HAVANA._ An added value asset of the February 2015 edition of the Habano Festival will be the teaching and learning about how cigars are made and what their most important characteristics are.
The Habano Festival is a very interesting event which will bring more than 1,000 people of around 80 nations together and will provide an instructive as well as a commercial platform for participants.
The now traditional annual program illustrates significant elements, such as how to roll a cigar, to participants.
An expert cigar maker always presents a master class which, in addition to explaining to those in attendance how a cigar is made, affords them the opportunity to make themselves under expert supervision.
On their entry to the seminar, the organizers give participants a kit containing an apron, a board and a roller´s knife, three typical cigar making tools which also serve as lasting souvenirs of their trip to Cuba and their participation in the Cigar Festival.
The classes culminate in accompanied visits to factories and plantation areas – usually in the western province of Pinar del Rio which is renowned for quality tobacco –two days very much enjoyed by mparticipants.
The latter ask many questions as they observe workers rolling cigars in the factory and other details of interest to any cigar smoker, such as quality control checks and the traditional reading of news or other material to workers.
This is the point at which many discover the supremacy of necessarily careful and experienced women in the delicate and very complex craft of cigar rolling.
Most of the cigar makers who gently caress tobacco leaves in order to produce two new Partagás brand cigars for example, possess the most delicate of characteristics.
This was reiterated by Adela Reyes, a Quality Control expert at Partagás, an industry founded in 1845 by Spaniard Don Jaime Partagás.
With more than 30 years´ experience in the tobacco sector, Reyes said that the P Series represented a Pyramid (cigar type) made of superior quality material and that the Reserve is made from tobacco leaves that have been aged for no less than three years.
She assured that this carefully handled leaf of exceptional quality is only given to the finest makers within the industry, who may be replaced by somebody better able to maintain standards in an increasingly efficient industry if any drop in work quality is noted.
During a visit by the author of this article to a factory, he met with a Ukrainian lady who has been 20 years in Cuba, during 10 of which she has been making cigars, rolling P Series.
In spite of difficulties that one might imagine a European could have practicing a typically tropical trade, she is considered to be an expert in the making of this exclusive product.
Natasha Vasilievna commented that she became hooked on the craft following a nine month course and her perception that it seemed like very rewarding work.
Vasilievna rolls 120 or 130 cigars during a day´s work for which 110 is the target. She recalls that she increased her grades as a maker over the years.
Beatriz Chacón is a beautiful mulatta who dedicates her energies to making Partagás Reserves, an exclusive brand often referred to by technicians as an aged robust. Curiously, neither Chacón nor her Ukranian colleague smokes. However, both are expert Cuban cigar makers.
Natasha said that, given her love for the work, she had not found it difficult to learn the craft.
The Habano Festival proudly brings participants close to the world’s best traditional Premium (hand made) cigars, due to the triple ingredients of soil, climate and producer expertise.Share on FB Share on TT