Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Taru Martani Cigar Factory, the Legend of Cigar van Java

For tobacco lovers, it will be exciting to visit Taru Martani, the factory that has been producing cigars since 1918. You will feel like visiting your soul mate. If you don't like tobacco, at least you can learn the long history of this factory that supports many people. Taru Martani was initially built in Bulu area, at the side of Magelang Street, under the name of N.V. Negresco. Three years later, in 1921, the factory moved to the current location, Baciro, to the west of Mandala Krida Stadium in Yogyakarta. During the Japanese colonization, the name of the factory was changed to Java Tobacco Kojo. The factory was triumphant that time since it was supported by machineries to make light cigarettes that were brought in from B.A.T Cirebon. It's an easy procedure to complete before you are able to visit the factory. You only have to make an appointment with the factory management. When they give you permit, you can explore the 2-hectares factory guided by one of the employees. You can see directly and ask questions related to the cigar production. You don't have to incur expenses for this tour. The visit hours, however, are limited only on working hours, from Monday to Friday at 08:00a.m. to 02:00p.m. Entering this factory, you can enjoy the beauty of European architecture. Each parts of the building, both production and administration rooms are preserved as the original ones to that the nuance of European architecture is seen clearly until now. Even though the building has been tens years old, there is no frightening or dull impression; it even give dynamic impression. The production of cigar in this factory goes through some stages. At preparation stage, the dried tobacco leaves that were obtained from Besuki, Jember, East Java are taken out from the warehouse for dampening process for one night. The purpose is to make the tobacco leaves damp and do not crush when processed. The tobacco leaves are then sorted by its physical quality. Some of them are used as cigar filler, binder and wrapper.

The sorted tobacco is then prepared to make cigar cocoon in the next step. In this stage, the cigar is first wrapped with binder or dekblad and then with wrapper or dekblad. The uniqueness of the cigar making lies in this stage where skillful workers are able to produce relatively the same size of cigars by their hands. After this stage is completed, the rolled cigars are cut and sorted.
At the final stage of the production, the cigars go through fumigation, cooling, drying and fermentation processes in order to kill the tobacco germs. This stage is so important since the storage time of free-germs cigars will be longer and the taste lasts longer as well. After completion of this stage, cigars are labeled, wrapped and packed to be distributed to consumers. Taru Martani produces 14 brands of cigars, namely Cigarillos, Extra Cigarillos, Senioritas, Panatella, Half Corona, Corona, Super Corona/Grand Corona, Boheme, Royal Perfecto, Rothschild, and Churchill. For its variations, Taru Martani produces three kinds of cigars, namely nature cigar or pure tobacco, flavor cigars or tobacco added with flavors (mint, vanilla, rhum, hazelnut) and mild cigar.

Some legendary cigar brands are worth buying and tasting when you come. You should try Senator and Mundi Victor that have been produced since the foundation of this factory even though they were only labeled by those names in 1952. Other cigars you should try are Adipati, Ramayana and Borobudur that have been produced since 1970s. If you like minced tobacco, you can buy Van Nelle, Drum, and Countryman. Visiting Taru Martani and trying its products make you part of the international community of good quality cigar lovers. The reason is that the cigars produced by Taru Martani that are well known as Cigar van Java have been favored by people from all the world: Asia, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czechoslovakia, America and Europe.

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