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Archive for September, 2010

Cigar Bunching

I have been neglecting the Cigar Guru blog as of late and I do apologize to any of you that have been waiting for the next post.

I wanted to discuss a portion of the process of cigar rolling in this blog.

In the rolling process the fillers are put together and then rolled up with the binder (the leaf that wraps around the fillers to hold the cigar’s shape).  This process is referred to as cigar bunching.  There are many different variables in this process and it requires quite a bit of skill to perform, but from an educational view I am going to discuss the different main techniques used to bunch premium cigars rather than go into a great deal of detail.  If you wish to read this in further detail please visit the cigar rolling section of Tobacconist University at http://www.tobacconistuniversity.org/tobacco-college/apm-rolling1.asp

In descending order of difficulty:

1. Entubado

This method of bunching is the most difficult and is very rarely used in production cigars as it is too time consuming.  When bunching cigars with the entubado method each of the filler leaves is rolled into itself like a small scroll.  These scrolls are then put together to form the bunch and rolled up in a binder leaf.  This allows for an exceptionally firmly wrapped cigar that allows for optimum airflow between the leaves and a tremendously easy passage of flavors and aromas to the palate.

2. Accordion

In this method each filler leaf’s outside edges are folded in on itself and then each leaf is placed on top of the previous leaf until the bunching is complete.  The cigar bunch is then rolled up in the binder leaf.  These folds that are created allow for excellent airflow through the cigar.  This is one of the most desirable types of bunching techniques and while it is not as sophisticated as the entubado method, it does have merit over our next methods…

3. Book Bunch

This involves placing filler leaves directly on top of each other and then folding them up like a book.  While much simpler than entubado or accordion bunching, it does have the drawback of having a more restricted airflow through the cigar.  That is to say that the airflow does not flow as evenly over all the leaves in the filler.  Most likely due to its economic advantages, this is the most widely used method in the production of premium handmade cigars today.

There are also at least a couple of other methods that involve machine assisted rolling.  While this machine is still hand assisted and the products thus are still premium, we will save these for another time, or if you are anxious to learn more, visit the Tobacconist University link above.

As always I wish you great smokes, great times, and great friends…

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