At Tabanero Cigars in Ybor City, Cuban craftsmen produce from 100 to 150 artfully handmade cigars daily. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
The handmade cigar process begins in a high humidity room. Bale wrapped in burlap will soon be transformed into a simple pleasure for all those who enjoy smoking finely crafted cigars. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
Craftsman Hector Zequeira knows exactly how to prepare tobacco leaves for rolling. With a passion for what he does, he folds each leaf over one another, forming a cylinder with an opening in the center to allow for a proper draw or smoke to the cigar. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
Zequeira rolls a blend of legero, seco, and bolado tobacco leaves that will later be put in an ecuatorian, sungrown, or Connecticut binder and wrapper. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
The bunch is trimmed prior to being placed into a mold for pressing. The trimmer cuts excess amounts of the bunch accurately and evenly. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
Magailis Sanchez’s steady hand allows her to cut the wrapper leaf of a cigar with expert precision. Sanchez will cut anywhere from 100 to 150 of these wrappers daily to wrap tobacco in. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
The process of completing a handmade cigar is almost finished once the end cap is applied to the cigar. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
Sanchez then places the cigars in a hand press after the end cap is applied. The press is one of the only mechanical tools utilized during the entire process. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
The finished cigar will not be ready for market until it rests in Tabanero Cigar’s large humidor at 70 degrees with a 70 percent humidity for 90 days. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
General manager of Tabanero Cigars, Steve Stamberger, enjoys a finished handmade cigar. This simple pleasure is made possible by the craftsmen at Tabanero Cigars who keep the art of handmade cigars alive. Photo by Daniel Lacroix.
Tabanero Cigars in historic Ybor City produces some of the finest handmade cigars. Cigar manufacturers originally founded Ybor City, making cigar production an important aspect of the city’s history. The highly skilled Cuban artisans who work at Tabanero Cigars keep the almost-lost art alive.