20th Habanos Festival: Day 4- Thursday 1st March 2018
We are sorry to have kept you waiting for our report on day four and five of the Habanos Festival. The festivities were so fascinating that we wanted to give our full attention to the activities and events there, and unfortunately that meant that our blog has been a little neglected. It also did not help that our Wi-Fi connection was not the best in Havana and we did not want to be tied to it during our whole trip. Nevertheless, we are back in EGM Cigars office today and we cannot wait to tell you about the final couple of days at the festival. So let us start by telling you about day four at the Habanos Festival in Havana, Cuba.
After such a beautiful and busy third day at the festival, we hit the ground running on Thursday and felt excited and expectant of the activities we were about to participate in. Our day began at around 8am, where we set off to visit the La Corona Factory, one of the largest cigar factories in Havana. Upon our arrival, we could see factory workers filing into the factory, ready to categorise, roll and wrap tobacco leaves into the likes of a range of cigars, such as Romeo y Julieta Cigars, Bolivar Cigars and Trinidad Cigars for sale.
Visiting the La Corona Factory was one of our favourites activities from the whole festival, it enlightened and informed us about so many aspects of the production process. La Corona Factory has workers of all ages in their designated areas carrying out the various tasks to make a Cuban Cigar. The workers first department we visited were sorting the wrapper leaves from the lightest to darkest colours and then sorted by quality, which are destined to become some of the very same Cuban Cigars for sale on our website. It was enchanting watching these workers carry out these tasks in such a thoughtful and solicitous manner. All hand-picked and placed without a machine in sight, its impossible not to be charmed by the humble work that is done here.
We were then taken to the department dedicated to rolling Cuban cigars, known as ‘La Galera’. Here we were fortunate enough to watch an expert torcedor roll one of our much loved Montecristo 80 Cigars part of our Limited Editions Cuban Cigars, which we were delighted to find out are still in production. Once all of the cigars were rolled, it was time to categorise them via their colour before packaging them. If you follow our Instagram, you will be able to see via our highlights, the enticing and inviting allure of around 200 Montecristo No.2s being classified by their colours.
The final steps, though not as aromatic nor tempting, were to label and package each bundle of cigars ready to be shipped worldwide. Nevertheless, it was still so interesting to watch each worker carefully place a band or two around every singular cigar and watch them with expert finesse and efficiently label each box by hand.
After visiting the factories, with our minds full of cigar production knowledge, our stomachs were rumbling with the prospect of a delicious lunch at the El Bucan restaurant. We headed to the Convention Centre for around 12:30pm and relaxed in good company, delicious food and the finest Cuban cigars until 14:30pm. Post lunch, we attended ‘The Hanano Religiosity’ conference led by Natalia Bolivar. It was an excellent talk, dedicated to discussing the history of tobacco as well as talking about the spirituality of cigar smoking.
The day wound down at 15:50pm with the Vina Santa Carolina Premium wine and Habanos pairing. Here, we enjoyed the pairing of the fantastic Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills with a deep and rich Chilean red wine, a truly delicious and unrivalled pairing.
Finally, at around 17:00 in the evening, we were honoured to attend Habanos Moments where we enjoyed another gorgeous pairing of cigar and spirits. Here, there was an introduction to a new Havana Club Rum, the Havana Club Tributo 2018 which was paired with the Partagas Lusitanias Cigar. Only 2,500 bottles have been produced, which meant that we felt very privileged to be sampling it. The combination of the woody rum ‘drawn from 60-year-old casks’ and the rich intense flavours of the Lusitanias from Partagas Cigars was a match made in Havana.
Thank you for following our report on the Habanos Festival via our EGM Cigars Blog and our Instagram. Did you read our previous post, 20th Habanos Festival: Day 3- Wednesday 28th February? Make sure to check back here to hear about the final day!