Every leaf in a Habano is derived from a seed named Tabaco Negro Cubano – native Cuban Black Tobacco – directly descended from the plants that Columbus first discovered in Cuba more than 500 years ago.

Tabaco Negro Cubano has been considered the best in the world because of the unique growing conditions in some areas of the Island. This distinction remains incontestably valid after more than five centuries.

Two forms of cultivation produce two types of leaves needed to make Habanos:

1. Wrapper leaves, which are shade-grown under muslin cloth

The muslin cover filters the sunlight and traps the heat, so the leaves grow larger and finer – perfect conditions for growing the perfect wrapper leaf. Only the largest and finest leaves are selected to make wrappers for Habanos. No surprise that the wrapper is the most expensive leaf to produce.

2. Filler and binder leaves grown under full exposure to the Cuban sun

The full force of Cuban sunlight develops the glorious variety of flavours that are blended to form the rich and complex taste of a Habano.

In each form of cultivation, the leaves have different characteristics at different levels of the plant, and each leaf is classified accordingly.

Each leaf has its own destiny.

Source: Habanos

Earlier articles:

Too wet, too dry, infestation issues

Humidors for your Habanos

Storing Habanos

The ritual of cutting, lighting and smoking a Habano

The leaves that clothe the body

Cigar anatomy

Cohiba: Fidel Castro’s all-time favourite cigar

Tobacco paradise

The best cigars come from Cuba

What’s the big deal with Havana cigar