It is no wonder that the world’s best cigars come from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Cuba. They have been smoking cigars even before anybody else in the world did. It was believed that early settlers in these countries were smoking tobacco before Columbus first set foot in Cuba. It was the succeeding Portuguese and Spanish expedition that brought tobacco to Europe, which later fell in love with cigars too.
The manufacturers of cigars then spread throughout the world. Today, there are countless brands, and looking for the best cigar can really be very overwhelming. All tobacco cigars are generally made following the same procedures. Discussed below are the basic steps of cigar production, and you may take the cue from there as to where in the process where manufacturers vary and what are the best cigars.
We all know that the primary material for making cigars is tobacco. The part of the tobacco that is only used in cigar production is the leaf. A cigar has three layers. The innermost layer is made up of tobacco leaves that are broken into small pieces, known as fillers. The fillers are then held together by a whole tobacco leaf called the binder. The outermost part is called the wrapper, a high-quality leaf pasted on its end by a tasteless gum. Before the binder wraps the filters, they are sprayed with flavors.
Tobaccos grow from seeds. They are first grown indoors and then transferred into outdoor fields after 6-10 weeks. The plants that produce the wrappers are separated from the rest of the plants. They are covered with cloth as protection from the elements.
When the leaves are harvested, the curing process begins. The leaves start to dry and turn into brown from green. They are then strung together and hanged in a well-ventilated room. This type of curing is called air curing. When heat is applied, it called fuel curing. The kind of sawdust and hardwood used as fuel can give a different aroma to the cigar.
When the leaves are fully cured, they are separated as to what leaves are to be made into fillers, binders, and wrappers. They are then bundled with 15 leaves and are then stored in hogsheads for half a year to six years. During this time, fermentation occurs, which develops the taste and aroma of the leaves.
Stripping and Rolling
After the fermentation stage, the veins of each leaf are stripped. The stripped leaves can again undergo another fermentation.
Hand rolling must be the most challenging part of the production process as it involves highly trained. When the fillers are broken down into small pieces and cleaned of irregular parts, they are rolled into the binder and then wrapped carefully. The rolling and wrapping processes are now done mechanically by most manufacturers.
Final inspection of individual cigars and packing can now be done.…