Medio Tiempo

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Cuban Cigars Post

We are talking about a tobacco leaf that grows on the very top of the plant and seems to have a very unique taste.

When the Behike line of Cohiba came out in 2010 they were advertised as containing a bit of Medio Tiempo tobacco. First time I tasted a Behike I was immediately stunned by its remarkable taste and while I am not the biggest fan of Cohiba I believe that the Behikes are the best new release of the last 15 years, hands down!
Behike - all three
I learned that the Medio Tiempo leaf was re-discovered for the Behike, since for a long time the tobacco harvest was stopped before this top leaf was grown properly. The leaf itself is used like Ligero that gives a cigar its taste.

I once was able to smoke a Lonsdales size cigar made out of only medio tiempo filler. A very memorable experience. Very tasty and funny enough it seemed to coat the tip of the tongue and the first bit of the palate producing an simmiliar stimulation as when eating something very salty. The only cigar I am getting this on a regular basis (even though in a milder form), apart from the Behike, is the Monsdales. Than again once in a while you get that out of cigars that somehow make you feel that they were made with premium material. But I guess thru out the process and not really paying attention a 100% to what the top leaf is (was) it might as well end up in a good filler. Why not?
lexico tabacalero
Looking into the book “Léxico Tabacalero Cubano” by José E. Perdomo (first edition 1940, ISBN 0-89729-846-2) it clearly states medio tiempo – so it is true that it once was a known leaf by its own rights. Confusing for me, it not only seems to be filler Ligero if not it is stated under various sections. But it certainly backs up the info that Medio Tiempo was a recognized leaf.

Have not wrapped my head around this completely but this Medio Tiempo is excellent stuff!

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Comments (2)

  • Fauntleroy

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    It’s funny you would describe it as a “salty” sensation; I am not sure whether I can discern it enough within a blend, but it most definitely is a “savoury” sensation to me. I used to compare it to monosodium-glutamate (MSG), which is closely related to the Japanese “umami” taste perception.

    I tend to find that sensation in selected vintage cigars; I wonder if the palate-coating property of the Behike were also owing to the medio tiempo, or just to the quality and age of the blend alone.

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  • Demetri Kuriakedes

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    all of the above .. similar to the glutamate levels of white Italian truffles .. and certain vegetal pheromones, approximating to human equivalents… all due to the fact that Cohiba tobacco is matured for double time compared to other lesser Cuban blends – and very select blends at that !

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