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How is a cigar made?

Scroll below to begin learning how cigars are made.

Step One


From Nursery To Tobacco Field

To ensure the tobacco seeds germinate properly they start their lives in an indoor greenhouse. After about 6-10 weeks they are then transplanted into fields. Growers make sure to meticulously prune the leaves so they grow to the necessary size. Plants that will produce the outer wrapper are kept covered with a cloth to protect them from the sun light. They will stay in the field for several months until there mature.

Field To Curing Barn

After the tobacco is harvested in the field it is taking to the curing barn where it will develop the characteristic aroma. The leaves are considered cured when they turn from green to a yellowish color. During the curing process what is happening is the naturally occuring chlorophyll in the leaf gradually breaks down and is replaced by carotene. The harvested tobacco is hung in the barn by narrow strips of wood called laths.

Step Two

Curing Barns

Step Three

Sorting & Fermentation

2 To 5 Years On Average For Premium Cigars

Once the leaves are sufficiently cured they are then sorted by color and size. The larger leaves, which were grown in shade or under a cloth are set aside for the outer wrapper, the large leaves that weren't grown under shade are used for the inner wrapper or binder, and the small or broken leaves are used for the cigar filler. The leaves are tied into bundles which are commonly referred to as hands usually containing 10-15 leaves each. They are then transported to hogsheads where it will sit for anywhere from 3 months to 5 years.

Ensures An Even Burn

To make sure that the cigar burns evenly the filler leaves must be deveined. This can be done by hand or machine. When it's done by hand workers use a thimble knife fitted to his or her fingers and clips the vein near the tip and pulls it down. The deveined leaves are then stacked into piles known as books or pads. Mechanically, workers will insert a leave into the machine under a grooved circular knife. Then utilizing a foot treadle, the worker causes the knife to lower and cut out the vein. The pads or books of leaves are then stored for further fermentation.

Step Four


Step Five


Hand Rolling Is An Art Form

Hand rolling cigars is an art form and can take some workers up to a year to become proficient. First thing the workers does is select 2 to 6 leaves which will act as the filler. The filler leaves are stacked on top of each other and rolled into a bunch. After this the workers put the bunch on the binder leaf and rolls the binder leaf cylindrically around the filler. Then workers will use a special rounded knife called a chaveta which is used to cut the excess filler off. Finally, workers will roll the wrapper leaf around the filler and binder three and a half times and use a small amount of vegetable paste to seal the cigar.

Cigars Inspected, Finished, Then Packed

After the cigars are subjected to a rigorous inspection process they are then passed on to a branding and wrapping machine. A worker simply places a cigar in the hopper and the machine places a band around them. The workers inspecting the cigars are experts at spotting minute details in the shade of the wrapper. The cigars are then sorted by wrapper color and packaged.

Step Six

Finish & Packing