Our Premium Cigar Workshop

cigar rollingWe never use the term factory to define where Don Benigno Cigars are rolled. The conditions and processes of the cigar factories of the world are vastly different than those of our workshop. Where factories have hundreds of rollers, we have less than a dozen... where factories factories have quotas, we have none.... where factories have a technique, we have an art.

Located in beautiful San Jose, Costa Rica, our Taller Familiar or Family Workshop is where all of our cigars are produced. In this unique Cigar Workshop, the atmosphere is that of an art studio as opposed to a production line.

We have developed a setting with the perfect conditions for creating our cigars. At Don Benigno Cigars we strive to make the finest cigar possible, and proudly affirm that our cigars are premium in every sense of the word.

The Art Of Rolling A Fine Cigar

Simply put, premium hand rolled cigars consist of three parts; filler, binder and wrapper. The full process, however, is an impressive culmanation of art and tradition.

cigar parts

After selecting the finest prime materials, and putting them through a final curing process which is a trade secret, the production begins by separating the leaves and bringing them to the proper humidity for rolling. Every morning, the leaves are distributed, according to the blend, and the rolling process begins.

blending a cigarLike a painter mixing colors to achieve the perfect affect, the roller blends the volado, seco, and ligero for the perfect cigar. The blend, although predetermined for each vitola, needs to be flawlessly arranged based on leave size and shape. Ligero gives a cigar it's strength, seco gives it aroma, and volado it's combustion. Each of these leaves comes from a different part of the tobacco plant, and is harvested at a different time. This blend is referred to as the cigars filler.

When the roller has the blend just right, it is rolled into a special, more pliable, leave called the capote, or binder. The binder holds, or binds, the filler together for the next part of the process; the mold and press.

cigar moldThe first cigars obviously were never placed into a mold or press, and this step could be eliminated completely without affecting the basic characteristics of the smoke. Although, for a vitola to be exactly uniform cigar to be boxed properly the mold and press is a necessary step. Each bound cigar is placed into a mold, trimmed, and then pressed for about 15 minutes, then the mold is opened, the cigar is turned slightly, and it is pressed for another 15 minutes.

After the cigar has been pressed, it is goes to the final step of the rolling process; the wrapper. The capa, or wrapper, is a thin leaf, specially grown and specially processed. It is a small percentage of the actual cigar in terms of weight, flavor, and aroma, but since it is most visible, the leaf must be impeccable. The roller must take special care when putting the wrapper on- since this is the final presentation, the presentation must be perfect.

Commitment To Quality

Every step of the above process has it's own quality assurance methods, but we take it a step furthers. After the wrapper ha been put on and the cigar has been cut to it's precise length, each cigar is reviewed for veins, bumps, and other aesthetic flaws. Any cigar with the most minor blemish is immediately pulled.

Next every cigar is weighed individually. Each vitola has a specific weight, and any cigar that is under or over is separated. Weighing cigars is a normal process in nearly every cigar factory, but cigars are weighed in groups of 50, and as long as the weight for the 50 is in the right range, no additional action is taken. We feel that process leaves too much to chance. Weighing each cigar insures greatly reduces the risk of cigars that do not draw well or that burn too fast.

The final step of our quality control process comes at the last moment when our cigars come out of the hibernation in our cedar cabinets. Each cigar is ringed and boxed by a master roller. Once again, even the slightest blemish will result in that cigar being pulled.

In addition to all of these processes, Don Benigno smokes numerous cigars throughout the day. A life long smoker, he can notice small variations in flavor that may result in an adjustment to the blend or further investigation into what caused the variation.

Don Benigno takes great pride in his namesake cigar, and every one of us on his staff shares his love for creating the finest cigar possible.

The history, tradition and skill that was brought from Cuba to Costa Rica was flawlessly transferred into our "Taller Familiar", or Family Workshop.