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Types of Tobacco

The Tobacco Process

Types of Tobacco

Wrapper, binder and filler tobacco leaves form the parts of a cigar. The filler is a blend of leaves from one, two or three different types of tobacco that masters or blenders create for each kind of vitola of every brand. They jealously keep their combinations secret as this gives unique characteristics to every vitola.

The wrapper is a special type of tobacco, with exceptional distinctiveness attained throughout the care that has been given to the plant during its cultivation. This tobacco is called “covered tobacco” (tapado) since is cultivated under big white awnings to prevent that sun’s radiations from directly hitting the plants, especially the leaves. This gives these tobacco leaves special properties: a finer texture, satisfactory flavor and a particular and pleasant aroma.

Leaves set aside for binder are chosen for flexibility and resistance, and are usually from the central or inferior area of the stem. Their purpose is to keep the filler together, so these leaves must have an excellent combustibility.

Fillers are made from three different strengths of tobacco. Strength goes from 1 to 3 and is determined by the leaf position in the tobacco plant – the higher up the leaf, the greater the concentration of nicotine. Leaves located on the superior part of the plant are known as strength 3. The ones located at the middle part of the plant are called dry (seco) or strength 2 and have the perfect balance between aroma, combustibility and flavor. And leaves located at the inferior area of the stem are called volado or strength 1, and are used basically to give combustibility to the cigar.