Before looking into the cigar manufacturing process on needs to note that there are three primary elements to a cigar: the filler or “body”, the binder (which is the leaf that holds it together) and the wrapper (the outside leaf).
The integrity of the production process – and hence the final product – relies heavily on both the quality of the materials and the consistency process. A cigar manufacturer which invests in both quality machinery and raw materials will supply great cigars more often. In the factory itself the machines quite often have to be custom build to suit the cigar manufacturing process.
The unique character and flavour of the cigar is dependent on a variety of factors. A cigar that is too hard, too soft, or inconsistent will not draw properly. One that is too wet will not light well while one that is too dry will burn.
Tobacco needs to be aged before arriving at the factory. These leaves are graded and sorted according to appropriate function. For example: incomplete leaves or torn leaves are often as the filler. All leaves are prepared for use by removing the central leaf vein.
Machine-made cigars are generally produced using short filler. A processed tobacco binder which resembles brown paper is used as the binder, and in most cases a natural wrapper is used to complete the cigar.
Once the Tobacco leaf is moistened it shows its rich colour and becomes sufficiently pliable to become a cigar binder. A wrapper leaf is similiarly moistened, flattened and cut for the purpose of encasing the binder. The ‘assembly’ stage of the cigar is comprised of machine-rolling of the filler (blend of tobacco) with the binder and then neatly encasing this in the wrapper.
The loose individual cigars must be carefully handled and stored in a temperature controlled environment. There are multiple options in terms of packaging and finishing cigars. Many of the more successful cigar manufacturing companies provides branding and packaging on-site to speed up the manufacturing to ‘shelf’ times.
Cigars can be packaged in boxes, plastic or tins and will be labelled with regulation-based information such as warning labels and tax stamps. Manufacture and export often work hand in hand in the tobacco industry and it is important these smaller parcels be shrink wrapped and securely packaged to withstand the rigors of transportation whilst retaining freshness.