When you walk into a humidor at a cigar shop, you’ll see a multitude of options in tobacco. Cigars have much more to them than taste and smell. The way the cigar is actually produced makes a significant difference in the smoking experience. If you’re an experienced cigar smoker, you know the importance of the tobacco’s origins and the way it’s wrapped.
After tobacco has been fermented, it is wrapped up and is ready to be smoked. The processing involves reducing the sugar and water content of the leaves by using heat and shade. This takes about 45 days and, once the tobacco is cured, it is sorted. Some of the leaves will be used for the filler material and some of them will be used to wrap the filler. This is done based on the appearance of the leaves. They are moistened after this process is completed.
Handmade cigars are generally considered the best options on the market. Cheaper cigars—sometimes called stogies—are oftentimes wrapped by machinery. In a hand-rolled cigar, a special, crescent-shaped knife is used to get the filler into the right shape. There are many nations and many different types of tobacco that create the tremendous variety in the market. Once they’re rolled, the cigars are put into storage.
There are several different types of rolling that are used to make fine cigars. Some rolling techniques use longer leaves and these are generally considered to be superior to other options. Some cigars, particularly the cheap types, use chopped-up leaves for the filler and wrap the cigar not in a leaf, but in pulp tobacco paper. While cheaper cigars are usually machine rolled, not all handmade cigars are of a particularly good quality, and this is important to remember.
If you want to get very technical about it, there are several different ways that cigars are rolled. There are rectangular rolls, pig-tail rolls, book-style rolls and cigar mold rolls. The important thing is that there is an even amount of filler distributed throughout the cigar. There has to be a balance so that the cigar is neither too tight nor too loose to provide a good smoking experience. Cigars are sealed with adhesives such as Guar Gum or standard glue to keep them together. There is even more cigar rolling styles than those listed here and the smoking experience can vary quite a bit.