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This is the original form of kretek in the early discovery. This type of kretek uses klobot (dried corn husk) as a wrapper for each piece of kretek cigarette, rolled by hand. Although already rare, this type of kretek klobot still can be found in rural East Java. Typically, kretek klobot is popular among senior citizens.



Introduced in 1913, the type of paper-wrapped cigarettes is the first kretek product produced in mass quantity for commercial purposes. As the name implies, each piece is rolled by hand by workers who are usually done while sitting on the floor. Just in 1970, government regulation required companies to provide desks and chairs for the cigarette factory workers. The hand-rolled kretek clove cigarettes, which are not equipped with filter, continues to be a popular choice today.



Launched in 1974, the machine-rolled kretek cigarettes is a booming product in the kretek industry history. This type of kretek is equipped with a filter, and has a similar appearance to the western cigarette brands, which is uniform in shape, size, and color in every piece.


Source: adapted from Hanusz, Mark. Kretek: The Culture and Heritage of Indonesia's Clove Cigarettes, Singapore: Equinox Publishing (Asia) Pte. Ltd. (2000)



As a unique product, the manufacture of kretek clove cigarettes involves a more complicated process than other types of cigarettes. In addition to the right composition of chopped tobacco and cloves, the taste of kretek is also influenced by the sauce that is added in the middle of the production process.

A mixture of kretek can use more than 30 different types of tobaccos to create a balance of taste. The sauce used is also made from up to 100 different ingredients to produce a particular flavor. The age of tobacco leaves used will determine the kretek taste, as well as the proportional balance of tobacco leaves and cloves in the kretek mixture. Finally, to give a sweet taste, saccharin was added to the kretek cigarette wrapping paper.



For some, enjoying kretek cigarettes is a daily ritual that should not be missed. Some are enjoying kretek to create a relaxing atmosphere, and some use kretek as an ice-breaker in the social scene. Others enjoy kretek to celebrate special moments like birthday celebrations etc. In tune with the many variants of kretek cigarettes in the market, there are also many ways you can do to enjoy kretek.


Source: adapted from Hanusz, Mark. Kretek: The Culture and Heritage of Indonesia's Clove Cigarettes, Singapore: Equinox Publishing (Asia) Pte. Ltd. (2000)


Indonesians began to know tobacco in the 17th century by the Europeans. Today, Indonesia is famous as one of the best quality tobacco producers in the world . There are more than 100 varieties of tobacco grown in Indonesia, on more than 250 thousand hectares of land which majority are located in Sumatera, Java, Bali, and Lombok. There are many factors that affect the flavor and the nicotine content in tobacco leaves, which is the type and height of the land on which the plant is grown, rainfall, weather, and the farmers planting tradition.

Tobacco planting is usually done in April. It took about six months to harvest tobacco. Once harvested, the tobacco leaves then torn by hand and dried under the hot sun for two days. Then, the tobacco leaves are sorted based on quality and sold to the cigarette factories. In the factories, some tobacco are directly for use, but some are kept for years, according to the recipe needed to make a particular brand of kretek.



Same as tobacco, clove plant is also thrives in Indonesia. Part of the clove plant used is the unbloomed flowers. Although used for various purposes by many peoples of the world - from India to Europe, clove trees previously only grew in the “spice island”, Maluku. That is why cloves are highly rewarded and sought after by many people.

This valuable spice is also indirectly contribute to form the Indonesian state as it is today. The Dutch, English, Spanish, and Portuguese, used to fight to control and dominate the clove trade in Indonesia.

Although now cloves are cultivated in other countries, Indonesia remains the world's largest producer of cloves. It is a blessing, because the kretek industry need a large supply of cloves annually, or about 95% of the global cloves production.

Clove tree takes at least five years to mature and ready for harvest. Clove flowers plucked by hand by workers, then dried in the sun. After that, the cloves is weighed, sold, and chopped by machine before added to the tobacco mix to make kretek.



The last component in the kretek manufacture is the sauce, which is made from various herbs and fruit extracts to create a specific aroma and flavor. In addition to the composition of tobacco and cloves mixture, the sauce is the differential factor among each brand and kretek variants.


Source: adapted from Hanusz, Mark. Kretek: The Culture and Heritage of Indonesia's Clove Cigarettes, Singapore: Equinox Publishing (Asia) Pte. Ltd. (2,000)





At first glance, the appearance of tobacco seeds are very similar with instant coffee powder. Therefore, the very fine tobacco seed grains should be stored in a special place for 60 days before sowing in the field. For several weeks, the soil around the planted seeds should be compacted to protect and strengthen its roots.

Tobacco farmers will usually harvest tobacco by cutting it by hand in about two to three months after planting. The yields on one hectare of tobacco field is approximately 22 leaves multiplied by 8,000 plants.



Cloves thrives if planted in clayish soil and in tropical climates with high humidity, such as in Indonesia. A cooler climate with evenly distributed rainfall is an ideal place that can increase clove production. Cloves thrives on agricultural land with annual rainfall between 150-300 mm and can be planted at an altitude of 1,500 m above sea level.

Clove trees will start to bloom in the fourth year after planting. Clove trees flowering period varies, happened between September-October, and between December-January if planted in high areas. Cloves are harvested when the flowers are still closed and the lids are round, before the color changed to pink. Harvesting should be done without damaging the clove tree branches, because the later can affect the fertility of the clove tree. The weight of dried clove flower is roughly one-third of the flower weight when plucked.