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Fine Cigars, Coffee and Rum
Without doubt, one of the biggest draws of visitors to Cuba is its fine luxury products. Real Cuban cigars are well known as the best money can buy, the Arabica coffee is rich and sought after, and Cuban rum is simply legendary. These luxury products can be an integral part of your holiday in Cuba!
With Captivating Cuba, these exquisite luxury goods needn't just be something to take back home with you, but a fascinating part of your trip. We can arrange for you to stroll through the rich sugarcane plantations where the first elements of rum are born, guide you through the fertile tobacco fields, and even allow you to see the cigars as they're hand rolled in real Cuban cigar factories. And of course, you are always free to purchase the very luxury goods you've seen in production - a decadent keepsake from your Cuban holiday.
Just like France has several wine regions, where the flavour and colours have different characteristics, Cuba's cigar regions are clearly defined and offer very different products, and visiting the regions can be a real treat on your Cuba holiday. Vuelta Abajo has soil that cultivates some of the best black tobacco in the world - the climate is perfect and creates tobacco with strength, a powerful flavour and the kind of strength which makes a really good cigar. Meanwhile, the tobacco of Semi Vuelta Abajo, located in the same part of the island, the leaves are thicker producing a stronger aroma. The tobacco from these is mainly used in the production of cigarettes not intended for export. Partido's tobacco plants are covered with cloth to obtain lighter leaves with a finer texture - these are for export-quality, luxury cigars. Cuba's central region of Remidios produces a huge quantity of rich, aromatic tobacco with thick leaves and a strong flavour. Oriete, in the south of the island, is not really intended for Cuban cigar aficionados - the tobacco is comparatively low quality, and is intended mainly for local consumption.
For a real treat, Cuba's holiday makers should ask us to arrange a real Cuban cigar factory tour for them. This Cuban activity provides an ideal opportunity to stock up on gifts and souvenirs, as well as gain a real insight into this age old craft. Here you can see the cigars being hand-rolled, and listen as the manager reads the workers the news from the latest newspapers - an age old cigar factory tradition.
Cuba has produced fine coffee for over two centuries, and although it doesn't have the reputation of Cuba's rum and cigars, it has a flavour which matches the excitement and passion of its people! The coffee bean, introduced by Jose Antonio Gelabert in 1748, found a perfect home in the island's rich fertile soils, and ensured its unique flavour was drawn out by the warm Caribbean climate. Today, the island's coffee is an unexpected highlight for Cuba's holiday makers, who have never experienced the delights of a Cuban cuppa.
While Cuba is too small an island to match some of the bigger coffee producing countries, the island is content with the reputation of providing luxury coffee for the most distinguished palette, and enjoying a cup or two is an underrated Cuban activity! Once again, touring the plantations gives holiday makers a sense of how well the humble coffee bean is treated by Cuban workers.
Cuban rum production has become an art form - made by distilling the products derived from local sugarcane, and then aged for up to 15 years, getting the perfect rum really isn't for the impatient! Cuba's holiday makers enjoying the local rum can be sure that their drink has not been rushed.
There are many brands of local rum, and a popular Cuban activity is sampling each one - either neat or as part of the island's famous cocktails. Amongst the favourites are Varadero rum - made from the sugarcane local to the South Coast town, dark and sweet with a smooth caramel flavour, Havana Club - the national brand, made on the island since 1878 and widely regarded as one of the best in the world in all its varieties, and Matusalem rum, which is still made by the same family who first produced it 132 years ago. The name Matusalem really sums up the patience involved in all Cuban rum production, coming from the expression ``Esto es as Viejo que Matusalem'', which means ``It's older than Methuselah'' who lived 969 years according to the old testament! A tour of the Havana rum museum will allow you to get a handle on this patient craft, and also provides free samples of the finished product at the end.
On your Cuba holiday, it's vital you are not overburdened with luggage, to ensure you have enough space to bring back a selection of these fine luxuries. Certainly, friends will be disappointed if you don't bring back some rum or cigars for them from the Cuban holiday you keep mentioning!
To see first hand the care and skill that goes into Cuba's famous exports, call our Cuba specialists today on 01438 310099. Take the tours and savour the product.