-A-  - B-   -C-   -D-   -E-   -F-   -G-   -H-   -I-   -J-   -K-   -L-   -M-   -N-
-O-   -P-   -Q-   -R-   -S-   -T-   -U-   -V-   -W-   -X-   -Y-   -Z- 

Tim PhelpsA

littany, abracadabra, argot, balderdash, banality, bombast, bunk, buzzwords, cant, cliche, colloquialism, commonplace term, doublespeak, drivel, fustian, gibberish, gobbledegook, hackneyed term, idiom, insipidity, jive, jive talk, language, lexicon, lingo, mumbo jumbo, neologism, newspeak, nonsense, overused term






A mild state of fermentation during which completed cigars rest in temperature and humidity controlled cedar-lined rooms also called aging rooms.  This gives the tobaccos in the cigars a chance to both blend and balance the flavors.  In 2-3 years if stored under the proper conditions of both temperature as well as humidity, complex chemical processes begin to create subtle changes in flavor, and after 10 years or so their character begins to change much more dramatically. The British have long ago perfected the long term aging (or laying down) of cigars down to an art.  Keeping them in climate controlled storage rooms for additional years, and even for many decades.  Around 100 years ago the British aristocracy began the pursuit of vintage cigars by buying large lots solely for the purpose of smoking them decades later.  Most of these cigars will never become available to the public, but cigars sometimes as much as 70 years old occasionally do surface.  

Some connoisseurs believe that, like fine wines, cigars do at some point peak and would say that keeping cigars for extended periods may well not be optimal.  It should be noted though, that the British age and smoke their cigars at a somewhat lower temperature (65 F.) and humidity levels ( 60-65% RH).  This seemingly small difference may, over long periods of time offset any adverse effects.   ir co

Analogous to wines, the higher the quality of tobacco (cigars) the greater the benefit that will be seen from their aging. Wine aficionados know that generally speaking, the darker the wine ( with plenty of tannins) and the higher the quality, the greater the benefit from aging, and like their counterpart the darker the wrapper leaf, and the higher the quality of cigar, the greater the benefit.  The long term storing of low to medium quality cigars is a waste of otherwise useful cigar storage space.t4eparts true low quality


The scientific study of agriculture. Specifically, applying the plant and soil sciences to crop production and soil management.    


One of four main methods of curing, which involves removing all of the natural sap and moisture from tobacco leaves.  Air-curing is a natural drying process in which harvested tobacco leaves are hung to dry in an air-curing barn.  This is a wooden structure that can be either closed completely or ventilated, dependant upon conditions both in and outside of the barn.  It is closed to conserve moisture in dry conditions; in wet conditions moisture is removed by opening vents in the roof and/or opening side walls that are specially constructed for this purpose.  For the most part, air-cured tobacco is dried with natural heat; however, humid weather conditions may require a limited amount of artificial heat. Tobacco that has been air-cured is typically brown in color. 


In the United States, the specific amount of acreage that can be used to grow tobacco by a farmer in any given year.  

American Market Selection (AMS)

A designation for the light and dark wrappers, Claro Claro, Candela, and Jade.   


  HP 75th cigar  image taken in Hermann,Mo at Octoberfest from Mini-Dv video, unposed with no retouching

The ash is an excellent way to judge the quality of the tobacco, handling , fermentation, as well as the aging of any cigar.  Cigar ash ( if you allow it to build, and there is no reason not to other than potentially falling where you don't want it) should be both long and uniform in color.  Most premium cigars will cigars will produce ash that will range from white or grey to silver.  Cuban cigar ash can be almost black due to high levels of potassium in the soil.  The length of ash can be anywhere from 1-3 inches, but on rare occasions can be 4+ inches.  You can help control the burn of your cigar in the car or outside in the wind by letting it go as long as you can before you knock it off .  Short (inferior) filler makes an ash that falls off easily and can vary wildly in it's color, due to using short pieces of leaf and the use of additives like saltpeter, glycerin and others.



The odor of  the smoke of a burning cigar.  A premium cigar should have a pleasant aroma , if it does not, then it is the result of inferior tobacco and or improper storage.a pleasant   

auction system

A process by which tobacco is sold by an auctioneer on a bid basis to a group of buyers, as is the case in the United States, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. 




 palaver, parlance, patois, patter, patter, rigmarole, shoptalk, slang, slanguage, speech, stale language, street talk, tongue, trite language, twaddle, usage, vernacular, vocabulary, weasel wordsbyword, catchphrase, catchword, diction, expression, idiom, locution, maxim, motto, parlance, phraseology, phrasing, remark, saying, shibboleth, slogan, styling, tag, terminology


In the United States, this term refers to a cube of tobacco.  Flue-cured tobacco bales weigh approximately 750 pounds each. There are two types of bales for U.S. burley tobacco: unitized bales, which weigh approximately 450 pounds, and farm bales, which weigh approximately 75 pounds. Tobacco is packaged in bales to facilitate storage and/or transport.  

band, cigar

According to legend, it is said that Catherine The Great wished to have her cigars "wrapped in silk" to protect the royal fingers.  In an effort to emulate royalty, the masses followed her lead.

This may ,or may not have happened, but what is not conjecture is that in the early 1800's, Gustave Bock a Dutchman that was making Cuban cigars was first to be inspired to affix his logo around the body of  his cigars to distinguish his brand from others.  In the 50 years between 1870 and the1920's; over 250 million cigars were produced for domestic consumption, and over 1 million cigar brands came and went. By the early 1900's, 4 out of 5 men in America smoked cigars and this had a huge impact on the economies of both Cuba as well as Florida, which at that time was producing Clear Havanas. Cigar companies began calling upon printing companies to produce elaborate bands made by the finest artisans, utilizing the best printing processes available in an effort to vie for the customers attention. The subject matter for these bands ran the gamut from historical figures, presidents and famous personas of the day, to sexual overtures and innuendo, as well as butterflies, buildings and bingo. The elaborate nature of the images, replete with gold, silver and embossing caused the bands, boxes and inserts to be collected. Some inserts (top sheets) and bands were placed under glass or used as decorations in the home.  Today they are not only collected, but are also the central subject of art exhibitions.  Unique bands are no longer the sole domain of manufacturers, because today companies and individuals use private labeling to do what cigar bands have done for over 175 years, promote business.

HPCigar.com is the industry leader in the production of custom banded cigars. 


String onto which tobacco leaves must be threaded before they can be hung in a curing barn. The space between the leaves varies depending on the tobacco type and curing method.  


The shaft or body of the cigar.


A general term used to describe cigars that share the common characteristic of being both of a large ring gage (50-60) and having a pointed tip. This term can be applied to the Petite (short) Belicoso, Torpedo, Pyramid, Perfecto, and Diadamas.


The tobacco leaf that holds the filler leaves together in a cigar and gives the cigar it's shape.  The binder is then covered by the wrapper, resulting in a finished cigar.  

black tobacco  

Another name for dark tobacco or tobacco that is dark in color and strong in taste. Black or dark tobacco is primarily used in cigars and dark cigarettes.  If used  as a wrapper it is referred to as Oscuro   


On a tobacco plant, it is the extended part of the leaf that is divided from the base to the tip by the stem; its framework is provided by the veins that extend from the stem. This term is used to refer only to the blade itself, it does not include any portion of the stem. In contrast, the term whole leaf is used to refer to both the blade and stem of a leaf.  It is also known as the lamina or web.  


A mixture of tobacco varieties. The purpose of creating a blend is to produce a quantity of tobacco that meets a customer's specifications of quality, flavor, body, and aroma.  The cigar's character depends on the blend which may have tobaccos from different crops, countries, and years.  


Mixing different varieties and grades of tobacco in order to produce a predetermined, uniform blend that meets a customer's specifications of quality, flavor, and aroma. The tobaccos are blended according to specific formulas or recipes that dictate the proportion of each type and grade used.  The master blender strives for a mixture that results in a consistently good taste as well as an even burn.   

bloom exceptional wrapper leaf in perfect condition

In rare instances, bloom (or plume) appears as a fine white powder on the wrapper of  high quality cigars.  This highly desirable condition is seen in less than 1% of all cigars.  It is remarkable because it indicates an extremely high quality wrapper leaf that was perfectly fermented and subsequently stored under optimal conditions, and has been maintained in that condition ever since. This occurs naturally during the aging process because the wrapper exudes oils that actually cause the bloom, which when touched disapears.  It is frequently confused with mold, which has a somewhat blue-green or blue-grey appearance and cannot be so easily wiped away from the cigar.  See also plume.   

blue mold  

The scientific name for the disease that can damage both tobacco seedlings and mature plants is Peronospara tabacina. It develops in humid conditions and can destroy a crop in days. It is recognizable by the brown spots which appear on the leaves; these spots rapidly develop a bluish-grey coating and the leaves eventually whither and die.  It is also sometimes referred to as downy mildew. 

bodied tobacco

The tobacco leaves that grow on the upper half of the stalk; these leaves are thicker and heavier than the leaves that grow on the lower half of the stalk and thus have more "body".    


1) A term used to describe the smoking characteristics of a cigar generally used as mild, medium or full-bodied .
A reference to the thickness, density, or weight of a tobacco leaf. Body is one of several characteristics that together determine the quality of tobacco.
3) the part of the cigar between the foot and the head.    


A portion of tobacco that has been prepared for use in making cigars by hand. The tobacco in a book has been stemmed and will be used either as binders or wrappers.  Also known as a pad.  

boite nature (BN)

boxes being checked in the 40's



A natural wooden cedar box for cigars.  In the early 1800's cigars were transported inside of a pigs bladder ( in an attempt to make sure the tobacco was protected, and didn't dry out) with a vanilla pod thrown in, ostensibly to offset the odor. In 1830 the English banking firm of H.Upmann began shipping cigars using cedar boxes back from Cuba for it's board of directors  (they were greatly appreciative of this packaging improvement) and their best clients.  Today, the boxes are many times brought as cedar wood into the factory, the pieces are then cut and assembled. into boxes.  Then (dependant on their design) partially or completely covered with paper printed with logo's and other artwork.  The next step is to place the protective insert into the box, then the cigars, and finally the box is closed and a single nail is used to fasten the lid to the box.

Cigar box artwork in VF( very fine) to EX (excellent) condition can be quite valuable.  The example show here to the left, in EX condition (due to slight creases and the staple holes in the bottom right corner) is valued at $2,000.00.The same piece in MT (mint) condition would be well over $2,500.00.

  Other examples of the artwork used on these boxes and bands from the 1900's to the late 1930's are adjacent to the alphabetical start of each section of this lexicon.  See also insert and cigar band.cigar band  


The aroma of a  fine cigar before it has been lit.  If a cigar has been properly stored  the cigar should have a mild,  perceptibly pleasant "nose" to it.  

Border belt  

In the United States, the flue-cured tobacco market area located along both sides of the border between North Carolina and South Carolina.  

box pressed, Cuban


Box pressing is an old tradition originating in                           Cuba, where immediately after being rolled and still very damp, the cigars are placed in a press for 2-3 days  with pressure from all  four sides. The result is a unique, flat sided cigar with a rectangular shape. Although it is done for primarily for aesthetics, there is a slight difference in it's burn, as it tends to be more uniform. It can be some measure of a quality smoke, because if a manufacturer is looking to cut corners they tend not to add yet another step in the already complicated process of making premium cigars. 


These images show the HPCIGAR Cuban Box Press cigar. If you enjoy powerful  Cuban cigars, you'll love this one. Please note the warning label on the side of the band, this is a STRONG SMOKE!


Dividing tobacco leaves from a hogshead or bale for inspection.  


Spanish for "brief". A type of Corona once known as a Rothchild ( this was the preferred size of Baron Leopold de Rothchild ) with a ring gage of approximately 48 and 5 inches long. The Baron commissioned the H Upmann company to make a cigar that was both robust in flavor, and could be enjoyed in a short period of time. Today's version of this cigar is the Robusto and is slightly larger in girth with a  50-52 ring  gage and 5 inches in length.  For many connoisseurs, this is the optimal size. See also Rothchild.

bright leaf   

1) A group of tobacco varieties that are flue-cured or fire-cured, after which the leaves range from light yellow to dark orange in color. Bright leaf is used mainly in cigarettes. Also known as Virginia tobacco.
On a burley tobacco plant, the third grouping of leaves from the top.  

broken leaf   

Unprocessed tobacco in which over 40 percent of the leaf has been lost because of excessive handling. This is differentiated from scrap, which is leaf that is broken into small pieces during the processing or manufacturing stages.   


1) A small, generally family owned, cigar making company.
2) A small ,shiny, dark brown nut that comes from the buckeye tree, the official state tree of the state of Ohio.    


1) A term for a large quantity of tobacco.
2) A large stack of leaves that are being fermented. See Fermentation.   

bulk barn   

A type of curing barn used to cure bulked tobacco. Because the leaves are in stacks, rather than hung individually from the rafters, a bulk barn must be sealed so that enough air will pass through the dense piles of tobacco.  

bulk curing   

Curing loose leaves of tobacco in racks or boxes. This method of curing is only used on tobacco that requires a great deal of artificial heat.  

bunch filler and binder are being put in the press

Up to four different types of filler tobacco that are blended to create the body of the cigar and are held together by the binder. The bunches are placed in a mold for 20-45 minutes so they will retain their shape,  the wrapper is then applied.  


The stacks of tobacco that are also referred to as the bulks.       Because the damp tobacco in the burros are stacked on top of each other they do not dry out, and the weight of the leaves tends to intensify the process of natural fermentation.  A thermometer is placed inside the burro and is carefully monitored . When the fermentation brings the temperature too high the pile is then restacked, and the fermentation process begins again .


1) Tobacco leaves held together prior to processing with a tie leaf, string or raffia. Also known as a hand.
2) A method of packaging than  boxes in which cigars are wrapped in cellophane.  


Either of  two alkanes, butane and isobutane having the same formula, and used as either a fuel or a propellant. This is an ideal fuel, because it is tasteless and odorless, and when used in a torch style lighter is ideal for the lighting of a cigar.  


Someone who purchases tobacco for a leaf merchant. Buyers purchase tobacco to fill specific customer orders and/or to have tobacco on hand for orders that have yet to be placed. Buyers must be able to determine if the quality and quantity of a tobacco purchase will meet the customer's requirements and acquire the tobacco at a price that will allow the leaf merchant to make a profit when selling the tobacco to its customer.  




utterance, verbalism, verbiage, watchword, wordage, wording vocabulary, word stock, wordbook, wordlist, concordance, cyclopedia, encyclopedia, glossary, language, lexicon, palaver, promptory, reference, terminology, vocabulary, wordbook, analogue, annotation, answer, characterization, clarification, clue, comment, commentary, cue, delimitation, demarcation, denotation, determination, diagnosis, dilineation, drift, elucidation


A medium-brown colored wrapper.


A wrapper leaf that has a slightly sweet finish first cultivated on the North coast of Africa  in Cameroon. 


A bright green wrapper also known as double claro. Heating the leaves during the drying process creates this color.   


A circular piece of tobacco placed at the head of the cigar using a tasteless vegetable gum used to secure the wrapper to the binder. The caps purpose is to not allow the cigar to unravel, this is why when cutting the tip you shouldn't cut more that approximately 1/8 of an inch.  Each cigar is unique, and accordingly you should look at where the cap ends before cutting.  

Most of the domestically available cigars have been double capped, whereas Cuban cigars are uniquely always triple capped.  This characteristic, in conjunction with other considerations, is one of the ways that you can identify genuine Cubans from counterfeit cigars.


The term in Spanish for the wrapper leaves. Wrapper leaves and can be any of 65 different variations


Spanish for the binder of a cigar that holds the filler leaves together and gives the cigar it's shape and size. The binder, although it is selected for it's ability to hold the cigars shape also has flavor, and if properly selected will compliment the flavor of the filler and wrapper.


A naturally occurring compound found in aged cigars.   


Applying a pre-cutting solution to tobacco; the solution usually made of water, but sometimes sugar is added.  It is also known as saucing.  This moisturizing makes the leaves pliable so that they can be rolled into cigars.  

casa de tabaco  

 The Spanish phrase for the "house of tobacco", in common English it is known as a curing barn.   


A taster who's professional opinion is used at the factory to determine  the level of various qualities in a cigar such as bouquet, texture, and aroma in addition to the obvious one,  it's taste.   


The common term for Spanish cedar, used in all quality humidors.



The French word used to refer to a humidor  


An industry term, it is short for the cellophane placed on an individual cigar.   

"centro fino"c"

The fourth of six primings, that means "thin center".v  

"centro ligero"  

Spanish for the "light center" priming. These leaves are the finest and are used as wrapper leaf.  


Chavata on a pollers table

A crescent shaped steel knife used by torcedores ( or rollers ) to cut the wrapper leaf  prior to being  applied to the binder and filler to complete the cigar.  The shape allows for a rocking from side to side as it cuts a curve across the leaf.  The blades are often fabricated from recycled industrial saw blades. Another term sometimes used for this type of knife is "tuck" 


A small, usually round but sometimes square, cigar that has a straight-cut mouth end and a straight-cut burning end.

Churchill   Sir Winston on a train in his private car durring WWII

A type of Corona.  A size of cigar that is customarily 7 inches long and has a 48 ring gauge.  This of course, was named after the  famous statesman Sir Winston Churchill.  His preferred cigar was this size of corona.  During WWII after one of the "blitzes" on London, he purportedly received a wire from Alfred Dunhill where his thousands of cigars were stored after they had received a direct hit, that stated " your cigars are fine sir" .At a dinner party he once stated the following, "My rule of life prescribed as an absolute sacred rite: smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and, if need be, during all meals and in the intervals in between them" It would be an understatement to say that his cigars were important to him. 


In 1492 Columbus first witnessed native Cubans enjoying crude cigars or "cohibas" consisting of indigenous cured tobacco leaves twisted together and held with dried corn husk.  Cigars as we now know them are an invention of the Spanish who first constructed them using a filler, binder and wrapper in the 1700's.  This method was exported back to Cuba by way a decree from the Spanish king about 1740.


The Spanish term for cigar


Spanish term that refers to cigars with exotic sizes, such as torpedos, pyramids, perfectos, and culebras. These are the most difficult shape to roll and are done by the most experienced ( ten years or more) rollers in the factory.  Accordingly, these rollers are often given the finest tobaccos to use due in part to their status.  


A pale green to light sometimes yellowish wrapper, usually grown under shade, sometimes preferred for it's neutrality

clean tobacco  

Tobacco that is relatively free of sand, soil, and non-tobacco related material. Tobacco leaves that grow on the upper portion of the stalk usually contain less sand and soil than those that grow on the lower portion of the stalk, closer to the ground. 

Clear Havana

A cigar made in the United States from all Cuban tobaccos prior to Kennedy implementing the Cuban Embargo in 1962.  


The color of tobacco is a significant indicator of ripeness and overall quality. Monitoring color changes during ripening, curing, and fermentation plays a significant role in producing high quality tobacco and tobacco products.   


A medium brown to brownish red tobacco used as a wrapper leaf. It is also know as EMS, an acronym for English Market Selection which once was the Cuban designation for wrapper leaf whose ultimate destination was Europe.    

Colorado Claro  

A darker wrapper than the standard Claro, suggestive of a Cameroon.    

Colorado Maduro  

A medium brown wrapper, generally medium in strength.   

Columbus , Christopher

"The two Christians met on the way many people who were going to their towns, women and men, with a firebrand in the hand, and certain weeds whose smoke they inhale which are dry weeds stuffed into a certain dry leaf in the form of a muset made of paper, like the ones the children make the day of the Holy Ghost, and burning a part of it, from the other part they suck or absorb or admit the smoke with breathing."...from the log of Christopher Columbus on the 4th of November,1492.


1) The process of adding moisture to tobacco so that it will be pliable enough to withstand handling, processing, and manufacturing without breaking into smaller pieces.  Special care must be taken to avoid over-conditioning, as this can lowers the quality of the tobacco  
The process of restoring a cigar to an ideal condition for maximum enjoyment of taste and an optimal burn prior to being smoked.    


The name of a farm in Cuba before the Castro regime came to power that first grew this tobacco.  It was once used extensively in some of Cuba's most famous brands.  True Corojo wrapper leaf has since become a rarity as a result of  it's propensity to be infected by Blue Mold.  Once this air-borne mold strikes a crop   it must be plowed under because it spreads like wildfire and is impossible to contain.  

contract system  

A process of selling tobacco that involves contracting a farmer's entire tobacco crop to one specific buyer.  


1) A sub-category of Parejos (straight sided) cigars that have an open foot and rounded head. Coronas include Double Coronas, Presidentes, Robustos, and Churchills. The name originally came from the La Corona cigar factory in Havana, Cuba, which was the first to manufacture cigars with these characteristics. Before this, most popular cigars in the early part of the 20th century were figarados (shaped) cigars.

2) The last of the six primings done approximately 120 days after planting. This is the final step in the harvesting process.

3) The top of the tobacco plant immediately below the flower. Spanish translation of corona is " crown ".  T

crude tobacco  

1) Tobacco that has not yet been redried or processed.
2) Tobacco that has not ripened and been properly cured, and consequently remains green in color even after processing has occurred. Sometimes referred to as green tobacco.    


Island in the West Indies, south of Florida.  Comprising this island & several small nearby islands; gained independence from Spain (1898); 44,197 sq. mi.; pop 10,221,000; cap. Havana  

Cuban Embargo  John Fitzgerald Kennedy smoking a Cuban H.Upmann petite corona

On the evening of February 2,1962 almost a year after the Bay of Pigs incident, President John F. Kennedy called his Press Secretary, Pierre Salinger into his office " Pierre, I need your help", " I'll do anything I can Mr. President" Salinger replied." I need a lot of cigars" the President went on, "How many," About a thousand" the President said. Returning the next morning the President called Salinger and asked him to come to his office immediately.  When he arrived, the president asked " How did you do, Pierre?," Very well sir ," overnight, he had purchased one thousand two hundred Cuban H. Upmann petite coronas.  The president smiled, walked to his desk, pulled out the decree and immediately signed Presidential Proclamation # 3447 ( Embargo on all trade with Cuba) at 8:06am, February 3, 1962, and thereby enacted the Cuban Trade Embargo.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN F. KENNEDY, President of the United States of America, acting under the authority of section 620(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (75 Stat. 445), as amended, do Hereby prohibit, effective 12:01 A.M., Eastern Standard Time, February 7, 1962, the importation into the United States of all goods of Cuban origin and all goods imported from or through Cuba.

Cuban Seed


"So near yet so foreign     90 miles from key West"   a Cuban postcard from the late 50's



Cuban Seed  are seeds from plants originally grown in Cuba that have been grown in another country. The tobacco seeds are so small that a single once contains 250,000 seeds. The country whose climate is most like Cuba is Nicaragua. It is for this reason that Cuba is now having some of  the wrapper leaf they use grown in Nicaragua, having depleted their soil in some areas.  

It is worth noting, for the sake of those who were forced to sacrifice, that these seeds were removed by the Cuban vegueros (tobacco farmers) after the Castro regime came to power.  These were the men that had made Cuban tobacco legendary.  Great cigars can be ethereal things, and one of life's great pleasures and experiences, they made great cigars.  

When Fidel Castro came down from the mountains on New Years Eve in1959 they immediately lost their homes, farms, businesses, bank accounts and all that went with them. Some of them, having believed that Fidel would bring democracy to Cuba had actually been supporting Castro by sending him money for years as he hid in the mountains.  Before they left, Castro had their dogs "euthanized" to make sure that they had no reason to ever return.   They left Cuba with their families, their seeds and generations of  hard earned knowledge and moved to countries with similar soils and climates and started over, many of the best then going to Nicaragua. These men and their sons, now produce some of the greatest cigars in the world.


The company name formerly used by the Cuban government for their worldwide distribution. It is now called Habanos S.A.  


Culebra is Spanish for snake.  Three cigars each 5 to 6 inches long with a ring gauge of 34 are twisted together, resembling 3 intertwined snakes..  These cigars originally were created to deter theft within the factory.  At the start of each day, the rollers were given 3 culebras and because of their unique appearance, their supervisors could better monitor what was being smoked on premise.  The cigars have to be unwound to be smoked.  In order to avoid breakage, these cigars must be kept well humidified.    


Long poles used in the curing barns that allow the wrapper leaf  to cure more evenly.  Using needle and thread  around 100 leaves are bound together ad are hoisted up and left to dry for between 45-60 days depending on the conditions (temperature and humidity) within the curing barn. This additional step of using cujes is done because it is very delicate leaf as well as very valuable.  


an advertisment from the early 40's

Immediately after harvesting, tobacco is dried to remove all of the natural sap from the leaves so that it can be further processed and/or manufactured. There are four primary methods of curing, air-curing, flue-curing, fire-curing, and sun-curing, but all curing focuses on regulating the rate at which moisture and impurities are removed from the tobacco.   

curing barn  

A structure in which the necessary conditions for curing tobacco can be created and controlled by opening and closing the barn doors, thereby adjusting the rate at which the process occurs.  During the 45 to 60 days the leaves are being cured the green leaves loose their chlorophyll and turn brown from the carotene.s are   

custom band  

Custom bands, no longer the sole domain of  the manufacturers because today companies and individuals use private labeling to do what cigar bands have done for 150 years, promote business.

HPCigar.com is the industry leader in the production of custom banded cigars.

 See Also Private Label.


The largest leaves on a flue-cured tobacco plant, which are located near the middle of the stalk. Cutters are prized for their color, moisture content, and elasticity.  




exemplification, explanation, explication, exposition, expounding, fixing, formalization, gloss, individuation, interpretation, key, outlining, rationale, rendering, rendition, representation, settling, signification, solution, synonym, terminology, translation, Aging, air-curing, allotment, American-blend cigarettes, American Market Selection, AMS, aroma, aromatic tobaccos, auction system, bale, band, bandolier, barrel, binder, black tobacco, blade, blend, blending, bloom, blue mold, bodied tobacco, body, book

date codes, Cuban 


Month Code

























dark air-cured tobacco  

A type of tobacco that is distinguished from other types primarily by the fermentation process it undergoes. It is the fermentation that gives dark air-cured tobacco its medium to dark brown color and distinct aroma.  Dark air-cured tobacco is used in cigars, dark cigarettes, pipe mixtures, and chewing tobaccos.  light air-cured tobacco, in contrast, is not fermented at all.  


The process of pruning the flowers at the top of the tobacco plant ,forcing it to concentrate all of it's energy to leaf production rather than procreation.


The deflowering of the tobacco plant done in order to concentrate the plants energy into leaf promotion, as opposed to flower production  This process occurs approximately four weeks after the plant has been transferred to the fields from the seed bed.   .his 


A  large belicoso cigar that is approximately 8 inches in length that usually has an open foot, but will occasionally have a closed foot in the style of a perfecto. 


A metaphor used by some cigar aficionados to describe the taste of the middle section of a cigar as it is being smoked.

Double Claro  

The lightest of wrappers: a green-colored wrapper that results from picking the tobacco leaves before they reach maturity. These are cigars lacking in all aspects.  


The amount of air that gets pulled through the cigar. A properly rolled cigar allow an amount of air that is not too little ( it is then too much like work to be considered a pleasure) or too much air which makes it burn too hot and ruins the flavor...  



Gary BeckerE

Boite Nature, BN, Border belt, box pressed, Cuban, cigar, cigar, cigar, cigar, cigar, cigar, breaking, breva, bright leaf, broken leaf, buckeye, bulk, bulk barn, bulk curing, bunch, bundle, buyer, Café, Candela, Cap, café, casing, Casa de Tabaco, Chaveta, cheroot, Churchill, Cigarillo, Claro, clean tobacco, Clear Havana, color, Colorado, Colorado Claro, Colorado Maduro, conditioning, contract system, corona, crude tobacco, Cuba, curing, curing barn, cut rag, cutters, dark air-cured tobacco, dark cigarettes, Double Claro, Draw, Eastern belt, English-blend cigarettes

Eastern belt  

In the United States, the flue-cured tobacco market area located in the eastern and central portions of North Carolina.  


A method of packing a box of cigars with rounded sides that has 3 rows; eight on the top, nine in the middle and eight on the bottom.  


A method of growing wrapper leaf in open sunlight in conjunction with using a perimeter of cheesecloth that blunts the impact of the winds on the all too delicate wrapper leaves. Although not used until recently because it was believed to not be possible to grow wrapper leaf. in the Dominican Republic, this method is enjoying a revival, as it shifts from growing filler to wrapper leaf.  


A specialist that determines the exact shade of wrapper leaf before they are  placed in a box. This is a highly skilled craft because the cigars for a particular box are selected from a color range of 65 different shades.   factory to

English Market Selection (EMS)  

Characterized by a medium-brown colored wrapper, with more taste, and slower burning than a Claro.   


A method of rolling originating in Cuba who's proponents say creates a superior airflow through the cigar. Rather than "booking" the filler, the torcedors fold each individual leaf back upon itself before bunching them together. 

"Envuelto a mano"  

A Spanish phrase literally meaning "surrounded by hand" used to describe the contents of a box of cigars that were completely made by machine, and were subsequently sorted by their color and packaged by hand.  


Cabinets that cigars are placed in immediately after being rolled to allow the cigars to settle by airing them over a period of weeks.  


The sorting house where the tobacco leaves are sorted according to their size color and texture.  It is at this time that the filler leaves have their stems stripped out and soaked in water.  In preparation for handling the wrapper leaf is sprayed with pure water, and the filler is sprayed with the mixture made from the soaked stems. They are then placed on the planchas and returned for the second time to the fermentation house. With the leaves wet and stacked in 6 foot high "burros" the second more powerful fermentation begins and continues under a watchful eye for the next 60 days use




 English Market Selection, EMS, fermentation, Figurado, filler, finished, head, fire-curing, fire-cured tobacco, Flag, Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative, Stabilization Corporation, flue-curing, Foot, frog-eye, frog-stripping, fumigation, grade, grading, grading school, green tips, green tobacco, green weight, Gum, hand,

factory codes, Cuban  

  • BM: Briones Montoto (Belascoain 852, Havana) -Formerly Romeo y Julieta
  • CB: Carlos Balino (San Carlos 816, Havana) -Formerly El Rey del Mundo
  • CFGS: (regional facility in Cienfuegos)
  • EL: El Laguito (2302 Calle 146, Marianao, Havana)
  • FL: Por Larranaga (Carlos III no. 713, Havana)
  • FPG: Fernando Perez German (Industria 520, Havana) -Formerly Partagas
  • FR: Miguel Fernandez Roig (Zulueta 106, Havana) -Formerly La Corona
  • HM: Heroes de Moncada (13402 Ave. 57, Marianao, Havana)
  • JM: Jose Marti (Amistad 407, Havana) -Formerly H. Upmann
  • PR: (regional facility in Pinar del Roi)
  • SS: Sancti Spiritus (regional facility in Sancti Spiritus)
  • TLP: Lazaro Pena (group of factories in San Antonio)
  • TTB: Granma (regional facility in Bayamo)
  • TH: Holguin (regional facility in Holguin)
  • VSC: Villa Santa Clara (regional facility in Santa Clara)  


Workers gather the tobacco leaves together in a large 6 foot pile (bulk) after the harvest.  The leaves are moistened and allowed to ferment. There are primarily two types of fermentation, natural and forced fermentation. These processes are where the tobacco changes color and gains much of it's ultimate flavor. Forced fermentation is done in days or weeks, whereas natural fermentation is done over a period of months.  Natural fermentation is a chemical reaction caused by moisture and warm temperatures and in the process releases nicotine, ammonia and other compounds.  The temperatures may reach 140° inside the bulk before it is taken apart and restacked.  This process called working the bulk, temporarily halts the fermentation process.  Natural fermentation sometimes known as aging, is the preferred method and gives the tobacco a more even coloration and  flavors that are milder and more complex. It is used in all premium cigars.  

Forced fermentation on the other hand is much quicker and involves placing tobacco in huge stacks so that the chemical reaction caused by the moisture and warm temperatures is intensified by the pressure the tobacco is under. This process is used for cigarette and short filler ( low quality ) cigars. It should be noted that some otherwise premium cigar producers have resorted to this method at times of high demand (some still do) and have literally sacrificed quality in the process.  

Fermentation house

The building where the most important act in creating great cigars occurs,  the process of natural fermentation.  


Sigmund Freud smoking a perfecto


A Spanish term that refers to cigars with exotic shapes such as Torpedos, Pyramids, Perfectos, and Culebras and Diadamas. These are the most difficult shapes to roll and are done by the most experienced rollers. Accordingly, these rollers are often given the finest tobaccos due in part to their status within the factory.  

This famous image of Sigmund Freud shows him enjoying a Perfecto. It is possible he consider this to be the "perfect" shape, we may never know, for it was he that once said "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".... S"


The tobacco blend used in the body that form the inner core of the cigar. Usually a Master blender decides which tobaccos and in what proportions are used to obtain the ultimate flavor he seeks. Although it is true that some of the flavor comes from the wrapper, it is the filler that accounts for most of the flavor and quality of the cigar. High-grade cigars are made with long fillers, or whole leaves running the length of the cigar, which are then hand-rolled. Low-grade cigars use short fillers, or scraps of lesser quality tobaccos, which are fed into a machine and sometimes then finished by hand..  


A term used to describe the last lingering taste on the palette after taking a puff on a cigar. Mild cigars lack any perceptible degree of finish, either in terms of complexity or length. This terminology is also used in conjunction with the description of wines, and like wines, the darker they are, the more "finish" they will have.   

finished head  

The head of a cigar that has been formed by the wrapper leaf, not by a cap.  A torpedo or pyramid is made in this manner.   


One of four main methods of curing, which involves removing all of the natural sap and moisture from tobacco leaves. As its name suggests, this particular method of curing involves exposing tobacco to the heat and smoke of open fires; doing so allows the leaves to absorb the aromatic substances in the smoke, which will in turn affect the tobacco's taste. The type and age of the wood, as well as the duration of the tobacco's exposure to the smoke, all affect the tobacco's taste, which is why these factors vary depending on the end-product that is desired.   

first page

A European reference to the wrapper (or first leaf) of a cigar.perperce


An alternative to a cap. The flag method of finishing a cigar involves shaping the wrapper leaf at the head of the cigar so it secures the wrapper. Sometimes it is tied off in a pigtail or a curly head.   


A German term for the "plume" sometimes found on a cigars wrapper.


The end of the cigar you light. Most often it is pre-cut, except in the case of perfectos and some diadamas, which are closed at both ends and require the smoker to make an additional cut to prepare the cigar for smoking.    


Is European term used to describe the various lengths, diameters and shapes of a cigars.     


A whitish spot on tobacco leaves that gives the tobacco a ripe appearance; this spot is actually the result of a disease.  


A method of preparing cigar filler that involves removing the stem of a tobacco leaf in such a way that the two halves of the leaf remain joined at the top; this is said to resemble a frog's legs, hence the name. The resulting "frog-strips" are used as long filler in cigars.    


Using chemicals to control and/or eliminate insects.  When tobacco is stored, the storage facility must be fumigated to protect the tobacco from the damage insects can cause.  




Hand-Rolled, harvesting, Havana, Head, HHS, hogshead, Hot, Humidor, immature, import quota, indigenous tobacco, Jade, kilogram, kilo, Lacioderma, lamina, leaf, Ligero, light air-cured tobacco, long filler, Lonsdale, loose leaf, loose leaf auction, lugs, Machine-made, Maduro, manipulation, manufacturer, marrying, mature, maturity, Middle belt, midrib, Mixed Filler, moisture content , Mold, naked, Natural EMS, nested tobacc


The room or "gallery" in which the rolling takes place within the factoryn the factoryTe


A symbol, letter, number, or some combination of the three, that is given to tobacco as an indicator of its quality. The tobacco's stalk position, color, texture, elasticity, and leaf size are among the factors taken into account when determining its grade. B4F, which signifies "fair quality orange leaf," is an example of a grade.   


A term meaning "fat" in Spanish. Corona gorda is the term used in reference to large coronas.



Assigning pre-defined symbols, letters, or numbers to tobacco as an indicator of its quality. The tobacco's stalk position, color, texture, elasticity, and leaf size are among the factors taken into account in the grading process. Most tobacco is graded before it is sold; the grade it receives determines (in part) the price a buyer will be willing to pay for the tobacco. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has 117 official tobacco grades. Manufacturers and leaf dealers also have their own grades that they use within their companies. 

grading school       

A class that teaches interested parties how to identify and classify various leaf types according to the USDA tobacco grading system. The class lasts approximately two weeks and is taught by a grader (someone who grades tobacco) from the USDA.  

green tips  

The uppermost leaves of U.S. flue cured , burley, or dark air-cured tobacco that are still green in color after drying has occurred.  

green tobacco  

1) Tobacco that has not yet been dried or processed.  
2) Tobacco that has not ripened and been properly cured, and consequently remains green in color even after processing has occurred. Sometimes referred to as crude tobacco.  

green weight  

The weight of tobacco prior to being dried.  


A cigar cutter that uses a single razor sharp blade that comes down at an angle to cut the cap.  


A tasteless, odorless vegetable adhesive used to secure the head of the wrapper leaf around the finished bunch.   




non-tobacco related material , offal , Olor, oriental tobacco , Oscuro, packaging, pad, Panatela, picking, pile, plume, pound, premium cigar, price support program, priming, primings, prize room, processing, Propylene Glycol, PG, Puro, pyramid, Quota, rag, raw tobacco, reconstituted tobacco, red leaf, redried tobacco, redrying, regrading, Relative Humidity, Ring Gauge, roasting, robusto, roller, run of the crop, sample, sample room,


A group of five to thirty tobacco leaves held together prior to processing with a tie leaf, string or raffia that are hung together after harvest. Later these hands are piled together to make a bulk for fermentation.  


A cigar made entirely by hand .In Spanish "hencho e mano",  literally " made by hand". The finest cigars in the world are made in this manner, and so they are made with the best wrapper, binder and filler.   


harvesting in the 1800's

The process of collecting tobacco leaves from the field at the time when leaf maturity has reached its desired stage; harvesting can be done by either manual or mechanical means. flue-cured and oriental tobacco is harvested in stages, meaning that individual leaves are removed from the stalk as they ripen (leaves generally ripen from the ground up.), rather than all at once this process is called priming.  Harvesting burley tobacco can be done in stages or by cutting the entire stalk near the ground and removing all of the leaves at the same time; the process used is generally determined by the climate conditions of the growing region.  


Capital of Cuba. The traditional center of manufacturing of Cuban cigars for export, and a term widely used to designate Cuban cigars. This term also refers to the types of tobacco grown from Cuban seed in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Honduras.                           


The closed end (top) of the cigar that requires a cut to be able to smoke .    

"Hecho en Cuba"  

This term is Spanish for " made in Cuba". This refers to the country of origin, and says nothing as to the method of it's construction.   

"Hecho a mano"  

A Spanish term meaning " made by hand". It generally refers to a cigar that was bunched by machine and the wrapper was applied by hand.  


An arcane term that first came into the cigar lexicon through an internet chat group  in November of 1996.   The "Prince of Skeeves?" posted the following in his dissertation on mediocre cigars, "Also, anything Macanudo...I tried several when I first began smoking cigars and found them all to be very bland and almost impossible to herf, they were so tightly wrapped.".  The term is now used as either a noun or a verb, the term can be used interchangeably with the word smoke.A 


A manufacturing term describing a natural wrapper.   


A  round, wooden container used to hold tobacco while it is transported, stored, or aged. The hogshead was sometimes pulled by horses, oxen or by hand. Cardboard boxes and tersa bales are other packaging containers that serve the same purpose today as hogsheads.  

homogenized tobacco 

Used in some short filler (inferior) cigars. It is made from combining  scraps of tobacco, cellulose and water which is then rolled out in sheets. 


A term used to describe a cigar that is under filled or dry causing harsh flavors.   


A room, or box, of varying sizes, designed to preserve and promote the proper aging of cigars by maintaining a humidity level of 70%-80% and a temperature of approximately 65-75°F.   



 analog hygrometer, French mfg




digital wireless hygrometer / thermometer

A hygrometer is a device used to monitor the humidity level relative to the air. An accurate reading of the humidity level is essential in the short term for  preparing cigars for smoking, as well as for the long term aging of your cigars. The objective, is to within the confines of a cedar lined box create a  tropical environment as similar as possible to where the plants were grown and the cigars created. A few words on what is generally used as the " ideal temperature and humidity conditions" commonly referred to as 70/70% .This is an easy, catch-all statement. Ask yourself this, which of the cigar producing countries right now has this temperature and humidity level. If the goal is to recreate their original environment ,where would you find 70/70%? Our experience is that at slightly higher levels of humidity cigars have better taste, give more smoke, burn better, last longer, and ultimately give you more pleasure.  

A good quality analog ( the kind with a needle) can  AFTER CALIBRATION  be accurate to  +/- 5-8% RH.  When calibrating this kind of hygrometer, use an environment as close ( as it relates to humidity) as possible to where you intend it to be used. The reason for this is that if you calibrate in an environment of 40-50% RH and then use it for 70-80% RH because of the mechanical nature of the instrument, as well as the effect of gravity you will increase the inaccuracy by a factor of at least 2X. Digital hygrometers are therefore the instrument of choice because of an accuracy of  +/- 1-2 % from 0-100%RH, additionally, they give an accurate reading of the temperature as well. Another reason is that as a result of being digital, they require no maintenance in the form of ongoing recalibration every few months.      w

Remember this, that no matter what you use, it is imperative that you have accurate information regardless of how you have obtained it. If your humidor becomes too dry ,too wet, too hot or too cold you will have problems. If you are lucky, you will have just created additional work for yourself, if not, you will loose good cigars and with them hours of enjoyment in addition to the time, money and effort it took to procure them .      




sandleaves, saucing, seco, scrap, scrubs, seconds, Shade-Grown, Shapes, shattery, short filler, sizes, smoking time, sound, Spanish Market Selection, stalk, stem, stemmed, stemming, straight-laid, stringing, stripping, strips, suckering, suckers, sun-curing, Sun Grown, Sun-grown EMS, tangled, tariff-rate quota, tersa bale, thins, thresher, threshing, tieleaf, tips, ton, Tooth, topping, Torcedor, toro, torpedo, trashes, USDA, variegated, veins, Volado, web, whole leaf, wrapper


A term used to describe tobacco that has not reached its peak of ripeness in the field.   

import quota  

The specific amount of a product that can be imported into a country over a certain period of time. An import quota can be established by directive, legislation, or proclamation. In the past, the United States has established import quotas for tobacco.  

indigenous tobacco  

Tobacco that is native to the area it is produced in.        


All of the printed materials that were placed inside the box before shipping.    

insert mixture

The German translation for the filler of a cigar.




private label cigars, custom cigars, private label cigar bands, cigar, cigars, cigar products, premium, cuban, fine, premium cigar, premium cigars, davidoff, rare, membership, unique, different, cigar, cigars, cigar products, new, cigar, cigars, cigars, cigars, cigar specials, cigar club, cigar clubs, cigar members, cigar memberships, stogies, smokes, cigar, cigars, cigar products, cubanseed, long-leaf filler, tobacco, hand made, hand rolled,


A Claro wrapper, as described by a specific manufacturer. 


An important tobacco growing region in a valley on the border of both Nicaragua and HondurasA




cigars, filler, cuban, cigars, cigar products, membership, unique, gift, gifts, premium cigars, premium cigar, fine cigars, fine cigar, custom cigars, private label cigars, label, corporate, cigars, gifts, specialty gifts, handmade cigars, free, cigar cutter, wholesale, premium, victory, promotions, incentives, marketing, weddings, births, golf, course, event planners, events, tradeshows, casinos, cigar bars, restaurants, steakhouses, macanudo, opusx, cohiba, arturo fuente, montesino, don carlos, cuesta rey, CAO, padron, perdomo, ashton

kilogram or kilo  

A unit of measurement in the metric system used in weighing tobacco; it is recognized internationally.  1 kilo = 2.2046 pounds; 1,000 kilos = 1 ton    





Lasioderma serricone (F)  

Tobacco beetle larvae, destroyer of cigars. Evidence of an infestation is a small whole in the wrapper of the cigar approximately 1/64 of an inch in diameter.  It is sometimes erroneously believed this has been caused by allowing the cigars to be exposed to high humidity levels.  Although this can be a contributing factor, the actual cause is high (80 degrees and above) temperatures that allow the dormant larvae to hatch. This can sometimes also occur in cereal grains and other products that have been improperly stored. The only remedy to a cigar infestation is to freeze them, then refrigerate, and then gradually (over days) return them to room temperature. See also tobacco beetle.  S


On a tobacco plant, the extended part of the leaf that is divided from the base to the tip by the stem; its framework is provided by the veins that extend from the stem. This term is used to refer only to the leaf blade-it does not include any portion of the stem. In contrast, the term whole leaf is used to refer to both the blade and stem of a leaf. Also known as the blade or web.  


1) The major component of the tobacco plant; its size, shape, and position on the stalk are indicators of quality.   hpcigar.com
2) On a flue-cured tobacco plant, the second grouping of leaves from the top.
3) In fire-cured and dark air-cured tobacco, a general term for all of the leaves located in the top third of the tobacco plant.   


La Prenza, November 2001 



In the days before radio and television, the practice of using readers, or "lectores", began in the factories to inform rollers by reading the days paper, but also by reading entire novels to entertain them as they worked.  This tradition, which began in Cuba, dates back to the late 1800's.  It is still done in some factories in both Cuba and Nicaragua.


This folded copy of "La Prenza"  was found in a shipment of cigars from Nicaragua in 2002.d n  



"libra de pie"

The first of six primings (or cuttings) on the tobacco plant done to obtain optimal results in the shortest period of time. This is a Spanish description meaning " the three foot"


One of the three types of filler tobacco. The term means light in Spanish, and may "stem" from the fact that they grow at the top of the plant and therefore are exposed to the most light. They are allowed to grow on the plant the longest and have the strongest, fullest flavors and must be aged for between 2-3 years This leaf is found in all medium to full bodied cigars and is usually found in the center away from the wrapper.  

light air-cured tobacco  

Tobacco that is cured primarily with natural, rather than artificial, heat and is typically brown or light brown in color. In contrast to dark air-cured tobacco,  which is fermented, light air-cured tobacco is not fermented at all. Also known simply as "air-cured tobacco."   

lighter fluid  

The one thing you NEVER USE TO LIGHT A GOOD CIGAR.  


A term for plume used in German interchangeably with flaum.  

long filler  

Large whole leaves that are used in making the innermost portion of a cigar. Long filler is used in all premium cigars for a number of reasons.  1)  They are the best of the raw tobacco and accordingly have had the best care and handling. 2)  Because of their quality they are aged for 2 to 5 years or more.   3)  As a result of the above care and the fact they run the length of the cigar their burn is more consistent and their flavor can run from good to sublime.       


Lord Lonsdale smoking a lonsdale

A sub-category of Parejos cigars that are in-between Coronas and Panatelas in length and thickness. Lord Lonsdale, like many wealthy Europeans of the day, commissioned this size to be made by the H Upmann factory in Cuba. Eventually this size became popular with the public, due in part to an association with the aristocracy. It is typified by a cigar that is a 42 ring gage 6 1/2". This cigar lacks complexity due to the lack of variety (and quantity) in it's blend because of it's small ring gage. He was as a man more complex than his cigars, as he is also known for having sponsored\the boxing rules known as the Queensberry Rules..

loose leaf  

As its name suggests, loose leaf is tobacco that has not been grouped together in bundles; it is usually in the form of a bale or pile.   

loose leaf auction  

A method of selling tobacco in which the tobacco is laid out in piles on the auction floor for inspection by potential buyers; it is popular because it eliminates the expensive and time consuming task of bundling the tobacco or tying it in hands before it is sold.  






A term that refers to cigars made entirely by machine, using heavier weight wrappers and binders, and usually short filler as a substitute to the long filler used in premium cigars   


A term used for a wrapper shade varying from a very dark reddish-brown to almost black. The word means "ripe"; in Spanish. It is generally thought of as being a stronger flavored cigar that has this wrapper, but this is not always the case, dependant upon strain of tobacco, the amount of exposure to the Sun and fermentation.   


A general term for various processes applied to oriental tobacco leaves, such as cleaning, sorting, blending, packaging, and fermentation.    


In the tobacco industry, the term manufacturer refers to any company that purchases tobacco as a raw material and uses it to produce finished tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco, which are then sold and consumed.  


The blend of tobaccos in a cigar marry when their oils and aromas permeate one-another thus creating a blend.  The aging room in a cigar factory is also known as the marrying room.   


A term used to describe tobacco that has reached its peak of ripeness in the field.  


A term used to qualify the state of ripeness of tobacco in the field. pcigar.com

media rueda  

A half wheel shaped bundle of 50 cigars usually tied with a ribbon.  


The smaller stem that extends from the main stalk of a tobacco plant and divides each leaf from its base to its tip. In larger tobacco leaves, the midrib must be removed during processing. Also known as the stem 

mixed filler  

Some low quality hand-made cigars use long filler as well as short filler in the same cigar. The long filler is used to create the length of the cigar while the short filler is used to build the shape and body.  


The French term used in reference to the category (  the shape and size) of cigars

moisture content   

The amount of water within tobacco leaves.  High moisture content gives the leaves elasticity, whereas low moisture content makes the leaves brittle. For this reason, the moisture content of tobacco is carefully controlled so that handling, storing, and manufacturing does not detract from the tobacco's quality or cause it to break into smaller, less desirable pieces. Moisture content is essential to the fermentation process.


A potentially damaging fungus that forms on a cigar when it is stored at too high a temperature and/or humidity.   






An industry term used to describe a cigar that is not covered by cellophane or a tube.  

Natural EMS  

A medium brown wrapper; often referred to as Colorado, Cafe or Sun Grown.   

nested tobacco

Tobacco that has been deceptively packaged so that only high quality leaves are visible, and the presence of poor quality leaves and/or non-tobacco related material is concealed. w.hpcigar.com


Nicaragua is situated between the Caribbean sea and the Pacific on the northern part of South America. Well known to all cigar aficionados for their renowned, rich, full flavored tobaccos. Many of the best growers in the world practice their art here after having been displaced by Fidel Castro after the Cuban Revolution in the early 60's.With generations of experience, good soil and a tropical climate they produce some of the finest cigars in the world. This is where all HPCIGARS begin.     

non-tobacco related material   


Any material other than tobacco that is inadvertently included with tobacco leaves, such as stones, glass, string, pieces of metal, etc. Removing non-tobacco related material during processing is called picking the tobacco.  






Oasis is also known as wet foam, or florist foam. It is used as the medium in most humidification units used to gradually disperse moisture into humidors. Humidification fluid or distilled water only should be used. Anything else will either inhibit evaporation and or propagate mold.  


The name given to the dust and minute tobacco pieces produced during processing; too small to be used in the manufacture of tobacco products, offal is disposed of along with non-tobacco related material.  


One of many ways to detect a properly stored cigar. An oily cigar will generally be a tasty smoke indeed. These oils are always present in a properly fermented cigar, but are especially evident visually in the wrapper leaf of cigars stored at slightly higher RH levels. 


A natural filler tobacco.   

oriental tobacco  

A type of tobacco characterized by its small leaves and strong aroma. The oriental tobacco plant produces a larger number of leaves than other tobacco types and is primarily grown in the Mediterranean countries of Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia.   


A wrapper leaf  nearly black in color, resulting from both having been left on the plant the longest as well as having additional curing time. It is substantially darker than Maduro, and is most often Brazilian or Mexican in origin. Unfortunately some of what is sold as oscuro is actually a dark leaf that has been artificially dyed to look as if it is true Oscuro     






The final stage in tobacco processing. Tobacco can be packaged in hogsheads, bales, tersa bales, or cardboard boxes.  It is then either stored or transported to a manufacturer of tobacco products.  


1) A grouping of tobacco leaves (in green form) held together from natural compression due to handling or processing.   
2) A portion of tobacco that has been prepared for use in making cigars by hand. The tobacco in a pad has been stemmed and will be used either as binders or wrappers.  Also known as a book.  


A sub-category of Parejos cigars that are usually longer and thinner than Coronas.   


Straight sided cigars. Some examples are the Lonsdale, Churchill, Corona and Panatela.


An area in Cuba known for the growing of prime tobacco


A type of cigar with the unique characteristic of having a bulge in the middle and closed at both ends. 

petite corona  

A small corona  it is typically a 42 ring gage by 5- 5 1/4".  


Removing non-tobacco related material and undesirable leaves from tobacco during processing. Picking can be done when the leaves are still whole or after they have been threshed (cut into strips); it can be done pneumatically or by hand. 


A tool used to pierce a toothpick sized hole in the head of a cigar.

pig tail

A style of finishing a cap on a Parejos (straight sided) cigar. In the United States it is typically seen on a robusto sized cigars.



As its name would suggests, this term refers to a pile of loose tobacco leaves.  No sorting or bundling of the leaves has occurred. The term pile is most often used in the context of the auction system, which involves placing piles of tobacco on the auction floor to be inspected by potential buyers.  

Piloto Cubano  

A type of Cuban-seed  tobacco grown on the Dominican Republic.  


A Spanish term for the boards the tobacco leaves are laid on prior to fermentation.   


A cigar that has a difficult draw is said to be "plugged". It is sometimes possible to fix by gently messaging the body, but usually requires an object to be inserted into the cigar to allow the air to flow.

Although as with anything handmade mistakes can be made, this is always the result of poor construction and generally speaking, you should throw it away (which should have done at the factory) and find a better cigar. If you have to work to smoke a cigar, it has ceased being the pleasure that it should be. 


A white or light grayish dusting on a cigar's wrapper caused by the crystallization of tobacco oils.  It is harmless and can be brushed off.  It is also known as bloom, which most often occurs on wrappers of cigars kept under optimal conditions.  It is sometimes confused with mold, but mold is usually seen as blue-green in color.  See also bloom.  


A unit of measurement used, primarily in the U.S. and Canada, in weighing tobacco. Internationally, the weight of tobacco is measured in kilos or (metric) tons. 1 pound = 0.45 kilos  


Fidel  Castro smoking a Cuban cigar circa 1963

A Cuban cigar that was made prior to Fidel Castro's rise to power in  January of 1959.w


This photograph was taken of Castro in 1963.This 


A Cuban cigar that was made between 1959 when Castro rose to power and 1962 when President Kennedy enacted the US trade embargo on the importation of Cuban goods in 1962.

premium cigar  

A high grade cigar made entirely of premium long leaf tobaccos.  

price support program

In the United States, the total amount of tobacco that can be grown, and the minimum price for each pound of tobacco sold, is currently determined on an annual basis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and referred to as the price support program or the federal tobacco program. In simple terms, this program ensures farmers a minimum price for each grade of tobacco grown while the farmers agree to keep tobacco production in line with demand. In this way, the program is able to provide stability in price for domestic tobacco farmers and stability in supply for the world manufacturers that purchase the tobacco.  


A method of harvesting that involves removing individual leaves from the tobacco stalk as they ripen rather than removing all of the leaves at once  The leaves are removed as the plant reaches maturity beginning with the lowest leaves and moving up the plant. The bottom leaves because of their proximity to the ground often come in contact with sand and soil and so are called sandleaves, and must be cleaned before they can be processed. With these leaves having been detached, the plant concentrates more of it's energy into the remaining leaves.  

private label

Custom bands, no longer the sole domain of  the manufacturers because today companies and individuals use private labeling to do what cigar bands have done for 150 years, promote business.

HPCigar.com is a industry leader in production of custom banded cigars.

 See Also Custom Band.

prize room  

The area in a processing facility where (processed) tobacco is packaged and weighed prior to being stored or shipped to a manufacturer.    


A general term for all of the processes applied to tobacco after it has been cured and before it is used in the manufacture of tobacco products.  Processing involves various stages, including blending, threshing, redrying, and packaging.  

Propylene Glycol (PG)  

(1,2-Propanediol; methyl glycol; C3H8O2; molecular weight 76.09.)...
A hydroscopic, viscous liquid. Slightly acrid taste. Miscible with water, acetone, chloroform. Soluble in ether. Will dissolve many essential oils, but is immiscible with fixed oils.  Under ordinary conditions propylene glycol is stable, but at high temps it tends to oxidize giving rise to products such as propionaldehyde, lactic acid, pyruvic acid, and acetic acid. LD50 in rates is 30grams/kg. It is used as a solvent for oral and injectable drugs, and is also employed in cosmetics and lotions as well as in the humidification of tobacco products.  .  


Spanish for pure, and used in Spanish as a reference to all cigars. In other languages, it specifically means a cigar constructed in the same country as the filler, binder, and wrapper were grown in .  


  tThe pyramid is a figarado, typically of a ring gage of 50-54  by approximately 61/2-7 inches in length with a taper ( at an angle similar to that of a pyramid) that comes to a point. The term is commonly used as interchangeably with the torpedo, also a figarado, the difference being the angle used. These are great shapes to smoke, because the rollers can blend more kinds of tobaccos due to their width, and these flavors literally come together because of the shape.  Another benefit, is that these are amongst the most difficult to roll, and so necessitate the need for the best rollers in the factory to make them..TThes are also in that goucig,ar.com




In the United States, the number of pounds of tobacco that can be grown by a tobacco farmer in any given year. The USDA determines a national limit on the amount of tobacco that can be grown each year. First, a figure called the basic quota is calculated based on the following factors: 1) the purchase plans of manufacturers; 2) average annual exports for the three previous years; and 3) the amount of tobacco needed to meet a specified reserve stock level. The USDA then adjusts the basic quota to account for the amount of tobacco that was over- or under-produced from the previous year's quota; this final figure is called the effective quota.  Once the effective quota has been determined for the nation, it is divided among all U.S. tobacco growers into individual quotas. The term quota is sometimes used interchangeably with the term allotment..     






Tobacco that has been cut into fine strips for use in cigarettes. Also known as cut rag.   

raw tobacco  

Recently harvested tobacco that has not yet entered the curing phase.  


 The commonly used English term for a lector. The reader spends his day informing and entertaining the torcedores by reviewing the days events in the newspaper, or by reading entire novels to them.  Factories saw a marked improvement in production, and so could justify paying for a lector, as his sole responsibility was to read.  

reconstituted tobacco 

Paper-like sheets of tobacco comprised mainly of scrap and stems. Reconstituted tobacco is produced by a variety methods, all of which have a single purpose: to allow cigarette manufacturers to make the most efficient use of their tobacco by utilizing scrap and stems instead of discarding them. The paper-like sheets of reconstituted tobacco are then cut into strips and used in cigarettes. .  

red leaf  

On a burley tobacco plant, the second grouping of leaves from the top

redried tobacco  

Tobacco in which a pre-determined moisture content has been obtained in the leaves by the redrying process.  


One of the stages in tobacco processing, the purpose of which is to obtain a uniform moisture content specified by the customer. Redrying involves removing moisture from the tobacco leaves by applying heat and then injecting the leaves with steam until a pre-determined moisture level is obtained.  


Prior to being purchased, tobacco is given a grade that serves as an indicator of its quality. Once purchased, the tobacco is sent to a processing facility where it is graded again, a process known as regrading. The purpose of regrading is to maintain consistency and ensure that the quality is uniform throughout, especially with respect to custom blends.  

relative humidity (RH)

Relative humidity (RH) may be defined as the amount of moisture in the atmosphere as compared with that of complete saturation at a given temperature. Water exposed to air gradually evaporates until it reaches a saturation point, i.e. 100% humidity. At 21 degrees centigrade (approx. 70deg F) and a normal atmospheric pressure, the amount of evaporated water is about 11 grams per cubic meter at a RH of 70%. 70%  

ribbon, cigar

Cigar ribbons were first used before cedar boxes became popular for shipping and storage.  They are still used inside of many boxes today .  Years ago because they came in an array of colors they were collected and were sometimes woven together to make pillow cases as well as other decorative items for display in the home.


The ribbons seen here are from a collection that date back to 1910-the early 1920's. 

ring gauge  

A measurement for the diameter of a cigar, based on increments of one 64ths of an inch.


German translation for the term ring gage.


A process generally reserved for dark tobaccos that will be used in pipe mixtures or dark cigarettes. Roasting controls the moisture content of the tobacco and enhances the aroma.   


A type of Corona that is short and thick. Usually a 50-52 ring gage 5 inches in length. The Robusto and other large ring gage cigars have more complex flavors because their size allows the roller to blend a variety of tobaccos. Because of it's length, size and blend it is literally "Robust"  The flavors are full and pronounced, this is the preferred size of an experienced smoker.t 


The person who bunches the filler and applies the binder.  They then place the binder and filler in a mold to create the general shape of the cigar.  30 minutes to 1 hour later the wrapper leaf is applied to create a finished cigar.  The final step in the rolling process is the cutting of the cigar to make a smooth even foot.  Master roller's have generally 10 to 40 years experience as rollers thus are highly skilled craftsman.  See aslo Torcedor.


Spanish for" rose colored" used to describe a unique reddish tint found on some wrapper leaf.  


This size of cigar was commissioned to be made by H Upmann in Cuba by Baron Leopold de Rothchild around 1900-1910.He is said to have required "a full bodied smoke that that could be done with in a short period of time".  It is typically a 48-52 ring gage cigar approximately 5" in length. This is one of the most popular sizes available because it's large size allows for a complex blend of tobaccos and the length lends itself to smoking for a brief duration of time.

run of the crop  

A processing phrase used to describe a blend of tobacco that includes leaves from all of the different stalk positions on a tobacco plant. Because the quality of a leaf is partially determined by its position on the stalk, a run of the crop blend contains a mixture of various qualities. Creating a run of the crop blend is expeditious and lowers processing costs, thereby making the blend cheaper for customers.   




The cigar box artwork to the left shows who were at the time the richest men in America around 1900.  Enjoying cigars around the table from left to right were: Pullmen, Leiter, Armour, Rockefeller, and Carnegie.


A small quantity of tobacco (around two kilos) typically pulled from the process after the redrying operation and compressed into a block measuring approximately 13 inches wide by 17 inches long by 4 inches thick. The purpose of a sample is to provide a representation of the overall quality and color of the tobacco being processed and to ensure consistency and uniformity within the blend.  

sample room  

A room or location where interested parties, such as sales personnel, buyers, and customers can inspect samples of tobacco. Hand-rolled cigarettes are often prepared and smoked in the sample room to determine the taste and burning quality of a specific tobacco sample.  


Sandleaves are located closest to the ground and because of their proximity to the ground, these leaves often come in contact with sand and soil.  They are the first of the primings known as "libra de pie", or at the base. 


Applying a pre-cutting solution or sauce to tobacco; the solution is composed of a variety of ingredients, such as sugar and aromatic substances. Also known as casing.  


A category in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's grading system denoting tobacco that has been broken into small pieces; scrap does not include any portion of the tobacco stems. Scrap results from handling tobacco during processing or manufacturing, whereas broken leaf results from handling that occurs prior to processing.  


A general term for low-quality tobacco, it can denote tobacco from an inferior variety or the smaller ground leaves of a certain variety.  


A tool used to cut the head or cap end of a cigar. This cutter resembles and is used like a conventional pair of scissors.


The Spanish word for “dry,” seco is a type of filler tobacco.  Seco tobacco leaves have less oil, very little body and are lighter in color.  They require approximately 18 months or so of aging before use. The seco when blended with  the intense ligero leaf will  give a cigar subtlety and complexity.  


Wrapper leaves that have been grown under a cheesecloth tent, called a tapado. The filtered sunlight creates a thinner, more elastic leaf. Connecticut- shade leaf is grown in this manner and results in a light colored wrapper leaf with a smooth texture.  




Although there are many variations, there are two basic cigar shapes: Parejos (cigars with straight sides) and Figurados (cigars of irregular shape). The Figuados are the most difficult shapes to roll, and are made by the most experienced rollers in the factory. In some factories it will be 10 years or more before they are allowed to roll these shapes. These rollers are often given the finest tobaccos to use  partially due to their  tenure as well as their status. Parejos are further divided into three sub-categories: Coronas, Panetelas, and Lonsdales. Figurados are further divided into four subcategories: Belicosos, Pyramids, Perfectos, and Diademas.   

  • Belicoso - about 6 inches long and a ring gauge of 48-60 with a pointed cone shaped head.  
  • Petite Belicoso - about 5 inches long and a ring gauge of 48-52  with a pointed cone shaped head.  
  • Pyramid - about 6 to 7 inches long and tapers down from a ring gauge of 52  at the foot and 42  at the head with a pointed, cone shaped head.
  • Torpedo - approximately 6-7 inches in length and has a ring gauge of 48-54 with a flat foot and a large body that tapers to a point starting 1-1 1/2 inches from the top.  
  • Culebra - Three cigars each 5 to 6 inches long with a ring gauge of 34  that are intertwined. These cigars originally were created to deter theft within the factory. At the start of each day the roller was given these 3 cigars and because of their unique shape the supervisors could better monitor what was being smoked on premise. The cigars have to be unwound to be smoked. In order to avoid breakage, these cigars must be kept well humidified.  


Tobacco leaves that are dead or too dry and, subsequently, very brittle. The cell structure has either been damaged or destroyed in these leaves. 


The translation for tobacco leaf in German.


The shoulder is the rounded area where the body meets the cap.   

short filler  

Used in low quality cigars it consist of relatively small pieces of leaf that are used in making the innermost portion of a cigar. 



  • Belvedere, Ascot, Demitasse – about 3 to 5 inches long with a ring gauge between 30 and 36 .   
  • Petite Corona – about 4 1/2 to 5 inches long and a ring gauge between 40 and 42 .   
  • Robusto or Rothschild – about 4 1/2 inches in length and a ring gauge of about 48    
  • Corona – about 5 1/2 inches long and a ring gauge of 42  
  • Corona Extra or Corona Royale - about 5 3/4 inches long and a ring gauge between 44 and 46 .   
  • Panatela – about 6 to 6 1/2 inches long with a ring gauge between 34 and 39   
  • Lonsdale - about 6 inches long and a ring gauge of about 43 
  • Corona Grandes - about 6 to 6 ˝ inches long and a ring gauge between 44 and 46 .
  • Churchill - about 7 inches long with a ring gauge of 47 to 48 (~3/4 inch).
  • Double Corona, Long Pamatela - about 7 1/2 to 8 inches long and a ring gauge of 49 to 52 .  
  • Gigante, Presidente, or Immensa - about 8 1/2 inches long and a ring gauge of 52 .   

smoking time  

The smoking time for a cigar is based upon the size of the cigar as well as it's condition i.e.: the higher the humidity level the lower the burn temperature and so the longer it will burn and the more flavor it will impart.   


A term used to describe tobacco that is free of damage and excess water.  


From the 1500's thru the1800's Spain made more money from tobacco than gold. 

Spanish Market Selection (SMS)  

A manufacturing term for a cigar with a  natural wrapper.   

Spanish cedar  

A misnomer as it is not really a cedar at all, in actuality it is a deciduous tree that grows abundantly in Central and South America.  Spanish cedar's scientific name is Cedrela odorata.  The trees grow to an average height of 100 feet and 6 foot in diameter in the tropical forest, and it is the preferred material for humidors and cigar boxes. It is particularly well suited for this use, in that like the best tobacco, it too grows in a tropical climate. There are a number of reasons to use it 1)  It is an anathema to the tobacco beetle, a cigar aficionado's worst nightmare. This is not their preferred environment.2)  It facilitates the even distribution of moisture  3)  The aroma of the wood imparts a pleasant smell and a slight, rather neutral bouquet and taste that is conducive to the storage and the long term aging of cigars.  


A thin strip of cedar made from cigar box inserts that are broken into strips for use in lighting a cigar.  It is one of those things that looks good (a huge flame) but is impractical, because you have very little control (none) over where the heat of the flame goes. The result is that the wrapper is scorched long before the binder and filler begin to burn, and so it is a good way to jeopardize your cigar's taste, as well as it's burn.  This stated, it is still preferable (and worth taking the chance) if all you otherwise have is a sulfur match or anything that burns lighter fluid,  the taste of either will be there to stay.   


The primary stem of an entire tobacco plant. The position or location of a tobacco leaf on the stalk is one indicator of its quality. 


A sideshoot that extends from the tobacco plant's primary stalk and divides each leaf from its base to its tip. In larger tobacco leaves, the stem must be removed prior to processing. Also known as the midrib. 


A term for tobacco that has had the stems removed from the leaves.    


The process of removing stems from tobacco leaves; it can be done by hand, as it is for cigar wrappers, or by machine, as it is for cigarette tobaccos. Also known as stripping.  


A "stick" is a cigar industry term used within the trade that refers to an individual cigar, as it it's appearance somewhat resembles a stick..  


A term for tobacco that has been packed in rows with all of the stems facing the same direction. The term tangled, in contrast, is used to describe leaves that have been randomly layered in a bale or package.  


The process of threading tobacco leaves onto a string or piece of twine so that the leaves can be hung up for curing. Using a needle, the stem is pierced near the base of the leaf and the string is then pulled through the hole. The spacing of the leaves on the string varies according to the type of tobacco and curing process. For the most part, stringing is done by hand.  


 The process of removing stems from tobacco leaves; it can be done by  hand, as it is for cigar wrappers, or by machine, as it is for cigarette tobaccos. Also known as stemming. 


Long pieces of leaf that have been threshed or cut away from the stem. At this point, the strips will be blended, compressed, and cut to produce rag.  


Removing suckers from a tobacco plant; this can be done by hand during harvesting or, at an earlier stage, by cutting the suckers or spraying the plant with a chemical that inhibits the growth of suckers.   


Side shoots that grow after the flowering head of a tobacco plant has been removed; because suckers rely on the main plant for water and minerals, their growth can lower the quality of the main leaves. Suckers are removed when the quality of the plant justifies the labor and expense needed for their removal; they can be removed by hand or with the use of chemicals.   


One of four main methods of curing, which involves removing all of the natural sap and moisture from tobacco leaves. This method of curing involves exposing tobacco leaves to full sunlight, thereby drying the leaves completely. All oriental tobacco and certain types of Virginia tobacco are sun cured.  


Sugars are among the many naturally occurring compounds found in cigars.  All cigars have some degree of sugar in them, and as this is a desirable trait, some growers will expend considerable time and effort to increase the amount in the tobacco naturally.  Darker tobaccos tend to contain more sugar and will tend to have a sweeter finish on the palate.

Some cigar makers will actually spray the tobacco with sugar to make it taste sweeter because they are using low quality (usually short) filler leaves that have so little naturally occurring flavor. .

sun grown

Tobacco  that has been grown in direct sunlight, which creates a thicker leaf with thicker veins. Some growers see this as a misnomer, and object to the use of this term because it is sometimes used as a marketing tool for traditionally grown tobacco, that  is of course "grown under the sun".   

Sun-Grown EMS  

A natural (Colorado) wrapper.   




A term for loose tobacco leaves that have been randomly layered to form a bale or package. Straight-laid leaves, in contrast, are packed in rows with all of the stems facing the same direction.   

tariff-rate quota   

A specific type of import quota that allows a certain quantity of imports at a low tariff rate and subjects imports above that quantity to a very high tariff rate. In the past, imports of leaf tobacco into the United States have been subject to tariff-rate quotas.  


Large square bales of tobacco that have been wrapped in palm bark to maintain their humidity for shipping to the factories.  

tersa bale

A large cube of packaged tobacco; the head and base are wooden and the sides of the cube are wrapped with a clear plastic material. Other containers used to package tobacco include wooden hogsheads and cardboard boxes. The word tersa is an acronym for Tabaco en Rama S.A., the Mexican company that first developed this type of packaged bale.  


A general term for tobacco leaves that grow on the lower half of the stalk; as their name implies, these leaves are thinner than the bodied tobacco that grows on the upper portion of the stalk.  


A machine used in tobacco processing facilities to cut the blade of the leaf away from the stem.  


A tobacco leaf that is used to tie several leaves together at the base of their stems. Once tied together, the leaves are called a hand.   



1) The uppermost leaves on a flue-cured tobacco plant.  
2) The uppermost leaves on a burley tobacco plant.   
3) The pointed ends of tobacco leaves (located farthest from the stalk), which are often removed during processing.  


The name for the product that comes from the plant named Nicotiana tabacum, after the French Ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot, a proponent of the plant.Nicot gave the plant to Catherine de Medici his queen, giving her snuff and telling her it would help with her migranes. He went on to popularize the curative power of the plant, and distributed the seeds throughout Europe.    name of the

tobacco beetle

Tobacco Beatles

The bane of all cigar aficionados. The Lasioderma serricone ( F ) are pest of stored products, post harvest and stored grains and seeds, packaged foods, and other plant and animal items. These pest have for human history been the cause of great loss, and were even found in dried resin in the tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamen. See also Lasioderma serricone (F).


A unit of measurement in the metric system used in weighing. (2,000 lbs.)

top sheet  

The top sheet is the label-like insert placed on the top cigars used primarily to protect the cigars, but whose purpose is also to protect the label on the top of the box from potential discoloring caused by the cigars.  The theme is usually the same as the label on the top of the box, but it tends to be less ornate.  


A covering made of cheesecloth hung over the seedlings, that is used to cultivate shade grown (light coloured) wrapper leaf  


Little "bumps" of oil on a fine quality wrapper. It is sometimes used to refer to the actual taste of the cigar wrapper in your mouth as you smoke it  

"Totalamente a mano"  

A Spanish phrase that states that the cigars inside this box were made completely by hand.  


The process of removing the flowering blooms that develop at the top of a tobacco stalk; part of the stalk and some of the topmost leaves may also be removed in the process. Topping can be done at various stages in the plant's development, but when done early and extensively the tobacco leaves will grow larger and heavier.  



The Spanish term for a master cigar roller. The word literally means "twister".  A rollers tenure begins with an apprenticeship for (depending on their ability) for approximately for 8-10 years  It is not uncommon for Torcedors to have 20-40 years or more years experience..  


A lighter that creates an elongated flame using  tasteless, odorless, butane fuel that can be concentrated precisely where needed.  The ideal tool for the lighting of cigars.  


A type of Corona, also known as a Parejos (Spanish for straight sided) approximately 6 inches long and 48-50 ring gage.  It is to some extent, a long Robusto.   



An uncommon cigar shape and size. Varies in length and ring gauge, has a pointed cone shaped head, bulge in the body, and a relatively flat foot.         

tow bug

The common European term for the tobacco beetle.                        


Spanish term for the binder of a cigar



French term for the heart ( filler) of the cigar

tuck end  

The foot of a cigar is made by tucking the bottom layer of wrapper leaf  over the top.   



"uno y medio"    

The second of six primings that translates as ""one and a half"   


Acronym for the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA currently determines the total amount of tobacco that can be grown, and the minimum price per grade for each pound of tobacco sold, in the U.S. in any given year through its price support program.  






A term that applies to any tobacco in which the color is not uniform after curing. Variegated leaves remain green, yellow, or bleached in some places, while the rest of the leaf has the normal coloring of its type.  

V cut  

A wedge shaped cut made into the cap made a special cutter.   



The Spanish term for a tobacco plantation or farm .  


A Cuban tobacco farmer.  


In a tobacco leaf, the bundles of tissue that extend from the stem and form the framework of the blade.  



A highly glossy wrapper leaf that has been grown under a covering. 


The factory term used to describe a cigar. 


A collector of cigar bands and boxes 

Vuelta Abajo

The valley in the province of Pinar del Rio on the western end of the island of Cuba .Reputed to be the the best place in Cuba to grow tobacco, there are 100,00 acres in this valley.


A type of filler tobacco chosen for its burning qualities.





water vapor  

Water vapor is always present in the air and the amount is dependant upon the temperature of the air: warm air will hold more than cold air.  The maximum amount of water vapor that air of a given temperature can hold is called absolute humidity at saturation. at  cold n re


On a tobacco plant, the extended part of the leaf that is divided from the base to the tip by the stem; its framework is provided by the veins that extend from the stem. This term is used to refer to only the leaf blade-it does not include any portion of the stem.  In contrast, the term whole leaf is used to refer to both the blade and stem of a leaf.  Also known as the lamina or blade. 

whole leaf

This term refers to a tobacco leaf in its entirety, including both the blade and stem of the leaf.  In contrast, the terms blade, lamina, and web refer only to the blade of the leaf and do not include the stem.   re 

wood moisture content (MC)

Wood is a hygroscopic material and as such always contains some degree of water.  The wood moisture content (MC) is a variable that fluctuates based upon changes in the ambient relative humidity (RH).  Spanish cedar is the premier wood for both long and short term storage of cigars because it is rot resistant, very porous and therefore dissipates moisture (water) in a very even  manor, and has a pleasant odor that has a positive effect upon the long term aging of cigars . w.hpcigar.com


The high quality tobacco leaf used as the outermost covering of a cigar; it surrounds the binder and gives the cigar both the look as well as it's tactile qualities. It is an extremely delicate tobacco leaf , so much so, that merely brushing up against it can mean losing it it altogether.  Relatively few leaves can be used as wrappers as a result of the fact that they must meet several requirements for quality, including being very elastic, as well as nearly flawless in appearance and uniform in color. 





The German term for a cigar.