to cigars there is one specific type

that has been the gold standard for decades cuban cigars which don’t come cheap some boxes of good quality cuban cigars can cost thousands of dollars which may seem a little extreme so how can some rolled up tobacco cost so much money well today we’re going to find out we’ll take a look at how cuban cigars have risen to fame and how exactly they’ve

gotten their incredible reputation to begin let’s take a journey back to the linoleum lock-aligned hallways of yesteryear and sit down for a little history lesson it’s well known that tobacco has been a staple in society for hundreds of years long

before dare ads and those funky 90s anti-smoking commercials were a thing however most people don’t know that tobacco didn’t make its first appearance in europe until the 16th century and if you paid any attention in history class the first time you may have an inkling of how it made its way over to europe when columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and kickstarted the colonization of the caribbean his crew encountered the taiano the indigenous people of the caribbean

smoking something similar to modern day cigars over the next few years european sailors began to pick up the practice of smoking tobacco rolled in plantain leaves a rather crude version of cigars the first ever cigar factory was established in

cuba and a cigar factory was established in spain in 1676 and since then cigars made in cuba have been the gold standard however one moment in history really piqued the public’s interest and made them even more desirable in february of 1962 john f kennedy expanded a trade embargo against cuba in response to fidel castro’s regime that being said a few hours before he signed the papers he ordered his press secretary to buy him 1 000 cigars i suppose when you’re making

the rules you know how to get around breaking them and for a while united states citizens were able to bring cigars back from cuba as long as they were for friends and family however as of september 2020 trump has tightened sanctions on cuba meaning united states citizens are not allowed to bring cuban cigars back into the country still people around the

world are desperate for cuban cigars and will even go on the black market to get their fix some experts suspect that up to 95 of the cuban cigars found in the united states aren’t cuban cigars at all but why is there such a bad thing and why is the real deal so revered mainly because cigars are so highly regulated in cuba with almost all their production being state-run

therefore the process and inspection the tobacco and cigars must undergo is extensive for starters tobacco companies work hand-in-hand with the tobacco research institute the institute keeps records dating back from before the revolution which details the quality taste and composition of the tobacco that’s being grown in various regions this gives them a

thorough knowledge of what types of tobacco performs best where harbor knows is a state-owned corporation in charge of the marketing distribution and even the creation of all high-quality cigars in cuba when they determine a new flavor or quality they’d like for their tobacco they use these previous records to decide where the seeds will be planted and if they’re making a new seed variety this can take years cuba uses old-school methods of cross-pollination to expand their

variety of seeds this process alone can take 10 to 12 years and when the seeds are finally finished they’re put through two years of testing in various regions soils and climates then the real growing begins which is another aspect that contributes to the price and prestige of cuban cigars some estimate that there are 500 manual tasks that cigars go through from

planting to hitting the shelves after the seeds are planted the growing plants are pruned carefully so they can become the right size and shape for cigars some plants those that are going to be used as wrappers are covered with a cloth so they

stay out of that hot cuban sun then the plants are harvested by experts after this the curing begins curing is the process where the leaves are dried out and developed the aroma that so many cigar aficionados are looking for the plants are strong on strips of wood that are hung from the ceiling in a curing barn a process that has remained the same for

generations some bonds are carefully heated and monitored while others aren’t temperature controlled some curing barns even burn hardwood or sawdust to further dry the leaves and give them that sweet sweet aroma i mean there’s nothing quite like the smell and look of a curing barn the next step however is my personal favorite the fermentation

process the leaves are sorted into different groups based on their color size and shape the larger leaves that will become the cigar wrapper are separated smaller or broken leaves are set aside to be used as the actual fill in the cigar these leaf

groups are then tied together in groups of 10 to 15 leaves which are called hands these hands are then put into boxes called hogsheads where they will remain for somewhere between six months and five years that being said just like wine the longer tobacco is aged the more money it’s worth typically the higher quality cigars are aged for at least two years n

ext the stripping begins but don’t worry about getting out your dollar bills stripping is when expert workers take the filler tobacco leaves and remove their main vein because if they didn’t it would heavily interfere with the way the cigars burn traditionally leaves are stripped by hand however machines are also commonly used now after this the stripped leaves are set aside for more fermentation and then steamed to restore their lost humidity and now the rolling happens if you’ve

ever seen cigars being made this is the part you’ve probably seen footage of it takes cigar rollers at least a year to become proficient and able to work independently the skilled workers select the filler leaves then rolls a binder leaf around it the workers use a small knife to get rid of any irregularities wrapping the cigar is widely regarded as the hardest part of the

process workers take the wrapper leaf and must wind it in an even spiral three and a half times around the cigar some cigars are made by machine but many consider hand rolled cigars to be far superior and i must say i think i’d much rather have one infused with the love of a hard worker the cigars are carefully inspected every step of the way but once they are

complete they are looked at multiple times to ensure that they are top quality however cigars rolled from new seed varieties must undergo an even more intense process the new cigars are brought before the national commission for tasting the commission is composed of the top-level tobacco officials and experienced cuban cigar aficionados there are

usually somewhere between 10 to 15 people present who normally get together about once a month to taste judge and discuss the quality of cigars from the regional companies however when a new seed variety comes to play this process takes them much more time and all that work goes into creating those cigars that big wigs puff behind mahogany desks on special occasions all that regulation is what has helped cuba maintain their crown as the best cigar makers in the

world though many have challenged their title some people even argue that cigars from the dominican republic or nicaragua are just as good but many experts argue that the quality of soil the climate the specific varieties used and the hard labor that goes into making them has a huge effect on the aroma and quality of cuban cigars and well i suppose

that’s up for all of us to decide so there you have it cuban cigars are expensive because of their quality the labor involved in making them the high standards set by the government and the availability of the cigars have you ever smoked a real cuban cigar and do you think they’re worth the money let me know in the comment section down below

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