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The Torcedores

((TRT: 05:49))
((Topic Banner: The Torcedores
((Reporter/Camera/Editor: Jeff Swicord))
Little Havana, Miami, Florida))
((Main characters: 1 Male, 1 Female))
((Fernando Morales, Owner, Mr. Cigars))

Little Havana is the center of Cuban culture in Miami. You always hear music. Drinking coffee. Playing dominos. Versailles is the icon, the most famous Cuban restaurant in the entire world.
Cigars are at the center of the Cuban culture which means that tourists come here. Yes, they come to eat, they come to enjoy, but the main thing they come to buy, the main product they come to purchase, cigars, cigars.
((Fernando Morales, Owner, Mr. Cigars))

Welcome to Little Havana. Come into my shop. I was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. My grandfather used to be a cigar roller in Cuba. You cannot get Cuban cigars because of the embargo and that’s just into politics.
We consume more cigars than the entire world combined. The lighter the color, the milder the cigar. The darker the color, the stronger the cigar it is. So, for example, this is what we call Connecticut Shade. Connecticut Shade because the first leaf was cultivated in Connecticut, USA and it came out like almost yellow. And this is a mild cigar.
Then from here, we jump into the medium body cigars. And this is what we call medium body Habano Shade. So, this leaf here is from Ecuador, Habano Ecuador, Ecuadorian Habano, and is aged for five years. That’s why it turns like medium brown. Then, you come over to the full body. As you can see it’s darker, the leaf, because it is aged for about seven years. And this one come from, from Mexico, San Andrea, Mexico. It’s on the sweet side.
What makes a good cigar is: a) - the quality of the leaf…b) the quality of the Torcedor, the cigar roller. The Cuban Torcedores are the best in the world, period, hands down.
Lidia, the Torcedora, Cuban cigar roller, her cigars are simply magnificent, magnificent.
((Lidia Marcio Guerra, Cigar Roller, Federico Empire Cigar Factory))

I have been making cigars for 35 years. I love tobacco. It’s the only thing I know how to do. I don’t know how to do anything else. A good cigar is the one who has a good pull, that has good flavor, that is not bitter. But in my opinion, that depends on the taste of the person who is smoking it. Look: mild, medium, strong.
Making cigars is an art form. Since America was discovered and the Spanish found the Indians making cigars, they were made in the same way as today.
The only thing that has changed is that we have incorporated the molds and the press. But everything else is the same.
The Torcedores are privileged and have a good salary in Cuba. I can tell you that when I was in Cuba, I earned more than a doctor. The tobacco course lasts nine months. In nine months, you become a [cigar maker]. But today, it is an artisan handwork. I became a tobacco maker after six months. After six months, they pass you to where the older and more experienced cigar makers are, that goes for export.
I came to the United States in 2014 and now I am a permanent resident in the United States.
((Fernando Morales, Owner, Mr. Cigars))

The Torcedores, we respect them. And whenever an American sees a cigar roller, or a Torcedor making a cigar, he stops, takes a picture. Even though he or she has seen it 20,000 times, he is always intrigued by the way it’s made, and appreciate it, enjoys it, and is willing to pay whatever it is, in order to have a good cigar.
Smooth, the way I like it!