Making a Cigar Can Be a Work of Art

There are 3 components in making a cigar. These are the filler, binder, and wrapper.

The filler can have up to 5 leaves, which are rolled into a cylinder shape. This holds the greatest quantity of tobacco and can contain more than one kind of tobacco leaf.

Next, the filler is rolled into 1 or 2 leaves referred to as the binder. This is usually a much coarser leaf than the wrapper and not as pleasing to the eye. When this is completed, you have what is called a "bunch".

After being trimmed to the desired length, they are pressed in a wooden mold.

This is held in place by a press.

The process usually lasts about an hour, and 30 minutes into the pressing, the boxes are opened and the cigars are turned. They are then pressed for another 30 minutes.

Once the cigars are removed from the mold....

The wrapper is now ready to be rolled around the filler. This leaf has a smooth, oily texture with thin veins, is pliable, and pleasing to the eye.

One half of one wrapper leaf is used. This is achieved by removing the thick vein down the center of the leaf.

The wrapper is rolled the opposite way as the binder and a natural gum substance is applied at the head to prevent the wrapper from unraveling.

Now the head (the end you put in your mouth) is cut and shaped to the specifications of whatever cigar shape is being made. The head is then covered by a cap taken from a previous trimming of the wrapper. This is also attached with the natural gum.

After a final inspection and last minute touches, the foot (the part you light) is cut to the proper length. The cigar shape and gauge is also checked.

After making a cigar....

Off to the aging room.

A cigar factory may age their cigars in excess of 6 months or as little as 3 weeks. This allows for a well balanced, consistent smoke.

Making a cigar is an art form....

Smoking it is one of life's greatest pleasures.


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