Fine tobacco is the heart of premium cigars. Try a premium cigar like a Fonseca Vintage Lonsdale Tubo and taste the world’s finest-quality cigar tobacco. The wonderful flavor and aroma of a great cigar will make you appreciate all the work that went into its creation, and work it is!  First, high-grade cigar tobacco leaves are harvested and aged using a process that combines the use of heat and shade to reduce sugar and water content without causing the large leaves to rot. This first part of the process, called “curing,” takes 25 to 45 days and varies substantially, depending on climate and storage conditions for the harvested tobacco. The curing process is manipulated based upon the type of tobacco and the desired leaf color. The second part of the process, called “fermentation,” is designed to help the leaf die slowly. Temperature and humidity are controlled to ensure that the leaf continues to ferment without rotting or disintegrating. This is where the flavor, burning and aroma characteristics are finessed.  After the tobacco leaves are properly aged, they are sorted for use as filler or wrapper, depending on their appearance and quality. During this process, the leaves are continually moistened and handled carefully to ensure its best use. The leaf will go through a continuous cycle of baling and inspection throughout its aging process. When the leaf has matured according to the manufacturer's specifications, it will be used in the production of a cigar. Fine-quality cigars are still handmade. An experienced cigar-roller can produce hundreds of very good, nearly identical, cigars per day. The rollers keep the tobacco moist--especially the wrapper--and use specially designed crescent-shaped knives, called chavetas, to form the filler and wrapper leaves quickly and accurately. Once rolled, the cigars are stored in wooden forms as they dry, in which their uncapped ends are cut to a uniform size. From this stage, the cigar is a complete product that can be "laid down" and aged for decades if kept as close to 70°F (21°C) and 70% relative humidity, as the environment will allow.  Once cigars have been purchased, proper storage is usually accomplished by keeping the cigars in a specialized box, or humidor, where conditions can be carefully controlled for long periods of time. Even if a cigar becomes dry, it can be successfully re-humidified as long as it has not been handled carelessly. Premium-brand cigars are made with different varieties of tobacco for the filler and the wrapper. "Long-filler cigars" are a far higher quality of cigar, using long leaves throughout. These cigars also use a third variety of tobacco leaf, a "binder," between the filler and the outer wrapper. This permits the makers to use more delicate and attractive leaves as a wrapper. These high-quality cigars almost always blend varieties of tobacco. Even Cuban long-filler cigars will combine tobaccos from different parts of the island to encompass several different flavors.

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