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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cigar Anatomy: Final Exam Review

Premium cigars are composed of long filler, binder, and a wrapper. They are made exclusively by hand, although the bunch (binder+fillers) can be created using a Lieberman machine which assists the roller. In general, bunchers place 3 to 5 filler leaves* together and wrap them with a binder leaf, then place them in a mold and press.  The bunched cigars are rotated in the mold several times, about every 30 to 45 minutes, in order to create an even compression without a seam.  After the bunch is removed from the mold and press the wrapper leaf will be applied.  Wrapper leaves have their entire stem removed and each half of the leaf will be used on separate cigars.  These wrapper leaf halves are mirror images of each other so one will be applied right-to-left and the other left-to-right.  It is important to note that wrapper leaves are prized for their elasticity, tensile strength, consistent color and texture.

*Important Note: filler leaves have only half of their stem removed.  The half closest to the tip of the leaf is the thinnest part and it will remain; the thicker bottom half will be discarded. 

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