Roll your own cigars to cultivate an experience that caters to your specific tastes. You can tap into the tradition of whole leaf tobacco in a more personalized, cost-efficient way.
- Ingredients – To begin, you must select your three types of leaf: wrappers, binders, and fillers. These differ in variety, preparation, and utility. The wrapper is the highest quality component, dominating the visual appeal and providing up to 70 percent of the flavor. The remainder of the character will be accents derived from the filler and binder. The binder also ensures a flat surface for the wrapper to adhere to, and to facilitate proper burning.
- Preparation – As you begin, your leaves will need to be malleable, so make sure that you gently hydrate any that are too dry. Carefully remove the center vein from each leaf. Use a rolling pin to smooth out your wrappers and binders, and break apart your filler.
- Binding – Begin with a flattened binder, and the filler you have prepared. Shape the filler, then place on the flattened binder. Roll the binder leaf, working back and forth to ensure a tight wrap. Two binder leaves can be used if necessary. Cut the end of the form square using a cutting tool. Once you have your binder rolled with filler, you can use a mold for 30-45 minutes to give uniform shape to your creation.
- Wrapping – Bring out the wrapper leaves. Roll the bound leaves tightly into the wrapper, sealing along the way with the proper adhesive – tree sap, flour paste, clear gelatin, or Tragacanth. Work slowly, adhering as necessary until the wrapper envelopes the cigar.
- Aging – Now you can move onto the aging process, which usually takes a few weeks. This allows the leaves to gain moisture, but be careful with locations that become too humid. The ideal level is 22-25 percent humidity.
Now that the process is complete, you can enjoy the flavors and sensations of your new cigar. Make a note of what you enjoy about the final product, what worked well in the creation, and what you can change. Training your hands takes time, so be sure to be patient with the process. Soon you will be immersing yourself in the ideal cigar experience that is customized by your own expertise.
Begin rolling your own cigars the right way, with the highest quality whole leaf tobacco. Visit Total Leaf Supply today to view our collection of the finest tobacco leaves!