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It's now easier than ever to get Cuban cigars — here's how they're made


Cuban cigar farm

Now there's another great reason to visit Cuba: the Obama administration has just lifted restrictions on the number of cigars tourists can bring back to US soil. Americans can now carry up to 100 cigars without paying customs taxes. 

Cuba's tobacco production can be compared to Napa Valley's wine culture — it's taken seriously and can be a big draw for tourists.

While foreign sales in cigars rose steadily through 2015, some Cuban tobacco farmers have earned an income by hosting international visitors, giving an inside look at how the cigars are produced.

One such farm is the family-run-and-owned Montesino. Located in Pinar del Rio, a little over an hour west of Havana, the farm is one of Cuba's most renowned tobacco producers. Here's how it makes a fine Cuban cigar.  

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Tobacco plants are generally planted late in the year and grown for three months before farmers pick it, leaf by leaf.

Tobacco seeds are extremely small, and each plant can produce up to 30 leaves.

Tobacco farmer Raul Valdes Villasusa shows his hands, calloused from years of hard work.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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