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Tricks of the Trade – Rolling and Growing Tips
Written by James Payne

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

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Tags:
rolling and growingtobacco faqs
tobacco tips and tricks


As for real tools you can hold in your hand, you will need the following items:

·         Cutting board – this can be a block of wood like your typical cutting board in a kitchen – nothing fancy, though I advise buying a new one and using it ONLY for your tobacco (ie; don’t make chicken cutlets on it).

·         Vegetable gum – Not chewing gum flavored like broccoli. You can buy this online or in some gourmet grocery stores. It is used as a glue for the tobacco leaves (we’ll cover its use in a bit).

·         Chaveta - a chaveta is a small, semi-circular knife. Torcedores – or rollers – use them for cutting tobacco. You will be using yours for the same purpose. You can purchase one online or at a local tobacconist. If you can’t find one, you can always just use a sharp knife.

·         Scissors – any kind will do, so long as they are sharp. You will need them to shred your filler.

·         Former – this is a block of wood (try to find it in cedar) that acts as a mold to help “form” the shape of the cigar. Again, you can find it online, in kits, and from tobacconists. Be sure to get them in the size of the cigar you intend to make.

·         Tobacco – in particular, you will need three types: filler, binder, and wrapper. What type you use is up to you. There are many good primers out there on the different types of leaves, such as the ones found here at Puff. If those don’t help you, or you want to start out simply, just look up your favorite cigar, see what kind it has, and purchase that. That way you know that no matter how horribly you mangle the rolling process, at least the flavor of the cigar will still be good!

Summary

Looks like we have run out of space. But never fear – there is always room in the next article. In the second part of this series, we will go over the techniques involved in rolling our very own cigar. Who knows, maybe you will get good enough to start your own business. Then you too can where a monkey suit at people’s weddings and roll out the brown carpet for a living.

Till then…






Comments 

 
0 # RE: Tricks of the Trade – Rolling and Growing TipsJeff Sheldon 2010-02-10 20:05
An enjoyable start--much appreciation to the writer. The desire to craft a cigar from the very beginning to its inevitable smoke hits close to home.

Also close to home is the Cigar Factory down in New Orleans where cigars are rolled in front of visitors. If anyone's heading that way for Mardi Gras, there are two locations in the French Quarter where the tools mentioned above are demonstrated. I haven't visited either location yet, but one's just down the street from the ever popular Cafe du Monde and the other on Bourbon St. Some videos on YouTube give a general impression of what to expect.

Louisiana still has some tobacco farms along the Mississippi river, but to my knowledge, they started off (like any farm) as family businesses and have seen a steady decline in interest from succeeding generations. Poche Farms--one of several farms which grow perique in the same general area--still gives tours. I imagine most of these people are fairly approachable.

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