Today Alejandro told us we could be real Cubans. We went to Casa de Habano.
Entering Casa de Habano
I, Zeb will be a real Cuban duck??
First we watched this lady roll a cigar.
She is ready to roll
She has been rolling cigars for many years and is very good. She put different varieties of tobacco leaves in her hand and arranged them just so.
Blend of tobacco leaves to form bundle
These leaves, or bundle, are then rolled in the binder. The original hand full of leaves makes the blend. The binder is to hold them together. Her hands are very busy and she knows exactly what to do. The binder is held in place with a very small amount of vegetable paste. The cigar is placed in a mold.
Cigar remains in mold for hours
This is a wooden form of two parts, which is then placed in a press. The mold properly shapes the cigar and helps allow proper airflow while smoking.
After several hours in the mold, the cigar is rolled again. One of the best leaves will be the wrapper.
Cigar rolled into final wrapper.
The wrapper has a good flavor, complementing the blend of tobacco inside the cigar, and the wrapper gives the cigar a good appearance.
After the cigar rolling demonstration, we look around the store. Several famous people have purchased and smoked cigars here.
Famous former patrons
Casa de Habana sells many kinds of cigars, cigar accessories and Cuban rum.
Cedar cigar holders
We leave the main store and enter a shopping mall courtyard. These girl musicians entertain us.
We enjoy listening to these musicians
Alejandro tells us that this is time for us to be real Cubans. We sample Cuban rum. Very good but we don’t drink much. Soon we receive small cups of strong Cuba coffee. This is also good. Mom doesn’t usually drink coffee but she liked it. Did not have a bitter taste to her.
Our third step to being real Cubans is smoking a cigar. A gentleman shows us how to light a cigar.
Light cigar with a burning strip of cedar
Use thin strips of cedar to light the cigar. Cedar has no resin, so the flavor of the cigar will not be compromised. Cigar lighting is not easy. But tourists are persistent and the cigars are lit and being smoked. These four cigar-smoking ladies are friends of Zeb the Duck.
My friends are cigar-smoking ladies. Wow! Deborah, MaryAnn, Susan and Alex
They look good with these cigars. So Cuban!
After smoking and drinking, we explore a little of this mall.
Ready to climb stairs and visit stores
There are three levels of stores.
Looking down to smoking and drinking area
Looking down the smoking and drinking area is pretty. We spent some time and money in this paper mache store.
Lots of paper mache. Zeb on top shelf
I like this store.
First paper mache shoe for Zeb the Duck
Soon it is time to return to the bus and head for our hotel. This was a great stop. We had fun here.