When talking about cigars, Cuba is probably the country that comes to mind first for most people. Nicaragua is, however, a leading country in the cigar industry, and they are widely famous for their high-quality cigars.
For example, many of the world’s most exclusive and sought-after cigar blends are from Nicaragua. Many award-winning labels, like My Father, Padron, and Aroma de Cuba, have a Nicaraguan origin.
But why does this Central American country have such an essential role in the cigar industry? That we will take a closer look at now.
The History of Nicaraguan Cigars
The story of Nicaragua as a leading cigar country started in 1959, with the well-known revolution in Cuba. The Cuban revolution led to many people in the tobacco industry leaving the country to start over in new places. When leaving Cuba, they did not only bring generations of knowledge about the art of refining tobacco, but they did also bring seeds. Hence, they could start over their cigar production quickly, and many of them did.
When searching for the perfect conditions to grow tobacco, many growers soon found that Nicaragua could provide them with everything they needed to produce the tobacco plants successfully.
The volcanic soil in the country is full of essential minerals, and the climate is tropical, so the plants grew fast and gave high-quality tobacco when harvested.
The road to success is never straight, though; even the Nicaraguan tobacco farmers have had their fair share of drawbacks over the years. Their government has worked against them, they have had harvests ruined by mold spores and natural disasters, they were forced to change their entire production from cigars to cigarettes, and much more.
The perfect conditions for growing tobacco
Growing tobacco can be done in most parts of the world, and it is a relatively easy plant to grow. To receive the best harvest possible, the plant, of course, has some demands, though.
Regarding the soil, tobacco grows in pretty much any soil. At least if any other crop can grow there too. The tobacco plant does, however, prefer well-drained soil. The Nicaraguan volcanic soil is very well drained and contains many minerals, making the plants grow faster and more robust.
The tobacco plant also needs warm weather for at least four months to grow. It prefers sunny weather and temperatures around 68° to 86° Fahrenheit. The average temperature in Nicaragua is just around 86° F, accompanied by high humidity. The humidity is also vital in growing a robust and solid tobacco plant since the plant does not like to be dry, yet it does not like solid rain either.
Hence, Nicaragua seemingly offers the perfect conditions for growing tobacco:
- Well drained, nutritious soil
- High humidity
- Sunny with an average temperature of around 86° F
This combination, together with skilled and experienced farmers, has made Nicaragua one of the leading countries in the tobacco industry.
Today, it has been ten years since the last major drawback for the Nicaraguan tobacco farmers, so let’s cross our fingers that their path is mostly straightforward from here. It seems as if they have found the core of their production, and cigars from the country are well known for having medium to full-bodied flavors. The regional spice is also very well-liked amongst connoisseurs.
The Nicaraguan cigar production is vital, not only for the country itself but also for the cigar world. The number of cigars produced in Nicaragua every year, puts them in a respectful fourth place in the world. Only the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Honduras have a more extensive annual production of cigars.
The evolution of Nicaraguan tobacco plants is always ongoing, and the growers are always trying to create new and better breeds. Most cigars rolled in the country are so-called “puros,” meaning 100% of the tobacco blend in the cigar is domestic. However, tobacco from other countries is also used in some blends since the Nicaraguan tobacco industry always tries to provide new combinations and an updated assortment for their customers.