A standard cigar box designed to hold eight cigars on top, nine in the middle, and eight on the bottom. In most cases, these are cello boxes.
The Sensory Threshold where the smallest concentration of a substance can be detected by our senses; like one puff of smoke in a room may be the minimum amount for someone to smell.
Accordion (Bunch) Rolling
This bunching technique involves folding the outer sides of the filler leaves inward, one at a time, and placing the leaves on top of each other until the bunch is complete: then the leaves are rolled up together, with a binder, like a scroll. These "folds" allow more air passage through the cigar. Accordion rolling takes more skill and time to execute than Book Rolling, but is not as sophisticated as Entubado Rolling. Accordion Rolling can also be called "Arrugado", which means wrinkled in Spanish.
Having the properties of an Acid, or having a pH less than 7. Acidic flavor is sour and pungent. Cigarette tobaccos are Acidic, so they can be inhaled easily, unlike Cigars and Pipe tobaccos. See pH Balance academic content.
An Active Humidifier is a machine designed to create humidity. Active Humidifiers generally have a fan blowing on [or over] water to produce a mist that is absorbed into the air. Active Humidifiers are common in walk-in humidors and large cabinets.
The process of promoting a product or service in a way that appeals to, or influences feeling and emotion in the target audience. (See The Marketing of Cigars)
African Block Meerschaum
From Tanzania, Africa, this type of meerschaum differs from Turkish meerschaum in that it is fired at high temperatures, then stained in shades of brown, black, and yellow.
The curing process used for Cigar tobaccos (Dark Air-Cured) and also for Burley tobaccos. After being harvested, cigar leaves are hung in pairs in Curing Barns/Casas de Tabaco for approximately 50 days. During air curing, leaves lose their Chlorophyll and 85% of their humidity. See Stalk-Curing for advanced learning.
Having the properties of an Alkali, or having a pH greater than 7. An Alkaline flavor is bitter and/or dry and astringent. Cigar and Pipe tobaccos are highly Alkaline, they have high ammonia content, so they are not inhaled. See pH Balance academic content.
Any in a class of naturally occurring organic bases containing nitrogen. Popular Alkaloids include Nicotine, Morphine, Ephedrine, and Quinine. Thousands of Alkaloids are known to exist in thousands of plants, but they are of interest mostly because of their physiological effects on humans and animals.
Spanish for "yellow", refers to this color classification of shade grown wrapper leaf.
A hermetically sealed jar containing 50 (or occasionally 25) cigars.
Amber [Pipe Stem]
Made from fossilized tree sap, Amber Stems are beautiful, yet fragile. They are hard and may feel like glass on the teeth. Amber is commonly found on Meerschaum and some higher end Briar Pipes.
American Blend (Cigarette)
A mixture of Virginia, Burley, and Oriental tobaccos. The amount of each type of tobacco in the blend varies by brand, but generally consists of 50% Virginia and 37% air cured burley, while oriental is the smallest percentage of the blend at around 13%. These cigarettes are typically cased and flavored during the curing process.
American Market Selection (AMS)
This terminology refers to Double Claro colored cigars which were popular in The United States during the middle 20th Century.
An alkaline compound that exists naturally in the tobacco leaf. Much of the ammonia is expelled as a gas during the fermentation process.
The professional in charge of tobacco and/or cigar Añejamiento. The Añejador curates the temperature, humidity, and aging standards for tobaccos and cigars.
Simply put, this is the aging process; the very slow process of natural decomposition - which occurs at lower humidity and temperature levels than Fermentation. During Añejamiento, tobaccos slowly release ammonia, impurities, and develop.
Tobacco Añejamiento is for leaves and occurs after Fermentation; often this process goes on for years.
Cigar Añejamiento occurs after the cigars are rolled, while they are curated by your Tobacconist, in your personal humidor, all they way up until they are smoked.
Spanish term for the worker who applies the band to the cigar.
Spanish for "ring", referring to cigar bands.
In the world of luxury tobacco, cigars, pipes, and tobaccos which are called Anniversary commemorate a date or event, such as the makers 25th Anniversary. It does not mean that the tobaccos or products are Vintage, or inherently special for any other reason.
A pipe with a round shaped bowl reminiscent of an apple.
A period of Service and Learning an art or a trade.
A distinctive and pleasant or savory smell.
Aromatic (Ashtray) Analysis
A phrase used by TU to describe the process of dissecting a cigar to smell the aromas of the individual leaf components. First, take the cigar apart, gently, and separate the wrapper, binder, and different filler leaves. The filler leaves will be distinguished by their color and texture. Then, light the individual components in an ashtray, one at a time, and smell the aromas. Keep a bucket of water handy in case the fire/embers get out of hand.
Aromatic (Pipe Tobacco)
Blended Virginia and Burley tobaccos which have flavorings, or "casing" added as part of the manufacturing/blending process. Some common casings are chocolate, vanilla, cherry, rum, etc. Aromatics are typically mild and have a sweeter taste+aroma.
A skilled worker who practices a trade or handicraft, often using traditional methods.
B & M
Short hand for "Brick & Mortar" retail Tobacconists.
see English blend pipe tobacco.
Synonym for Cigar Ring, a band may also be applied to the foot of the cigar.
1) See Body. 2) The process of aging and curing tobacco leaves in barrels.
Traditionally this cigar shape was a small Pyramid between 5 to 5 1/2 inches long. Today the size can refer to cigars with with a rounded and tapered/pointed head.
Characterized by a curved shank and stem. Bent pipes tend to collect moisture at the bottom of the bowl, below the bend of the shank, but they can transmit less heat to the palate than Straight pipes.
A concoction of water and tobacco residues used to wet down the tobacco before fermentation.
A pipe shape with a slightly rounded bowl and straight stem.
The dense, strong leaf that is applied to the outside of the filler tobaccos. The Binder protects and forms the filler tobaccos in the molds and presses.
Having two disctinct, and often seemingly contradictory effects; in the case of nicotine consumption, the effects of both mental alertness and physical relaxation are biphasic.
See Burl Grain.
The part of the Stem that the lips and teeth rest upon; just below the Lip.
Pipe tobacco that is steamed, usually with sugars or flavoring in the water and pressed for an additional curing/fermentation period. Black Cavendish goes through more vigorous pressing than Natural Cavendish, yielding a darker color and richer flavor.
The combination of different types of tobacco used to create a specific character and taste. In a cigar, this includes the filler, binder, and wrapper leaves from different parts of the plant, different plants, and different regions. For pipe tobaccos, see Aromatic and English Blend definitions, or the Pipe Tobacco Blending section of Tobacco College. Ultimately, blending is a big part of the art of making great luxury tobacco products.
Synonym for Plume.
This is an airborne fungus that can ravage an entire tobacco field/plantation in a matter of days. Also known as Peronospara Tabacina, Blue Mold flourishes in cool, cloudy, humid weather: the effects are distinguished by small round blemishes on the tobacco leaves.
1) The middle part of the cigar, also referred to as the barrel. 2) The breadth and depth (spectrum) of flavor of a tobacco. Also referred to as richness and fullness, but not to be confused with the tobacco's strength, spice, or nicotine level. For example, Dominican tobaccos tend to have a lighter body than Central American tobaccos.
This is a flap of delicate paper used to cover cigars in a box; it lays under the lid and over the cigars.
The classic cedar box in which many cigars are packaged.
The first commercial Cigarette Injecting machine which ushered in the age of mass-produced Cigarettes. Invented by James Albert Bonsack and patented in 1880.
Book (Bunch) Rolling
An alternative to Entubado or Accordion rolling, Booking involves laying filler leaves flatly on top of one another and then folding them up, like a book or taco, to complete the bunch. This technique is simpler than Entubado and Accordion rolling and creates a less aerated cigar structure: placing the leaves directly on top of each other does not allow as much air to pass through each individual leaf in the the cigar. The advantage of Book Rolling is that it is quicker and more efficient from a manufacturing perspective. This is probably the most popular technique for making premium cigars today.
Spanish term which refers to the cigar foot.
Acronym for "Brothers of the Leaf".
the Smell, or "Nose" of a cigar or pipe tobacco.
This term refers to smaller cigar, pipe, and tobacco companies with limited production. In general, boutique companies are more artisan-oriented.
The hollowed out part of a pipe that holds tobacco.
Technique which squares off the sides of a traditional “cylinder” shaped cigar. The Cuban Box Press is a by-product of the tight box helping to shape very humid cigars into a square.
Also known as Bruyere in French, Briar is the name for wood that comes from the Burls found on the roots of the Heath Tree (Erica Arborea). Briar is widely considered the best and most popular material for Pipe making.
A term used to describe the lighter Virginia tobacco varietal.
Broadleaf is a dark tobacco varietal family popular for producing wrappers leaves that are enourmous, resilient, and thick. These leaves are ideal for creating a Maduro colored wrapper. Broadleaf wrapper is not Primed, but rather the whole plant is stalk-cut when it matures.
French word for Briar. See Briar definition.
The Spanish term for an Ox. Buey are castrated, domesticated bulls used to plow fields and pull carts. They are still commonly used in cigar tobacco agriculture.
A pipe that has an indentation carved into the circumference towards the top of the bowl. Bulldog pipes usually have a diamond-shaped stem.
The Filler tobaccos that are rolled up with the Binder leaf. Wrapper leaves are applied to the Bunch after the pressing.
The method of packaging cigars without a box, usually in packs of 25 or 50. Bundles are typically more economical cigars, and often do not have bands. Typically, cigar makers release their "seconds" in Bundles.
A hardened wood growth found on trees. Burl, or "Bird's Eye", can also refer to the tight, circular grain pattern that is seen on the wood that comes from Burls on trees.
A grain pattern found on Smooth Finish Briar pipes, that has tight, swirling patterns: also referred to as "Bird's Eye".
The strong breathable material used to wrap filler and binder leaves for tobacco anejamiento.
Light, air-cured tobacco that has a rich, nutty taste. Its slow, even burning qualities make it popular with pipe smokers.
In the context of the 2 Stage Fermenation model that TU teaches, Burros are the 4 to 6 foot tall piles of tobacco which constitute the most intense Fermentation period. Unraveling and re-piling occurs at critical temperature points so the tobacco will not “burn out”. In other countries, the term Burro can refer to any Fermentation pile.
A natural gas made from petroleum, that is flavorless and ideal for torch lighters and lighting luxury tobacco products.
Unit of area used to measure land in Cuba, equivalent to 33.2 acres.
Cigars packaged in cedar boxes, in lieu of paper wrapped boxes. These boxes provide direct contact with the cedar and can be preferable for long term aging.
The Spanish (or Cuban-Spanish) term for a partially smoked and unlit cigar.
The Carbon that develops along the inner wall of the Pipe Chamber and acts as protection and insulation for the Bowl; as well as promoting an even smoking experience. Approximately 1/16" of Char is considered ideal for a Pipe.
Originally, Calabash pipes were made from African gourds. The gourds are trained by hand, while they grow, to achieve the desired pipe shape: bent into an "S"-like form. The natural shape of the gourd, fatter at one end - like a bowling pin, provides a cool smoking instrument. Because the gourd cannot sustain extreme heat, Calabash pipes generally have a bowl insert for the tobacco to be placed in: usually ceramic, briar, or meerschaum. Today, the term "Calabash" refers to any pipe in the classic "Gourd" "S"-like shape.
A decorated and functional pipe made by the Indians of North America, also known as the "Peace Pipe".
Common name for tobacco grown in Central Africa, these plants are descended from Sumatran seed. Known for their rich flavors and aromas, they are often used as wrapper leaves.
Also known as Double Claro, these leaves are Flue-Cured (or heat cured) to fix the cholorphyll levels in the leaf and produce the desired Green color.
The uneven, one-sided burn of a cigar. This is caused by sub-standard rolling, improperly placed filler, uneven humidity, or poorly fermented raw materials.
The circular piece of Wrapper leaf that finishes the head of a cigar.
Spanish word for cigar Wrapper leaf.
Spanish term for the second growth plant/leaves. After the plant has been harvest/primed the stalk is trimmed down and the leaves are allowed to re-grow. This process was common in Cuba where the farmers would allow the plant/leaves to re-grow and they would use those leaves for their own consumption. Capadura is especially common when growing Pelo De Oro tobacco varietals.
Capero No. 1
A newer Cuban hybrid [dark tobacco] varietal which started to be grown widely around 2007. Capero No. 1 is a cross between Habanos 2000 + Corojo '99 + Criollo '98. It produces an extra 2 to 3 leaves over other hybrids and has very large leaves. Capero No. 1 has been genetically engineered to produce no flowers and therefore no seeds: this will help Cuba maintain control over the plants genetics and where it is grown.
Spanish word for cigar Binder leaf. Also refers to section of Criollo plant used for Fillers and Binders.
This is the process by which Char changes to Carbon and forms Cake on the inside of the tobacco bowl chamber. This Carbonized [Cake] material helps protect the Briar from the inside out, keeps the bowl cool, and promotes an even smoking experience.
A wax derived from the palm of the Carnauba tree. This wax melts at high temperatures and is used to give pipes their final polish.
A naturally occuring organic compound found in some plants. When cigar tobacco is air-cured the chlorophyll is broken down and the new yellow and orange-ish pigments from the Carotene are exposed.
A Carved Finish is sculpted or shaped by hand. See Freehand definition for Carved Pipe.
Casa de Tabaco
Cuban term for Curing Barn which has open sides facing East and West for optimal air circulation. Tobacco is placed high up in the Casa de Tabaco after picking/priming to dry out and lose its Chlorophyll.
Liquid flavoring that is added to Pipe Tobaccos (usually Aromatic). Flavorings can include Honey, Liqueurs, Extracts, etc... Learn More - CMT Contribution.
The cylindrical instrument used to cut the round tobacco leaf that is the cigar Cap.
Spanish for "taster", Catadores ensure quality control by tasting batches of finished cigars.
Certified Consumer Tobacconist, as defined and accredited by Tobacconist University. Download - CCT Application.
Also known as Cedrela odorata, Spanish Cedar is neither Spanish nor a Cedar; it is a member of the Meliaceae, or Mahogany family. It is commonly used for cigar boxes and cigar aging because it is naturally pest resistant, hygroscopic, and naturally abundant in Central America and the Caribbean.
The Spanish word for Spanish Cedar (see Cedar, Spanish).
A cigar box with rounded sides.
A thin, transparent film made from regenerated cellulose, often used in the packaging of cigars - learn more.
An insoluble substance derived from plant glucose, used as a binder in Homogenized Tobacco Leaf.
The third level of leaves from the top of the corojo plant, between the centro gordo and centro ligero leaves.
The second level of leaves from the top of the corojo plant, just below the top corona leaves.
The leaves on the third level from the bottom of the corojo plant, between the centro fino and uno y medio leaves. Not to be confused with the criollo plant, where the term Ligero refers to the top leaves, which are exposed to the most sun.
Instrument used to measure the proper ring gauge of a finished cigar. This is usually a piece of wood with the appropriate size whole cut into it: the cigar is passed through to confirm it is the proper diameter.
A Chamber is the inside part of the bowl where the tobacco is placed for smoking. Depending on the Pipe, Chambers vary in size, depth, and finish.
The partially scorched, pre-ash remnants of tobacco.
Flat metal tool shaped like a half moon, and used to cut tobacco leaves by Torcedores while rolling.
The process by which people (and other organisms) respond to chemical stimuli by using their sense of taste and smell.
One of the oldest known cigar shapes, from the Tamil "curuttu", literally meaning "roll". This term usually refers to a mild and inexpensive cigar that tapers gradually from foot to head and is cut at both ends. Also referred to as a "stogie".
This term refers to consumers that scour retail Tobacconists looking for HTF products.
Popular during the 1800s, this term referred to small cigar factories in Cuba which manufactured cigars for domestic use.
Figurado cigar with a round foot and a flattened head.
The use of more than one color and stone (up to 25) in Lithography.
This stands for Certified Honorary Tobacconist as defined by Tobacconist University. A CHT is a distinguished member of the Luxury Tobacco industry who has very deep knowledge in a specific field: such as Cigar or Pipe making. CHTs have not taken the Certification Exam, but do subscribe to the Code of Ethics & Standards. They have received their honorary Certification because their experience and wisdom make them a vital contributor to the knowledge base and oral traditions of our industry.
A large cigar, traditionally 7 x 48.
A pipe shape with a long, curved stem, also known as a "Yard of Clay." Churchwardens were originally made of clay, and were enormously popular in Europe until the introduction of the Briar Pipe. Churchwardens tend to produce a cooler smoke due to the length the smoke has to travel from bowl to mouthpiece.
A cylinder of tobacco leaves rolled together; beginning in the center with filler tobaccos, bound with a binder tobacco leaf, and sheathed with a wrapper tobacco leaf. A Premium Cigar is made from only long leaf tobacco and is made exclusively by hand. *The only exception might be "premium" cigars which are machine bunched, but hand wrapped.
Technically, this term could refer to a cigar roller, since they 'make' the cigar, or the factory owner who 'makes' cigars. But, cigar maker is typically used in a much broader sense, referring to farmers, fermentors, blenders, and the people who put their names on a cigar brand.
Cigar Rolling Table
Cigar Rolling Tables are distinguished by a partial top shelf (approx: 40" high) over the standard table top (approx: 30" high). The partial top shelf creates extra space on top for placing finished cigars, while the space underneath hides the goma, guillotina, water, leaves, and other incidentals. (How to build a Cigar Rolling Table) Download - Cigar Rolling Table Plans.
Finely shredded tobacco which is wrapped in paper, smoked, and inhaled for consumption. More importantly, the difference between cigars/pipe tobaccos and cigarettes is varietal, chemical, agricultural, processing, and usage - which impacts frequency of use. Limiting the definition of cigarettes to 'paper' and size descriptions fails to recognize the most fundamental scientific facts.
A small cigar, composed of Short Filler tobacco, and made by machine. Cigarillos are often Dry Cured, in the European tradition. Cigarillos are not Premium Cigars since they are not made from Long Filler or by hand.
A cigar wrapper leaf which is pale green to light brown in color. Growing the leaf under shade helps keep the color light.
A pipe made from hardened clay popularized by Sir Walter Raleigh in the early 1600's, characterized by a small bowl and long stem.
Cigar made with Cuban tobacco in the United States, before the Cuban embargo.
The term used to describe cigar tobacco grown in Ecuador which is naturally shaded by consistent cloud cover. The naturally diffused light diminishes vein size, yields thinner leaves with a very consistent color, and more subtle taste/aroma.
Certified Master Tobacconist, as defined and accredited by Tobacconist University. CMT is also the Professional Designation for Certified Master Tobacconists. Download - CMT Application.
The cigar brand created for Fidel Castro in 1966, the name "Cohiba" is the Carribean Island peoples' native term for tobacco.
Color [Wrapper Leaf]
General Cuban classifications of Wrapper colors from lightest to darkest: Clarissimo, Double Claro, Claro, Colorado Claro, Colorado, Colorado Maduro, Maduro, Oscuro.
Unique moisture produced [in the form of dew] in valleys during early morning hours and at night.
Also referred to as spice tobaccos, these types of pipe tobaccos are used in small proportions to add spice and enhance a blend. The two most popular condiment tobaccos are Latakia and Perique.
A variety of Nicotiana found growing wild in Honduras.
A traditional American pipe, the corncob's bowl is made from a dried and hollowed out cob, with a reed or hollowed out piece of wood inserted for the stem and mouthpiece.
Cuban tobacco plant (seed varietal) grown under cheesecloth [to redirect harsh sunlight] and used for cigar Wrappers. From top to bottom leaf classifications: Coronas, Centro Gordo, Centro Fino, Centro Ligero, Uno Y Medio, and Libre de Pie.
The top leaves of the Corojo plant. Also a term used in the cigar world to describe the approximate cigar size of 5 1/4“ x 44rg.
A modern favorite cigar shape measuring approximately 6 x 50.
Spanish term for Harvesting.
A skilled worker who practices a trade or handicraft.
Cuban tobacco plant (seed varietal) grown under direct sunlight and used for Fillers and Binder. Produces 6 to 7 pairs of leaves: Ligero, Seco, Volado, (all fillers) and Capotes (Binders).
Certified Retail Tobacconist, as defined and accredited by Tobacconist University. CRT is also the Professional Designation for Certified Retail Tobacconists. Download - CRT Brief.
Certified Salesforce Tobacconist, as defined and accredited by Tobacconist University. CST is also the Professional Designation for Certified Salesforce Tobacconists.
This term refers to seeds or varietals that originate from Cuba, but are typically grown in other countries. Since most dark tobacco/cigar varietals originate from Cuba, this is a very general term.
Cuban empresa (organization) in charge of tobacco agriculture, processing, and production; from the 1960s to the mid 1990s.
Pipe Tobacco which is cut or shred into small, square-like pieces: these are easily blended and smoked. Burley Tobaccos are the most common Cube Cut.
Long wooden lathes used to hold up pairs of tobacco leaves during the Air Curing in the Casas de Tabaco.
Spanish word for “Snake” which describes the braiding of three loosely filled, thin cigars which are held together by string. The practice of braiding cigars together came out of Cuba when factory owners needed a way to control the rollers’ cigar smoking. Culebras were distributed as the day’s ration of cigars. As the rollers smoked the Culebras, the squirmy look of the cigar signaled the factory managers that the rollers were not smoking the premium inventory.
While Curing dries out the raw tobacco, it is more accurately described as the process of altering the chemical and organic properties of the leaves: converting starch to sugar, oxidizing sugar, losing chlorophyll, moisture etc... Freshly picked Tobacco leaves contain as much as 85% of their weight in moisture. When the moisture is removed, the chemical and organic changes are halted. Different Curing methods are used for different types of raw tobacco: Air, Fire, Flue, Sun. See Dry Cured Cigars for information on the Curing of finished cigars.
See Short Filler.
The classification for tobaccos that are used to create cigars. Dark tobaccos are more robust than light tobaccos, which are used for cigarettes and pipe tobaccos.
As in the theater, every actor and prop has a 'mark', a physical location where they must be at any given time. A store should look the same at opening and closing every day. Sales, customers, receiving inventory, and other events can disrupt the look of a store. Setting "Default Positions", a specific location for fixtures, products, ashtrays, etc., can help maintain an orderly and coherent merchandising strategy.
After the 2nd Fermentation, the Filler and Binder Gavillas are laid on racks in climate controlled Dehumidification rooms for several days to let the leaf recuperate and dry out. Dehumidification also occurs after the cigars have been rolled and placed in Marrying rooms.
Another form of Pruning, this is the process of removing flower buds (before they bloom) from the tobacco plants. This occurs at least one week before harvesting begins: it keeps pollenation from occuring and keeps the plants from expending energy and resources on the flowers.
Similar to Pruning (see Podar), this process occurs in the fields on maturing plants when the smaller, non-viable leaves are removed to allow nutrients to flow to the larger leaves.
The Spanish term for Stemming. Wrappers have the entire stem removed, yielding two separate parts of the leaf to wrap cigars. Filler leaves have only half of the stem removed from the bottom (creating a “Pata de Rana” or “Frogs Legs” shape).
A cigar approximately 8 inches long which is tapered at both ends, like a large Perfecto.
The Sensory Threshold where we can sense and perceive gradients in the tastes and smells (aromas) of a substance; lighter to heavier, milder to stronger.
A slang term for an unpalatable cigar.
Also known as Candela, Jade, and American Market Selection (AMS), these leaves are Flue-Cured (or heat cured) to fix the cholorphyll levels in the leaf and produce the desired Green color.
A cigar which is larger than a Churchill: approximately 7 to 8 inches long with a ring gauge of 49 or bigger.
Double Guillotine - Cigar Cutter
A cigar cutter with two straight blades, locked in a frame, which makes a straight cut. A guillotine with one blade and two finger holes is a single guillotine, as a double guillotine must have two blades.
The term used to describe how easily a cigar allows air to pass through it.
Dry Cured Cigars
These cigars are slowly baked in an oven, after they are manufactured. They require only 12-15% relative humidity for preservation; this is approximately the same as indoor humidity. Dry Cured Cigars are usually machine-made with Sumatran, Central African, and/or Brazilian tobaccos. They are typically manufactured where they are most popular, in Europe.
A pipe with a half-oval shaped bowl, and a bent or straight stem.
A brand name for a hard rubber, originally developed to mimic ebony wood, used to make pipe stems.
The Briar Burl, in its most raw post-harvest state. Ebouchons are purchased by Pipe makers, dried and stored untill they are ready to begin carving the Pipe from it.
Also known as e-cigarettes, these are electronic products which vaporize liquid nicotine and simulate the look and effects of cigarette smoking. The vapor is not smoke, but rather a water mist which momentarily resembles smoke. - Forum Discussion - Blog Article
The wetting down of tobacco with a mixture of water and tobacco residues. This Mojo helps accelerate the fermentation process.
The method of growing cigar tobacco where tents/cloths are erected around the perimeter of the crop, to protect it from the wind.
English Blend (Pipe Tobacco)
Also referred to as 'Balkan', English Blends are composed of Oriental, Virginia, Latakia, and Perique tobaccos.
English Cigarette Blend
Cigarette blend consisting almost entirely of flue-cured tobacco, also referred to as Virginia. English blend cigarettes tend to have a fuller flavor than American blends.
English Market Selection (EMS)
This terminology refers to cigars which are a light to medium brown.
This is the Spanish term for Bunch. Puňo also means "fist", which is how/where the Bunch is held by the roller.
Entubado Bunching (Entubar)
A technical rolling format which involves rolling each Filler leaf into itself, almost like a small scroll. Each individually "scrolled" leaf is then placed together to form the bunch. This skillful rolling technique creates a more firmly packed and balanced cigar which provides an excellent draw. Entubado Rolling is the most difficult and complex bunching method and is therefore rarely employed in large scale manufacturing.
The branch of medical science that studies factors affecting the health and illness of populations. The statistics and results of epidemiological studies are used as the reasoning/logic for public health and public policy decision making and legislation.
The Spanish word for the aging cabinet or room where cigars are stored and married after rolling: it can also be known as an anejamiento room.
Cuban term for “the selection”. In Cuban farming villages, the Escogida is a ritual and festival held while the tobacco leaf crop is graded and selected by factory representatives. Escogida can also refer to the color classification system for leaves and the room where this occurs.
This term refers to a specific year's crop from a specific farm or 'estate'. See Vintage.
A hybrid of entubado bunching, a.k.a. 'lazy entubado'. This technique uses a base of two tobacco leaves which are folded (semi-scrolled) and the filler leaves are scrolled and placed within it. Lastly, the entire bunch is wrapped with the binder leaf. Click here to see the video of estrujado buncing on the TU YouTube channel.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke, also known as Second Hand Smoke (SHS).
This type of Humidifier works because of the evaporative qualities of water. Typically the surface area of the Humidifier is in proportion to the size of the box and water is released at a rate which creates 70 to 73% humidity. Some Evaporation Humidifiers use a fan to control the evaporation rate.
Term for the expulsion of heat and ammonia from the tobacco leaf during fermentation.
Cuban term for cigar factory.
Also known as "Sweating" or "Trabajando", it is the natural, vigorous, highly controlled process that accounts for the majority of flavor + aroma development and distinction in cigar tobaccos. Fermentation occurs when moisture, heat, oxygen, and pressure levels reach a critical synergy: the result is an expulsion of ammonia and other unpalatable organic components of the leaf. The temperatures in Fermentation piles are closely monitored: the piles are deconstructed and re-configured before they get too hot. Tobacco can easily be depleted of flavor + aroma characteristics if over Fermented. Under Fermented tobacco will be noxious, unrefined, and "green" (an industry term with no relation to the leaf color).
Usually a metal or other potentially decorative ring used to reinforce the wood around the end of the Shank.
Any cigar which is not a consistent cylindrical shape. For example: Torpedo, Pyramid, Perfecto.
These are narrow strips of paper used to seal the edges/border of cigar boxes.
Pits or imperfections in Briar can be "Filled" in with wood putty or using comparable techniques. Typically, a Fill is visible to the human eye because it will not look like the surrounding Briar. While Fills are common on many Pipes, A High Grade Briar Pipe should be rejected or downgraded if Fill is used.
The combination of distinct tobacco leaves which constitute the “guts” of the cigar. Filler must be expertly bunched to make a well constructed cigar that will draw and burn in balance. The Cuban term for Filler is Tripa.
Spanish word for a farm.
A Tasting term which describes the lingering flavors left behind on the smokers palate.
The curing process which uses small fires in an enclosed space to flavor tobaccos. Fire-Curing involves using aromatic woods as fuel, which imparts flavor into the tobaccos. Fire-Curing can be done after a Sun-Curing, as is the case with Latakia tobaccos.
During cigar wrapping, a small piece of the leaf is expertly trimmed to help close the Head.
Pipe Tobacco which has been Pressed into blocks and then sliced into thin, broad, flat flakes: should be Rubbed Out for smoking.
A grain pattern found on Smooth Finish Briar pipes, that has narrowing or widening streaks that mimic a flame.
A cigar box designed to hold one row of cigars.
The combination of taste and aroma.
The ability to recall specific flavors (tastes and aromas) in your mind. Learn about [Reverse] Cigar Blending & Flavor Memory.
The Curing process which applies high levels of heat, in an enclosed space, to tobaccos. The heat dries out the leaves and fixes the sugar content of the tobacco. This technique is most commonly used on Virginia varietals which have naturally high sugar levels.
The typically flat and open end of a cigar that gets lit.
The Spanish term which can describe cigar strength and vigour. Fortaleza can also refer to the overall sensory input (robustness) from a cigar, not just strength as it relates to nicotine.
Also known as Sculpted, Freestyle, or Carved Pipes, a Freehand is not a basic or classic shape. Freehand Pipes are shaped by hand to elicit the best features of the Briar and Grain.
1.) The Spanish name given to a quality control committee which smokes/tests cigars.
2.) A Fuma can also be a short filler,rustically finished cigar; this can include a twisted head and a shaggy foot.
The traditional Cuban term for a cigar with an unfinished “shaggy” Foot and a twisted Head/Cap.
Spanish for "galley", the workroom where cigars are hand rolled.
Also known as a "Hand", these are bunches of tobacco leaves held together by string, which help organize the tobacco for fermentation and anejamiento.
German Blend (Cigarette)
Similar to American blend, but more Oriental tobacco is used. These cigarettes have a milder taste since the tobacco is not as heavily cased and flavored as American cigarettes.
The Spanish word for Gum, also known as Vegetable Gum. This natural adhesive is used to seal the cigar leaves and the Wrapper at the head.
A change in Grain from Straight/Flame/Burl or No Grain (Bald Spot) to another pattern. Grain Disruptions are common on many extraordinary pipes, but a Briar Pipe with only one Grain Pattern, and no Disruption, is truly rare and spectacular.
Spanish term used to describe Cuban agricultural workers and/or peasants.
The cutting instrument used by the Torcedore to trim the foot of the cigar after it has been rolled.
A cigar cutter with a straight blade, locked in a frame, that cuts off a thin slice of the closed cigar Head. Single guillotines, along with double guillotines and scissors, produce a straight cut.
Also known as Vegetable Gum, this natural adhesive is used to seal the cigar leaves and the Wrapper at the head.
The action or sense of tasting with the mouth/tongue.
Acronym popularized in internet cigar communitites which describes "Hard-To-Find" products, such as limited edition or special release cigars.
This term refers to a cigar rolled in Cuba exclusively from Cuban tobacco leaves.
A traditional Cuban seed varietal family that has been hybridized and cross-bred to create many new modern varietals. Traditional Habano Seed is still used to produce many cigars throughout Central America. See Other Cigar Varietal Families.
The joint venture between the Cuban government (and Cubatabaco) and the European firm Altadis. Habanos S.A. controls the worldwide distribution and marketing of Cuban cigars. In addition, Habanos S.A. owns the trademarks for all Cuban cigar brands outside of the U.S..
In Spanish, "media ruida", a bundle of 25 or 50 cigars, usually tied with a ribbon or packaged in cellophane. See also "Bundle".
Also known as a Gavilla, this refers to the way tobacco leaves are organized by being bunched together to undergo fermentation and anejamiento.
A cigar made exclusively by human hands.
A trade requiring manual skills.
The Herculean task of hand picking tobacco leaves from the plant (also see Priming).
In addition to being the capital of Cuba, the term “Havana” refers to a cigar rolled in Cuba exclusively from Cuban tobacco leaves.
A general classification for dark air-cured tobacco seed varietals that originated from Cuba. Havana seed varietals are grown throughout all cigar growing regions.
Since Cuba is the 'birthplace' of cigar tobacco, many consumers assume and continue to believe that Cuban cigars are the best in the world. While this sentiment has changed dramatically since the 1990s, there are still many cigar smokers around the world that believe in Cuban cigar supremacy. This bias/focus is further exasperated in the U.S. because Cuban products are not easily available to consumers, so they base their assumptions on romance and mythology.
The end of a cigar which touches the mouth.
Hecho a Mano
This term means "Made by Hand" but it refers to cigars that have machine bunched filler.
Slang term describing the act of drawing on a cigar. "Herf" also refers to a gathering of cigar lovers, where cigars are savored and enjoyed with friends.
Homogenized Tobacco Leaf (H.T.L.)
Originally developed by General Cigar during the 1950s, this reconstituted tobacco leaf was mixed with stems and cellulose to create a usable tobacco-like leaf. HTL is not a component of premium cigar and pipe tobaccos. HTL helped expand the machine-made cigar industry by creating cheaper alternatives.
Also known Narghile, Narghila, Nargile, Nargila, Sheesha, Shisha, Water-Pipe, or Hubbly-Bubbly. The Hookah Pipe is an indirect smoking system because the smoke passes through water, or other liquid, before reaching the smoker's palate. The four main parts of a Hookah are Bowl, Stem, Body, and Mouthpiece.
Describes any tobacco that is transfering heat to the palate. This can be casued by smoking too quickly, or improper (cigar) rolling or (pipe) packing. Tobacco that burns hot is not combusting at the proper rate and must be allowed to cool down, by not drawing or toking.
An apparatus which creates and maintains the 65% to 73% Relative Humidity needed to keep cigars optimally conditioned. [Note: it is important to use distilled water or the closest alternative in Humidifiers. Minerals and other contaminants can clog the hygroscopic medium and/or taint cigars.]
A device used to regulate humidity through a humidifier.
Any container intended to store cigars at the appropriate humidity. Usually a sealed box (or other container) which can maintain a constant 70% Relative Humidity.
An instrument used to measure Humidity. Analog models need immediate (after purchase) calibration while most digital Hygrometers come factory calibrated.
This term refers to a substance’s qualities to readily absorb and retain humidity. Cigars and tobacco are Hygroscopic by nature, and require proper humidity to live and thrive properly.
International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers association. Founded in 1932 as the R.T.D.A., this is the premier organization for retail Tobacconists.
A makeshift humidor made from a plastic cooler, also referred to as a "Cooledor". This method of cigar storage is inexpensive, but can have drawbacks for long-term storage: plastic containers do not have the hygroscopic qualities that Spanish Cedar does, and the tight seal will not allow air to circulate in the humidor, increasing the risk of over-humidification and mold. Therefore, extra care and monitoring may be needed to maintain your cigars in this type of humidor. Additionally, cigar smokers may prefer a higher quality and more aesthetically pleasing humidor to store their luxury products.
A famous cigar tobacco growing region in the North Eastern part of Nicaragua, near the Southern border of Honduras.
A famous cigar tobacco growing area in the South Eastern part of Honduras near the Northern Nicaraguan border.
Typically made from Cork, this device sits in an ashtray and helps pipe smokers empty their bowl by "knocking" the pipe rim against it.
The main decorative paper which is glued onto cigar boxes. (See Bands & Labels)
Cigars weighing more than three pounds per one thousand cigars; as defined by the U.S. government.
An Oriental Tobacco which is sun-cured, then fire-cured with aromatic woods and fragrant herbs to impart a smokey quality. Too strong and spicy to be smoked alone, Latakia tobacco enhances and distinguishes other blends.
The part of the tobacco plant which is meant to be smoked.
Traditionally, in Cuba these were the professionals who read newspapers and books to the cigar rollers throughout the work day.
The use of a tool or force to gain an advantage. You can use words, relationships, knowledge, experience, body language, humor, or just about anything to increase your income and quality of life.
Libre de Pie
Spanish term for the two leaves at the base of the corojo plant, literally "free feet".
Lieberman (Bunch) Rolling
This rolling technique uses the Lieberman machine to bunch and bind the tobacco filler leaves. The Lieberman machine is commonly used today in premium cigar factories throughout the world. Cigars which are bunched using the Lieberman machine usually still have the wrapper applied by hand.
The Spanish term for the Blend. Which is the combination of different tobacco leaves and proportions to create a specific character and taste. In a cigar, this includes the filler, binder, and wrapper leaves.
Spanish term for the master blender in a cigar factory.
One of the 3 basic types of filler leaves of the Criollo plant: Seco, Volado, Ligero. Ligero leaves are from the top of the plant and are exposed to the most sun. Ligero leaves are known for being dense, rich, and robust.
The classification for tobaccos that are used to create cigarettes and pipe tobaccos. The varietals in this category are less robust than the Dark tobaccos used to make cigars.
The part of the Stem which Flares open slightly to allow the teeth a place to rest. The Lip surrounds the air hole and is located just above the Bit.
The process of carving an image onto a flat stone and using a crayon or ink to replicate that image (in reverse) onto paper. See the Marketing of Cigars.
Cigars weighing three pounds or less per thousand; as defined by the U.S. government.
The whole leaves which are used in premium cigars: not chopped up pieces of leaf or HTL.
A long and slender cigar, usually around 6 x 42.
Lucite (Pipe Stem)
Lucite is a tradename for a type of hard and durable plastic polymer commonly used for Pipe Stems. They retain their finish over long periods and can be easily polished, yet they can be hard on the teeth.
Tobacco products which are created by master craftsmen utilizing premium quality tobacco and intended to be enjoyed while savoring your time. Luxury tobacco is never homogenized, commoditized, or used out of habit or addiction.
The acronym for "Make Your Own" cigarettes. See synonym R.Y.O.
Refers to cigars bunched and wrapped by machine: these are not premium cigars.
In its most limited sense, the term maduro can simply refer to a dark or black wrapper color - these color wrappers can result from late primings or stalk-cutting broadleaf tobaccos. But, a true maduro will have a wrapper which has undergone longer and/or more intense (higher temperature) fermentation that produces a richer, earthier, and sweeter flavor.
Soil element which affects ash density; too much produces ash flaking.
A bundle of four Gavillas.
This term refers to a land measurement common in Latin America: the approximate equivalent is 1.7 acres - but it varies from country to country.
The room where cigars [in bundles of 50] are stored in cedar cabinets after rolling. The room and cabinets allow the cigars to lose some of their excessive humidity and reach a balanced state. This process is necessary because cigar tobacco is “overly” moist during rolling.
A Brazilian varietal cigar tobacco that is grown in the Reconcavo Basin. Mata Fina is Sun-Grown and produces excellent Oscuro and Maduro Wrappers. The flavor profile is typically rich, mild to medium strength, very aromatic, and naturally sweet.
The point in time when tobacco leaves are ready for Priming. At Maturation, tobacco leaves lay horizontally, the center vein has a yellowish color, and they cut away freely.
Spanish term for a 25, or more commonly 50 cigar bundle.
The Spanish term for a 50 cigar bundle, also known as a Half-Wheel.
German for "Sea Foam", Meerschaum is a light, white, clay-like mineral that is primarily found in Turkey. Meerschaum has become synonymous for the Pipes that are created from it.
German for "sea foam", a light, white, clay-like mineral primarily found in Turkey. Meerschaum resembles ivory and can be intricately carved.
The physical and visual language with which our products communicate with the customer: it should be commensurate with the quality of the product and your store. Also spelled Merchandizing. Enhanced Content
The thorough wetting of Gavillas/tobacco leaves.
Like any other type of mold, Cigar Mold is a fungus which appears as a woolly growth found on damp and/or decaying organic matter - rendering the cigars un-smokeable.
Wood (or plastic) forms which give the binder and filler their cigar-like shape. Cigar Molds are filled with Bunches and then placed in a Press for approximately 45 minutes and then rotated by 1/3rd to eliminate any seam. The Bunches can also be left in the Mold and Press overnight if convenient, but the result will be the same.
A hole carved into the shank of the pipe into which the tenon is fit, connecting the bowl to the mouthpiece.
MSA - Master Settlement Agreements
On November 23, 1998, after years of litigation between state courts and the cigarette industry, leading U.S. cigarette manufacturers signed an agreement with the Attorneys General of 46 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, known as the Master Settlement Agreement, or MSA. Previous agreements were already signed with the other 4 states. Collectively, these agreements are known as the state Tobacco Settlement Agreements, or TSA. These agreements had the effect of making the cigarette industry the most regulated and highly taxed industry in America; and has the unique distinction of making this the only industry legally required to fund its own opposition. Learn more in Tobacco College - Cigarettes.
Pipe tobacco that is steamed, usually with sugars or flavoring in the water, and pressed for an additional curing/fermentation period. Natural Cavendish differs from Black Cavendish in that it goes through a less vigorous pressing, yielding a milder flavor.
Also known as Navy Plug, it was given the name because sailors would fill a long canvas tube with tobacco and flavorings (rum, fruits, spices), then twist the tube tight: mimicking the Pressing process. This technique created a dense "rope" of tobacco about an inch thick. When a piece of the tobacco is sliced/cut off it is called a Plug: this must be Rubbed Out for smoking purposes.
The Genus of plants which contains approximately 60 species, of which most are found in the Americas; 14 are found in North America, 9 of which were used by Native Americans in a variety of ways. Of these, there were 2 species used in ways that modern aficionados would most recognize; namely, Nicotiana rustica and Nicotiana tabacum.
One of approximately 60 species of Nicotiana. For thousands of years, during the Pre-Columbian era, Nicotiana rustica was popular among the indigenous peoples of North America; while Nicotiana tabacum was confined to Central and South America. Notably, Nicotiana rustica contains twenty times more nicotine than Nicotiana tabacum. Use and commercial production of Nicotiana rustica is well documented into the seventeenth century, while it represents a only small fraction of global tobacco production today.
The most famous of the more than 60 species of Nicotiana. Nicotiana tabacum is the largest cash crop plant on earth, yet it is not found growing in the wild. Specifically, Nicotiana tabacum is the plant species referred to as "Tobacco".
Nicotine is a naturally occurring organic compound in the same family of substances (alkaloids) as Caffeine. Found in Tobacco plants, and to a lesser degree in tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes, and eggplant, the general effects of Nicotine are biphasic: initially it is mentally invigorating, then has a relaxing effect. Nicotine & Tobacco, Nicotine Strength.
Soil component which increases root growth, nicotine content, plant yield, leaf width, and leaf luster.
Pipe Tobacco without any additional flavoring/casing added. This is a misnomer since these tobaccos still produce aromas.
The last 1 to 2 inches of a cigar; usually a reference to 'smoking past the band'.
The act of smoking the last inch or two of a cigar; or 'smoking past the band'.
Aspect of valley topography which allows nutrients to flow from surrounding hills and mountains [over time] into the valley.
The result of well conditioned cigars, oils are exuded by tobacco leaves as they age.
The action of smelling, or the sense of smell (See Taste College: Smell)
A variety of Dominican cigar tobacco which has large leaves and is commonly used for filler and binder. Olor tobacco can have a distinctly dry flavor, or drying effect on the mouth. Olor is also the Spanish term for "Smell".
Being, affecting, or relating to qualities such as taste, odor, color, and the “feel” of a substance that stimulates the senses.
Tobacco grown mostly in Southern Europe and the Middle East, this plant has relatively small leaves and produces fragrant, dry flavor profiles with low nicotine and sugar content. Oriental tobacco is typically primed, sun-cured, and fermented.
Smelling odors that travel directly through the nose to the olfactory nerves; such as by wafting cigar/pipe smoke under the nose. (See Taste College: Smell)
The blackest shade of tobacco leaf; but not necessarily a Maduro. Typically Mexican and Brazilian leaves can achieve this color without going through the additional "Maduro" fermentation.
1) Literally, the roof of the mouth 2) A personal preference of taste 3) The sense of taste
A slender cigar shape, traditionally 6" x 38rg, though frequently longer.
This term refers to straight-sided cigars; also known as standard or straight, not Figurado.
A Passive Humidifier has no electrical or moving parts and works on simple evaporative and chemical equilibrium principles. They are intended for smaller humidification needs and commonly used in travel and desktop humidors.
Pelo de Oro
While this is a Spanish term meaning "golden hair" it is usually a reference to a potent Cuban cigar varietal which was popular in the early and middle 20th Century. This tobacco could be used for wrapper and filler as well, but is disease prone and can infest entire crops and regions so it is rarely grown today. Pelo de Oro can be considered a 'campesino' or 'guajiro' tobacco since many agricultural workers grow and smoke it to this day - especially in the central part of Cuba. It is known for being quite strong and flavorful as well as sweet. Also, see Capadura.
A cigar approximately 4 to 6 inches long which is tapered at both ends and bulbous at the center.
A burley tobacco grown only in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Perique is air-cured, then fermented in oak barrels to produce an extremely robust tobacco with high nicotine levels. Primarily used as a condiment in pipe tobacco blends and occasionally in cigarettes.
1.) Spanish term meaning "short filler", or scraps of tobacco. 2.) Picadura can also refer to the small under-developed leaves that grow just under the tobacco flower and above the ligero/corona leaves. The Spanish term Pica Dura (two words) translates into "Bites Hard/Strong".
Also called a lance, a cutter used to poke small holes through the head of a cigar.
The cigar Head finishing technique that rolls the Flag into a tight scroll and is then tied into a knot. Pig-Tails can easily be bitten off in lieu of cutting.
In the context of the 2 stage fermentation model that TU teaches, Pilones are the 1 to 3 foot tall piles of tobacco which constitute the initial Fermentation. Today, in countries like Honduras and The Dominican Republic, the term Pilone can refer to any Fermentation pile.
A varietal family of filler tobacco which originated in Cuba but is now commonly cultivated in the Dominican Republic and Central America.
Pinch Test (Pipe Tobacco)
Take a small clump of Pipe Tobacco between the thumb and forefinger and gently squeeze it together. If it makes a "crackle" sound or breaks, it is probably too dry to smoke and definitely too dry for storage/aging. If it sticks together for more than a few seconds it is too moist for smoking and probably too humid for storage/aging.
A device used for smoking, usually consisting of a tube connecting a mouthpiece to a bowl.
Also known as "Sand Pit", this feature is a concave depression in the Briar: a natural imperfection. Pits are found on all Briar, so even extraordinary Pipes may have a Pit or two. If the Pit is not too large, the Pipe maker may leave it exposed and not fill it in. Usually only extreme scrutiny will reveal these minor blemishes to the human eye, yet fastidious Pipe collectors are forever in search of the perfect, Pit-less Briar.
Spanish for "iron", a term for the wooden boards on which tobacco leaves are placed before fermentation.
The effect of poor craftsmanship or inferior raw materials that inhibits the draw of a cigar.
The slice of tobacco that is cut from a dense rope-like blend. (See Navy Cut)
Also known as Bloom, this is a naturally occuring by-product of cigar aging. As the cigar exudes oils through the Wrapper, the oils crystalize on the outside and form a white powder-like substance. The Plume can be gently wiped off with no negative consequences.
The spanish term for Pruning, this refers to the process of trimming down seedlings while they are still in the Semilleros. By cutting off between half to two thirds of each tobacco leaf, agronomists/farmers force the plant to spend its energy on root and stalk development instead of the leaves.
1. (pipe shape) A pipe with a cylindrical, flat bottomed bowl. 2. (pipe tool) A slender piece of metal that is used to aerate and loosen tobacco in a pipe bowl, as well as clear the pipe's airhole.
Cuban term for a cigar made exclusively for the local Cuban market, and not exported.
A billiard shaped pipe, but with a shorter bowl.
Soil element which has an important relationship to the burn rate of tobacco.
A finish applied to the Briar Bowl Chamber which intends to mimic the effects of Carbonization.
Technically, this term refers to the era of history on the American continents before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. In practice, Pre-Columbian history can apply to all time before and until the indigenous peoples of the Americas made contact with Europeans.
Large Cigars which are made from only long leaf tobacco and are made exclusively by hand.
The apparatus which exerts pressure on cigar Molds, to compress the tobacco into a cylindrical shape.
Pipe Tobacco which is contained under pressure exerted by a machine. Pressing for hours or days can help different Tobacco flavors marry as well as create a manageable "brick" which can then be packaged, aged, and/or Flake Cut. Long Term Pressing, as done to Cavendish Tobaccos, can create Fermentation (with the proper temperature and moisture) which will dramatically change and develop the Tobacco.
The term used for Harvesting premium tobacco leaves 2 or 3 at a time, approximately once a week. The process starts at the bottom of the plant and continues upward. Priming allows the leaves at the top to get more sun and reach optimal Maturation before being picked: the higher the Priming, the stronger the tobacco.
Established in 1992, this association is composed of the Dominican Republic's most traditional and experienced cigar manufacturers. Their objective is to defend, protect, and divulge the good name of the "land of Cigar Country": preserving their heritage and maintaining the quality upon which it is built. Every year since 2008, Procigar has hosted the Procigar Festival in the Dominican Republic to host consumers and industry professionals while educating them about their products and culture. Procigar, also known as La Asociacion de Fabricantes de Cigarros de la Republica Dominicana, has a quality seal used exclusively by its members - click here to see the Procigar seal.
Propylene Glycol (PG)
An organic chemical, liquid alcohol that mixes well with water in any proportion. PG is used in Reverse Osmosis humidification systems to assist in regulating humidity levels in humidors. See Humidifiers.
A cigar cutter that consists of a small circular blade, intended to pierce a round hole in the head of the cigar. Sometimes referred to as a "bullet" or "bull's eye".
Describes a cigar in which all the tobacco comes from the same country. Puro can also be a generic term used to describe any cigar.
A hybrid of Spanish, Latin, and double entendre, Puro Integritas refers to 'Pure Integrity' and 'Cigar Integrity'. It is the Tobacconist University Motto.
(or Piramide) A cigar which is tapered to a point at the Head and blossoms toward the cylindrical Foot.
The Spanish word used in the Dominican Republic for casas de tabaco, or air-curing barns.
Retail Tobacco Dealers of America, the former name of the I.P.C.P.R.
The acronym for "Roll Your Own" Cigarettes. Typically these tobaccos are Shag Cut for easy rolling and smoking. See M.Y.O.
A Grain pattern that is not uniform: this may include a combination of Straight, Flame, Burl/Bird's Eye, and/or even "bald spots" where no distinguished pattern is present.
Flake cut pipe tobacco that has been broken up prior to packaging.
A Pipe tool used to clean out excess Char from the Bowl and facilitate an even Cake. Pipe Reamers are shaped to fit inside the Chamber and spread out to apply even pressure along the interior walls. When turned they remove Char and compress the existing Cake.
The Sensory Threshold where we are able to sense specific tastes and smells.
Reconstituted Tobacco Sheet (R.T.S.)
Development of this homogenized tobacco-like product started as early as the 1930s by R.J. Reynolds. R.T.S. is comprised of stems, leaf, cellulose, additives, flavorings, and ingredients which are formed into sheets of "paper" and then shredded to be used in cigarette manufacturing.
The measure of Humidity expressed as a percentage of the moisture content (water vapor) in the air. Ideal humidity for the long term preservation of cigars is 70% RH.
A tobacco growing region in central Cuba which includes Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, and Sancti Spiritus provinces.
The act of moving smoke from the back of the mouth, up through the nasal cavity, and exhaling through the nose. In order to retro-hale, the mouth and nasal cavity can be connected by making a 'gulping' action and exhaling through the nose at the same time. Retro-haling creates a powerful synergy of taste and olfaction (aroma/smell) where the spices, body, flavor, and strength of the cigar will be pronounced simultaneously.
The act of sensing odors that originate from substances in our mouth. (See Retro-Haling, See Taste College: Smell)
Reverse Osmosis Humidification
These humidifiers use the proper proportions of Propylene Glycol (or other similar chemicals) and water to create the desired humidity. Propylene Glycol acts as a buffer in the humidifier so that water is not released too quickly or slowly.
Pipe Tobacco cut into thin, long ribbons: shorter and thicker than Shag Cut.
The diameter of the cigar as measured in 64ths of an inch in North America; millimeters are typically used in Cuba, Europe, and Asia. Download - Ring Gauge Chart.
A contemporary American favorite, this size is approximately 5 x 50.
A Spanish term meaning "reddish", it refers to cigar wrappers that have a brown-red tint.
Spanish word meaning 'broken'. It is used to refer to damaged or broken wrapper leaves after they are sorted.
Roystonea regia, also known as the Cuban Royal Palm. The typical Cuban Royal Palm grows between 40-50 ft., its leaves are commonly used for roofing tobacco barns and its bark for making Tercios.
The process of breaking up a dense tobacco in the palm of the hand. Place tobacco in one palm and apply gentle pressure to the tobacco with the other palm while moving your hands in small circular motions: this will loosen and break up the tobacco just enough to prepare it for smoking. Typically necessary with Flake and Plug tobaccos.
A Briar Pipe can have a "Rusticated" finish, which is a deliberate roughing up of the oustide surface with a hand tool. This process produces a different look than Sandblasting . Learn More - CMT Contribution
The Spanish word for Savory.
San Andres Negro
The most famous Mexican cigar varietal grown in the San Andres Valley. San Andres Negro is a Stalk-Cut tobacco, which produces excellent Binder and Maduro Wrappers. Due to the toughness and resilience of the leaf, it holds up well during the extra fermentation required to produce Maduro Wrappers.
A varietal family which is now widely grown in the Dominican Republic. This cigar tobacco is commonly used for filler and binder. San Vicente varietals are a little lighter than Piloto and can have a mouth watering effect and be a little acidic; they are not as dry as Olor varietals.
A Briar Pipe finishing technique which utilizes compressed air and sand (or other) particulate to remove excess wood from the Pipe. The result is a textured and rustic finish. Learn More - CMT Contribution
The taste sensation produced by umami. The Spanish word equivalent is Sabroso. More generally, savory can be something that is pleasing to the sense of taste, by way of seasoning, that is not characteristically sweet.
Cigar scissors, unlike regular scissors, are beveled and shaped specifically to make a precise cut to the head of the cigar.
A spoon-like pipe tool used to remove excess char from the pipe chamber. Scrapers can potentially damage the Cake, making Reamers the more preferred tool for this task.
The process of slowly raising the moisture level in a humidor until the desired humidity is reached. (See Humidor Setup)
Filler tobacco leaves from the center of the Criollo plant. For other varietals, Seco can refer to the lower primings. Seco leaves are valued for their moderate flavor and good burning qualities; they are not as thick as Ligero or as light as Volado.
Cigars that have not met the aesthetic or construction standards of the manufacturer and are sold unbanded and without boxes.
Nurseries where seeds germinate for approximately 45 days before being transplanted to the fields.
The limits at which our physiological senses recognize a sensation. In order for people to sense a substance through taste or smell, it must be present in sufficient concentrations. Also see Absolute Threshold, Terminal Threshold, Recgonition Threshold, and Differentiation Threshold.
This refers to tobacco (typically Wrappers) grown under cheesecloth (Tapados) to minimize the harsh rays of the sun. Shade Grown tobaccos have a more uniform appearance, and a more subtle and delicate flavor; they are also a little thinner and more elastic than Sun-Grown leaves.
Tobacco which is finely cut/shredded into long threads: thinner and longer than Ribbon Cut. Virginia Tobaccos lend themselves to this Cut because of their large size. This Cut is common for natural RYO cigarette tobaccos as well.
When the wrapper leaf is left un-trimmed on the foot of the cigar. This "Shaggy" wrapper can be removed or lit to start the cigar.
The Shank of a Pipe is typically part of the Bowl, having been carved from the same Ebouchon or block of Meerschaum. The Shank contains the air hole and connects the Bowl to the Stem.
Also known as Sheesha, it is the tobacco used for Hookah smoking. Shisha is typically pre-moistened with water, honey, and/or molasses and flavored with fruit and/or spices. Shisha is too moist to smoke with a simple flame, so it must be kept lit by placing a hot coal on top of it.
The chopped up pieces of tobacco used as filler in non-premium cigars. Short Filler burns quicker and with far less complexity than Long Filler leaf.
The rounded curve that transitions to the Head of a cigar. After properly cutting the Head of a cigar, some shoulder should remain to keep the cigar from unraveling.
Second Hand Smoke, also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS).
A word coined by TU to emphasize the strong connections between human olfaction/smell, memory, and emotions.
A belief of moral superiority over smokers, manifested as discrimination and punishment. Since the latter part of the 20th Century Smokerism has become a pervasive global social trend.
Exactly what it sounds like, a Briar Pipe with a Smooth Finish has been sanded and polished to reveal the Grain as much as possible. Smooth Briars can be naturally treated or dyed with stain to achieve a variety of shades and colors.
A ground up, powder-like tobacco, that is inhaled or 'snuffed'. Snuffing tobacco was popularized in Europe. In America, snuff can refer to dipping tobacco which is placed in the mouth, between the gums and mouth wall; also, see snus.
Like snuff (and dip), snus is powderized tobacco that is placed between the lip and gums. Popular in Sweden and Norway, this type of snuff is typically steam or flue-cured, not fermented, and contains no added sugar. Snus use typically does not require spitting. It is illegal in the European Union, except Norway and Sweden.
Acronym for "Sisters of the Leaf".
See Cedar, Spanish.
Cedar Strips used for lighting cigars. These can be procured from the Spanish Cedar dividers used to seperate rows of cigars in boxes.
Spot Carved (Finish/Pipe)
Spot Carving normally refers to a hand-carved decorative accent on a Pipe, but it is usually employed to cover up a flaw in the Briar.
The process of air-curing tobacco leaves while they are still attached to the stalk. Stalk-Curing can be applied to Stalk-Cut or Stalk-Primed tobaccos. This process takes longer and is more expensive than traditional air-curing but it nourishes the leaves with nutrients from the stalk - creating an extraordinary end product.
This term describes a plant which is harvested all at once by cutting the stalk, low to the ground. Unlike Primed plants, all of the leaves are harvested at one time. This technique is common with Broadleaf and San Andres Negro tobaccos, which are typically used for Maduro and Oscuro cigar Wrappers.
As with priming, this process involves harvesting approximately a pair of leaves per week, but starts at the top and works down the plant. In addition, leaves are picked with a small piece of the stalk in tact, holding the leaves together. The picked stalk/leaves are draped over long sticks (cujes) and dried for 24 hours outdoors then moved into curing barns (casas de tabaco). These leaves take up much more room in the barns and take up to 90 days to dry out (2 to 3 times longer than primed leaves). While this was a more traditional harvesting method before and during the 20th Century, it is not commonly used today. Having the stalk connected to the leaves during priming is said to fortify and 'feed' the leaves during air-curing. View the CMT Academic Content.
The collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data.
Also referred to as mouthpiece or bit, the Stem of a Pipe incorporates the Lip, Bit, air hole, and Tenon, which connects to the Briar at the Shank.
Wrappers have the entire stem removed, yielding two separate parts of the leaf to wrap cigars. Filler leaves have only half of the stem removed from the bottom (creating a “Pata de Rana” or “Frogs Legs” shape).
Stockholm Cigar Syndrome
The psychological response in (cigar) sales representatives who fall in love with their own mediocre or bad products. The same can happen to consumers and Tobacconists who enjoy a cigar (or pipe) when they smoke it with the maker, and realize later that it was not nearly as good as they remembered. Similarly, Havana-Obsessed consumers are being held hostage by romance and mythology. Enhanced Content
A slang term for a cheroot, named after the cigar making region of Conestoga, Pennsylvania, where the inexpensive cigars were popular with wagon drivers during the 1700s. Originally, these cigars were called 'stogas' until Marsh Wheeling introduced the Marsh Wheeling Stogie in 1848, a cigar measuring 7" x 34rg. The Marsh Wheeling Stogie was half the price of competing cheroots and used long filler. (Historical Contribution by Frank Seltzer)
The flat cut produced by Guillotine, Double Guillotine, and Scissor cigar cutters.
A grain pattern found on Smooth Finish Briar pipes with straight line-like markings.
Characterized by a straight shank and stem. Straight pipes are inclined to transmit more heat directly to the palate than Bent pipes.
Secondary leaves on tobacco plants that must be removed so nutrients will flow to the primary leaves. Every plant in every field has these 'sucker' leaves and they must be meticulously removed by hand. See Jorge Padrón Video.
The naturally occuring organic compounds found, to varying degrees, in all tobacco. Both Curing and Fermentation can fix and/or develop the sugars in tobacco.
This term refers to tobacco grown in direct sunlight: this intense process creates thicker, more robust leaves, with more pronounced veins.
The process of exposing harvested leaves to direct sunlight: this takes between a few days to a few weeks. This process releases moisture and prepares the leaf for fermentation. Sun-Curing is most commonly used on Oriental tobaccos.
While sunlight can be manipulated with shade cloth, this term refers to the effect of mountains, surrounding valleys, shading out part of the early and late day sun. See Geography & Climate for more information.
A small, cigar-like roll of tobacco leaves created from one type of leaf. Surullos are used to taste and sample individual leaf types.
Spanish term for cigar factory.
Spanish for "tobacco", the word is also synonymous with "cigar" in Cuba.
Spanish term which refers to a cigar roller, cigar dealer, or someone in the cigar business.
The wood surface used by Torcedores to roll cigars on. It is made from a very hard wood and placed on top of the rolling table as a work surface.
Spanish word for stalk/trunk, as it relates to plants.
The act of gently packing down the burning tobacco in the bowl of a pipe in order to help keep it lit.
A tool used to pack pipe tobacco. Tampers can be made from any hard, durable material, and can range in design from a simple nail-head style to ornate carved and cast versions. Inexpensive tampers can scratch and damage the bowl of the pipe, and softer metals, such as pewter, are preferred by discriminating pipe smokers.
The cheesecloth-like material used to cover Shade-Grown tobacco, or the Spanish term for Shade-Grown tobacco.
1) a: noun. The human sense that perceives and distinguishes salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami flavors. b: An individual preference or inclination. 2) verb. The act of perceiving and experiencing the flavor (taste+aroma) of something.
Sensory organs on our tongue which we use to detect the five tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami.
Also referred to as Tasting, the methodology is a simple set of guidelines to follow when evaluating tobacco products: Observation, Description & Comparison, and Evaluation.
This name refers to a machine which assists in the bunching process, much like a Lieberman machine. Cigars which are bunched using the Lieberman or Temsco machine usually still have the wrapper applied by hand.
The projection at the end of the pipe stem that fits into the mortise of the bowl.
Palm bark bundles used to package fine tobacco wrappers for aging. The bark is wet down and tightly molded around tobacco piles. It is then tied shut and becomes hard like plastic when it dries out.
The Sensory Threshold where saturation inhibits our senses from perceiving any more stimulus; like ten people smoking cigars in a room where the eleventh cigar will not change what you smell.
Term coined by TU in 1998 to describe the beneficial and therapeutic effects of pleasant tobacco aromas.
Technically known as Lasioderma Serricorne, and also referred to as Cigar and Cigarette Beetles, these pests begin as microscopic eggs found in food and tobacco. Under proper conditions, these eggs can develop into larva, pupa, and finally adult beetles. During their short lifetime, Tobacco Beetles can eat through your cigars and leave them ruined, strewn with holes like Swiss cheese. Go to Tobacco Beetle FAQ.
An expert dealer in Tobacco and the related accoutrements. See Tobacconist University Certification sections to see consumer and professional elaborations.
Tobacconist Preservation Act (TPA)
Introduced January 1, 2009 and refined and moved to the TU website on April 1, 2009, the Tobacconist Preservation Act (TPA) is a proposed law which will preserve and protect tobacconist and consumer rights to smoke in retail tobacconist stores. Sign the petition! Download - TPA info. Download - TPA Paper Petitions.
This term refers to the grainy texture found on some tobacco leaves; mainly Cameroon.
The term which describes flowers being cut off tobacco plants. This process allows the plant’s resources to focus on leaf production.
Topping (Pipe Tobacco)
The process of adding a top coat of flavoring to aromatic tobaccos. Learn More - CMT Contribution
Spanish word for cigar roller.
This term traditionally refers to a cigar which is tapered a both the Head and Foot.
Totalmente a Mano
This term means "Made Totally By Hand": hand bunched, bound, and wrapped, no machinery is used.
Trabajar / Trabajando
Spanish term which means “to work”. Cigar makers refer to Fermentation as “Working” or “Trabajando” the tobacco.
The re-planting of tobacco seedlings from the semillero into the ground.
Very small, hair-like outgrowths found on plant leaves. Tobacco leaves, in addition to being very thick and sticky with resin, have Trichomes on their outer surface. The tobacco plant Trichomes help the leaf absorb moisture and reflect excessive radiation. After tobacco is rolled into a cigar, the Trichomes may still be visible and will help inhibit the evaporation of oils from the cigar's wrapper.
This name refers to uncommon or non-traditional pipes that have some novel or useful feature. They include folding pipes, pipes with hidden tampers, etc...
Cuban term for cigar Filler tobaccos, literally meaning "guts".
The term given to the [Parejo] cigar head finishing technique traditionally used in Cuba. The Triple-Cap uses a small tear-drop shaped piece of tobacco which is woven into the wrapper and used to close the open Head. After the head is closed, a perfect circle of tobacco (Cap) is cut with the Casquillo and placed on top to create a finished look. While this technique is meticulous and time consuming, it produces a strong, reinforced head. It is called the Triple-Cap because the cigar Head appears to have several seams.
TSA - Tobacco Settlement Agreements
On November 23, 1998, after years of litigation between state courts and the cigarette industry, leading U.S. cigarette manufacturers signed an agreement with the Attorneys General of 46 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, known as the Master Settlement Agreement, or MSA. Previous agreements were already signed with the other 4 states. Collectively, these agreements are known as the state Tobacco Settlement Agreements, or TSA. These agreements had the effect of making the cigarette industry the most regulated and highly taxed industry in America; and has the unique distinction of making this the only industry legally required to fund its own opposition. Learn more in Tobacco College - Cigarettes.
Spanish word for "tube". Tubos are used for packaging to help protect cigars.
The term used to describe Cigarettes made primarily from Oriental tobaccos. Oriental tobaccos are lower in nicotine than Virgina tobaccos, but they convey a richer flavor.
Pipe tobacco made from leaves that are twisted together like a rope mimicking the Pressing process. See also "Plug", "Navy Cut".
The fifth taste; described in Japanese as "deliciousness", umami is also defined as savory, or sabroso in Spanish. Specifically, umami is the taste of L-glutamate, the dominant amino acid in living things. Umami taste is common in fermented foods, aged cheese, meat, ketchup, tomatoes, mushrooms, boullion/broth, soy sauce, MSG, and breast milk.
Uno y Medio
Spanish for "one and a half", the second level of leaves from the bottom of the corojo plant, just above the libre de pie.
Also called a "wedge" or "cat's eye", this type of cutter digs a wedge-shaped slice out of the head of the cigar.
A specific and unique seed strain.
A broader category which usually includes many specific varietals. In the cigar and pipe tobacco industry, varietal families like Burley, Virginia, Oriental, and Broadleaf are often referenced when the actual seed varietals being used are more specific.
The specific plot of land on a farm where tobacco growing takes place.
Spanish for "plantation worker", this term can also refer to a cigar made from a single tobacco leaf or type of tobacco leaf.
Part of a leaf's organic structure. Veins which are too large can hinder the viability and attractiveness of wrapper leaves.
This term should refer to the year a tobacco leaf in a particular cigar or pipe tobacco is harvested. In most retail brands, the vintage (i.e. 1993) refers to a specific leaf/component like the wrapper, binder or filler(s) grown in a specific year.
In the absence of provenance or appellation-like standards in the cigar/pipe industry, there can be some ambiguity when the term vintage is used. Some cigar makers can misuse the term simply to make their cigars seem older or more attractive. Also, see Estate Vintage. Click here to learn about a true vintage cigar.
Also known as "Bright Tobacco", this varietal is used in cigarettes as well as pipe tobaccos. Virginia tobacco is naturally high in sugar content and is typically flue-cured.
A general term used to describe tobacco leaves from the middle part of cigar tobacco plants. Viso leaves are under Ligero and above Seco leaves.
This is a general term which refers to the specific size and shape characteristics of each cigar within a given brand. Download - American Vitolas & Cuban Vitolas de Galera.
Vitola de Galera
Name for a cigar's shape and size as referred to in Cuban cigar factories. Download - Vitolas de Galera.
Vitola de Salida
The name given for a cigar's particular shape and size in the marketplace.
A term referring to the collecting and studying of cigar bands and labels. Spelled 'Vitolfilia' in Spanish.
Filler tobacco leaves from the bottom of the Criollo plant. Volado is valued for its mildness and easy burning qualities.
Vulcanite [Pipe Stem]
A hard "vulcanized" rubber that is widely used for Pipe Stems. Vulcanite is easier on the teeth than other Stem varietals, but it will tend to tarnish or oxidize more than most.
A cigarillo whose filler leaves protrude from the wrapper at the foot.
Acronym refering to the "Where In The World Is The Tobacconist Handbook?" project: WITWITTH or WITWITTH?. The WITWITTH? project is a collection of photos of people with The Tobacconist Handbook. You can see all the photos on our Facebook Fan page.
The most delicate, expensive and [ideally] perfect leaf that is applied to the outside of a cigar.
A famous cigar accoutrement brand that offers a lifetime guarantee on its lighters, cutters, and other products.
The Spanish term for Royal Palm.
The Spanish term for Burlap.
The shaking loose of Gavillas/tobacco leaves after they arrive at the factory.