Cigars 101

What is the “desflorado” method of tobacco growing?

Q: I read something about how removing the flowers from a tobacco plant as it grows gives the leaves a stronger flavor. Is this true?
– Rich Pierson in Flanders, NJ

A: Absolutely. Not only is the tobacco stronger, but sweeter, too. This flower removal method is called “desflorado” or “topping.”

Here’s how it works: Tobacco plants produce these beautiful white & violet flowers that bloom at the very top the plant. The flowers contain the pollen and the seed that are necessary for the plant to reproduce. Therefore, most of the plant’s nutrients are used to make flowers.

By “deflowering” the plant, hence the term desflorado, the plant’s nutrients and sugars are concentrated directly to the leaves. Once the leaves have been harvested, processed, and rolled, the result is a cigar with more potency. The earlier the flowers are topped, the more strength the tobacco will have, which is why some farmers remove the flowers at the budding stage.

A good example of a cigar made with leaves harvested using the desflorado method is the 90 Miles Reserva Selecta from Flor de Gonzalez. Compare it to their original 90 Miles blend and you’ll taste quite a difference.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Show all Gary Korb's Articles
nowsmoking partagas 1845 clasico robusto cigar review cacover

#Nowsmoking: Partagas 1845 Clasico Robusto

Partagas 1845 Clasico Robusto: “A solid and highly consistent ‘morning, noon, or night’ smoke for newbs and vets.” See what else you need to know about this cigar in under 2 minutes

Read More
5 things you need to know about Culebra cigars CACover

5 Things You Need to Know About… Culebra Cigars

Culebras: those snaky-looking cigars, entwined in a set of three. Hard to find and rarely made these days, but they sure are fun to smoke, especially with two friends. Culebra cigars also have an interesting back story. We dig into what makes these time-honored cigars so unique, and demonstrate how to smoke them.
Read More
cao cigars rick rodriguez top 5 cigars career CACover

5 Cigars That Made My Career: Rick Rodriguez of CAO Cigars

CAO Cigars' Rick Rodriguez has been at it almost 20 years - now, it's time to look back at the cigars that have influenced his style, learn what gives a cigar a “wow” factor and the 5 most important cigars ever to fit in his humidor. We got some little-known facts about your favorite CAO blends inside – watch now!
Read More
CA Cover Top Rated Toro Cigars

2016 CA Report: Top Rated Toro Cigars

People love Toros because they smoke longer, at nearly the same price as the smaller sizes. See the Top Toro Cigars, as rated by cigar smokers like you!
Read More