Tobacco Farming Part 2: Where tradition and technology meet

Reading Time: 9 minutes Nick Perdomo continues his series on tobacco farming in Nicaragua. In this month’s chapter, he describes some of the old and new methods Perdomo Cigars uses to ensure their seedlings grow into strong, healthy tobacco plants with leaves that are rich in flavor. From using oxen for plowing, to high-tech computers for soil analysis, and state-of-the-art planting machines, Nick says,” We apply the older standards…but if new techniques can help us do things better, I’m all over it.”

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Making the Case

Reading Time: 5 minutes Informed cigar smokers often want to know what tobaccos are in their favorite blends, but as Charlie Toraño argues, you’re basically asking cigar makers to reveal their trade secrets. What’s more, even knowing country of origin, seed, and priming of all the tobaccos in a blend, you still know less than you think about the blend. Charlie asks: is an oversupply of information limiting your cigar experience?

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Growing Up Tobacco

Reading Time: 4 minutes Christian Eiroa recently spoke with a relative newcomer to the cigar industry who proudly proclaimed, “nobody knows more about cigars and tobaccos than I do.” Join Christian as he talks tobacco, bravado, the infinite scope of tobacco knowledge, and reverence for the true guajiros who risked everything to develop and cultivate a tobacco business in Central America.

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Keys to the City: New Orleans

Reading Time: 7 minutes Our monthly travel maven, Rocky Patel, takes you on a virtual tour of New Orleans, as he points out the best hotels, eateries, clubs, and more in “The Big Easy.” As Rocky says, “One of the things that makes New Orleans such a fascinating city is that you can have as many as 20 different sensory experiences in one night.”

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Making the Case: Could Tax Increases Actually Destroy the Cigar Industry?

Reading Time: 5 minutes On October 18, 2007, my wife and two kids were enjoying a meal around the kitchen table like it was any other Thursday. I, on the other hand, was glued to CSPAN-LIVE counting votes and praying that the handmade cigar industry would survive. The moment was surreal: whether it knew it or not, my federal government was threatening to destroy my business, an industry rooted in tradition and passion, and the simple joy of smoking a great cigar.

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The “Why of Buy” – a Problem for Problem Solvers

Reading Time: 5 minutes The path to success is littered with good ideas. Make sure yours doesn't get stranded there, too. Xikar co-founder, Kurt van Keppel, has a series of tips and tests for the budding entrepreneur: does it solve the “why” of buy? Does the market show a demand for it? Did you test it on a focus group? Would your product make it on “Shark Tank?” And most importantly, are you willing to sacrifice for success?

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Growing Up Tobacco

Reading Time: 5 minutes Even after an accident that left him partially paralyzed, my dad never wanted us to grow up afraid of anything. Whether flying an airplane, developing cigar blends, or striking out on my own, this lesson, more than any other, has defined me as a person and as a cigar maker.

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Tobacco Farming: Planning & The Right People Pay Off

Reading Time: 6 minutes Estelí, Nicaragua: 4:45 AM. The air is crisp, the sky clear, and the sun has just begun to reveal itself. Nick Perdomo Jr. takes in the breathtaking view of the horizon as he walks through one of his tobacco fields. Imbued with pastel shades of blue, grey and pink, the cloud cover hangs over the lower part of the mountains like a long silky blanket just barely touching the valley below. It’s the middle of the tobacco growing season, and Nick has come out to see how his beautiful, rich tobacco plants are doing…

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Under Wraps – with Benji Menendez

Reading Time: 4 minutes Benji Menendez – hailing from a lineage of legendary tobacco growers, and now a master blender for General Cigar – is the “Iron Chef” of tobacco. “It's like developing a recipe,” he says. “You have to know the components before you can make the recipe and deliver the flavor you're targeting. And once you decide what flavor you want, whether it's a strong cigar, one that's mild and aromatic, or something in between, then you are ready to start.” And that's before we've even planted anything.

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Cigar Artisans – Meet the Grupo de Maestros

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Tabacalera de Garcia factory stands as a powerful fortress in the lush La Romana region of the beautiful Dominican Republic. And each week, the Grupo de Maestros file into a well-lit room inside the factory. It is cozy and unassuming, with an intimate feel; a war room of sorts. Once inside, these men undertake a very specific process to ensure that their cigars remain amongst the industry's elite: the taste test. We've saved you a seat at the Maestros' table to join in on this weekly meeting of cigar geniuses.

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