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Tobacco College: Cigar Regions

 


CAMEROON AND THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

The Countries of Cameroon and the Central African Republic produce tobaccos commonly referred to as "Cameroon", but more accurately called “Central African”. Originally descended from Sumatran seed, today’s Central African varietals are known for their rich flavors and aromas. The hearty soils in this region of Africa yield a distinctive tobacco which does not need fertilization and is grown under direct sun. Consistent climate and cloudy conditions allow wrapper cultivation without the use of shade cloth. Central African tobacco lends itself to wrapper production due to its appearance, supple texture, and resilient strength. These wrappers have a luscious dark brown color, often with an attractive reddish tint. They are fuller flavored, and can have a unique “toothy” or grainy texture: traces of the toothy texture are still visible on the cigar ash after it is smoked.

Traditionally, most Central African tobacco produced smaller sized leaves. Today, the quality and size of the leaves are making larger wrapper leaves possible; and therefore larger cigars. It is worth noting that the cigar growing regions in these countries are typically very isolated within rain forests and mountainous areas. Growing tobacco in Africa is a very labor and resource intensive enterprise. While the French started growing and developing Central African tobacco in the 1950s, the quality was more generic or commodity oriented, rather than luxury. Throughout the 1990s, the Meerapfel family pioneered the development of premium Central African tobacco by investing heavily in infrastructure and human resources. Due to the isolation of much of the great cigar growing areas, often entire villages were built, and labor forces relocated, in order to accomplish the task of producing premium tobacco. Today, the supply of Central African tobacco is much closer to meeting consumer demand because of the sacrifices, commitment, and long term vision of these extraordinary cigar makers.





Certified R&D Tobacconists: United States

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Richard Bryan, CRT Georgetown Tobacco
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Chris Peterson, CRT Georgetown Tobacco
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Brett J. Fry, CRT Tobaccology
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(703) 330-1511
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