An Introduction to Tobacco
Before getting down to the complexities of the cigar, there are a couple of things you ought to know. There are cigars that will please you, and then there are those that will turn into an outright memorable experience. But what’s the difference? What components establish these variations?
You may have thought you know all the basics there are to learn behind cigars, but even some of the most seasoned smokers of cigars are unaware of the specifics you are about to delve into.
Let’s begin with what the cigars are made of.
Tobacco leaves have been classified into various types based on the characteristics of the leaf, and its purpose. To put it simply, it requires various kinds of tobacco leaves to produce different kinds of tobacco based products, be it cigars or pipe tobacco, etc.
Leaves Used in Making Cigars
A cigar is made from 3 types of leaves, and every one of them brings its own unique attributes and responsibilities to deliver on. These 3 leaves are known by the following terms:
- The Wrappers
- The Binders
- The Fillers
First of all, let’s brief you about the wrapper leaves. These enjoy being protected and shielded.
Wrapper leaves are a substance of sensitivity and require being treated with a lot of care and precision, to the point that they need cheesecloth for protection as a safety blanket of sorts.
This cloth helps protect the wrapper from the deleterious solar radiation. It can largely reduce the wrapper’s exposure to the harmful rays of the sun by up to 32 percent, which helps ensure the wrapper leaves grow up to live their designated fulfilling life.
How a wrapper leaf is treated during its cultivation can largely affect the end product, i.e., the cigar. What protecting the wrapper in such manner ensures is –
- Keeps it from getting damaged, protects from equipment used during production, and also acts as a shield against natural diseases.
- Prevents the leaves from developing unappealing nervation.
- Helps the leaves retain a texture that is refined and leaves remain smooth and silky.
- Helps in retaining a high concentration of resin, and more importantly – essential oils.
- Allows the leaves to grow up to 20 cm wide and 40cm plus long.
- Can be lit easily.
- Makes it flexible.
Now, these are qualities of a good wrapper, but what of the premium quality ones? Well, those embody the following characteristics:
- Soothing and distinct aroma.
- Tobacco flavors are natural and moderate.
- Maintains a proper balance of the nitrogenous elements.
- Nicotine levels are moderate.
The binder leaf, unlike the wrapper leaf, is sun grown. They can be grown under shade as well.
The characteristics of a good binder leaf for good cigars are:
- Been sourced from the very middle of the stem.
- Having leaf nervations that are underdeveloped.
- Being absorbent which allows it to capture airflow easily.
- Having elasticity that is moderate.
- Can be lit easily.
Although the two mentioned prior to this one are important for a cigar, it is the filler that can construct or lay waste to a good cigar. Filler provide the attributes a cigar’s quality will depend on.
You can describe fillers almost like someone who’s into extreme sports when it comes to the world of tobacco. It is one of the most important requirements to be direct, powerful, and it also needs extreme amounts of solar exposure in order to harness and maximize the amount of important chemicals imperative in the production of quality cigars.
In fact, out of the three types of tobacco leaves, fillers are the ones that provide that extra kick.
Some of the characteristics of good fillers that lend to the profile of a cigar are –
- Its aroma is an embodiment of where it was cultivated
- High content of nicotine
- Robust and distinct flavor
- Can be lit easily