Published in Asian Geographic, 2nd Edition, 2012
Centuries after Columbus’ crews brought it out of the Caribbean to Europe, the habit of smoking cigars has evolved into a global culture. Colonialism took it along to regions afar. In my country Indonesia, for instance, it was the Dutch who brought it, and since then, a number of cigar factories have been established there since early 20th century.
Cigars now come in so many colours, shapes, and flavours, varying from greenish to dark-coloured, from the coronas (common shape, evenly cylindrical with round head) to the figurados (a varieties of irregularly shaped cigars), and from sweet to dry flavoured. The materials, too, have been produced in various places around the world, offering assorted qualities and characters. When we talk about why someone likes a certain cigar, its colours, shapes, and flavours are all contributing elements. But what makes cigars so special is how they are made.