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A Review of Bits of Havana Especial

A Review of Bits of Havana Especial

We wanted to check in on the Bits of Havana Especial releases to see how it has been progressing since its release on August 4th, 2022.

What made this blend such a unique addition to the Bits of Havana portfolio was the addition of the rare Jalapa Medio Tiempo. Normally a large majority of the Medio Tiempo from AGANORSA is grown in Esteli, but a bale of the material from Jalapa had made its way to their warehouse and I had stumbled upon it. When you work with Medio Tiempo, it is not as easy as placing the material inside a blend to create the signature "chew" as we call it, you have to blend around the material to make it work. So this Bits of Havana is different from its counterparts within the line.

*The Review

A quick recap on the Bits of Havana Especial...

Wrapper: Jalapa Corojo '99 Shadegrown

Filler: Nicaragua Criollo '98, Corojo '99 + Jalapa Corojo '99 Medio Tiempo

Binder: Nicaragua Criollo '98

Body: Medium+

Vitola: 4.5 x 50

The initial aroma from the foot is heavy fruit and earth notes, very little spice. Upon lighting you are immediately met with a blast of that fruit and earth with an undertone of sugarcane sweetness. The spice levels pick up as you progress and a creamy aspect to the blend begins to evolve as you get into the beginning of the halfway point.

The retro offers an abundance of cinnamon and fruit with a creaminess. As you progress into the cigar more and more you realize the real subtle notes are here in the retro. Ae we begin the final half, the fruit is the dominant player here with wood and earth undertones. The creaminess is still on the finish, and the exhale is clean and precise. Never touching over Medium+ in body, this has stayed true to it's original body rating.

What I have noticed in the almost 5 months since release, the blend has started to come together more. The fruit has progressed to a dominant factor when originally the earthy notes took center stage while the fruit was a secondary note, this is not the case anymore. If you enjoy Medium+ body and a great deal of fruit and complexity with mild spice, this is the blend for you.

*Paired with Topo Chico Mineral Water. However I could see this blend easily being perfect for a Highland or Speyside Single Malt. I would stay away from anything cask strength as it will overpower the blend.

You can shop for your Bits of Havana Especial Right Here

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Update

We wanted to take a moment to let you know what is happening with DROP as we near the end of 2022.

Our new brand identity project is now completed. We will be showcasing this new identity in Q1 of 2023. With the completion of this new brand identity we are going to implement a new customer experience with DROP. We are focused on offering you the best boutique cigars in the premium cigar market. 

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We have (1) remaining Hyper Limited™ and (1) bundle release coming to members before the years end.

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Next we are off to Esteli to check on the first few Hyper Limited™ releases for 2023 and see how the new vintage plantings are progressing on the farms of AGANORSA.

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We will be launching our new member point system in 2023. We are very excited to be able to offer this new rewards program to you. This has been in development for months and we are ecstatic to be able to offer you a more in depth experience with DROP.

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We want to thank you for the continued support of what we accomplish here at DROP. We look forward to pushing to new heights in ensuring you have the best possible experience with the best boutique cigars in the market.

 

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Moon Garden 'Painted by Moonlight'

Moon Garden 'Painted by Moonlight'

We are excited to announce that the newest addition to the Moon Garden series will soon be available to the portfolio of the best boutique cigars here at Drop Cigar Club.

We will be sending out the Save the Date during the week of May 30th to all members of Drop. As always with this special Drop, a very small quantity will be available.

All members who purchase Moon Garden 'Painted by Moonlight' will receive a custom produced enamel Moon Garden pin and our classic sticker pack. 

More information on the blend will be available in the Save the Date.

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How to Make Cuban Coffee - Café Cubano

How to Make Cuban Coffee - Café Cubano

I have had the pleasure of tasting amazing coffee all over this country and abroad while traveling for Warped, but nothing compares a Café Cubano made down in Little Havana. Across the street from El Titan de Bronze on the corner of 8th & 11th is a walk up window that produces the best Café Cubano I have ever had. This amazing mixture of espresso and sugar is addicting and keeps you going for those long days in the factory while blending and checking production. 

Each and every trip I make down to El Titan de Bronze, one of my first acts is to go across the street to this walk up window and get a Café Colada which is served with 4-6 plastic demi "shot" cups. The purposes of these plastic demi shot cups is to serve your friends/co workers with this amazing elixir. It's a common custom down in Miami, and whether it is the rollers at the factory or visiting friends to the factory, you are always offered a shot. 
 After enough trips down to Miami and not being able to find anything near close enough to this where our headquarters are located, I took it upon myself to master this craft. Well lets distill this down as quickly as possible...making Café Cubano is not easy... to get it right, it took me 1.5 years (yes, 1.5 years, I am not joking) to get it to the point where the team at HQ said it was 97% to what we get in Little Havana. You always see photos on Instagram of the coffee, so let me show you how I make it. 
The recipe below will produce 4-6 shots of Café Cubano. As always, pair it with the best boutique cigars from Drop Cigar Club.
 
Here we go! 
What you will need: 

cuban-coffee-set-up
  • Espresso machine 
  • Ground espresso of your choice (Pilon for us as of right now) 
  • Sugar 
  • 2 pitchers 
  • Spoon 
  • Plastic demi shot glasses (you will be sharing this, remember that!) 
  • Espresso tamp 
Step 1: Fill your portafilter with coffee and give a light tamp (if you're using a pressurized portafilter), if you have a non pressurized you will need your normal amount of force for tamping.

cuban-coffee-tamp

Step 2: This is probably your most important aspect! Measurement of sugar...too much will make it way to sweet and too little will provide you with a lightly sugared espresso. I use 1.5 spoons of Domino sugar. To be more detailed, 1 rounded full spoon and then a straight half spoonful. Put your sugar into (1) of your (2) pitchers.

cuban-coffee-sugar

Step 3: Okay lets brew some Pilon. So with your empty pitcher, brew about 1/4-1/3 of the pitcher with a full portafilter. If you brew longer and more, they espresso becomes way too bitter (this is one of the things I learned the hard way). If you start seeing foam build up in your pitcher, dump it out, and try again. With a pressurized portafilter you're looking at 10-12 seconds of brew time before shutting the brew off.

cuban-coffee-espresso-machine

Step 4: Ah... another very important aspect of Café Cubano that separates it from the rest. Instead of just totally dumping your espresso into the pitcher with the sugar, you pour a very tiny amount into the sugar pitcher. This is extremely important for the next step.

cuban-coffee-sugar-espresso

Step 5: With your spoon you will begin mixing together the sugar and small amount of espresso until it becomes a thick delicious paste of straight sugar and coffee. If you are mixing and you do not have a paste, take your spoon and lightly add some additional coffee to create the consistency of paste... yes I'm serious.

cuban-coffee-espresso-paste

Step 6: Don't worry, we are almost there! So now the rest here is simple. After you have created your paste mixture (as seen above), you will pour the remaining coffee into your sugar paste pitcher.

cuban-coffee-pour

Step 7: Once you have poured all of your coffee into the paste pitcher, start mixing to melt that paste. This will create the signature 'crema' or thick topping Café Cubano is known for.

cuban-coffee-pitcher

Step 8: Start pouring for friends

cuban-coffee-shots

Step 9: Look at that, you are all done!

cuban-coffee-ready

Step 10: Now enjoy! And sorry that I have forever ruined your preference on coffee.
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