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The Fundamentals to Cigar Rolling

From an outward appearance, a cigar looks quite simplistic; a cigar with tobacco stuffed inside. But if one were to take a closer look, and see what it actually takes to roll a cigar, they would file rolling cigars under the “easier said than done” category. Although it’s not easy, that doesn’t necessarily make it difficult, like most things, rolling cigars takes practice. It’s a skill that’s very obtainable and doesn’t require a lot of money, mostly just time. Whether you’re rolling cigars as a hobby or just up for a plain old challenge, one thing’s for sure, you’ll definitely have an appreciation for the professional craftsmen who approach their cigar rolling duties as a form of art. This article will focus on the basics and inner workings that go into rolling your own cigars.

First off, there’s many ways to roll a cigar. The methods explained in this case, will be for individuals looking for good quality rolled cigars. Also, there’s varying factors that will result in if your cigar is properly rolled; this first thing is the tobacco itself. The tobacco is important because the type of tobacco you use and how you blend it will determine the strength and taste of the cigar. Certain kinds of tobacco from different regions will result in either a mild or bold taste. Finding the right blend depends on one’s personal preference, so if you’re not sure on what kind of tobacco you should use, experimenting with different blends will help guide you on which tobacco you feel is best for you.

The second task, is obtaining an unprocessed tobacco leaf. There aren’t many brick and mortar establishments that carry unprocessed tobacco leaf, so searching the internet for one is probably the best way to obtain one.

Once the unprocessed tobacco leaf is on hand, the wrapping process begins! Gathering a good amount of filler leaf, the filler leaf should be mixed together and formed into the shape of a small cigar. The amount of filler leaf requires practice, as too much filler leaf will not allow air to flow through, yet not enough filler will result in the cigar being too loose and burning too fast. From here, a binder leaf is needed to wrap one or two layers around the cigar-shaped filler leaf mix. Now the wrapper leaf will be used to cover the binder leaf up. To get the wrapper leaf to stay covered, a small application of glue is needed; particularly flour paste, Tragacanth or Guar Gum, although egg white is an easy and cheap substitute if none of these are available. Although the wrapper leaf is covering the binder leaf, the glue will be applied to binder leaf, spread directly on the edge of the binder leaf.

Now that the cigar is rolled, the cigar should continue to be rolled on hard surfaces for a few days until the cigar is fully dried out.

The moment you begin to partake into your personally rolled cigar, you’ll immediately notice if the cigar is rolled too tight or not tight enough. Cigars rolled too tight will not burn long, as the air flow passage is sealed off too tightly, causing the flame-lit cherry to go out or cease burning, never allowing the cigar to be properly smoked, let alone enjoyed. This is also true with a cigar rolled too loosely, in terms of the enjoyable experience. A loosely rolled cigar will burn too fast, and has too much air flow, causing an instant harsh taste and feel of the mouth and throat.

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The reward for perfecting the art form of cigar rolling, is the personalized experience of knowing that you crafted your own work of art; art that’s been customized specifically for your preference of cigars in taste, flavor, breathability (smokeable) and quality. In most cases, you’ll begin to enjoy your own personally rolled cigars more than the businesses that manufacture them.

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