Written by Kevin Godbee

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

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rolling and growingtobacco faqs
tobacco terms and definitions

 image001  Ok so we’ve been through the history and we’ve been through the growing process; we’ve looked at harvesting and resting the leaf so now let’s round out this series by looking at how cigars are actually made.
Of course we might all like to think that our favorite cigars were handmade and rolled on the thigh of a beautiful virgin and if you’re comfortable with that then I’ll leave you to enjoy your delusions undisturbed. However, if you really do want to know how your favorite cigar was made then we’ll have to leave the virgins behind and get in touch with reality.

Hand Rolled

Cigars come in two varieties … those that are machine-made and those that are made by hand and of course it really does go without saying that the very best cigars are handmade. It’s those handmade cigars, made from premium tobacco, that serve as a standard against which all other cigars are measured.

The filler … the tobacco that goes inside the wrapper … is almost always a blend of tobacco but what goes into that blend is a closely guarded secret that we mere cigar smokers are never permitted to learn.

While the thought that only virgins roll the very best cigars is a nice thought the reality is something quite different. Many of the leading cigar rollers are men … and not particularly attractive men at that. They have many years experience and a leading cigar roller can produce more than 100 cigars in a day equipped only with a wooden board, a wooden mold and a curved blade.

Despite the fact that one man can turn out so many cigars in a day this is not a process where the cigar leaves are treated roughly. In fact it’s quite the opposite and great care is taken to ensure that the leaves used in the process are not damaged.

Between two and four tobacco leaves go into the filler of each handmade cigar and throughout the manufacturing stage these leaves are kept damp. The leaves are rolled and bundled together with a binder and the filler is then pressed into the mold. The wrapper is then added … and as we learned earlier a different grade of leaf is usually used as the wrapper ... and the cigar is trimmed and capped.

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