Owner: Steve Saka
What’s the background of Mi Querida Triqui Traca?
Where did that brand come from?
Well, it kind of came as a result of a little bit of a misunderstanding on my part. I had played around with some variations of Mi Querida before the [FDA] deadline because, you know, you just didn’t know what was gonna happen. And I had made a heavier, denser version of that cigar. In the end I had to choose between the two final blends and I ended up choosing one that ultimately became Mi Querida. And then Dave Garofalo approached me about doing a Mi Querida Firecracker for his annual Firecracker release.
It’s called Firecracker. To me that meant stronger, heavier, more robust. So in keeping with that concept, I ended up giving him the alternative Mi Querida blend to use as the Firecracker. Where the confusion comes in is that I didn’t realize people in the past, when they make Firecrackers, just make the same exact blend just in his Firecracker size, which is like 3 ½ x 50 with this really weird long pigtail on it to make it look like a fuse. You’ll have to ask Dave about it. He’ll know better than I will, but I think it was his most successful one ever. The first one sold all 500 boxes out in like a day and then he actually did a whole repeat order for another 500 boxes and those sold out also.
And then it became a regular part of your portfolio.
Obviously there were a lot of people that really liked the other blend and I decided, “Well, gee, I should offer it in additional sizes.” Because the thing with the Firecracker size is it’s good but it’s over so quickly. You know what I mean? So that’s where the Triqui Traca came from. Triqui Traca is actually slang for this very particular style of firecrackers that they use in Nicaragua. What they do is they take these large firecrackers and they string them in a line and then they lay them down in the center of a street and then light them. The firecrackers just keep going off as booms cascading down the entire length of the street in a series of explosions. In Nicaragua they use these primarily for celebrations. Sometimes it will be for religious festivals, sometimes it’ll be for an anniversary of an important date or something. But they’re primarily used at a celebratory setting.
How would you describe the difference between Triqui Traca and the core Mi Querida?
I’ve started referring to them as blue and red because the bands are blue on the original and the Triqui Traca is red. In the red Triqui Traca version, there’s additional ligero. It’s a tobacco grown by Leo Reyes in the Dominican Republic that happens to be incredibly potent. The other difference is that on Mi Querida I use broadleaf mediums, but on Triqui Traca I use number one darks. Otherwise they’re very similar. Triqui Traca is considerably stronger, but it’s not stronger in a biting, peppery way. It’s a heavier, denser kind of sensation. You just feel it more as you’re smoking it, but it isn’t that it’s necessarily more spicy or more peppery. Maybe a touch, but not a crazy amount.
It’s not for someone who prefers mild to medium cigars and it’s probably not even for someone who prefers medium. Definitely for the consumer who wants them stronger, more robust. But because it doesn’t have that sharp peppery bite, it’s also a way to smoke a really strong cigar that’s still approachable. It’s not going to make the back of your throat hurt. It doesn’t give you that sharpness.