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The Men and Women That Make Cigars
Written by James Payne

Friday, 13 November 2009

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profilestobacco terms and definitions


Sorting It Out

Perhaps the unsung hero of the cigar world, the sorter has a very important role to play in cigar creation. Simply put, their job is to take tobacco leaves and give them a grade, based on three factors: size, color, and quality. Without this vital step, you can imagine the quality of your cigars. Here is when leaves get separated by function: wrapper, binder, or filler.

Blending In

Among the many wizards that work at a cigar factory, none is more impressive, at least for me, than the blender. Tobacco seems to be in the blender’s blood. He must dream tobacco. Part scientist, part prophet, the blender knows from the moment the seed is planted how the tobacco leaf will come out. He can tell by the soil, by the weather, by the crop that the seeds come from.

He spends a lot of time experimenting with different tobaccos, creating a scientific formula for that special blend, and then ensuring that by the time you smoke a cigar of a particular brand, it tastes exactly as you expect it to.

In addition to taste, the blender also looks for tactile sensation of the tobacco, smell, consistency, color – every aspect of a cigar.

A Bunch of Bunchers

When it comes to rolling cigars, there are two ways that factories handle it. Well, technically there are three; but for our sake, let’s stick with two for now. The first method is by using bunchers.

Buncher is a not-so fancy word for a lesser experienced cigar roller. They basically are used to assemble and put together the innards of the cigar, then pass it on to the master roller who applies the wrapper.

Bunchers are good because they allow a factory to have fewer master rollers. In my eyes, there is no real detriment to this method; it is not like the bunchers are a group of fumbling idiots after all.

Still, some factories prefer to let the master roller do what he does best – that is, roll the entire cigar.






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