Two Types of Plants
The cigar is made in three parts. The filler is the inside part of the cigar and is made from three different leaves. The binder leaf holds the filler in place. The wrapper is the skin or outside of the cigar and gives it beauty.
Few tobacco plants are capable of producing a leaf with proper quality to be used as a wrapper. In Cuba, the wrapper comes from the Corojo plant. The corojo or wrapper plant is usually grown under great muslin cloths. This keeps the plant out of direct sunlight. This produced leaves that are pale in color and with ultra fine qualities that are the best for use as a cigar wrapper or finished leaves.
Corojo plants are grown under a
muslin cover. Sunlight is not
allowed to hit the leaves and thus
produces a leaf that is pliable.
The corojo plant is named after the famous El Corojo Vega or plantation. This where the seeds were developed. This variety produces one type of leaf. The capa or wrapper. It costs more to produce this leaf than other tobaccos.
Corojo leaves are grouped into seven levels on the stem. This is for purposes of harvesting and classification. Wrapper leaves are also classified by color. Claro (light brown), Colorado Claro (mid brown), Colorado (dark brown), and Maduro (black).
There are eight or nine pairs of leaves on a Corojo plant. Each level on the plant has its own name. Leaves from these levels are picked individually as the reach maturity. This is usually each six to seven days. Harvesting the leaves of a single plant takes over forty days to complete.
Criollo plants are grown in direct
sunlight. This produces plants with
a wide variety and the greatest
intensity of flavors for various
The criollo plant produces four of the five leaves that are finally blending to create a myriad of flavors found in many of the different premium cigars produced worldwide. Criollo is the perfected strain of theonly true Cuban seed tobacco.
The Criollo plant produces six or seven pairs of leaves. These classified as Ligero (top leaf), Seco (middle leaf), Capote (lower leaf), and Volado (bottom leaf).
The Ligero, or top leaf, has the strongest flavor as it is exposed to the most sunlight and is the oldest. The Seco, or middle leaf, is usually larger than the ligero and has a milder taste. The Capote, or lower leaf, is milder yet. The Volado, or bottom leaf is the mildest of all as it is exposed to the least amount of sunlight.