100 years of Florida's tobacco growing history rolled into each J.C. Newman premium cigar

The old timers say tobacco grows so fast you can hear it grow. Jeff Borysiewicz demonstrated, standing next to a 5-foot-tall plant.

"75 days ago this plant was about that tall," Borysiewicz said, separating his fingers three inches.

When you arrive at his property, the Florida Sun Grown Tobacco Farm in Clermont, about 70 miles from Tampa, you're transported back in time about 100 years. 

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Tobacco grows quickly under the Florida sun, as Jeff Borysiewicz demonstrates at his Clermont farm

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Tobacco has been grown under full Florida sun for decades, but Borysiewicz said the curing barn is where the magic happens.

One at a time, each tobacco leaf is put on machines that were built in Connecticut nearly 100 years ago. 

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The leaves are sewn, strung, hung, and cured. After about 90 days, the crop is delivered to the J.C. Newman Cigar Company in Tampa.

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Tobacco curing barn is "where the magic happens"

Nothing about curing this tobacco is fast or new. It's the only way to get tobacco worthy of premium, hand-rolled cigars.

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The specific cigar made from Florida Sung Grown Tobacco Farm tobacco is called The American.

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The American cigar from J.C. Newman Cigar Company in Ybor City

"The American is all 100% American tobacco," says Borysiewicz. "It uses wrapper from our farm, filler from Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, and it’s hand-made in the J.C. Newman factory in Tampa."

Even the cigar box and plastic wrapping for The American is American-made.

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J.C. Newman Cigar Company, then and now

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Borysiewicz flicks a long ash off his cigar as he smiles and looks at the tobacco in the curing barn.

"I kind of look at it as a working museum. We’re just bringing something back. A little piece of history."