Would you ever try sweet or spicy cigar flavors?

For four decades, Aristo Torres has expertly sorted tobacco leaves at a factory in Nicaragua, a country that has steadily emerged as a key player in the production and export of cigars. Blessed with volcanic soils and a tropical climate ideal for tobacco cultivation, Nicaraguan cigars have become renowned for their distinctive tobacco flavors.

At the 11th Nicaraguan Cigar Festival held in Esteli, tobacco growers, merchants, and enjoyers came to celebrate the qualities of Nicaraguan tobacco. According to Colombian smoker, Andres Diaz Cote, Nicaraguan tobaccos possess exceptional body, roundness, sweetness, and hints of spiciness. They also burn flawlessly, improving the smoking experience.

Rooted in the aftermath of the Cuban revolution, Nicaragua’s tobacco industry blossomed when Cuban migrants settled in the region surrounding Esteli. Discovering volcanic soils rich in minerals and nourishment, they realized the perfect conditions for growing tobacco. Today, Nicaraguan cigars are exported to over 90 countries globally, with the United States being the primary market due to the Cuban import ban in place since 1962.

Nicaraguan cigars

Juan Ignacio Martinez, president of Joya de Nicaragua, the country’s oldest tobacco company, proudly declares that the finest cigars in the world now hail from Nicaragua. He emphasizes the global love for Nicaraguan cigars, a sentiment echoed by American businessman Rocky Patel, who acknowledges their growing popularity and quality.

Despite concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nicaraguan tobacco companies experienced an unexpected rise in sales. With movement restrictions prompting people to smoke at home, demand for cigars skyrocketed. In 2020, approximately 180 million cigars worth around $400 million were exported. This year, the industry projects further growth of around 10 to 15 percent, contributing to Nicaragua’s economy.

Nicaraguan cigars

Torres passionately explains his role in creating the “bonchero,” the quintessential mixture of leaves that forms the foundation of every cigar. His commitment to customer satisfaction drives him to continuously learn and experiment, ensuring that the end product is nothing short of perfection.

Nicaraguan cigars have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with. With skilled artisans like Torres and the bountiful gifts of their volcanic soil, the country’s success in the tobacco industry is looking set to endure and flourish.

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