Few things in the world are known to be the best of their kind, a Habano – or Havana cigar is one of them.

To start off a series of interesting and easy-reading articles – a 101 on Havana Cigar, so to speak – we go back in time to the 15th century where the Old World encountered tobacco in the New World.

In Cuba, in 1492, a Spanish expedition commanded by the renowned explorer Christopher Columbus saw tobacco for the first time – and knew not what it was.

In an unknown ceremony for the visitors, the Taino Indians rolled and burned some mysterious leaves called “Cohiba”.

From that starting point, more than 500 years ago, tobacco has been traded and planted throughout the world.

Since its discovery, Tabaco Negro Cubano or Cuban Black Tobacco has been considered the best in the world because of the unique growing conditions in some areas of Cuba. Such conditions remain till this day, more than five centuries later.

The heart of the distinction is the tobacco and its taste, which are born of a combination of four factors that exist only in Cuba:

  • soil
  • climate
  • varieties of Cuban black tobacco seed
  • expertise of the tobacco growers and cigar makers

Other places in the world may have acquired some Cuban skills, even some Cuban seeds, but never the natural gifts of the Cuban soil and climate that are not found elsewhere.

Nor will you find anything that matches the age-old culture of cultivating Cuban tobacco:

  • the extraordinary labour that the tobacco farmer invests in his crop
  • the months and years of patient waiting before his leaf is deemed fit for a Habano

A further distinction lies in the definition of the term “Habanos”. All Habanos are Cuban, but by no means all Cuban cigars are Habanos.

The title is the Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP), or Protected Denomination of Origin reserved for a selection of the most outstanding brands whose cigars are manufactured to the most exacting standards from tobaccos grown only in particular areas, which are also protected as denominations of origin.

All Habanos are crafted Totalmente a Mano – totally by hand – using methods that were pioneered in Havana two centuries ago and remain virtually unchanged to this day.

More than 500 manual tasks are performed in both the agricultural and manufacturing processes, from the planting of the seeds to the Habano’s final resting place in its box.

Every cigar must pass through the most stringent quality control processes established by the Regulatory Council for the Protected Denomination of Origin (DOP) Habanos before they can earn the precious title of Habano – a benchmark for excellence.

That’s why Havana cigars are such a big deal.

Do visit Cohiba Atmosphere Kuala Lumpur for a first-hand Havana cigar experience!

Source: Habanos