The tobacco plant, what are the best leaves?

Like any good product, cigars also depend on the quality of their raw material: tobacco and, therefore, its source, that is to say, the tobacco plant. Originally from America, nowadays the tobacco plant, of the species “Nicotiana tabacum”, is planted in all parts of the world.

Belonging to the Solanaceae family, the tobacco plant has a fibrous root and a straight stem. Depending on its height, which can reach two meters, the plant may hold 20 to 30 leaves, which sprout alternately and are lanceolate, that is to say, with a round petiole—the point where leaves join the stem.

Throughout the tobacco plant, which is usually planted annually, we can observe various leaf levels. From the soil to the top of the plant, leaf levels are:

  • Volado: the leaves on this leaf level are mainly used to help the cigar burning, since they contain fewer oils, and very little flavor.
  • Seco: leaves that offer a mild flavor to the cigar, since they contain oils and nicotine.
  • Viso: these leaves have more oils and strength than the previous ones.
  • Ligero: this is the part of the plant with the most oils, and which adds more strength to the cigar.

La Aurora only uses for its cigars leaves from the seco leaf floor, that is to say, the tobacco called volado, whose main feature is combustibility, is not used. “The seco leaf level we use in La Aurora, also helps combustion, while providing more flavor to the cigar”, explains the Brand Ambassador of La Aurora, Wascar Aracena.

In turn, viso and ligero levels hold the largest concentration of strength and flavor of all the tobacco plant leaves, due to the amount of oils found in the upper part of the plant. “We make our cigars with three leaf levels: seco, viso and ligero, but not volado; compared to the rest of the rivals, because we want to offer distinct experiences”, highlights Wascar Aracena.

What is the difference of using only these leaf levels? When mixing the tobaccos seco, viso and ligero, we can offer more flavor, more aroma and more strength to the smoke. “When we use volado, its only quality is combustion, but the seco also provides combustion, with a little more flavor and aroma”, says the Brand Ambassador of La Aurora.

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