Cigar Glossary

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This glossary is based on An Enthusiast's Guide to Habanos (1st. Ed. 2002) and 5th AVENUE Products Trading GmbH.


The Cuban word for a cigar band or ring (known in Spain as a ‘vitola’).

Bauchbinde klein.jpg


Action of piling up earth around the tobacco plant in order to obtain stonger roots.


The cylindrical bunch formed when the filler leaves are wrapped in the binder leaf (q.v. Cigar Manufacturing, Anatomy of a Habano).

Bonche klein.jpg


The foot of the cigar.

Boquilla klein.jpg


The outside wrapper leaf of a cigar (q.v. Anatomy of a Habano).

Deckblatt klein.jpg


The binder leaf. Selected from the largest and finest volado leaves grown on the lower part of the plant (q.v. Anatomy of a Habano).

Umblatt klein.jpg

Casa de Tabaco

Tobacco House or barn on a plantation where the leaf is cured.

Casa de Tabaco klein.jpg


Literally a ‘cartridge’. The cylindrical punch used to cut a small section from the wrapper to complete the cap.


The tasters who daily test cigars at the factories.

Verkoster klein.jpg


Cedars used to wrap cigars and as dividers between rows in boxes.

Cedros klein.jpg


The template used to check the ring gauge and length of a finished cigar (q.v. Shapes).

Cepo klein.jpg


The semi-circular blade used by the torcedores (q.v. Cigar Manufacturing).

Chaveta klein.jpg


The description of a light brown coloured wrapper on a finished cigar.


The description of a dark brown wrapper on a finished cigar (also Colorado Claro (mid brown) and Colorado Maduro (darker brown)).


A pole over which the leaves sewn in pairs are hung in the Casa de Tabaco.

Cuje klein.jpg

Curación (Curing)

Curing. The drying process that the leaves (q.v. Cuban Tobacco) undergo in the Casa de Tabaco.

Trocknung klein.jpg


Action of removing the top bud to concentrate growth on the development of additional leaves (q.v. Cultivation of Tobacco).

Entknospen klein.jpg


Removing the side shoots after the Desbotonar.

Triebe klein.jpg


The Stripping House where selected binder and filler leaves have the stems part-stripped and where the second fermentation takes place (q.v. Cigar Manufacturing).

Entrippen klein.jpg


The women who strip the binders and fillers at the stripping houses and the wrappers in the factories.


The conditioning room where cigars are stored at 16 to 18°C and between 65 and 70 percent humidity to recover from the rigours of the making process.

Escaparate klein.jpg


The Sorting House for wrappers, fillers and binders and the site of the first fermentation.

Escogida klein.jpg


A cigar with an irregular shape pointed at one end or double-figurado pointed at both ends (q.v. Shapes).

Figurado klein.jpg


Literally strength. Fortaleza 1, 2, and 3 are synonyms for volado, seco and ligero.


The factory workshop where cigars are made by hand. Literally the galley.

Galera klein.jpg


A bunch of graded tobacco leaves tied by their stems for handling (q.v. Cultivation of Tobacco).

Gavilla klein.jpg


Tasteless and odourless vegetable gum, usually tragacanth, used by torcedores to secure the wrapper leaf and cap on a finished cigar (q.v. [Cigar Manufacturing]).

Goma klein.jpg


Spanish for ‘Havanas’. The term is used as the denomination of origin for the finest cigars made in Cuba.

Habanos logo.jpg

Habanos SA, Corporación

The Havana-based company jointly owned by the Cuban industry and the Franco-Spanish corporation, Altadis S.A., that markets all Cuban tobacco products worldwide.


The colourful dressings used to decorate the traditional labelled boxes of Habanos.

Hecho en Cuba

Made in Cuba.


The Master Blender in a cigar factory (q.v. Cigar Manufacturing)

Ligador klein.jpg


One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves. The word translates as ‘light’ although it is used to describe the leaves taken from the top of the plant that are the richest in flavour and usually the darkest in colour (q.v. Cuban Tobacco, Cultivation of Tobacco).


The description of a very dark brown wrapper on a finished cigar.


Machine made.

Media Rueda

Literally a ‘half wheel’, the description of 50 cigars tied into a bundle.

Media rueda klein.jpg


The process of moistening tobacco leaves (q.v. Cultivation of Tobacco).


Hessian bales in which binder and filler leaves are aged.


A cigar with straight, parallel sides (q.v. Shapes).

Parejo klein.jpg


The head of the cigar (q.v. Enjoying a Cigar).

Perilla klein.jpg


One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves. This one describes the leaves of medium flavour taken from the middle of the plant, which contribute much to the cigar’s aroma (q.v. Anatomy of a Habano).


Spanish for tobacco but in Cuba it also means a cigar.

Tabak klein.jpg

Tabaco Negro Cubano

Cuban Black Tobacco. The indigenous tobacco plant discovered on the island by Christopher Columbus.


The Cuban corporation that manages the agricultural and manufacturing functions of the Cuban tobacco industry.


The wooden board on which torcedores make cigars.

Tabla klein.jpg


Literally ‘covered’. The term is used to describe the method of growing tobacco for wrappers in the shade under sheets of muslin cloth (q.v. Cultivation of Tobacco).

Tapado klein.jpg


Bales made from yagua in which wrapper leaves are aged.

Yagua klein.jpg


The same as Fortalezas. Different grades the filler leaves need for the various purposes required in blending the Habano.


Cigar roller. The word translates as ‘twister’, but that is the last thing a roller should do when making a cigar.

Torcedora klein.jpg

Totalmente a mano

Totally by hand. A description created in Havana to differentiate between the Cuban methods of making cigars by hand and the semimechanised techniques used elsewhere that can legally be described as ‘Hecho a Mano’ or ‘Hand Made’.


Filler, the blend of two or three different types of leaves that form the heart of a Habano and dictate its flavour (q.v. Anatomy of a Habano).

Einlage klein.jpg

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 Finas de Primera

Individual fields on farms in registered Cuban tobacco regions that are approved by the Tobacco Institute to grow leaf for Habanos.

Vegas finas de primera klein.jpg


A word with many meanings. In Cuba it refers to the size and shape of a cigar (vitola de galera factory name, vitola de salida market name) and also to a particular size of cigar in one type of packing. In Spain it means a cigar band or ring (vitolfilia cigar band collecting). To some it has an almost spiritual meaning encapsulating every aspect of their cigar of choice.


One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves. This one describes the lightflavoured leaves taken from the lower part of the plant, which help the cigar to burn (q.v. Anatomy of a Habano).


The loose part of the bark of the Royal Palm, Cuba’s national tree, that is used to make bales (tercios) in which wrapper leaves are aged.


The gentle loosening of tobacco leaves after they have been unpacked in gavillas from bales.
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