Don Collins Cigars
In the world of cigars, there are what we call some of the best-kept secrets. Tucked in the beautiful Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is a tobacco factory that sells some of the best-flavored and meticulously made bundled leaves in the world!
The history of Don Collins Cigars goes all the way back to 1506. Puerto Rico then was a supply stop for European merchants and travelers. One day they chanced upon Sik’ar, a Taino festival that involved the actual process of tobacco making: from the growing of the leaves down to the blending of the flavors and rolling for a smoke. The foreign traders were fascinated and eventually brought not only the tradition but the Puerto Rican cigars themselves to their homeland. Since then tobacco smoking has become an all-favorite pastime and habit.
Back in Puerto Rico, a cigar factory owned by Puerto Rico Tobacco Corporation was built right at the site where the festival used to be. The company grew their own tobacco plant known as Hoja Prieto across all three farms. This special leaf has a very distinctive and flavorful taste, as well as wonderful aroma, making it one of the most premium ingredients in tobacco produced and sold in Venezuela, Africa, the United States, Spain, England, and France.
Beautifully Hand Made
But what makes every Don Collins cigar endearing and valuable is the process of making it: each one is handmade. The factory is composed of rows of cabinets where the leaves are stored for more than a year to ensure that flavors are developed and are combined perfectly. It’s the job of the master leaf man, however, to choose which ones are ready for production.
Once the best Hoja Prieto leaves of the day were selected, the head roller began his work. Every roll uses a bundle of these leaves, but it doesn’t in any way speed up the procedure. He still needs to be exact with every pressure he exerts on the leaves and meticulous in the blending, cutting, and rolling. In fact, he’s often left alone—or requests anyone to do so—so he can find his rhythm and never lose his concentration. Every leaf that is transformed into Lonsdale, Piramede, Churchill, and Corona Grande is tested for its elasticity, consistency, and freshness.
Though handmade Don Collins cigars still remain some of their strongest brands, the premier Puerto Rican tobacco company also handles mass-production of Ambassador, Quilambo, and Torpedo. In order to create a lot of pieces per day, workers have to deal with machines, but they come in handy during the finishing stages. The able, carefully picked staff are still chiefly responsible for the sorting, checking, and feeding into the machines, which are the same ones used upon the business’s inception.
The corporation has also expanded its product line with the introduction of the world-renowned Puerto Rican coffee, either grounds or beans. Coffee plants are grown in rich-soiled rainforest in the middle of the country. These coffee products are known for their great medium dark roast. They also have plenty of accessories that make cigar smoking more satisfying. These include a humidor with exteriors from cherry hardwood, cutter and matches.
GET SOCIAL WITH DON COLLINS:
- Cigar Club
DON COLLINS SLIDESHOW: