Robaina's plantation

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Juanita Ramos Guerra (house roller at Hotel Melia Cohiba lcdh in Havana) My Interview

            This lady has won the hearts of many Cigar Aficionados from around the world, I know a few of them. An absolutely delightful human being that has such a positive aura about her that it's difficult to leave her side. I myself have not had the good fortune of knowing her a long time. I met her several years ago but didn't really get to know her until this interview. I've had friends rant about how spectacular her cigars are. After having smoked a few, they do deserve to be classified up there in the higher echelons of cigar classification but then it all becomes personal taste. What does that mean???....she rolls a really good cigar.
             Juanita was born in Havana on Jan.27, 1956. She was studying to become a teacher when just one year before graduation her father told her to drop out and become a roller. At that time there was a big push to have women rollers, before the Revolution only men were rolling cigars. In 1973 she graduated from roller's school and began working at El Laguito (The Cohiba Factory), a project that had been initiated by Celia Sanchez, Fidel Castro's right hand. Eventually Juanita even taught young rollers here. I found that all very interesting especially since I recently read a book about Celia Sanchez and knew a little about some of the projects that she was involved in, El Laguito included. Juanita is single at this time and has 2 children, both boys ages 30 & 39. Her mother is still alive but her father died recently, he was hit by a car at age 101. I've always seen her in a good mood and anyone I've seen interact with her has always seemed to sincerely enjoy her presence, I have now joined the ranks.
             Below,a list of a few questions I asked her. I hope you find her interesting, I did.

Q. How many cigars do you roll per day?
A. 30-35 per day, sometimes more.

Q. Have you traveled anywhere outside the country?
A. For reasons of work I've been to Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and I lived in Russia for 5 years when my husband at the time was in the military.

Q. Do you have a favourite Vitola you like to roll?
A. I specialize in Robustos and Lanceros. I learned to roll the Lancero at El Laguito.

Q. Who do you see buying more of your cigars, from what country?
A. The Germans, Chinese, Italians, Canadians and Arabs buy more.

Q. Are you a sports fan?
A. I like Gymnastics but recently I've begun watching Baseball

Q. Who is the most famous person that you know of that has smoked one of your cigars?
A. The Prince of Qatar, Cesar Lopez (famous jazz musician) and Fidel Castro...who's cigar kept going out because he talks soooo much. He later assured her the cigar was excellent and that she did a great job.

Q. Name me 3 people you would love to smoke a cigar with that are dead or alive.
A. My son who is in the US, Alejandro Robaina and Fidel Castro

Q. How do you get your tobacco and who chooses the blend.
A. Head office sends me the tobacco and I decide the blend.

If you're ever in the neighborhood drop in and say hello, pickup one of her cigars and give it a try. You can be sure that they will be one of the better rolled cigars that you'll ever hold.

PS...there has been some talk of misconduct on the part of a salesperson in this store. I'm not commenting either way on that topic, especially since know nothing about that. I can tell you that Juanita has nothing to do with any sales of any boxed product and I've never had a negative experience here.

Hotel Melia Cohiba
Ave Paseo e/ 1ra y 3ra
Vedado, Havana


  1. Wow..... She does seem pleasant . I bet she has a TON of stories. I'd love to have one of her cigars ;)

  2. She is probably one of the most joyful people I have had the pleasure to meet. Her Robusutos (circa January 2017) were fantastic, likely one of the best cigars (75th percentile) that I have had.

  3. She always has a smile on her face and makes you feel like she's happy to see you....and she rolls some great cigars.