This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

How Tobacco Is Sorted & Prepared For Rolling Into Premium Cigars By Davidoff

x

Unpacking & Sorting

Unpacking & Sorting cigar tobacco leaves.
x

New Cabanas Cigar Teaser

Come check out the teaser for the brand new cigar Cabanas. This cigar is coming soon so be on the lookout!

For more cigar information and educational videos, view our Blending Room, where you can watch all of our Cigar Reviews, Top Lists, How To’s and much more at
x

cigar leaf prep, blending ,bunching and molding

this is the video of how I prepare, blend, bunch and mold a cigar . The wrapper is attached after this process is done
x

Cigar trip to the Dominican Republic

I finally made a video of my awesome trip to the Dominican Republic, where I show the facilities we toured going from the fields, to aging tobacco, to making the cigars, bands, and boxes, etc.

Special thanks to Smoker Friendly for setting up and paying for this trip, which I won in a drawing, and Rafael Nodal for giving a great tour. Hanging out with Rafael, Jose Blanco, and Jochy Blanco was a real treat and a trip I'll never forget.
x

Using A Base Leaf to Bunch Long Cigars

I show the easy way to roll an even, long bunch for a mold or for free-hand cigars. This is a 7-inch bunch which I'll use to make a 6.5 lonsdale.

I fold a seco leaf in my hand (the base leaf) and then lay in two ligero leaves. I tear off and lay in the tips and tails, and then close the door with another seco leaf. Then I roll it all in the binder. This is a very easy way to roll a long skinny or a long fat bunch.

Leaf Only: Anatomy of a Cigar

Rich and John of Leaf Only LLC break down premium cigars for you by showing the three main parts that comprise most cigars. Filmed and edited by CIGAR TV

How Tobacco Is Grown & Harvested For Making Premium Cigars by Davidoff

In this video, we discover the tobacco growing process. Davidoff's Klaas Kelner details all the effort and planning that goes into ensuring a healthy and flavorful crop year after year.

CONTINUE WATCHING:
Take a look at the other videos of our #davidoffcigars Dominican experience!

From Seed To Smoke, full-length cigar documentary:

Tobacco curing process:

We interview Klaas:

Interview of Hamlet Espinal, VP of Global Production:

Davidoff Cigars Playlist:


Camacho Connecticut Box Pressed review:

READ ABOUT CIGARS:

Learn tobacco plant anatomy and leaf primings:

Read all of our Davidoff cigar articles:


Bespoke Unit Cigars Home


How Tobacco Is Grown & Harvested For Making Premium Cigars by Davidoff

There are 15 growing zones in the Dominican Republic where Davidoff contracts farmers. Everything, including fertilizers, irrigation, and curing barns, are financed by Davidoff.

The company provides 9 million 45-day-old plants to its farmers to cultivate every year. These are grown in one of 52 greenhouses. None of these plants are able to create seeds, therefore no one can steal a Davidoff tobacco seed.

Flowers must be eliminated from each plant, since they compete with leaves for nutrients, and Davidoff is in the business of leaves!

Some countries' tobacco plants are allowed flowers. For example, Ecuadorian Connecticut plants grow flowers in order to create thinner leaves.

Over the course of 105 days, a seed the size of a speck of dust grows to two kilos. That's 20 million times its original weight. On day 105, harvesting starts. Every 2-3 days, two leaves are harvested from the bottom up.

Each plant has 16 commercial leaves that are suitable for cigars. Davidoff divides these into 4 different primings, 4 per priming.

The bottom is the Volado. Next is Seco, then Viso, and finally Ligero. Normally, the bottommost leaves are discarded, as are the uppermost Coronas. Further, when the flower is removed, the plant grows an offshoot son at the bottom. This is removed, diverting nutrients to the commercial leaves.

Naturally, a tobacco plant can grow up to 150 flowers, each with 1000+ seeds.

While the typical cigar smoker might not pick up subtler notes, they know consistency. If you smoke Davidoff №2 every day, you'll know right away if that cigar's strength changes. This blend is from the bottom of the plant. If 10% of it was seco, you'd know immediately.

In more complex blends, it's a matter of proportion. If one of the tobaccos turns out stronger one year, the blender lowers the percentage of that leaf until it's just right.

To maintain consistency, Davidoff keeps the soil, leaf position, and plant variety of every blend spot on. Also, the company keeps 5 years' worth of inventory to compensate for any inconsistencies in growing.

The wine industry can tell a grape is ready for harvest by its sugar content. Tobacco has three indicators. First, intense green color shifts towards yellow. Next, leaves turn downward, showing reverence to the soil. Finally, a leaf that's ready will break off easily.

Breaking off such a leaf emits a loud crack, while an unripe leaf lets off a ripping noise. During harvest time, the rhythm of the cracks sound like music.

This region gets 60-80mm of rainfall per month. For some areas, Davidoff invests in irrigation to compensate for meager rainfall.

A sunny year means the flower comes earlier, resulting in a smaller plant. This means a stronger tobacco, and thicker leaves, so the yield doesn't vary so much.

During curing, humidity must be controlled carefully, especially in wet years, or the tobacco could rot.

In growing, too much rainfall can leads to mold; in dry years, insects bring the tomato virus. When the tomato virus first arrived, 30% of Dominican tobacco crops were lost.

Whether mold or tomato virus, infected plants must be taken away quickly.

The farm is planted in stages to protect against crop failure. These stages are staggered by 20-30 days. This way, if bad weather damages one crop, others remain.

Finally, Davidoff purchases leaves based on quality, that is, the health of the leaf.

REMEMBER to comment! Let us know what you think about tobacco growing, our Dominican experience, or any other cigar topic you'd like us to feature on Bespoke Unit!

Yours,

The Bespoke Unit Team

CONNECT:

Web:
Instagram:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Subscribe to Newsletter:

How Tobacco Is Grown & Harvested For Making Premium Cigars by Davidoff:

How Cigar Tobacco Is Cured, Fermented, & Aged For By Davidoff

During Bespoke Unit's trip to the Dominican Republic, Davidoff's Klaas Kelner walked us through the process on how the tobacco is cured and fermented after it has been harvested. Watch this video to learn about the curing process and how tobacco is properly aged before being made into a premium cigar.

CONTINUE WATCHING:
See our other related videos from our #davidoffcigars Dominican experience!

Watch the full Davidoff documentary:


How Tobacco Is Grown:


How Tobacco Is Sorted & Prepared For Rolling:


Our Davidoff playlist:


READ ABOUT CIGARS:

Written articles on Davidoff:

Our reference on cigar tobacco:

All guides, reviews, and other info on cigars at Bespoke Unit:


In this video, we step into a curing barn right from the tobacco fields. Klaas explains to us how the tobacco leaves are tied to bamboo poles and left to hang facing outwards to ensure that they do not touch. Throughout the whole process, they are moved around to ensure that they are cured as evenly as possible.

The curing process will take a number of weeks and special care is taken to make sure that the humidity of the curing barn remains stable at around 80% and a temperature approximately 80 - 90°F (30°C).

If it is too dry, the curing barn is closed shut and water is poured onto the ground. Meanwhile, the doors are opened during wet years and hot charcoal will be layered onto the floor.

In later stages of the curing process, the leaves will begin to turn brown. This is due to phenol and oxygen coming into contact as the leaves whither and the cell membrane breaks down, which reveals the initial aromas.

Once the tobacco has been fully cured, it is sent to the fermentation warehouse where they are gathered into 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) piles and covered with textile. During this process, the tobacco creates heat as it ferments.

Therefore, the tobacco needs to be flipped and moved to prevent a build-up a heat, which may cause rotting with humidity. This labour-intensive method will take a team of four workmen four hours to complete each time. A single pile can be flipped ten times over a period of several years.

The time required to fully ferment the tobacco depends on its thickness and the level of nitrogenous elements it contains. As it ferments, it sweats out the carbohydrates and the acidity, the proteins, and the alkaloid nicotine.

If the tobacco gets too dry, it is taken to a so-called sauna where humidity is added indirectly to the leaves. This complex process only lasts overnight and the tobacco will be ready to continue fermenting the following day.

Finally, the tobacco is considered fully fermented once the temperature has stabilised despite being regularly flipped. It is only at this point that Davidoff will consider ready to be sorted and prepared before being rolled into a premium cigar.

REMEMBER to comment! We'd love to hear what you thought of this video and whether you enjoyed it. Did you learn something new or do you have questions? Let us know!

Yours,

The Bespoke Unit Team

CONNECT:

Web:
Instagram:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Subscribe to Newsletter:

How Cigar Tobacco Is Cured, Fermented, & Aged For By Davidoff

How Tobacco Is Sorted & Prepared For Rolling Into Premium Cigars By Davidoff

Davidoff's Klaas Kelner takes us through the various stages of tobacco sorting. This is a complicated process, as many types of sorting are required for the company's high standards! You'll learn what cigar makers look for in a tobacco leaf.

CONTINUE WATCHING:
Take a look at the other videos of our #davidoffcigars Dominican experience!

From Seed To Smoke, full-length cigar documentary:

Klaas shows us the curing & fermentation processes:

How to roll cigars:

Davidoff Cigars Playlist:


Learn about Relative Humidity:

How to build a humidor from a cooler:

READ ABOUT CIGARS:

Learn tobacco plant anatomy and leaf primings:

Read all of our Davidoff cigar articles:


Bespoke Unit Cigars Home


How Tobacco Is Sorted & Prepared For Rolling Into Premium Cigars By Davidoff

The tobacco comes in wrapped in cloth to maintain humidity. Because the tobacco needs to ferment, leaves must be frequently checked in case they've gone bad. To check quality, leaves are gently stretched out flat, focusing on the parts the roller will use.

Anything near the center vein will be discarded. The sorter inspects the usable portion for black spots and other discolorations.

Fermentation temperature must follow a narrow range. Too low, and it won't ferment, while high temperatures could remove the oils that give the leaf flavor.

At Davidoff, short fill tobacco goes through the same processes and quality checks as long fill.

Depending on how the usable areas of a leaf are shaped, it may become wrapper or binder. Otherwise, half of the leaf may be good for wrapper, and the other binder. Filler goes through different processes.

Sorters continue until they have an idea of what colors to expect from each pile. All this happens two years before the rollers will use the leaves.

Filler does not need the humidifying sauna that wrapper and binder needs; filler is dipped into water.

Aged tobacco gets very dry, and must be re-humidified to take out the center vein or for sorting. This happens in the Texture Department. Here, sorters determine the tobacco's characteristics only by touch.

Touch is important since color can trick you. Klaas shows a bin of Ligero, where some leaves are lighter than others. The thickness, the oiliness are the real identity of the leaf. People will say Maduro's strong, but that's only a term for color.

Association between color and strength is somewhat recent. Hence, tobacco companies try to meet this demand by breeding stronger tobaccos to be darker.

To customers, this can be a useful shorthand. Klaas notes that some companies, though not Davidoff, even paint cigars to match their strength! Such cigars, he notes, can stain your lips.

Klaas shows Paul some visos, between seco and ligero, which show totally different colors.

The next room is deveining, where the center vein is removed, and each leaf is sized. Deveiners determine which format each leaf is the right size for.

Afterwards, the leaves, humidified, deveined, and sized, are introduced to the machines, which will cut them perfectly. Scraps trimmed here become filler. By this point, 30% of the leaf's width have been removed. Next, binders go to be stacked in packs of 50. Afterwards, the rollers will make an exact number of cigars from each pack of leaves.

Meanwhile, wrappers are sorted by size: big, medium, small, and color. All wrapper sorters are ladies, so no rough hands will break the expensive leaves! Tabadom also finds women more patient for tasks like these, with a better eye for color. Wrappers are kept moistened and pliable throughout.

Wrappers can be thinner, with less oils, like the Connnecticut Ecuadorian, or thicker, with more oils, like the Negro San Andrés.

Dominican tobacco is very high-humidity, and therefore can easily rot if not stored properly. Hence, Dominican leaves sit as packs of 25 in coolers inside a giant humidity-controlled fridge at 65% RH. For comparison, the ambient RH is about 80%.

REMEMBER to comment! Let us know your thoughts on tobacco sorting, about our Dominican experience, or any other cigar topic you'd like us to feature on Bespoke Unit!

Yours,

The Bespoke Unit Team

CONNECT:

Web:
Instagram:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Subscribe to Newsletter:

How Tobacco Is Sorted & Prepared For Rolling Into Premium Cigars By Davidoff:

Shares

x

Check Also

x

Menu