Finding the perfect leaf to use for tobacco for cigars is one of the keys to having a truly special cigar. That is why Habanos does everything they can to make sure each cigar they offer is only using the best leaves available in all of Cuba. It is really just a matter of finding the plants that work best for their tobacco and cultivating them properly so that they can be used regularly.
The leaves used in Habanos today are direct descendants of the leaves that were original found by Christopher Columbus when he came to island in 1492 during his famous voyage. Now, over five hundred years later, those plants are still providing the best tobacco available for Habanos. There are basically two different plants that are being used in order to produce these leaves.
Tapado is the primary source of the wrapper leaves that are used. The leaves are covered with material known as capping material. This helps to filter some of the sunlight out and keep the heat that the leaves need trapped in. This creates the ideal growth conditions for the leaves, allowing them to prosper.
It is only the larger Tapado leaves that are actually used. The leaves are placed into very thin layers. It is these thin layers that help to make up the wrapper leaves and layers of the Habanos. Of all the leaves used to make up the Habanos, these leaves are the most expensive ones to grow and produce.
There are also leaves that are grown in the direct sunlight. These leaves are often used as the binder and the fillers of the cigar and they are grown outdoors without any of the capping. This allows them to take full advantage of the abundant sunlight in Cuba.
Each leaf grown outdoors can be quite different from the others. They vary in height and length, very often dependent on the actual height of the tobacco plant itself. This can help determine what each leaf’s best use will be in the cigar.
Depending on the individual characteristics of the leaf, some will be used for fillers while others will be used for binder. Finding the perfect leaf to use for the entire process takes a fine eye and a great deal of routine and practice. Habanos takes great care in growing and harvesting leaves so that they can be sure they are providing the best tobacco for their products.