A standard cigar box designed to hold eight
cigars on top, nine in the middle, and eight on the bottom. In most
cases, these are cello boxes.
Threshold where the smallest concentration
of a substance can be detected by our senses; like one puff of smoke in
a room may be the minimum amount for someone to smell.
This bunching technique involves folding the
outer sides of the filler leaves inward, one at a time, and placing the
leaves on top of each other until the bunch is complete: then the leaves
are rolled up together, with a binder, like a scroll. These
"folds" allow more air passage through the cigar.
Accordion rolling takes more skill and time
to execute than Book
Rolling, but is not as sophisticated as Entubado
Rolling. Accordion Rolling can also be
called "Arrugado", which means wrinkled in Spanish.
Having the properties of an Acid, or having a pH
less than 7. Acidic flavor is sour
and pungent. Cigarette
tobaccos are Acidic, so they can be inhaled easily, unlike Cigars and Pipe
pH Balance academic content.
An Active Humidifier is a machine designed to
create humidity. Active
Humidifiers generally have a fan blowing on
[or over] water to produce a mist that is absorbed into the air. Active
Humidifiers are common in walk-in
humidors and large cabinets.
The process of promoting a product or service in
a way that appeals to, or influences feeling and emotion in the target
audience. (See The
Marketing of Cigars)
From Tanzania, Africa, this type of meerschaum
differs from Turkish meerschaum in that it is fired at high
temperatures, then stained in shades of brown, black, and yellow.
The curing process used for Cigar tobaccos (Dark
Air-Cured) and also for Burley
tobaccos. After being harvested,
cigar leaves are hung in pairs in Curing Barns/Casas de Tabaco for
approximately 50 days. During air curing, leaves lose their Chlorophyll
and 85% of their humidity. See Stalk-Curing for
Having the properties of an Alkali, or having a
pH greater than 7. An Alkaline flavor is bitter
and/or dry and astringent. Cigar and Pipe tobaccos are highly Alkaline,
they have high ammonia
content, so they are not inhaled. See
pH Balance academic content.
Any in a class of naturally occurring organic
bases containing nitrogen. Popular Alkaloids include Nicotine,
Morphine, Ephedrine, and Quinine. Thousands of Alkaloids are known to
exist in thousands of plants, but they are of interest mostly because of
their physiological effects on humans and animals.
Spanish for "yellow", refers to this
color classification of shade
grown wrapper leaf.
A hermetically sealed jar containing 50 (or
occasionally 25) cigars.
Made from fossilized tree sap, Amber
Stems are beautiful, yet fragile. They are
hard and may feel like glass on the teeth. Amber is commonly found on Meerschaum
and some higher end Briar
Market Selection (AMS)
This terminology refers to Double Claro colored
cigars which were popular in The United States during the middle 20th
An alkaline compound that exists naturally in
the tobacco leaf. Much of the ammonia is expelled as a gas during the fermentation
The professional in charge of tobacco and/or
cigar Añejamiento. The Añejador curates the temperature, humidity, and
aging standards for tobaccos and cigars.
Simply put, this is the aging process; the
very slow process of natural decomposition - which occurs at lower
humidity and temperature levels than Fermentation. During
Añejamiento, tobaccos slowly release ammonia, impurities, and
Añejamiento is for leaves and occurs
after Fermentation; often this process goes on for years.
Añejamiento occurs after the
cigars are rolled, while they are curated by your Tobacconist, in your
personal humidor, all they way up until they are smoked.
Spanish term for the worker who applies the band
to the cigar.
Spanish for "ring", referring to cigar
In the world of luxury tobacco, cigars, pipes,
and tobaccos which are called Anniversary commemorate a date or event,
such as the makers 25th Anniversary. It does not mean that the tobaccos
or products are Vintage, or inherently special for any other reason.
A pipe with a round shaped bowl reminiscent of
A period of Service and Learning an art or a
A distinctive and pleasant or savory smell.
A phrase used by TU to describe the process of
dissecting a cigar to smell the aromas of the individual leaf
components. First, take the cigar apart, gently, and separate the
wrapper, binder, and different filler leaves. The filler leaves will be
distinguished by their color and texture. Then, light the individual
components in an ashtray, one at a time, and smell the aromas. Keep a
bucket of water handy in case the fire/embers get out of hand.
Blended Virginia and Burley tobaccos which have
flavorings, or "casing" added
as part of the manufacturing/blending process. Some common casings are
chocolate, vanilla, cherry, rum, etc. Aromatics are
typically mild and have a sweeter taste+aroma.
A skilled worker who practices a trade or handicraft,
often using traditional methods.
Short hand for "Brick & Mortar"
blend pipe tobacco.
Synonym for Cigar Ring, a band
may also be applied to the foot of the cigar.
1) See Body.
2) The process of aging and curing tobacco leaves in barrels.
Traditionally this cigar
shape was a small Pyramid between 5 to 5 1/2
inches long. Today the size can refer to cigars with with a rounded and
Characterized by a curved shank
pipes tend to collect moisture at the bottom
of the bowl, below the bend of the shank, but they can transmit less
heat to the palate than Straight
A concoction of water and tobacco residues used
to wet down the tobacco before fermentation.
shape with a slightly rounded bowl and straight stem.
The dense, strong leaf that is applied to the
outside of the filler tobaccos. The Binder
protects and forms the filler tobaccos in the molds
Having two disctinct, and often seemingly
contradictory effects; in the case of nicotine
consumption, the effects of both mental alertness and physical
relaxation are biphasic.
The part of the Stem
that the lips and teeth rest upon; just below the Lip.
Pipe tobacco that is steamed, usually with
sugars or flavoring in the water and pressed for an additional
curing/fermentation period. Black
Cavendish goes through more vigorous
pressing than Natural
Cavendish, yielding a darker color and
The combination of different types of tobacco
used to create a specific character and taste. In a cigar,
this includes the filler,
leaves from different parts of the plant, different plants, and
different regions. For pipe tobaccos, see Aromatic
Blend definitions, or the Pipe
Tobacco Blending section of Tobacco College.
Ultimately, blending is a big part of the art of making great luxury
Synonym for Plume.
This is an airborne fungus that can ravage an
entire tobacco field/plantation in a matter of days. Also known as
Peronospara Tabacina, Blue Mold flourishes in cool, cloudy, humid
weather: the effects are distinguished by small round blemishes on the tobacco
1) The middle part of the cigar, also referred
to as the barrel. 2) The breadth and depth (spectrum) of flavor
of a tobacco. Also referred to as richness and fullness, but not to be
confused with the tobacco's strength, spice, or nicotine
level. For example, Dominican
tobaccos tend to have a lighter body than Central
This is a flap of delicate paper used to cover
cigars in a box; it lays under the lid and over the cigars.
The classic cedar box in which many cigars are
The first commercial Cigarette Injecting machine
which ushered in the age of mass-produced Cigarettes. Invented by James
Albert Bonsack and patented in 1880.
An alternative to Entubado
or Accordion rolling, Booking involves
laying filler leaves flatly on top of one another and then folding them
up, like a book or taco, to complete the bunch. This technique is
simpler than Entubado and Accordion rolling and creates a less aerated
cigar structure: placing the leaves directly on top of each other does
not allow as much air to pass through each individual leaf in the the
cigar. The advantage of Book
Rolling is that it is quicker and more
efficient from a manufacturing perspective. This is probably the most
popular technique for making premium cigars today.
Spanish term which refers to the cigar foot.
Acronym for "Brothers of the Leaf".
or "Nose" of a cigar or pipe tobacco.
This term refers to smaller cigar, pipe, and
tobacco companies with limited production. In general, boutique
companies are more artisan-oriented.
The hollowed out part of a pipe
that holds tobacco.
Technique which squares off the sides of a
traditional “cylinder” shaped cigar. The Cuban
Box Press is a by-product of the tight box
helping to shape very humid cigars into a square.
Also known as Bruyere in French, Briar is the
name for wood that comes from the Burls found on the roots of the Heath
Tree (Erica Arborea). Briar
is widely considered the best and most popular material for Pipe
A term used to describe the lighter Virginia
is a dark tobacco varietal family popular for producing wrappers leaves that
are enourmous, resilient, and thick. These leaves are ideal
for creating a Maduro
colored wrapper. Broadleaf wrapper is not Primed, but rather the whole
plant is stalk-cut when it matures.
French word for Briar. See Briar
The Spanish term for an Ox. Buey are castrated,
domesticated bulls used to plow fields and pull carts. They are
still commonly used in cigar tobacco agriculture.
A pipe that has an indentation carved into the
circumference towards the top of the bowl. Bulldog
pipes usually have a diamond-shaped stem.
tobaccos that are rolled up with the Binder
leaves are applied to the Bunch after the pressing.
The method of packaging cigars without a box,
usually in packs of 25 or 50. Bundles are typically more economical
cigars, and often do not have bands.
Typically, cigar makers release their "seconds" in Bundles.
A hardened wood growth found on trees. Burl,
or "Bird's Eye", can also refer to the tight, circular grain
pattern that is seen on the wood that comes from Burls on trees.
A grain pattern found on Smooth Finish Briar
pipes, that has tight, swirling patterns:
also referred to as "Bird's
The strong breathable material used to wrap
filler and binder leaves for tobacco anejamiento.
Light, air-cured tobacco
that has a rich, nutty taste. Its slow, even burning qualities make it
popular with pipe smokers.
In the context of the 2 Stage Fermenation model
that TU teaches, Burros are the 4 to 6 foot tall piles of tobacco which
constitute the most intense Fermentation
period. Unraveling and re-piling occurs at critical temperature points
so the tobacco will not “burn out”. In other countries,
the term Burro can refer to any Fermentation pile.
A natural gas made from petroleum, that is
flavorless and ideal for torch lighters and lighting
luxury tobacco products.
Unit of area used to
measure land in Cuba,
equivalent to 33.2 acres.
in cedar boxes, in lieu of paper wrapped boxes. These boxes provide
direct contact with the cedar and can be preferable for long
The Spanish (or Cuban-Spanish) term for a
partially smoked and unlit cigar.
The Carbon that develops along the inner wall of
the Pipe Chamber
and acts as protection and insulation for the Bowl; as well as promoting
an even smoking experience. Approximately 1/16" of Char
is considered ideal for a Pipe.
pipes were made from African gourds. The gourds are trained by hand,
while they grow, to achieve the desired pipe shape: bent into an
"S"-like form. The natural shape of the gourd, fatter at one
end - like a bowling pin, provides a cool smoking instrument. Because
the gourd cannot sustain extreme heat, Calabash pipes generally have a
bowl insert for the tobacco to be placed in: usually ceramic, briar, or
meerschaum. Today, the term "Calabash" refers to any pipe in
the classic "Gourd" "S"-like shape.
A decorated and functional pipe
made by the Indians of North America, also known as the "Peace
Common name for tobacco grown in Central
Africa, these plants are descended from
Sumatran seed. Known for their rich flavors and aromas, they are often
used as wrapper leaves.
Also known as Double Claro, these leaves are Flue-Cured
(or heat cured) to fix the cholorphyll levels in the leaf and produce
the desired Green color.
The uneven, one-sided
burn of a cigar. This is caused by
sub-standard rolling, improperly placed filler, uneven humidity, or
poorly fermented raw materials.
The circular piece of Wrapper leaf that finishes
of a cigar.
Spanish word for cigar Wrapper
Spanish term for the second growth plant/leaves. After
the plant has been harvest/primed
the stalk is trimmed down and the leaves are allowed to re-grow.
This process was common in Cuba where the farmers would allow the
plant/leaves to re-grow and they would use those leaves for their own
consumption. Capadura is especially common when growing Pelo
De Oro tobacco varietals.
A newer Cuban hybrid [dark tobacco] varietal
which started to be grown widely around 2007. Capero No. 1 is a cross
between Habanos 2000 + Corojo '99 + Criollo '98. It produces an extra 2
to 3 leaves over other hybrids and has very large leaves. Capero No. 1
has been genetically engineered to produce no flowers and therefore no
seeds: this will help Cuba maintain control over the plants genetics and
where it is grown.
Spanish word for cigar Binder
leaf. Also refers to section of Criollo
plant used for Fillers
This is the process by which Char changes to
Carbon and forms Cake on the inside of the tobacco bowl
chamber. This Carbonized [Cake] material helps protect the Briar
from the inside out, keeps the bowl cool, and promotes an even smoking
A wax derived from the palm of the Carnauba
tree. This wax melts at high temperatures and is used to give pipes
their final polish.
A naturally occurring organic compound found in some
plants. When cigar tobacco is air-cured
the chlorophyll is broken down and the new yellow and orange-ish
pigments from the Carotene are exposed.
A Carved Finish is sculpted or shaped by hand.
definition for Carved
Cuban term for Curing
Barn which has open sides facing East and
West for optimal air circulation. Tobacco is placed high up in the Casa
de Tabaco after picking/priming
to dry out and lose its Chlorophyll.
top-coat of liquid flavoring that is added to Pipe Tobaccos (usually
can include Honey, Liqueurs, Extracts, etc...
The cylindrical instrument used to cut the round
tobacco leaf that is the cigar Cap.
Spanish for "taster", Catadores ensure
control by tasting batches of finished
Tobacconist, as defined and accredited by
Tobacconist University. Download - CCT
Also known as Cedrela odorata, Spanish Cedar is
neither Spanish nor a Cedar; it is a member of the Meliaceae, or
Mahogany family. It is commonly used for cigar boxes and cigar
aging because it is naturally pest
resistant, hygroscopic, and naturally abundant in Central America and
The Spanish word for Spanish Cedar (see Cedar,
A cigar box with rounded sides.
A thin, transparent film made from regenerated
cellulose, often used in the packaging of cigars - learn
An insoluble substance derived from plant
glucose, used as a binder in Homogenized
The third level of leaves from the top of the corojo
plant, between the centro gordo and centro ligero leaves.
The second level of leaves from the top of the corojo
plant, just below the top corona leaves.
The leaves on the third level from the bottom of
plant, between the centro fino and uno y medio leaves. Not to be
confused with the criollo
plant, where the term Ligero refers to the top leaves, which are exposed
to the most sun.
Instrument used to measure the proper ring
gauge of a finished cigar. This is usually a
piece of wood with the appropriate size whole cut into it: the cigar is
passed through to confirm it is the proper diameter.
is the inside part of the bowl where the tobacco is placed for smoking.
Depending on the Pipe, Chambers vary in size, depth, and finish.
The partially scorched, pre-ash
remnants of tobacco.
Flat metal tool
shaped like a half moon, and used to cut tobacco leaves by Torcedores
The process by which people (and other
organisms) respond to chemical stimuli by using their sense of taste and
One of the oldest known cigar shapes, from the
Tamil "curuttu", literally meaning "roll". This term
usually refers to a mild and inexpensive cigar that tapers gradually
from foot to head and is cut at both ends. Also referred to as a "stogie".
This term refers to consumers that scour retail
Tobacconists looking for HTF
Popular during the 1800s, this term referred to
small cigar factories in Cuba which manufactured cigars for domestic
Figurado cigar with a round foot and a flattened
The use of more than one color and stone (up to
25) in Lithography.
This stands for Certified Honorary Tobacconist
as defined by Tobacconist University. A CHT is a distinguished member of
the Luxury Tobacco industry who has very deep knowledge in a specific
field: such as Cigar or Pipe making. CHTs have not taken the
Certification Exam, but do subscribe to the Code
of Ethics & Standards. They have
received their honorary Certification because their experience and
wisdom make them a vital contributor to the knowledge base and oral
traditions of our industry.
A large cigar, traditionally 7 x 48.
A pipe shape with a long, curved stem, also
known as a "Yard of Clay." Churchwardens were originally
made of clay,
and were enormously popular in Europe until the introduction of the Briar
Pipe. Churchwardens tend to produce a
cooler smoke due to the length the smoke has to travel from bowl to
A cylinder of tobacco leaves rolled together;
beginning in the center with filler
tobaccos, bound with a binder
tobacco leaf, and sheathed with a wrapper
tobacco leaf. A Premium Cigar is made from only long leaf tobacco and is
made exclusively by hand. *The only exception might be
"premium" cigars which are machine
bunched, but hand wrapped.
Technically, this term could refer to a cigar
roller, since they 'make' the cigar, or the factory owner who 'makes'
cigars. But, cigar maker is typically used in a much broader sense,
referring to farmers, fermentors, blenders, and the people who put their
names on a cigar brand.
Cigar Rolling Tables are distinguished by a
partial top shelf (approx: 40" high) over the standard table top
(approx: 30" high). The partial top shelf creates extra space on
top for placing finished cigars, while the space underneath hides the
goma, guillotina, water, leaves, and other incidentals.
A small cigar, composed of Short
Filler tobacco, and made by machine. Cigarillos are often Dry
Cured, in the European tradition.
Cigarillos are not Premium Cigars since they are not made from Long
Filler or by hand.
A cigar wrapper leaf which is pale green to
light brown in color.
Growing the leaf under shade
helps keep the color light.
made from hardened clay popularized by Sir Walter Raleigh in the early
1600's, characterized by a small bowl and long stem.
Cigar made with Cuban tobacco in the United
States, before the Cuban
The term used to describe cigar tobacco grown in
which is naturally shaded by consistent cloud cover. The naturally
diffused light diminishes vein size, yields thinner leaves with a very
consistent color, and more subtle taste/aroma.
Certified Master Tobacconist, as defined and
accredited by Tobacconist University. CMT is also the Professional
Designation for Certified Master Tobacconists. Download - CMT
The cigar brand created for Fidel
Castro in 1966, the name "Cohiba"
is the Carribean Island peoples' native term for tobacco.
General Cuban classifications of Wrapper
colors from lightest to darkest: Clarissimo,
Double Claro, Claro, Colorado Claro, Colorado, Colorado Maduro, Maduro,
produced [in the form of dew] in valleys during early morning hours and
Also referred to as spice tobaccos, these types
of pipe tobaccos are used in small proportions to add spice and enhance
a blend. The two most popular condiment tobaccos are Latakia and
A variety of Nicotiana
found growing wild in Honduras.
A traditional American pipe, the corncob's
bowl is made from a dried and hollowed out cob, with a reed or hollowed
out piece of wood inserted for the stem and mouthpiece.
Cuban tobacco plant
(seed varietal) grown under cheesecloth
[to redirect harsh sunlight] and used for cigar Wrappers. From top to
bottom leaf classifications: Coronas, Centro Gordo, Centro Fino, Centro
Ligero, Uno Y Medio, and Libre de Pie.
The top leaves of the Corojo
plant. Also a term used in the cigar world to describe the approximate cigar
size of 5 1/4“ x 44rg.
A modern favorite cigar shape measuring
approximately 6 x 50.
Spanish term for Harvesting.
A skilled worker who practices a trade or handicraft.
Cuban tobacco plant
(seed varietal) grown under direct sunlight and used for Fillers
and Binder. Produces 6 to 7 pairs of leaves:
Ligero, Seco, Volado, (all fillers) and Capotes (Binders).
Retail Tobacconist, as defined and
accredited by Tobacconist University. CRT is also the Professional
Designation for Certified Retail Tobacconists. Download - CRT
Salesforce Tobacconist, as defined and
accredited by Tobacconist University. CST is also the Professional
Designation for Certified Salesforce Tobacconists.
This term refers to seeds or varietals that
originate from Cuba,
but are typically grown in other countries. Since most dark
tobacco/cigar varietals originate from Cuba, this is a very general
Cuban empresa (organization) in charge of
tobacco agriculture, processing, and production; from the 1960s to the
Pipe Tobacco which is cut or shred into small,
square-like pieces: these are easily blended and smoked. Burley
Tobaccos are the most common Cube
Long wooden lathes used to hold up pairs of
tobacco leaves during the Air
Curing in the Casas
Spanish word for “Snake” which describes the
braiding of three loosely filled, thin cigars which are held together by
string. The practice of braiding cigars together came out of Cuba when
factory owners needed a way to control the rollers’ cigar smoking. Culebras
were distributed as the day’s ration of cigars. As the rollers smoked
the Culebras, the squirmy look of the cigar signaled the factory
managers that the rollers were not smoking the premium inventory.
dries out the raw tobacco, it is more accurately described as the
process of altering the chemical and organic properties of the leaves:
converting starch to sugar, oxidizing sugar, losing chlorophyll,
moisture etc... Freshly picked Tobacco leaves contain as much as 85% of
their weight in moisture. When the moisture is removed, the chemical and
organic changes are halted. Different Curing
methods are used for different types of raw tobacco:
Air, Fire, Flue, Sun. See Dry
Cured Cigars for information on the Curing
of finished cigars.
for tobaccos that are used to create cigars.
Dark tobaccos are more robust than light tobaccos, which are used for
cigarettes and pipe tobaccos.
As in the theater, every actor and prop has a
'mark', a physical location where they must be at any given time. A
store should look the same at opening and closing every day. Sales,
customers, receiving inventory, and other events can disrupt the look of
a store. Setting "Default Positions", a specific location for
fixtures, products, ashtrays, etc., can help maintain an orderly and
coherent merchandising strategy.
After the 2nd
Fermentation, the Filler and Binder Gavillas
are laid on racks in climate controlled Dehumidification rooms for
several days to let the leaf recuperate and dry out. Dehumidification
also occurs after the cigars have been rolled and placed in Marrying
Another form of Pruning,
this is the process of removing flower buds (before they bloom) from the
tobacco plants. This occurs at least one week before harvesting
begins: it keeps pollenation from occuring and keeps the plants from
expending energy and resources on the flowers.
Similar to Pruning
this process occurs in the fields on maturing plants when the smaller,
non-viable leaves are removed to allow nutrients to flow to the larger
The Spanish term for Stemming. Wrappers have the
entire stem removed, yielding two separate parts of the leaf to wrap
cigars. Filler leaves have only half of the stem removed from the bottom
(creating a “Pata de Rana” or “Frogs Legs” shape).
approximately 8 inches long which is tapered at both ends, like a large
Threshold where we can sense and perceive
gradients in the tastes and smells (aromas) of a substance; lighter to
heavier, milder to stronger.
A slang term for an unpalatable cigar.
Also known as Candela, Jade, and American Market Selection
(AMS), these leaves are Flue-Cured
(or heat cured) to fix the cholorphyll levels in the leaf and produce
the desired Green color.
A cigar which is larger than a Churchill:
approximately 7 to 8 inches long with a ring
gauge of 49 or bigger.
Guillotine - Cigar Cutter
A cigar cutter with two straight blades, locked
in a frame, which makes a straight cut. A guillotine with one blade and
two finger holes is a single
guillotine, as a double
guillotine must have two blades.
The term used to describe how easily a cigar allows
air to pass through it.
These cigars are slowly baked in an oven,
after they are manufactured. They require only 12-15% relative
humidity for preservation; this is approximately the same as indoor
humidity. Dry Cured Cigars are usually machine-made with Sumatran,
Central African, and/or Brazilian tobaccos. They are typically
manufactured where they are most popular, in Europe.
with a half-oval shaped bowl, and a bent or straight stem.
A brand name for a hard rubber, originally
developed to mimic ebony wood, used to make pipe
The Briar Burl, in its most raw post-harvest
are purchased by Pipe makers, dried and stored untill they are ready to
begin carving the Pipe from it.
The wetting down of tobacco with a mixture of
water and tobacco residues. This Mojo
helps accelerate the fermentation
The method of growing cigar tobacco where
tents/cloths are erected around the perimeter of the crop, to protect it
from the wind.
Blend (Pipe Tobacco)
Also referred to as 'Balkan', English
Blends are composed of Oriental, Virginia,
Latakia, and Perique tobaccos.
Market Selection (EMS)
This terminology refers to cigars which are a
light to medium brown.
This is the Spanish term for Bunch.
Puňo also means "fist", which is how/where the Bunch is
held by the roller.
A technical rolling format which involves
rolling each Filler leaf into itself, almost like a small scroll. Each
individually "scrolled" leaf is then placed together to form
the bunch. This skillful rolling technique creates a more firmly packed
and balanced cigar which provides an excellent draw. Entubado
Rolling is the most difficult and complex
bunching method and is therefore rarely employed in large scale
The Spanish word for the aging cabinet or room
where cigars are stored and married
after rolling: it can also be known as an anejamiento room.
Cuban term for “the selection”. In Cuban
farming villages, the Escogida is a ritual and festival held while the
tobacco leaf crop is graded and selected by factory representatives.
Escogida can also refer to the color classification system for leaves
and the room where this occurs.
This term refers to a specific year's crop from
a specific farm or 'estate'. See Vintage.
A hybrid of entubado
bunching, a.k.a. 'lazy entubado'. This technique uses a base of two
tobacco leaves which are folded (semi-scrolled) and the filler leaves
are scrolled and placed within it. Lastly, the entire bunch is wrapped
with the binder leaf.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke, also known as
Second Hand Smoke (SHS).
This type of Humidifier
works because of the evaporative
qualities of water. Typically the surface area of the Humidifier is in
proportion to the size of the box and water is released at a rate which
creates 70 to 73% humidity. Some Evaporation
Humidifiers use a fan to control the
Term for the expulsion of heat and ammonia
from the tobacco leaf during fermentation.
Cuban term for cigar factory.
Also known as "Sweating" or "Trabajando",
it is the natural, vigorous, highly controlled process that accounts for
the majority of flavor + aroma development and distinction in cigar
tobaccos. Fermentation occurs when moisture, heat, oxygen, and pressure
levels reach a critical synergy: the result is an expulsion of ammonia
and other unpalatable organic components of the leaf. The temperatures
piles are closely monitored: the piles are
deconstructed and re-configured before they get too hot. Tobacco can
easily be depleted of flavor + aroma characteristics if over Fermented.
Under Fermented tobacco will be noxious, unrefined, and
"green" (an industry term with no relation to the leaf color).
Usually a metal or other potentially decorative
ring used to reinforce the wood around the end of the Shank.
Any cigar which is not a consistent cylindrical shape.
For example: Torpedo, Pyramid, Perfecto.
These are narrow strips of paper used to seal
the edges/border of cigar boxes.
Pits or imperfections in Briar
can be "Filled" in with wood putty or using comparable
techniques. Typically, a Fill is visible to the human eye because it
will not look like the surrounding Briar. While Fills
are common on many Pipes, A High Grade Briar Pipe should be rejected or
downgraded if Fill is used.
The combination of distinct tobacco leaves which
constitute the “guts” of the cigar. Filler must be expertly bunched
to make a well constructed cigar that will draw and burn in balance. The
Cuban term for Filler is Tripa.
Spanish word for a farm.
term which describes the lingering flavors left behind on the smokers palate.
process which uses small fires in an enclosed space to flavor tobaccos.
Fire-Curing involves using aromatic woods as fuel, which imparts flavor
into the tobaccos. Fire-Curing can be done after a Sun-Curing, as is the
case with Latakia
During cigar wrapping, a small piece of the leaf
is expertly trimmed to help close the Head.
Pipe Tobacco which has been Pressed into blocks
and then sliced into thin, broad, flat flakes:
should be Rubbed
Out for smoking.
A grain pattern found on Smooth
Finish Briar pipes, that has narrowing or
widening streaks that mimic a flame.
A cigar box designed to hold one row of cigars.
The combination of taste
The ability to recall specific flavors (tastes
and aromas) in your mind.
process which applies high levels of heat, in an enclosed space, to
tobaccos. The heat dries out the leaves and fixes the sugar content of
the tobacco. This technique is most commonly used on Virginia
varietals which have naturally high sugar levels.
The typically flat and open end of a cigar that
The Spanish term which can describe cigar
strength and vigour. Fortaleza can also refer to the overall
sensory input (robustness) from a cigar, not just strength as it
relates to nicotine.
Also known as Sculpted, Freestyle, or Carved
Pipes, a Freehand
is not a basic or classic shape. Freehand Pipes are shaped by hand to
elicit the best features of the Briar
1.) The Spanish name given to a quality
control committee which smokes/tests cigars.
2.) A Fuma can also be a short
filler,rustically finished cigar; this can include a twisted head and a
The traditional Cuban term for a cigar with an
unfinished “shaggy” Foot and a twisted Head/Cap.
Spanish for "galley", the workroom
where cigars are hand
Also known as a "Hand", these are
bunches of tobacco leaves held together by string, which help organize
the tobacco for fermentation
Similar to American blend, but more Oriental
tobacco is used. These cigarettes have a milder taste since the tobacco
is not as heavily cased and flavored as American cigarettes.
The Spanish word for Gum, also known as
Vegetable Gum. This natural adhesive is used to seal the cigar leaves
and the Wrapper at the head.
A change in Grain from Straight/Flame/Burl or No
Grain (Bald Spot) to another pattern. Grain Disruptions are common on
many extraordinary pipes, but a Briar
Pipe with only one Grain Pattern, and no Disruption,
is truly rare and spectacular.
Spanish term used to describe Cuban agricultural
workers and/or peasants.
The cutting instrument used by the Torcedore to
trim the foot
of the cigar after it has been rolled.
A cigar cutter
with a straight blade, locked in a frame, that cuts off a thin slice of
the closed cigar Head.
guillotines, along with double guillotines
and scissors, produce a straight
Also known as Vegetable Gum, this natural
adhesive is used to seal the cigar leaves and the Wrapper at the head.
The action or sense of tasting
with the mouth/tongue.
Acronym popularized in internet cigar
communitites which describes "Hard-To-Find" products, such as
limited edition or special release cigars.
This term refers to a cigar rolled in Cuba
exclusively from Cuban tobacco leaves.
A traditional Cuban seed varietal family that
has been hybridized and cross-bred to create many new modern varietals.
Traditional Habano Seed is still used to produce many cigars throughout
Central America. See Other
Cigar Varietal Families.
The joint venture between the Cuban government
(and Cubatabaco) and the European firm Altadis. Habanos
S.A. controls the worldwide distribution and
marketing of Cuban cigars. In addition, Habanos S.A. owns the trademarks
for all Cuban cigar brands outside of the U.S..
In Spanish, "media
ruida", a bundle of 25 or 50 cigars,
usually tied with a ribbon or packaged in cellophane. See also "Bundle".
Also known as a Gavilla, this refers to the way
tobacco leaves are organized by being bunched together to undergo fermentation and
made exclusively by human hands.
A trade requiring manual skills.
The Herculean task of hand picking tobacco
leaves from the plant (also see Priming).
In addition to being the capital of Cuba, the
term “Havana” refers to a cigar rolled in Cuba exclusively from
Cuban tobacco leaves.
A general classification for dark
air-cured tobacco seed varietals that
originated from Cuba. Havana seed varietals are grown throughout
all cigar growing regions.
Since Cuba is the 'birthplace' of cigar tobacco,
many consumers assume and continue to believe that Cuban cigars are the
best in the world. While this sentiment has changed dramatically since
the 1990s, there are still many cigar smokers around the world that
believe in Cuban cigar supremacy. This bias/focus is further exasperated
in the U.S. because Cuban products are not easily available to
consumers, so they base their assumptions on romance and mythology.
The end of a cigar which touches the mouth.
This term means "Made by Hand" but it
refers to cigars that have machine
Slang term describing the act of drawing on a
cigar. "Herf" also refers to a gathering of cigar
lovers, where cigars are savored and enjoyed with friends.
Tobacco Leaf (H.T.L.)
Originally developed by General Cigar during the
1950s, this reconstituted tobacco leaf was mixed with stems and
cellulose to create a usable tobacco-like leaf. HTL
is not a component of premium cigar and pipe tobaccos. HTL helped expand
the machine-made cigar industry by creating cheaper alternatives.
Also known Narghile, Narghila, Nargile, Nargila,
Sheesha, Shisha, Water-Pipe, or Hubbly-Bubbly. The Hookah
Pipe is an indirect smoking system because
the smoke passes through water, or other liquid, before reaching the
smoker's palate. The four main parts of a Hookah are Bowl, Stem, Body,
Describes any tobacco that is transferring
heat to the palate.
This can be caused by smoking too quickly, or improper (cigar) rolling
or (pipe) packing. Tobacco that burns
hot is not combusting at the proper
rate and must be allowed to cool down, by not drawing or toking.
An apparatus which creates and maintains the 65%
to 73% Relative
Humidity needed to keep cigars optimally
conditioned. [Note: it is important to use distilled water or the
closest alternative in Humidifiers.
Minerals and other contaminants can clog the hygroscopic medium and/or taint
A device used to regulate humidity through a humidifier.
Any container intended to store cigars at the
appropriate humidity. Usually a sealed box (or other container)
which can maintain a constant 70% Relative
An instrument used to measure Humidity. Analog
models need immediate (after purchase) calibration while most
come factory calibrated.
This term refers to a substance’s qualities to
readily absorb and retain humidity. Cigars and tobacco are Hygroscopic
by nature, and require proper
humidity to live and thrive properly.
International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers
association. Founded in 1932 as the R.T.D.A., this is the premier
organization for retail Tobacconists.
A makeshift humidor made from a plastic cooler,
also referred to as a "Cooledor". This method of cigar storage
is inexpensive, but can have drawbacks for long-term storage:
plastic containers do not have the hygroscopic qualities that Spanish
Cedar does, and the tight seal will not allow air to circulate in
the humidor, increasing the risk of over-humidification
and mold. Therefore, extra care and
monitoring may be needed to maintain your cigars in this type of
humidor. Additionally, cigar smokers may prefer a higher
quality and more aesthetically pleasing humidor to store their luxury
A famous cigar tobacco growing region in the
North Eastern part of Nicaragua,
near the Southern border of Honduras.
A famous cigar tobacco growing area in the South
Eastern part of Honduras
near the Northern Nicaraguan border.
Typically made from Cork, this device sits in an
and helps pipe smokers empty their bowl by "knocking" the pipe
rim against it.
The main decorative paper which is glued onto
Cigars weighing more than three pounds per one
thousand cigars; as defined by the U.S. government.
Tobacco which is sun-cured, then fire-cured
with aromatic woods and fragrant herbs to impart a smokey quality. Too
strong and spicy to be smoked alone, Latakia
tobacco enhances and distinguishes other blends.
The part of the tobacco plant
which is meant to be smoked.
Traditionally, in Cuba these were the
professionals who read newspapers and books to the cigar rollers
throughout the work day.
The use of a tool or force to gain an advantage.
You can use words, relationships, knowledge, experience, body language,
humor, or just about anything to increase your income and quality of
Spanish term for the two leaves at the base of
plant, literally "free feet".
This rolling technique uses the Lieberman
machine to bunch and bind the tobacco filler
leaves. The Lieberman machine is commonly used today in premium cigar
factories throughout the world. Cigars which are bunched using the
Lieberman machine usually still have the wrapper
applied by hand.
The Spanish term for the Blend. Which is the
combination of different tobacco leaves and proportions to create a
specific character and taste. In a cigar, this includes the filler,
binder, and wrapper leaves.
Spanish term for the master
blender in a cigar factory.
One of the 3 basic types of filler leaves of the
Ligero. Ligero leaves are from the top of the plant
and are exposed to the most sun. Ligero leaves are known for being
dense, rich, and robust.
for tobaccos that are used to create
cigarettes and pipe tobaccos. The varietals in this category are less
robust than the Dark tobaccos used to make cigars.
The part of the Stem which Flares open slightly
to allow the teeth a place to rest. The Lip
surrounds the air hole and is located just above the Bit.
The process of carving an image onto a flat
stone and using a crayon or ink to replicate that image (in reverse)
Cigars weighing three pounds or less per
thousand; as defined by the U.S. government.
The whole leaves which are used in premium
cigars: not chopped up pieces of leaf or HTL.
A long and slender cigar, usually around 6 x 42.
Lucite is a tradename for a type of hard and
durable plastic polymer commonly used for Pipe
Stems. They retain their finish over long
periods and can be easily polished, yet they can be hard on the teeth.
Tobacco products which are created by master craftsmen
utilizing premium quality tobacco and intended to be enjoyed while
savoring your time. Luxury tobacco is never homogenized,
commoditized, or used out of habit or addiction.
The acronym for "Make Your Own" cigarettes.
See synonym R.Y.O.
Refers to cigars bunched and wrapped by machine:
these are not premium cigars.
In its most limited sense, the term maduro
can simply refer to a dark or black wrapper color - these color wrappers
can result from late primings or stalk-cutting broadleaf tobaccos.
But, a true maduro will have a wrapper which has undergone longer and/or
more intense (higher temperature) fermentation
that produces a richer, earthier, and sweeter flavor.
which affects ash whiteness and density. Too much produces ash flaking.
A bundle of four Gavillas.
This term refers to a land measurement common in
Latin America: the approximate equivalent is 1.7 acres - but it varies
from country to country.
where cigars [in bundles of 50] are stored in cedar
cabinets after rolling. The room and cabinets allow the cigars to lose
some of their excessive humidity and reach a balanced state. This
process is necessary because cigar tobacco is “overly” moist during
varietal cigar tobacco that is grown in the Reconcavo Basin. Mata Fina
and produces excellent Oscuro
Wrappers. The flavor profile is typically rich, mild to medium strength,
very aromatic, and naturally sweet.
The point in time when tobacco leaves are ready
At Maturation, tobacco leaves lay horizontally, the center vein has a
yellowish color, and they cut away freely.
Spanish term for a 25, or more commonly 50 cigar
The Spanish term for a 50 cigar bundle, also
known as a Half-Wheel.
German for "Sea Foam", Meerschaum is a
light, white, clay-like mineral that is primarily found in Turkey. Meerschaum
has become synonymous for the Pipes that are created from it.
German for "sea foam", a light, white,
clay-like mineral primarily found in Turkey. Meerschaum resembles ivory
and can be intricately carved.
The physical and visual language with which our
products communicate with the customer: it should be commensurate with
the quality of the product and your store. Also spelled
The thorough wetting
of Gavillas/tobacco leaves.
Like any other type of mold, Cigar
Mold is a fungus which appears as a woolly
growth found on damp and/or decaying organic matter - rendering the
Wood (or plastic) forms which give the binder
and filler their cigar-like shape. Cigar Molds are filled
with Bunches and then placed in a Press for
approximately 45 minutes and then rotated by 1/3rd to eliminate any
seam. The Bunches can also be left in the Mold and Press
overnight if convenient, but the result will be the same.
A hole carved into the shank of the pipe
into which the tenon is fit, connecting the bowl to the mouthpiece.
Master Settlement Agreements
On November 23, 1998, after years of litigation
between state courts and the cigarette industry, leading U.S. cigarette
manufacturers signed an agreement with the Attorneys General of 46
states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, known as
the Master Settlement Agreement, or MSA.
Previous agreements were already signed with the other 4 states.
Collectively, these agreements are known as the state Tobacco Settlement
Agreements, or TSA. These agreements had the effect of making the
cigarette industry the most regulated and highly taxed industry in
America; and has the unique distinction of making this the only industry
legally required to fund its own opposition..
Pipe tobacco that is steamed, usually with
sugars or flavoring in the water, and pressed for an additional
curing/fermentation period. Natural
Cavendish differs from Black Cavendish in
that it goes through a less vigorous pressing, yielding a milder flavor.
Also known as Navy Plug,
it was given the name because sailors would fill a long canvas tube with
tobacco and flavorings (rum, fruits, spices), then twist the tube tight:
mimicking the Pressing
process. This technique created a dense "rope" of tobacco
about an inch thick. When a piece of the tobacco is sliced/cut off it is
called a Plug: this must be Rubbed
Out for smoking purposes.
The Genus of plants which contains approximately
60 species, of which most are found in the Americas; 14 are found in
North America, 9 of which were used by Native Americans in a variety of
ways. Of these, there were 2 species used in ways that modern
aficionados would most recognize; namely, Nicotiana rustica
One of approximately 60 species of Nicotiana.
For thousands of years, during the Pre-Columbian era, Nicotiana rustica
was popular among the indigenous peoples of North America; while
Nicotiana tabacum was confined
to Central and South America. Notably, Nicotiana rustica
contains twenty times more nicotine than Nicotiana tabacum.
Use and commercial production of Nicotiana rustica
is well documented into the seventeenth century, while it represents a
only small fraction of global tobacco production today.
The most famous of the more than 60 species of Nicotiana.
Nicotiana tabacum is the largest cash crop plant on earth, yet
it is not found growing in the wild. Specifically, Nicotiana tabacum
is the plant species referred to as "Tobacco".
Nicotine is a naturally occurring organic
compound in the same family of substances (alkaloids) as Caffeine. Found
in Tobacco plants, and to a lesser degree in tomatoes, green peppers,
potatoes, and eggplant, the general effects of Nicotine are biphasic:
initially it is mentally invigorating, then has a relaxing effect. Nicotine
& Tobacco, Nicotine
component which increases root growth, nicotine content, plant yield,
leaf width, and leaf luster.
Tobacco without any additional
flavoring/casing added. This is a misnomer since these tobaccos
still produce aromas.
The last 1 to 2 inches of a cigar; usually a
reference to 'smoking past the band'.
The act of smoking the last inch or two of a
cigar; or 'smoking past the band'.
Aspect of valley topography
which allows nutrients to flow from surrounding hills and mountains
[over time] into the valley.
The result of well conditioned cigars, oils are
exuded by tobacco leaves as they age.
The action of smelling, or the sense of smell
A variety of Dominican
cigar tobacco which has large leaves and is commonly used for filler and
binder. Olor tobacco can have a distinctly dry flavor, or drying effect
on the mouth. Olor is also the Spanish term for "Smell".
Being, affecting, or relating to qualities such
and the “feel”
of a substance that stimulates the senses.
Tobacco grown mostly in Southern Europe and the
Middle East, this plant has relatively small leaves and produces
fragrant, dry flavor profiles with low nicotine and sugar content. Oriental
tobacco is typically primed, sun-cured, and fermented.
Smelling odors that travel directly through the
nose to the olfactory nerves; such as by wafting cigar/pipe smoke under
the nose. (See Taste
The blackest shade of tobacco leaf; but not
necessarily a Maduro.
leaves can achieve this color without going through the additional
1) iterally, the roof of the mouth 2) A personal
preference of taste
3) The sense of taste
A slender cigar shape, traditionally 6" x
38rg, though frequently longer.
This term refers to straight-sided cigars; also
known as standard
or straight, not Figurado.
Humidifier has no electrical or moving parts
and works on simple evaporative and chemical equilibrium
principles. They are intended for smaller humidification needs and
commonly used in travel
While this is a Spanish term meaning
"golden hair" it is usually a reference to a potent Cuban
cigar varietal which was popular in the early and middle 20th Century.
This tobacco could be used for wrapper and filler as well, but is
disease prone and can infest entire crops and regions so it is rarely
grown today. Pelo de Oro can be considered a 'campesino' or 'guajiro'
tobacco since many agricultural workers grow and smoke it to this day -
especially in the central part of Cuba. It is known for being
quite strong and flavorful as well as sweet. Also, see Capadura.
A cigar approximately 4 to 6 inches long which
is tapered at both ends and bulbous at the center.
A burley tobacco grown only in St. James Parish,
is air-cured, then fermented in oak barrels to produce an extremely
robust tobacco with high nicotine levels. Primarily used as a
condiment in pipe tobacco blends and occasionally in cigarettes.
1.) Spanish term meaning "short
filler", or scraps of tobacco.
2.) Picadura can also refer to the small under-developed leaves that
grow just under the tobacco flower and above the ligero/corona leaves.
The Spanish term Pica Dura (two words) translates into "Bites
Also called a lance, a cutter
used to poke small holes through the head of a cigar.
The cigar Head finishing
technique that rolls the Flag into a tight scroll and is then tied into
a knot. Pig-Tails can easily be bitten off in lieu of cutting.
In the context of the 2 stage fermentation
model, Pilones are the 1 to 3 foot tall piles of tobacco which
constitute the initial Fermentation.
Today, in countries like Honduras and The Dominican Republic,
the term Pilone can refer to any Fermentation pile.
A varietal family of filler tobacco which
originated in Cuba but is now commonly cultivated in the Dominican
Republic and Central
Test (Pipe Tobacco)
Take a small clump of Pipe
Tobacco between the thumb and forefinger and
gently squeeze it together. If it makes a "crackle" sound or
breaks, it is probably too dry to smoke and definitely too dry for
storage/aging. If it sticks together for more than a few seconds it is
too moist for smoking and probably too humid for storage/aging.
A device used for smoking,
usually consisting of a tube connecting a mouthpiece to a bowl.
Also known as "Sand Pit", this feature
is a concave depression in the Briar:
a natural imperfection. Pits
are found on all Briar, so even extraordinary Pipes may have a Pit or
two. If the Pit is not too large, the Pipe maker may leave it exposed
and not fill it in. Usually only extreme scrutiny will reveal these
minor blemishes to the human eye, yet fastidious Pipe collectors are
forever in search of the perfect, Pit-less Briar.
Spanish for "iron", a term for the
wooden boards on which tobacco leaves are placed before fermentation.
The effect of poor craftsmanship or inferior raw
materials that inhibits the draw
of a cigar.
of tobacco that is cut from a dense rope-like blend. (See Navy
Also known as Bloom, this is a naturally
occurring by-product of cigar
aging. As the cigar exudes oils through the
Wrapper, the oils crystalize on the outside and form a white
powder-like substance. The Plume can be gently wiped off with no
The spanish term for Pruning,
this refers to the process of trimming down seedlings while they are
still in the Semilleros. By cutting off between half to two thirds of
each tobacco leaf, agronomists/farmers force the plant to spend its
energy on root and stalk development instead of the leaves.
1. (pipe shape) A pipe
with a cylindrical, flat bottomed bowl. 2. (pipe
tool) A slender piece of metal that is used
to aerate and loosen tobacco in a pipe bowl, as well as clear the pipe's
Cuban term for a cigar made exclusively for the
local Cuban market, and not exported.
A billiard shaped pipe,
but with a shorter bowl.
which has an important relationship to the burn rate of tobacco.
A finish applied to the Briar
Bowl Chamber which intends to mimic the
effects of Carbonization.
Technically, this term refers to the era of
history on the American continents before the arrival of Christopher
Columbus. In practice, Pre-Columbian history can apply to all time
before and until the indigenous peoples of the Americas made
contact with Europeans.
Cigars which are made from only long
leaf tobacco and are made exclusively by hand.
The apparatus which exerts pressure on cigar Molds,
to compress the tobacco into a cylindrical shape.
Tobacco which is contained under pressure
exerted by a machine. Pressing for hours or days can help different
Tobacco flavors marry as well as create a manageable "brick"
which can then be packaged, aged, and/or Flake
Cut. Long Term Pressing, as done to Cavendish
Tobaccos, can create Fermentation (with the
proper temperature and moisture) which will dramatically change and
develop the Tobacco.
The term used for Harvesting
premium tobacco leaves 2 or 3 at a time, approximately once a week. The
process starts at the bottom of the plant and continues upward. Priming
allows the leaves at the top to get more sun and reach optimal
Maturation before being picked: the higher the Priming, the stronger the
Established in 1992, this association is
composed of the Dominican Republic's most traditional and experienced
cigar manufacturers. Their objective is to defend, protect, and divulge
the good name of the "land of Cigar Country": preserving their
heritage and maintaining the quality upon which it is built. Every year
since 2008, Procigar has hosted the Procigar
Festival in the Dominican
Republic to host consumers and industry
professionals while educating them about their products and culture.
Procigar, also known as La Asociacion de Fabricantes de Cigarros de la
Republica Dominicana, has a quality seal used exclusively by its
members - click
here to see the Procigar seal.
An organic chemical, liquid alcohol that
mixes well with water in any proportion. PG is used in Reverse
Osmosis humidification systems to assist in regulating
humidity levels in humidors. See Humidifiers.
A cigar cutter
that consists of a small circular blade, intended to pierce a round hole
in the head of the cigar. Sometimes referred to as a "bullet"
or "bull's eye".
Describes a cigar in which all the tobacco comes
from the same country. Puro can also be a generic term used to describe
A hybrid of Spanish, Latin, and double entendre,
Puro Integritas refers to 'Pure Integrity' and 'Cigar Integrity'. It is
the Tobacconist University Motto.
(or Piramide) A cigar which is tapered to a
point at the Head and blossoms toward the cylindrical Foot.
The Spanish word used in the Dominican Republic
de tabaco, or air-curing
Retail Tobacco Dealers of America, the former
name of the I.P.C.P.R.
pattern that is not uniform: this may include a combination of Straight,
Flame, Burl/Bird's Eye, and/or even "bald spots" where no
distinguished pattern is present.
cut pipe tobacco that has been broken up
prior to packaging.
A Pipe tool used to clean out excess Char from
the Bowl and facilitate an even Cake. Pipe Reamers
are shaped to fit inside the Chamber and spread out to apply even
pressure along the interior walls. When turned they remove Char and
compress the existing Cake.
Threshold where we are able to sense
specific tastes and smells.
Tobacco Sheet (R.T.S.)
Development of this homogenized tobacco-like
product started as early as the 1930s by R.J. Reynolds. R.T.S. is
comprised of stems, leaf, cellulose, additives, flavorings, and
ingredients which are formed into sheets
of "paper" and then shredded to be used in cigarette
The measure of Humidity expressed as a
percentage of the moisture content (water vapor) in the air. Ideal
humidity for the long term preservation
of cigars is 70% RH.
A tobacco growing region in central Cuba which
includes Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, and Sancti Spiritus provinces.
The act of moving smoke from the back of the
mouth, up through the nasal cavity, and exhaling through the nose. In
order to retro-hale, the mouth and nasal cavity can be connected by
making a 'gulping' action and exhaling through the nose
at the same time. Retro-haling creates a powerful synergy of
taste and olfaction (aroma/smell)
where the spices, body, flavor, and strength of the cigar will be
The act of sensing odors that originate from
substances in our mouth. (See Retro-Haling,
use the proper proportions of Propylene Glycol (or other similar
chemicals) and water to create the desired humidity. Propylene Glycol
acts as a buffer in the humidifier so that water is not released too
quickly or slowly.
Tobacco cut into thin, long ribbons: shorter
and thicker than Shag Cut.
of the cigar as measured in 64ths of an inch in North America;
millimeters are typically used in Cuba, Europe, and Asia. Download
A contemporary American favorite, this size is
approximately 5 x 50.
A Spanish term meaning "reddish", it
refers to cigar wrappers that have a brown-red tint.
Spanish word meaning 'broken'. It is used to
refer to damaged or broken wrapper leaves after they are sorted.
Roystonea regia, also known as the Cuban Royal
Palm. The typical Cuban Royal Palm grows between 40-50 ft., its leaves
are commonly used for roofing tobacco barns and its bark for making
The process of breaking up a dense tobacco in
the palm of the hand. Place tobacco in one palm and apply gentle
pressure to the tobacco with the other palm while moving your hands in
small circular motions: this will loosen and break up the tobacco just
enough to prepare it for smoking. Typically necessary with Flake
and Plug tobaccos.
Pipe can have a "Rusticated"
finish, which is a deliberate roughing up of the oustide surface. This
process produces a more sophisticated finish than Sandblasting
because it is achieved through more tedious hand tooling.
The Spanish word for Savory.
The most famous Mexican cigar varietal grown in
the San Andreas Valley. San
Andreas Negro is a Stalk-Cut tobacco, which
produces excellent Binder and Maduro
Wrappers. Due to the toughness and resilience of the leaf, it holds up
well during the extra fermentation required to produce Maduro Wrappers.
A varietal family which is now widely grown
in the Dominican
Republic. This cigar tobacco is
commonly used for filler and binder. San Vicente varietals are a little
lighter than Piloto and can have a mouth watering effect and be a little
acidic; they are not as dry as Olor varietals.
technique which utilizes compressed air and sand (or other) particulate
to remove excess wood from the Pipe. The result is a textured and rustic
The taste sensation produced by umami.
The Spanish word equivalent is Sabroso. More generally, savory can be
something that is pleasing to the sense of taste, by way of seasoning,
that is not characteristically sweet.
scissors, unlike regular scissors, are
beveled and shaped specifically to make a precise cut to the head of the
A spoon-like pipe
tool used to remove excess char from the
pipe chamber. Scrapers can potentially damage the Cake, making Reamers
the more preferred tool for this task.
The process of slowly raising the moisture level
in a humidor until the desired humidity is reached. (See Humidor
leaves from the center of the Criollo
plant. For other varietals, Seco can refer to the lower primings.
Seco leaves are valued for their moderate flavor and good burning
qualities; they are not as thick as Ligero
or as light as Volado.
Cigars that have not met the aesthetic or
construction standards of the manufacturer and are sold unbanded
and without boxes.
where seeds germinate for approximately 45 days before being transplanted
to the fields.
The limits at which our physiological senses
recognize a sensation. In order for people to sense a
substance through taste or smell, it must be present in sufficient
concentrations. Also see Absolute
Threshold, Terminal Threshold, Recgonition Threshold, and
This refers to tobacco (typically Wrappers)
grown under cheesecloth
(Tapados) to minimize the harsh rays of the
sun. Shade Grown tobaccos have a more uniform appearance, and a more
subtle and delicate flavor; they are also a little thinner and more
elastic than Sun-Grown leaves.
Tobacco which is finely cut/shredded into long
threads: thinner and longer than Ribbon Cut. Virginia
Tobaccos lend themselves to this Cut
because of their large size. This Cut is common for natural RYO
cigarette tobaccos as well.
When the wrapper leaf is left un-trimmed on the
foot of the cigar. This "Shaggy" wrapper can be removed or lit
to start the cigar.
of a Pipe is typically part of the Bowl, having been carved from the
or block of Meerschaum.
The Shank contains the air hole and connects the Bowl to the Stem.
Also known as Sheesha, it is the tobacco used
smoking. Shisha is typically pre-moistened with water, honey, and/or
molasses and flavored with fruit and/or spices. Shisha is too moist to
smoke with a simple flame, so it must be kept lit by placing a hot coal
on top of it.
The chopped up pieces of tobacco used as filler
in non-premium cigars. Short Filler burns quicker and with far less
complexity than Long
The rounded curve that transitions to the Head
of a cigar. After properly cutting
the Head of a cigar, some shoulder should
remain to keep the cigar from unraveling.
Second Hand Smoke, also known as Environmental
Tobacco Smoke (ETS).
A word coined by TU to emphasize the strong
connections between human olfaction/smell, memory, and emotions.
A belief of moral superiority over smokers,
manifested as discrimination and punishment. Since the latter part of
the 20th Century Smokerism has become a pervasive global social trend.
Exactly what it sounds like, a Briar
Pipe with a Smooth
Finish has been sanded and polished to
reveal the Grain
as much as possible. Smooth Briars can be naturally treated or dyed with
stain to achieve a variety of shades and colors.
A ground up, powder-like tobacco, that is
inhaled or 'snuffed'. Snuffing tobacco was popularized in Europe. In
America, snuff can refer to dipping tobacco which is placed in the
mouth, between the gums and mouth wall; also, see snus.
(and dip), snus is powderized tobacco that is placed between the lip and
gums. Popular in Sweden and Norway, this type of snuff is typically
steam or flue-cured, not fermented, and contains no added sugar. Snus
use typically does not require spitting. It is illegal in the European
Union, except Norway and Sweden.
Acronym for "Sisters of the
Strips used for lighting
cigars. These can be procured from the
Spanish Cedar dividers used to seperate rows of cigars in boxes.
Spot Carving normally refers to a hand-carved
decorative accent on a Pipe, but it is usually employed to cover up a
flaw in the Briar.
The process of air-curing tobacco leaves while
they are still attached to the stalk. Stalk-Curing can be applied
tobaccos. This process takes longer and is more expensive than
but it nourishes the leaves with nutrients from the stalk - creating an
extraordinary end product.
This term describes a plant which is harvested
all at once by cutting the stalk, low to the ground. Unlike Primed
plants, all of the leaves are harvested at one time. This technique is
common with Broadleaf and San
Andreas Negro tobaccos, which are typically
used for Maduro
As with priming,
this process involves harvesting approximately a pair of leaves per
week, but starts at the top and works down the plant. In addition,
leaves are picked with a small piece of the stalk in tact, holding the
leaves together. The picked stalk/leaves are draped over long sticks (cujes) and
dried for 24 hours outdoors then moved into curing barns (casas
These leaves take up much more room in the barns and take up to 90 days
to dry out (2 to 3 times longer than primed leaves). While this was a
more traditional harvesting method before and during the 20th Century,
it is not commonly used today. Having the stalk connected to the
leaves during priming is said to fortify and 'feed' the leaves during
air-curing. View the CMT
The collection, analysis, interpretation, and
presentation of data.
Also referred to as mouthpiece or bit, the Stem
of a Pipe incorporates the Lip, Bit, air hole, and Tenon, which connects
to the Briar at the Shank.
Wrappers have the entire stem
removed, yielding two separate parts of the
leaf to wrap cigars. Filler leaves have only half of the stem removed
from the bottom (creating a “Pata de Rana” or “Frogs Legs”
The psychological response in (cigar) sales
representatives who fall in love with their own mediocre or bad
products. The same can happen to consumers and Tobacconists who enjoy a
cigar (or pipe) when they smoke it with the maker, and realize later
that it was not nearly as good as they remembered. Similarly,
Havana-Obsessed consumers are being held hostage by romance and
A slang term for a cheroot,
named after the cigar making region of Conestoga, Pennsylvania, where
the inexpensive cigars were popular with wagon drivers during the 1700s.
Originally, these cigars were called 'stogas' until Marsh Wheeling
introduced the Marsh Wheeling Stogie in 1848, a cigar
measuring 7" x 34rg. The Marsh Wheeling Stogie was
half the price of competing cheroots and used long filler.
(Historical Contribution by Frank Seltzer)
The flat cut produced by Guillotine,
Guillotine, and Scissor cigar
pattern found on Smooth Finish Briar pipes
with straight line-like markings.
Characterized by a straight shank
Straight pipes are inclined to transmit more heat directly to the palate
Secondary leaves on tobacco plants that must be
removed so nutrients will flow to the primary leaves. Every plant in
every field has these 'sucker' leaves and they must be meticulously
removed by hand. See
Jorge Padrón Video.
The naturally occuring organic compounds found,
to varying degrees, in all tobacco. Both Curing
and Fermentation can fix and/or develop the
sugars in tobacco.
This term refers to tobacco grown in direct
sunlight: this intense process creates
thicker, more robust leaves, with more pronounced veins.
The process of exposing harvested leaves to
direct sunlight: this takes between a few days to a few weeks. This
process releases moisture and prepares the leaf for fermentation. Sun-Curing
is most commonly used on Oriental
While sunlight can be manipulated with shade
cloth, this term refers to the effect of mountains, surrounding valleys,
shading out part of the early and late day sun. See Geography
& Climate for more information.
A small, cigar-like roll of tobacco leaves
created from one type of leaf. Surullos are used to taste and sample
individual leaf types.
Spanish term for cigar factory.
Spanish for "tobacco", the word is
also synonymous with "cigar" in Cuba.
Spanish term which refers to a cigar roller,
cigar dealer, or someone in the cigar business.
The wood surface used by Torcedores
cigars on. It is made from a very hard wood
and placed on top of the rolling table as a work surface.
Spanish word for stalk/trunk, as it relates to
The act of gently packing down the burning
tobacco in the bowl of a pipe in order to help keep it lit.
A tool used to pack pipe tobacco. Tampers
can be made from any hard, durable material, and can range in design
from a simple nail-head style to ornate carved and cast versions.
Inexpensive tampers can scratch and damage the bowl of the pipe, and
softer metals, such as pewter, are preferred by discriminating pipe
The cheesecloth-like material used to cover Shade-Grown
tobacco, or the Spanish term for Shade-Grown tobacco.
noun. The human sense that
perceives and distinguishes salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami
flavors. b: An
individual preference or inclination. 2) verb. The
act of perceiving and experiencing the flavor (taste+aroma) of
Sensory organs on our tongue which we use to
detect the five
tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and
Also referred to as Tasting, the methodology is
a simple set of guidelines to follow when evaluating tobacco products:
Observation, Description & Comparison, and Evaluation.
This name refers to a machine which assists in
the bunching process, much like a Lieberman machine. Cigars which
are bunched using the Lieberman or Temsco machine usually still have the
wrapper applied by hand.
The projection at the end of the pipe
stem that fits into the mortise of the bowl.
Palm bark bundles used to package fine tobacco
wrappers for aging.
The bark is wet down and tightly molded around tobacco piles. It is then
tied shut and becomes hard like plastic when it dries out.
Threshold where saturation inhibits our
senses from perceiving any more stimulus; like ten people smoking cigars
in a room where the eleventh cigar will not change what you smell.
Term coined by TU in 1998 to describe the
beneficial and therapeutic
effects of pleasant tobacco aromas.
Technically known as Lasioderma Serricorne,
and also referred to as Cigar and Cigarette Beetles, these pests
begin as microscopic eggs found in food and tobacco. Under proper
conditions, these eggs can develop into larva, pupa, and finally adult
beetles. During their short lifetime, Tobacco Beetles can eat through
your cigars and leave them ruined, strewn with holes like Swiss cheese.
Go to Tobacco
An expert dealer in Tobacco and the related
Preservation Act (TPA)
Introduced January 1, 2009 and refined and moved
to the TU website on April 1, 2009, the Tobacconist Preservation Act (TPA)
is a proposed law which will preserve and protect tobacconist and
consumer rights to smoke in retail tobacconist stores.
This term refers to the grainy texture found on
some tobacco leaves; mainly Cameroon.
The term which describes flowers being cut off
tobacco plants. This process
allows the plant’s resources to focus on leaf production.
Spanish word for cigar roller.
This term traditionally refers to a cigar
which is tapered a both the Head and Foot.
This term means "Made Totally By
Hand": hand bunched, bound, and wrapped, no machinery is used.
Spanish term which means “to work”. Cigar
makers refer to Fermentation
as “Working” or “Trabajando” the tobacco.
The re-planting of tobacco seedlings from the
semillero into the ground.
Very small, hair-like outgrowths found on plant
leaves. Tobacco leaves, in addition to being very thick and sticky with
resin, have Trichomes on their outer surface. The tobacco plant
Trichomes help the leaf absorb moisture and reflect excessive radiation.
After tobacco is rolled into a cigar, the Trichomes may still be visible
and will help inhibit the evaporation of oils from the cigar's wrapper.
This name refers to uncommon or non-traditional
pipes that have some novel or useful feature. They include folding
pipes, pipes with hidden tampers, etc...
Cuban term for cigar Filler tobaccos, literally
The term given to the [Parejo] cigar head
finishing technique traditionally used in Cuba. The Triple-Cap
uses a small tear-drop shaped piece of tobacco which is woven into the
wrapper and used to close the open Head. After the head is closed, a
perfect circle of tobacco (Cap) is cut with the Casquillo and placed on
top to create a finished look. While this technique is meticulous and
time consuming, it produces a strong, reinforced head. It is called the
Triple-Cap because the cigar Head appears to have several seams.
Tobacco Settlement Agreements
On November 23, 1998, after years of litigation
between state courts and the cigarette industry, leading U.S. cigarette
manufacturers signed an agreement with the Attorneys General of 46
states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, known as
the Master Settlement Agreement, or MSA. Previous agreements were
already signed with the other 4 states. Collectively, these agreements
are known as the state Tobacco Settlement Agreements, or TSA.
These agreements had the effect of making the cigarette industry the
most regulated and highly taxed industry in America; and has the unique
distinction of making this the only industry legally required to fund
its own opposition.
Spanish word for "tube". Tubos are
used for packaging
to help protect cigars.
The term used to describe Cigarettes made
primarily from Oriental
tobaccos. Oriental tobaccos are lower in nicotine than Virginia
tobaccos, but they convey a richer flavor.
tobacco made from leaves that are twisted
together like a rope mimicking the Pressing process. See also "Plug",
The fifth taste; described in Japanese as
"deliciousness", umami is also defined as savory, or sabroso
in Spanish. Specifically, umami
is the taste of L-glutamate, the dominant amino acid in living things.
Umami taste is common in fermented foods, aged cheese, meat, ketchup,
tomatoes, mushrooms, boullion/broth, soy sauce, MSG, and breast milk.
Spanish for "one and a half", the
second level of leaves from the bottom of the corojo
plant, just above the libre de pie.
Also called a "wedge" or "cat's
eye", this type of cutter
digs a wedge-shaped slice out of the head of the cigar.
A specific and unique seed strain.
A broader category which usually includes many
specific varietals. In the cigar and pipe tobacco industry, varietal
families like Burley, Virginia, Oriental, and Broadleaf are often
referenced when the actual seed varietals being used are more specific.
The specific plot of land on a farm where
tobacco growing takes place.
Spanish for "plantation worker", this
term can also refer to a cigar made from a single tobacco leaf or
type of tobacco leaf.
Part of a leaf's organic structure. Veins which
are too large can hinder the viability and attractiveness of wrapper
This term should refer to the year a tobacco
leaf in a particular cigar or pipe tobacco is harvested. In most
retail brands, the vintage (i.e. 1993) refers to a specific
leaf/component like the wrapper, binder or filler(s) grown in a specific
In the absence of provenance or
appellation-like standards in the cigar/pipe industry, there can be some
ambiguity when the term vintage is used. Some cigar makers can misuse
the term simply to make their cigars seem older or more attractive.
Also known as "Bright Tobacco", this
varietal is used in cigarettes
as well as pipe tobaccos. Virginia
tobacco is naturally high in sugar content and is typically flue-cured.
A general term used to describe tobacco
leaves from the middle part of cigar tobacco plants.
Viso leaves are under Ligero
and above Seco
This is a general term which refers to the
and shape characteristics of each cigar
within a given brand.
Name for a cigar's shape and size as referred to
in Cuban cigar factories.
The name given for a cigar's particular shape
and size in the marketplace.
A term referring to the collecting and studying
bands and labels. Spelled 'Vitolfilia'
Filler tobacco leaves from the bottom of
plant. Volado is valued for its mildness and easy burning
A hard "vulcanized" rubber that is
widely used for. Vulcanite is easier on the teeth than other Stem
varietals, but it will tend to tarnish or oxidize more than most.
A cigarillo whose filler leaves protrude from
the wrapper at the foot.
Acronym refering to the "Where In The World
Is The Tobacconist Handbook?" project: WITWITTH or WITWITTH?. The
WITWITTH? project is a collection of photos of people with The
Tobacconist Handbook. You can see all the photos on our
The most delicate, expensive and [ideally]
perfect leaf that is applied to the outside of a cigar.
The Spanish term for Royal Palm.
The Spanish term for Burlap.
The shaking loose of Gavillas/tobacco leaves
after they arrive at the factory.
Structure of a Tobacco
Wrapper is a leaf of tobacco that burns well. The
leaves come from the bottom of the tobacco plant - Volado. The way cigar
looks and feels on your lips totally depends on the wrapper.
Binder is a tough, coarse tobacco leaf that holds
the filler and the wrapper together. The leaves are harvested from the
middle of the tobacco plant, Viso. They are lighter than Ligero in both
color and flavor.
Filler - tobacco leaves in the middle of the cigar.
The leaves that are used for the filler usually come from the top of the
plant, called Ligero. They are dark and oily, burn slow and deliver most
of the flavor. Filler can be long or short.