Mexican cigar manufacturing is recovering

Mexican cigar manufacturing is recovering

In the world of premium cigars, Mexican cigars were once unknown. Now, that's changing, thanks to the efforts of some passionate Mexican cigar makers.

Mexico's tobacco growing tradition dates back to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. Mexican cigars have always been underappreciated, which is a shame. In fact, Mexico is capable of producing high-quality cigar leaves, especially those from the San Andres region of Veracruz. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Mexican cigars were highly sought after. But subsequent developments made Mexican cigars lonely.

rise and fall

The United States has historically been the largest export market for Mexican cigars. After World War II, demand for cigars surged in the United States. At that time, Mexican cigar manufacturers were pursuing a one-sided pursuit of increasing production, and a large number of Mexican cigars of poor quality flowed into the U.S. and even European markets. This had a very bad impact on the reputation of Mexican cigars.

After the 1950s, Mexican tobacco farmers and businessmen found that exporting unprocessed cigar leaves was more profitable than exporting finished cigars. As a result, a large amount of high-quality cigar leaves from Mexico were exported instead of being used to make high-quality cigars in the country. This has led to further shrinkage in Mexico's premium cigar manufacturing industry. Even today, a large portion of the country's annual cigar harvest is shipped abroad, including high-quality leaves from the San Andres region. In Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, the high-quality tobacco leaves from the San Andres region are highly sought after as binders and wrappers for cigars.

Although Mexico's premium cigar manufacturing industry declined, it never completely exited the scene. Te-Amo, for example, is a high-end brand from the family-owned Casa Turrent company in the San Andres area that has been popular in the Mexican and American markets for decades. "Santa Clara" cigars are also produced by a family-owned company in the area.

In Mexico, cigars from the San Andres region remain as popular as ever. Although the popularity of Mexican cigars has declined overseas, fortunately, in recent years, thanks to the efforts of Mexican cigar manufacturers, the country's reputation for quality cigars is being restored. Cigar consumers are delighted by the resurgence of premium Mexican cigars.

Strive to create high-quality cigars

Veracruz has been a major tobacco production region in Mexico since the early 19th century. The land here is rich in volcanic soil, and the black San Andres tobacco grown by tobacco farmers is a unique tobacco variety in the world. Casa Turrent is a cigar manufacturing company with a long history in Mexico. "Black San Andres tobacco will not grow anywhere else but here because its growth depends on the unique climate and soil of San Andres," said Alejandro Turrent, the company's CEO. Black San Andres Cigarette leaf is a high-quality cigar leaf that gives the cigar its unique quality. This tobacco is found in most of Casa Turrent's products.

In order to enrich its product portfolio, Casa Turrent developed the Casa Turrent series of products in 2014 while producing Te-Amo cigars. In 2017, the company launched the "Origin" series of products and the Casa Turrent1880 series of products. After 2019, the company launched 7 different product lines. The company's broad product portfolio currently offers cigar consumers a variety of sizes and flavors. Mexican tobacco plays an important role in Casa Turrent's cigar products, and the company also uses high-quality tobacco from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

"Our Casa Turrent 1880 Doble Maduro cigars are popular with sophisticated cigar consumers, our Casa Turrent 1880 Doble Claro cigars are popular with all types of cigar consumers, and our Casa Turrent 1880 Edición Limitada cigars are the most high-end of our products," Turrent said. "This number is of great significance to the Turrent family because the Casa Turrent company was founded in 1880.

Mexican tobacco leaves are very suitable for making high-quality cigars, and most of the local tobacco leaves are exported. Most consumers are unaware that many high-end cigar brands use Mexican tobacco leaves. Turrent admitted that about 60% of the tobacco purchased by the company each year is exported to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. “For decades, we exported most of our tobacco,” Turrent said. “However, we are now increasingly using the acquired tobacco to produce our own brands. The Mexican cigar manufacturing industry is currently recovering.”

Casa 1910 SA de CV is also a Mexican premium cigar manufacturer with a cigar factory in the San Andres area. Casa 1910 is a premium cigar brand created by the company. Manolo Santiago, the company's chief formulator, said: "We have always been committed to making high-quality Mexican cigars. The first product of the Casa1910 series, Cuchillo Parado, is made from 100% San Andres high-quality tobacco leaves." Since its launch in November 2021 , Cuchillo Parado has formed 3 product lines and 7 specifications.

Serge Bollag, who participated in the development of Casa 1910, said: "We use unique aged tobacco leaves in the formula, and each cigar must be aged for at least six months before going on sale."

In addition to Santiago and Bollag, there is a third key figure behind Casa 1910 premium cigars – Jamie Baer, a Swiss who has long lived in Mexico. "I am well aware of the demand for premium cigars in the U.S. market," Baer said. "Our goal is to develop Casa 1910 into a high-end cigar brand in Mexico, capture the attention of young cigar aficionados, and ultimately bring Mexican cigars back into the spotlight."
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