The Kauai Cigar Company was born on our Blair Estate Coffee farm, which has been growing fine rich-flavored organic coffee for well over a decade. Like the passion we have for great coffee, our love for premium hand made cigars led us to investigate the art of tobacco growing.
Similar to fine coffee, a world class cigar is a luxury product that is meant to stand apart in an aura of prestige and refinement. Therefore, our search began for the best tobacco seeds we could find. After an extensive search we obtained an old generation Cuban Pinar del Rio seed so valued in Cuban cigar production. We also acquired Cuban origin Habano, Corojo, and Criollo seed, as well as Connecticut Shade and Broadleaf seed. Starting tobacco seeds properly can be a challenge, but Kauai’s summer climate is similar to Cuba’s, and our tobacco plants are thriving in this perfect tropical environment. Our almost year round growing season begins in March and runs through December, allowing us to plant and harvest several crops of tobacco per year. Our mineral rich deep volcanic soil, fed by natural water from mountain waterfalls plays an important role in the healthy growth of our tobacco.
During the growing months our tobacco is suckered, and the flowers are removed so that the leaf production on the plant is maximized. During harvest leaves that are at peak ripeness are selectively chosen from different parts of the plant. Leaf picking begins at the bottom of the plant and works upwards at a rate of 3 leaves per week. The Volado (bottom leaves) serve as mild filler for the cigars, while the Seco (from the middle) provides texture and taste, and the strongest tobacco is the Ligero (from the top of the plant). Each leaf must be mature and intact at the time of harvest. A total of 18-21 leaves per plant is harvested over an estimated 6-7 rounds of picking. Our dark wrapper cigars contain mostly ligero tobacco while our light wrapper cigars contain mostly seco and volado leaves.
After harvesting, our leaves are then cured, transforming the tobacco’s chlorophyll into starches. At Blair Estate we have chosen the technique of slow-drying the leaves in climate controlled barns preserving nearly all the essence of the leaf. This slow curing and drying of the leaves lasts four to eight weeks making sure the tobacco never completely dries out. Special attention must be given to both heat and humidity so that the leaves remain pliable before being moved to the next step of production.
While it took nearly 6 months to obtain a federal permit to manufacture and sell cigars, the reporting, bi-monthly federal taxes, and a whopping monthly 40% Hawaii wholesale tax made it financially impossible to hand make these cigars in Hawaii.
Amazingly though, these roadblocks opened up a new road to success. While looking for a solution to the problem, we were introduced to a valuable contact based in Nicaragua that would be able to manufacture our premium tobacco into cigars.
Once our aromatic Kauai tobacco reaches Nicaragua, it is fermented in bulks, transforming starches into sugars, and allows the tobacco to become sweeter and finer in flavor. With the careful regulation of humidity and temperature, fermentation “sweats out” impurities that can cause harshness in flavor and scent. After fermentation, the leaves are secretly aged to perfection allowing the tobacco to take on character, a smoother scent, and richer flavor. We are receiving high praise for the deep, complex taste, and fragrance resulting from our exclusive aging process.
At a small and personal factory in Nicaragua our Kauai tobacco is hand rolled into cigars, draw tested, hand inspected, and lovingly packed into hand made wood boxes. Once the cigars have rested, they are imported back into the United States and ultimately back to Kauai, ending their long and meticulous journey in becoming prized cigars. The diligent work and careful attention during every step of cigar construction is clearly evident in the amazing quality of these Island Prince Cigars. Without the effort of those who work and build our Kauai cigars in Nicaragua, Kauai Cigar company would never be possible.
When asked how we are able to produce such smooth and rich tasting cigars, our response is the same as we give for our coffee.
It is a labor of true love, and because we personally oversee every step of the process it becomes possible to create an exceptional cigar. And, as with all of our products, we personally guarantee the quality of our cigars or your money back. For more information and a complete list of licensed retailers, please visit our web site at kauaicigar.com. The Kauai Cigar Company also offers you the chance to purchase Island Prince cigars online at coffeetimes.com. We do not retail cigars from our working farm. Please enjoy the fruits of our labor. We promise that you will not be disappointed.