Tobacco Farmers Pinar Del Rio Province Cuba
While taking this photos I was very careful on not using flash. High ISO was used to create a photos with more texture and grain and also to get the idea of the shelter limited light, this tobacco process is so unique and old that I wanted to captured and give the felling of age on each photo, some nostalgia from this 100% wonderful hand made process.
Only the largest and finest leaves are selected to make wrappers for Habanos. Wrappers are the most expensive leaf to produce.
In shade grown tobacco, the plant leaf is used for wrappers. The colour of the leaf progressively varies over the height of the plant. The lower leaf normally is lighter and the upper leaf is darker. These upper leaves are used in the Limited Editions and the Cohiba Maduro range for example.
The lower leaf (Volado) is used for lighter flavoured fillers and for binders. It is especially valued for its combustibility, and is classified as Fortaleza 1 (Strength 1).
The middle leaf (Seco) is used for medium flavoured fillers. This is the most important leaf for aroma, and is classified as Fortaleza 2 (Strength 2).
The upper leaf (Ligero) is used for full flavoured fillers. This is a slower burning leaf and is used to add strength to the cigar. It is classified as Fortaleza 3 (Strength 3).
The very small top leaf (Medio Tiempo) is used in limited edition cigars to give them a unique taste versus regular production cigars. Medio Tiempo requires special fermentation methods and has a unique taste.It is classified as Fortaleza 4 (Strength 4).
Three types of leaf are normally blended to form the filler (tripa), the main source of the flavour and aroma of the cigar. These are the Volado, Seco, and Ligero. Medio Tiempo leaf is only used in special high value cigars such as the new Cohiba Behike range.
The binder (capote), is the special leaf that wraps around the leaves of the filler, to hold and define the cigar shape.