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Featured Article

"The Havana—Cigar of Connoisseurs”
By: the Cigar Woman

The HavanaŚCigar of ConnoisseursDoes anyone, besides me, find the Discovery Channel (a U.S. cable channel) interesting and intriguing? They always have programs that capture my attention with unknown facts and vivid imagery. But the funny thing is…as I reflect back to my childhood…I hated programs like that when I was in school. I only cared for such programs so that I could pretend to watch them as I took advantage of the time to pass a “secret” note to friend. But, as you grow-up, I guess you start to miss the world of education and seek it out. "The Havana—Cigar of Connoisseurs” video, distributed by Janson Associates (http://www.janson.com), is a Discovery Channel-like documentary that I needed to watch because it encompasses my desire for education and my desire to learn more about what I love…the cigar.

The video is filled with facts, interviews, traditions and history surrounding the Havana that keep you wanting to learn more about it. It is shot on location in Cuba, Madrid, London and Berlin. I found that the traditions surrounding the actual process of growing, rolling and packing the cigars the best part of the video. It steps you through the stages of the Havana’s life--from the plantation fields to the drying barns, from the hands of the packers to the hands of the rollers. Each stage of the cigar’s creation is treated by the hard-working Cubans with love and care that is unparallel throughout the rest of the world’s cigar industry. It takes at least five years and three stages of training just to learn the highly skilled process of cigar rolling, with no guarantee that the trainee will ever roll a Havana. Only a select few skilled workers, who are considered to possess the “magic hands,” will ever make the top grade “cigar of connoisseurs.” The hard work and the skill that is needed to create great cigars make me appreciate the cigars even more, and I found myself wishing I could savor one in the United States.

The general facts about the cigar comes a close second, especially when I learned something about the cigars that I was not already familiar with. On the other side, I found the interviews and the history sporadic and dull. I noticed that I wanted to fast forward the tape at times. Also, there were a couple occasions where the director of the video shows a cigar burning in an ashtray, then blows the cigar up. I could not figure out the significance of this imagery and found myself thinking, “What was that for?” and “What a waste!”

All in all, the video did enlighten me about the Havana. I watched it a second time and appreciated it even more. I’m going to give this video a rating of two and three-quarter cigars out of four.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.janson.com/videos/history/havana.html

posted: 2/1/2000

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Rating

2 3/4 cigars out of 4

Video Information
Title: "The Havana—Cigar of Connoisseurs”
Length: 59 minutes
Distributors: Janson Videos
Price: $24.95 US

Visit the Janson Video website for this and many other great videos at: http://www.janson.com

tel: 201-784-8488
fax: 201-784-3993