D1218- Cigars and Cigarettes
Cigars and Cigarettes
Tobacco is a plant which requires a tropical climate or a semi-tropical climate to grow properly. The time spend from the moment the plants are prepared to raise a new crop to the time when a tobacco is ready for shipment is about 2 yrs.
There are three ways that are important to tobacco :-
c) Drying and curing
- Planting :- The seeds are planted in nurseries and are carefully taken care of till the young plants are strong enough to be transplanted. Once it has grown the flower buds are removed to get bigger and juicier leaf. A constant eye has to be kept on them specially against pests. The dead stems are removed regularly. The plants ripens in about 6 months with the leaves turning yellowish green.
- Harvesting :- It is normally on a cloudy day as a precaution against a disease known as sunburn. The selected plants are the ripest and are cut close to the root and then laid gently in rows in the field where they are left to wilt before being taken away to be dried and cured.
- Drying and Curing :- Drying comes first followed by curing which can be done by 2 well known methods:- a) Fermentative method
b) Non- fermentative method
Fermentative Method :- In this method the leaves which are plucked are hung on a string pointing downwards in an open field. In this field, poles of fire are kept burning throughout. Due to this heat from the fires, the leaves become dry and brittle.
The leaves which are called ‘first’ are the finest and the brightest leaves. The leaves that are called ‘second’ are those of slightly less quality. The leaves called “lugs” are unsuitable for smoking.
The leaves that are selected are gathered into bundles which are piled on the floor and turned over regularly. This process goes on about 3-4 days during which the leaves turns brown, glossy and develop a distinctive flavour.
Non-Fermentative Method :- In this method the sun plays the very important role. The leaves come in contact with sun to get dried . An even temperature is maintained between 65ºF – 75ºF with the certain degrees of moisture in the air. Once the leaves are dried, they are sent to manufacture chewing tobacco.
The leaves are then taken to the main houses where the leaf is stripped off from its midrib by machines. The leaves then go to a machine which cuts them into fine shreds. Excessive moisture is removed from the tobacco so also impurities. The tobacco is then left for a day or two for maturing following which it goes to the cigarette manufacturing machine. Here the tobacco is rolled in papers and gummed at the end. The cigarettes are not packed immediately but are left to dry for 24 hrs.
Service of Cigarettes
Cigarettes should never be carried out by hand to the customer, but should be placed on a side plate with a doily paper. The packet should opened and a few cigarettes should be be partially pulled out . The waiter should stand by with a match box to light the cigarette. It should be made sure that the ashtray is on the table.
The ashtray should never be allowed to collect to much ash, it is a waiters duty to exchange them frequently for fresh ones.
The plants are grown in the same way as other tobacco plants. As they ripen they are hung in a shed for drying and curing by fermentative method only.. The are then packed in bundles and dispatched to cigar manufacturers.
The leaves are stored according to the purpose for which they are to be used – as fillers, as wrappers or binders , as outside wrapper or third.
There are moulded cigars and hand made cigar. In the moulded cigar the filler tobacco is pressed into the shape instead of being shaped by expert hands. Afterwards it is covered in the wrappers in the usual way.
A good cigar should form a grayish ash which will last for a long time before falling off a whitish ash denotes a mild cigar, while a darkish ash denotes a stronger cigar.
Service of Cigars
Cigars should be offered in their own boxes to allow the customer to choose his own. The box is usually made of cedar wood which allows the breathing of the cigars due to its porous nature and also enhances the flavour of the cigar. The type of cigar will be printed on the box. The customer having chosen his cigar he wishes, the waiter should offer to remove the band. A cigar cutter or a piecer should be given. The waiter should then offer the matchbox to the customer.
The storage of the cigar should be done in a dry place with even temperature. The cigar boxes are kept in a Humidor. This regulates the temperature and the humidity in the box.
Some symbols seen on cigars
- C – It means Colorado ( strong )
- C.C – Colorado Claro ( medium )
- C.C.C – Claro ( light )
- Corona – 9 ½ inches
- Corona Corona – 4 ½ inches