Welcome to Don Javier Mendoza!
We are a big family of cigar aficionados, enthusiasts and professionals. Most of us were born in Estelí, northern Nicaragua and studied our profession in tobacco factories led by Cuban expats, thought by Cuban masters. We have smoked cigars from every part of the world and made millions of ‘puros’ with our bare hand rolling each of them to their perfection.
After almost 20 years of experience we have decided to fund our own factory and brand, Don Javier Mendoza to produce our own creations and also to provide bare cigars for exportation purpose.
All of our cigars are 100% hand made. We personally pick the tobacco leaves on the market, choosing only the best of the premium tobacco of international level to give you a clean and deep experience of cigar smoking and also to avoid damaging your health. We exclusively use high quality long leaves, tobacco from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Peru and Ecuador.
For us this is not only a business, this is our way of life and what we love to do.
Handmade cigars are a luxury item that requires a skilled artisan to create. The process of making a handmade cigar involves several steps, including the selection of the tobacco, the rolling of the cigar, and the aging process.
1. Tobacco selection: The first step in making a handmade cigar is selecting the tobacco. The tobacco must be of high quality and have the right moisture content. The tobacco leaves are sorted and graded based on their size, texture, and flavor.
2. Curing: Once the tobacco leaves are selected, they are cured to remove moisture and enhance the flavor. This can be done through air curing or fire curing, depending on the desired flavor.
3. Blending: After curing, the tobacco leaves are blended to create the desired flavor profile. Different varieties of tobacco are combined in specific proportions to achieve the desired flavor.
4. Rolling: Once the tobacco is blended, the cigar is rolled by hand. The artisan (torcedor, bonchero in Spanish) places the blended tobacco leaves in a binder leaf and rolls the cigar according to the requirements of the vitola. The cigar is then pressed to ensure a smooth finish. Our cigars have to pass a rigorous weight test before they are laid in the presses. Failed cigars are opened and rolled again with less or more tobacco.
- Sorting and preparing the tobacco: The first step is to sort and prepare the tobacco. The bonchero carefully selects the filler leaves, binder leaves, and wrapper leaves based on their size, texture, and flavor. The leaves are then moistened to make them pliable.
- Rolling the filler: The bonchero takes a handful of filler leaves and rolls them into a bunch or “bunching” them together. The bunch is then placed on a mold that shapes it into the desired size and shape of the cigar.
- Applying the binder: The bonchero then applies a binder leaf to the bunch. The binder serves as a glue that holds the filler leaves together and gives the cigar its shape.
5. After a few hours under pressure to achieve a firm shape comes the process of placing a cigar wrapper. Wrapping a cigar is a skillful and time-consuming process that requires experience and expertise. The process typically involves the following steps:
- The roller selects a suitable wrapper leaf, which is the outermost layer of the cigar. The wrapper leaf is usually of the highest quality and is chosen for its color, texture, and aroma.
- The roller then cuts the wrapper leaf into the appropriate size and shape, depending on the size of the cigar being rolled.
- The roller applies a small amount of vegetable glue, also known as “binder”, to the base of the wrapper leaf to help it adhere to the cigar.
- The roller then places the binder leaf, which is a layer of tobacco that serves as a base for the wrapper leaf, over the filler tobacco.
- The roller carefully wraps the wrapper leaf around the binder leaf, making sure that it is tight and evenly distributed.
- Once the wrapper leaf is in place, the roller trims off any excess leaf and seals the end of the cigar with a small amount of vegetable glue.
- Finally, the roller finishes the cigar by adding a cap, which is a small piece of wrapper leaf that is attached to the head of the cigar to prevent it from unraveling.
6. Aging: After rolling, the cigars are aged for several months to allow the flavors to blend together and the moisture content to stabilize. The cigars are stored in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment, such as a humidor.
Packaging: Once the cigars are aged, they are ready for packaging. The cigars are carefully inspected for quality and placed in boxes or sleeves for sale.
The process of making a handmade cigar is time-consuming and requires a great deal of skill and expertise. Each cigar is a unique work of art, crafted by hand to create a premium smoking experience.