What are the different factors that are used to make a quality cigar?

Introduction to the World of Cigars

For those who relish the experience of smoking a cigar, understanding the craftsmanship involved in creating your favorite smoke is both fascinating and essential. From the renowned Cuban cigars to the highly sought-after Nicaraguan varieties, our enthusiasm for all things cigar-related knows no bounds. For aficionados and beginners alike, purchasing your preferred cigar from a reputable cigar store, like one in Cape May, is just the beginning. This guide aims to unveil the intricate process behind the making of cigars, enlightening you on the journey from seed to smoke.

The Process of Curing & Fermenting

Transforming Tobacco Leaves

The journey begins with the curing of tobacco leaves following harvest. This crucial step aims to reduce the water and sugar content within the leaves over a period of 6 weeks, though this duration can vary based on climatic conditions. Subsequently, the leaves undergo fermentation, a carefully controlled process where humidity and temperature are meticulously managed to enhance the aroma and flavor of the tobacco, preparing it for the next stages of cigar production.

Selecting the Leaves

Crafting the Foundation

The actual creation of a cigar starts once the tobacco leaves are deemed ready for use. The tabaquero, or tobacco worker, selects specific parts of the tobacco plant for different components of the cigar. For instance, the wrapper often comes from the lower part of the plant. The tabaquero’s expertise comes into play as they choose the best leaves for the wrappers, fillers, and binders based on texture, color, and strength, among other criteria.

The Art of Blending

Mastering Flavors

A critical and skillful phase in cigar making is blending. The blender’s task is to find the perfect combination of leaves that will produce a unique and consistent flavor profile for the cigar. This step ensures that each cigar from a specific brand offers the same distinctive taste, maintaining brand integrity and customer satisfaction.

Binding & Bunching

Shaping the Cigar

After the blending comes the shaping phase, where the leaves are transformed into a cylindrical shape or bunch. Uniformity is key to prevent fast burning and to ensure the cigar’s aesthetic appeal. The bunches are then wrapped with a binder leaf, and finally, the cigar is molded into the familiar shape we all recognize. This molding process is time-consuming, as the tabaquero meticulously checks for any imperfections that could affect both the cigar’s appearance and its quality.

Rolling the Cigar

The Final Touch

Rolling a cigar is considered an art form, requiring expertise and precision. It is a testament to a roller’s skill that they can produce up to 100 cigars a day. This stage involves the careful stretching of the wrapper and the use of specially designed knives. Once rolled, the cigar undergoes aging, where it absorbs the full spectrum of flavors and aromas, culminating in a product ready for enjoyment.


The process of making a cigar is intricate and requires a deep understanding of and respect for the tradition. Each step, from curing and fermenting the leaves to the final roll, contributes to the complexity and richness of the cigar’s flavor profile. For enthusiasts, knowing the effort and artistry behind each cigar enhances the smoking experience, making it not just a habit but a journey of appreciation for the craft.

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