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Glossary of Cuban Tobacco Terms
Cuban Tobacco Terms Meaning
Anilla The cuban word for a cigar band or ring.
Aporque  Action of piling up earth around the tobacco plant in order to obtain stronger roots.
Bonche The cylindrical bunch formed when the filler leaves are wrapped in the binder leaf.
Boquilla The foot of the cigar .
Capa The outside wrapper leaf of a cigar.
Capote  The binder leaf.Selected from the largest and finest volado leavesgrown on the lower part of the plant.
Casa de Tabacco Tobacco house or barn on a plantation where the leaf is cured.
Casquillo Literally a 'cartridge'.The cylindrical punch used to cut a small section from the wrapper to complete the cap.
Catadores  The tasters who daily test cigars at the factories.
Cedros Cedars used to wrap cigars and as dividers between rows in boxes.
Cepo The template used to check the ring gauge and length of a finished cigar.
Chaveta The semi -circular blade used by the torecedores.
Claro The description of a light brown coloured wrapper on a finished cigar .
Colorado The description of a dark brown wrapper on a finished cigar.Also colorado claro (mid brown)and colorado maduro(darker brown).
Cuje  A pole over which the leaves sewn in paires are hung in the casa de tabacco.
Curation curing The drying process that the leaves undergo in the casa de tobacco.
Desbotonar  Action of removing the top bud to concentrate  growth on the development of additional leaves.
Deshije Removing the side shoots after the desbotonar.
Despalillo The stripping house where selected binder and filler leaves have the stems part-stripped and where the second fermentation takes place.
Despalilladores The women who strip the binders and fillers at the stipping houses and the wrappers in the factories.
Escaparate  The conditioning room where cigars are stored at 16c to 18c and between 65 and 70 percent humidity to recover from the rigours of the making process.
Escogida  The sorting house for wrappers filler and binders and the site of the first fermentation .
Figurado A cigar with an irregular shape pointed at one end or double-figurado pointed at both ends.
Fortalesa  Literally strength .fortalesa1,2and 3 are synonyms for volado,seco and ligero.
Galera  The factory workshop where cigars are made by hand.Literally the galley.
Gavilla A bunch of graded tobacco leaves tied by their stems for handling.
Goma Tasteless and odourless vegetable gum, usually tragacanth,used by torcedores  to secure the wrapper leaf and cap on a finished cigar .
Habanos  Spanish for 'havana'. The term is used as the denomination of origin for the finest cigars made in Cuba.
Habanos S.A The Havana-based company jointly owened by the Cuban industry and the Franco-Spanish corporation,Atladis S.A.,that markets all Cuban tobacco products worldwide.
Habilitaciones  The colourful dressings used to decorate the traditional  labelled boxes of Habanos.
Hecho en Cuba Made in Cuba.
Ligador  The Master Blender in a cigar factory.
Ligero  One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves.The word translates as 'light' although it used to describe the leaves taken from the top of the plant that are the richest in flavour and usually the darkest in colour.
Madura  The decription of a very dark brown wrapper on a finished cigar.
Mecanizado Machine made.
Media Rueda Literally a'half wheel',the description of 50 cigars tied into a bundle.
Moja The process of moistening tobacco leaves.
Pacas Hessian bales in which binder and fillers leaves are aged.
Parejo  A cigar with straight,parallel sides.
Perilla The head of the cigar.
Seco One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves .This one describes the leaves of medium flavor taken from the middle of the plant,which contribute much to the cigar's aroma.
Tabaco  Spanih for tobacco but in cuba it also means a cigar.
Tabaco  Negro Cubano Cuban black Tobacco.The indigenous tobacco plant discovered on the island by Christopher Colombus.
Tabacuba The Cuban corporation that manages the agricultural and manufacturing functions of the Cuban tobacco industry.
Tabla The wooden board on which torcedores make cigars.
Tapado Literally 'covered'.The term is used to describe the method of growing tobacco for wrappers in the shade under sheets of muslin cloth.
Tercio Bales made from yagua in which wrapper leaves are aged.
Tiempos The same as fortalesa. Different grades the filler leaves need for the various purposes required in blending the Habano.
Torcedor(a) cigar roller.The wod translates as 'twister',but that is the last thing a roller should do when making a cigar.
Totalemente a mano Totally by hand.A description created in Havana to differentiate between the Cuban methods of making cigars by hand and the semi-mechanised techniques used elsewhere that can legally be described as 'hecho a mano' or 'hand made'.
Tripa  Filler,the blend of two or three different types of leaves that form the heart of a Habano and dictate is flavour.
Tripa Corta  Short filler.Filler that is made from pieces of chopped tobacco leaves sometimes known as picadura.
Tripa Larga Long filler .Filler that is made from complete tobacco leaves.
Vegas Fina de Primera  Individual fields on farms in registered Cuban tobacco regions that are approved  by the Tobacco intitute to grow leaf for Habanos. 
Vitola A word with many meanings.In Cuba it refers to the size and shape of a cigar and also to a particular size of cigar in one type of packing .In Spain it means a cigar band or ring.To some it has an almost spiritual meaning encapsulating every aspect of their cigar of choice.
Volado One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves.This one describes the light-flavoured leaves taken from the lower part of the plant,which help the cigar to burn.
Yagua The loose part of the bark of the Royal Palm,Cuba's national tree,that is used to make bales in which wrapper leaves are aged.
Zafado  The gentle loosening of tobacco leaves after they have been unpacked  in gavillas from bales.
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