The task of selecting the blends for each brand according to its own recipe starts well before the bales reached the factory.
As soon as the factory's future production schedule for brands and sizes is known, the Ligador or Master Blender draws up a list of all the tobaccos he will need to make them.
At the central warehouse a selection is made from a huge stock of bales containing every type of leaf, each classified by its tiempo (ligero, seco, volado and capote), its size, its age and, most important of all, by its zone of origin.
There is an established link between the factory and the zones that supply the leaf for the brands it manufactures. Nevertheless it is the Master Blender's responsibility to sample the flavour of the tobaccos in use from day to day. He carries the recipe for each brand and size in his head and is the guardian of their consistency.
The ratio of each type of leaf that the Master Blender specifies for the cigars in production is assembled by the blending department in batches issued to the cigar rollers for the
They call the blending department La Barajita - literally 'the pack of cards' - because the process of assembling the leaves for a blend is similar to shuffling cards.
Finally, three years or more since the oldest leaf was picked, it is now about to become a Habano..