Do Cuban cigars deserve the hype?
What do you know about cigars? Whether you have never smoked one in your life or consider yourself a sophisticated cigar aficionado, you are definitely familiar with the image of glorious Cuban Cigars. Grown on the soil of the “Liberty Island” and rolled against the hips of legendary Cuban Mamasitas (at least according to the legend), Cuban Cigars are considered the finest product on the worldwide cigar market. But do they live up to this praise?
According to the latest data from Cigar Aficionado – one of the most respected media dedicated to the Cigar industry, only 3 of 25 top-rated cigar brands in the world are Cuban. So, why do we still keep on chasing Cuban Cigars while experts claim the hype is often not deserved? To understand this phenomenon, let’s take a brief history tour and try to unwind what may be the greatest bait and switch in the history of cigars.
What factors make a premium cigar?
Ask any aficionado, and he or she will tell you that ultimately there is no substitute for quality tobacco. And how do you get quality tobacco? The ideal cigar rolling tobacco comes from the following conditions:
- Perfect climate with the right humidity level and temperature balance throughout the year
- Suitable soil that will enrich tobacco with the unique minerals and elements required for a full, complex flavor
- Experience and cultural heritage of farmers and manufacturers
Indeed, when you consider those three essential conditions, Cuba looks like an ultimate Eldorado of cigar production. However, many other countries meet these criteria, such as Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. The broad public does not widely associate those regions with the cigar industry. However, the climate, soil, temperature balance, and humidity level are often the same and sometimes even more ideal than Cuba.
This is why so many reputable cigar brands, including Findy Cigars, prefer tobacco blends from Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua over Cuban tobacco. So, maybe it is all about the experience and cultural heritage of tobacco farmers and cigar manufacturers that create the genuine DNA of Cuban cigars? Indeed, the first cigars known to humankind were created and smoked in Cuba. According to the historical records, Tainos – the native people of the island - were the first to try rolling tobacco into palm leaves and smoking these early cigars. Christopher Columbus and his crew were the first Europeans who witnessed this novelty, studied it, and brought the early cigars to the “Old World,” where it became crazy popular within just a couple of years.
Cuban cigar manufacturers move to Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and other nearby countries to preserve their cigar manufacturing heritage.Since then, Cuba has righteously claimed the leadership in cigar manufacturing. However, numerous particularly successful and glorified cigar manufacturers were forced to flee the “Liberty Island” in the early 1960s, saving their businesses and lives from the Castro regime.
They found their new homes in Indonesia, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Honduras. Those were the famous dynasties of cigar manufacturers, people who carried their culture, knowledge, and experience for generations; people who really had a lot to lose and therefore took the plunge saving their heritage.
Therefore, once we talk about the experience and actual DNA of top-grade cigars, those who stayed in Cuba or started their manufactures in the mid-1960s, copying technologies of their successful predecessors, might not even be the best representatives of the industry comparing to those who preserved and developed their technologies in foreign lands.
Cuban cigars, while supported by a legacy of quality, is largely perpetuated by modern marketing.We promised to reveal to you one of the biggest marketing conspiracies in this article. Well, you might have already guessed yourself: the glory of Cuban Cigars is generally just an image shaped by a natural human attraction to forbidden fruit that was grasped adroitly by Cuban cigar manufacturers.
We already see clearly that the hype about Cuban cigars was inspired by the embargo and fades away while it is being removed gradually.
While the whole world becomes aware of conscious consumption, it is time to overcome prejudice and repel imposed images. Of course, Cuba’s reputation as the motherland of Cigar culture is well-deserved. Still, the course of history, progress, and development of the industry broaden our horizons, allowing us to experience new tastes and flavors, enriching our lives. Stop in at Findy Cigar Company & Hookah Lounge in Tampa, FL today to compare a Findy Cigar with a handrolled Cuban cigar. See for yourself which truly deserves the title.