Frequently asked questions
Following are some commonly asked questions about Oliva Tobacco Company and cigar leaf tobacco. If you can’t find an answer to a question you may have, feel free to contact us.
What types of tobacco are grown by Oliva Tobacco Company?
Oliva Tobacco Company grows wrapper, binder and filler tobacco for cigar production. We specialize in heavier bodied Habano, Sumatra, and Connecticut seed wrappers from Ecuador and Nicaragua. We also handle Connecticut broadleaf wrapper for select customers as well as broker cigar tobacco from such diverse places as Mexico, Indonesia and Brazil. We have extensive filler and binder operations in Nicaragua. These tobaccos are recognized as some of the best in the industry.
When are your growing seasons?
The tobacco growing seasons differ in Central and South America. In Nicaragua, we start the seed beds in October and finish the crop in April. In Ecuador, we begin seed beds in April and finish in late November or early December.
What do you do with your tobacco after it’s harvested from the farm?
When the tobacco has finished curing in the tobacco sheds (a 30 to 45 day process), it is then moved to our processing facilities. There, our wrapper and binder tobaccos are given an initial box sweat – a process whereby the tobacco is placed in semi-ventilated boxes in a climate and humidity controlled room. The box sweat process jump starts the active chemistry within the leaf and prepares it for the next stage in the curing process. From the box sweat, the tobacco is then placed into what’s called a “bulk” or “pilon” in Spanish. In the bulk, hands of tobacco are carefully organized into 2,500 to 3,500 pound piles and covered. During the bulking period, the tobacco will heat up naturally.
Once the tobacco has reached a specified temperature (temperatures can vary depending on the type and priming of the tobacco), the bulk is then broken down and the hands of tobacco are reorganized within the bulk. This process will be continued and repeated until the tobacco is completely cured. Curing can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, again, depending on the type and priming of the tobacco.