Have you ever looked at a cigar and wondered how they get them to come out so nice?
Wonder no more—here are the key steps in basic cigar construction:
How to Roll Your Very Own Cigar
Step 1. Select and prepare your capote leaf.
First, get a capote leaf to bind the filler. At this point, you’re preparing to receive the inside leaves of your cigar. To get it ready, take out the stem and tear the leaf into two parts. Lay one out and set the other aside.
Step 2. Choose your fillers.
Now, master blender, pick your fillers. Cigars generally use a blend of (1) a Ligero leaf to give the cigar some nicotine strength, (2) a volado leaf to help the cigar burn properly, and (3) a seco leaf to impart that delicious aroma to the cigar.
Step 3. Let’s get rolling!
Roll each leaf up individually, then bunch them together. Now it’s time to roll them up in your capote. As you get to the end, use a dab of vegetable paste or natural resin to get the last edge of the wrapping to adhere to itself and stay tight. Then, trim both ends straight and remove any excess tobacco.
Step 4. Wrapping things up.
Filler? Check. Binder? Check.
Now it’s time to wrap.
Lift the damp towel that you keep over your wrapper leaves (yep, this keeps them moist!) and pull out a fresh one. These leaves are grown under the protection of cheesecloth, so they get larger and stay more flexible for rolling. They also have to be pretty because they’re going to control the cigar’s appearance. You’ll probably have to use a rolling pin of some kind just to get it nice and smooth.
Okay, now wrap up your inner leaves and get the roll tight (not too tight! You need a bit of space for drawn air to pass through).
Step 5. Add the cap.
Begin to shape the perfect cap and foot, using extra leaf and adhesive if needed. There’s some real art to this, so take your time, it will be worth it in the end.
Step 6. Complete the drying process.Over the next few days, keep rolling your baby cigar occasionally as it dries out. After a week or two, it should be in usable condition.
Congrats, you’ve got something worth smoking!
See the making of a torpedo cigar here.
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