Tucked away on a street in Cuba's capital is a building that appears decrepit to passersby. But inside, under the thin, metal roof, is Humidores Habana, an operation of about 30 employees who skillfully construct some of the finest humidors for Habanos S.A., Cuba's cigar monopoly.
Since 2005, Habanos S.A. has commissioned the factory to build marvelous humidors for its annual Festival del Habano charity auction. Started by José Ernesto Aguilera, the workshop honors brands such as Punch and Cohiba not with tiny desktop boxes, but behemoths that can hold hundreds of cigars and stand several feet tall and several feet wide. (Recently, Irish tobacconist James Fox tasked the factory with crafting this gorgeous humidor for its 135th anniversary.)
In the August issue of Cigar Aficionado, we tell the story of Humidores Habana. Below, are a handful of photographs of the factory that offer merely a glimpse of the hard work that goes into building a high-quality box for cigars.