Cigars have been a symbol of grandeur and sophistication for centuries. They’ve been enjoyed by enthusiasts worldwide for their rich flavors, aromas, and cultural significance. But have you ever wondered how these handcrafted wonders are made and distributed? 

 From the tobacco fields to the cigar rolling tables and shops, the journey of a cigar is fascinating, steeped in tradition and craftsmanship. In this article, we'll explore the intricate process of cigar making, from the cultivation of tobacco plants to aging. 

 Whether you're a cigar aficionado or just curious about the process, join us on a journey through the cigar-making world.

Cultivating tobacco seeds

Growing tobacco seeds for manufacturing cigars is a complex process that requires time, patience, and attention to detail. The quality of the tobacco seeds used in the process will significantly impact the flavor and aroma of the cigars produced. 

To start growing tobacco seeds, you must obtain high-quality ones from a reputable source. It's important to choose the seed type based on the cigar's desired flavor, aroma, and smoking characteristics. Some popular types of tobacco include Virginia Gold, Burley, and Turkish. 

Once you have obtained your seeds, you can start them indoors by filling small pots or seed trays with a seed-starting mix. Moisten the mixture and then place one or two seeds in each pot, covering them with a thin layer of soil. Keep the jars in a warm and bright location, and keep the soil moist but not soggy. 

After sprouting the seeds, you can transplant them into larger pots or the ground outdoors. When transplanting, space the plants 18 inches apart to allow for adequate air circulation and prevent disease. Tobacco plants prefer well-drained soil and require regular watering and fertilization throughout the growing season. 

As the plants grow, they produce long, broad leaves that can be harvested and cured to produce good-quality cigars. Curing involves drying the leaves in a warm and dry location for several weeks, which helps to develop their flavor and aroma.

Growing Tobacco

Maintaining tobacco fields ensures cigar manufacturers can produce high-quality tobacco, the foundation for exceptional cigars. The steps involved in preserving tobacco fields by cigar manufacturers include:

Soil Preparation

The first step in maintaining a tobacco field is preparing the soil, which involves removing weeds, and debris from the area. Then, tilling the ground to ensure it is loose and aerated. This allows water and nutrients to penetrate the soil and reach the roots of the tobacco plants. Additionally, the ground must be fertilized to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth.


Once the soil is prepared, the planting begins in the seedbeds. These seeds are tiny, so it's essential to plant them carefully and evenly. The seedlings will start to emerge after a few days and be ready to transplant after 6-8 weeks.


Transplanting involves moving the seedlings from the seedbeds to the field. This has to be done carefully to avoid damaging the fragile roots of young plants. The seedlings should be spaced evenly, and the soil should be compacted around them to provide support.


Irrigation is critical to maintaining healthy tobacco plants. The plants require regular watering, especially during dry spells. Irrigation systems such as drip irrigation or sprinklers ensure the plants receive the right amount of water. Overwatering can be harmful to plants and can lead to disease.

Pest Control

Tobacco plants are vulnerable to pests and diseases, which can devastate the crop. Pesticides and fungicides are often used to protect plants from these threats. However, using these chemicals judiciously is essential to avoid harming the environment or the workers who apply them. Organic pest control methods such as crop rotation and companion planting can reduce pest populations effectively.

Tobacco Curing/Drying Process

To make high-quality cigars, tobacco leaves must undergo a careful and precise curing and drying process. When the leaves are ripe and ready to be picked, they are carefully plucked and sorted by size, color, and texture.

The leaves are then bundled together and hung in a curing barn, a large, enclosed structure that allows for controlled airflow and temperature. The curing process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the type of tobacco and desired outcome.

During this time, the leaves undergo chemical changes that alter their flavor, aroma, and texture. The temperature and humidity levels in the curing barn are carefully monitored and adjusted to create the ideal conditions.

The drying process involves carefully removing any remaining leaf moisture to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Drying tobacco is typically done in a separate room or building, where the leaves are hung on racks or laid out on a flat surface. The leaves are periodically rotated or flipped to ensure even drying and prevent any spots from becoming too dry or too moist.

Once the tobacco leaves have been cured and dried, they'll be ready for use. The leaves are sorted again, this time by grade and quality, and are carefully inspected for imperfections or defects. The quality of the tobacco and the skill of the roller can greatly affect the finished product's flavor, aroma, and overall quality.

Going to the Factory

Cigar manufacturing is a time-honored tradition that requires skill, patience, and attention to detail. While modern technology has certainly made the process more efficient, cigar production's basic steps remain unchanged.

Visiting a cigar factory is an excellent way to gain insight into the fascinating manufacturing process. Every process step requires careful attention to detail, from selecting tobacco leaves to the final packaging and distribution.

Sorting and Fermentation

The sorting process begins with the harvested tobacco leaves. The manufacturer sorts the leaves by size, color, and texture. The process ensures that the leaves are of similar quality and will burn evenly when used in the cigar. They remove the leaves that do not meet the required standards from the batch.

After sorting, they hung the leaves on long poles in a curing barn. The curing process involves controlling temperature and humidity to dry the leaves slowly. This process is essential as it removes excess moisture, and the tobacco leaves develop their unique flavor.

Once the leaves are cured, they are sorted again to remove any damaged or discolored leaves. Experienced workers who have a keen eye for quality perform the sorting process. The workers will carefully examine each leaf and remove any that do not meet the required standards.

The Selection Process

After sorting, the leaves are selected for specific purposes within the cigar. The selection process is critical to ensure the cigar has a consistent flavor, burn, and draw. The first step in the selection process is determining the leaves you'll use for the wrapper. The wrapper is the outer layer of the cigar, and it must be visually appealing and have an excellent flavor.

The filler is the next component of the cigar, made up of a blend of different tobacco leaves. The filler leaves are selected based on their flavor and strength. The leaves are blended to create a unique flavor profile that will appeal to the consumer.

The sorting and selection of tobacco leaves for manufacturing cigars is a critical process that requires attention to detail and expertise. The process ensures you use the highest quality leaves only and requires patience, knowledge, and skill to produce a premium product many enjoy.

The sorting process, also called "priming," ensures that only the best quality leaves are used in the cigar-making process. The sorting is usually done by hand, and the leaves are classified into different grades based on their quality.

The top-grade leaves, called "ligero," are the thickest and darkest leaves from the top of the tobacco plant. They have the most flavor and provide strength to the cigar. The middle-grade leaves, called "viso," come from the middle of the plant and provide the aroma and flavor to the cigar. The lower-grade leaves, called "seco," come from the bottom of the plant and are used to bulk up the cigar.

The Fermentation of Tobacco Leaves

Once you sort the leaves, ferment them to enhance their flavor and aroma. This is a critical step in cigar-making and can take several months.

The first step is to create a pile of tobacco leaves called a "bulking pile." The leaves are stacked on top of each other, and the heat and humidity generated by the pile cause the leaves to begin fermenting. The heat and humidity also cause the natural sugars in the tobacco leaves to break down, resulting in a sweeter, milder flavor.

After several weeks, the bulking pile is broken down, and the leaves are restacked in a new "conditioning pile." The conditioning pile is much smaller, and the temperature and humidity are carefully controlled to ensure the fermentation process continues slowly

 The leaves are continually rotated and monitored to ensure they are fermenting evenly. Once the process is complete, the tobacco leaves are ready to be used.

Rolling Process

It takes years to master the craft of cigar rolling. The process begins with the selection of high-quality tobacco leaves, which are grown in various regions worldwide. Once the leaves are sorted, the tobacco leaves are moistened, making them pliable and easier to work with.

Cigar rolling process starts with the binder leaf, which wraps the filler tobacco. The binder leaf holds the filler tobacco in place and provides structure to the cigar. The binder leaf is carefully selected and placed on the rolling table. The filler tobacco is then layered onto the binder leaf, with the denser tobacco leaves placed in the center and the lighter leaves placed on the outer layers.

Once the filler tobacco is in place, the rolling artisan uses their fingers to roll the binder leaf tightly around the filler tobacco. The cigar is then placed in a mold and pressed for a specific time.

Quality Check

Throughout the entire process, quality control is of the utmost importance. Cigar factories employ teams of experts who inspect each cigar to ensure that it meets the company's standards. Any cigar that does not meet these standards is discarded, ensuring that only the best cigars make it to market.


The process of aging tobacco is an essential step in producing cigars. Aging allows for the development of flavors, aromas, and textures highly prized by cigar aficionados. The aging process can take several years, and the tobacco must be carefully monitored and cared for.

Wrapping and boxing

Once the cigars have been aged and inspected, they are ready for packaging and distribution. Cigars are typically packaged in boxes or tubes and shipped to retailers worldwide. Some factories also offer custom packaging options, allowing customers to personalize their cigar boxes with logos or designs.

Cigarettes have a long and fascinating history, and the process of making and distributing them is an intricate and meticulous one. Every step requires skill and expertise, from the selection of the tobacco leaves to the rolling, aging, and packaging of the cigars.

Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or just curious about cigar making, understanding the process and the people behind it can deepen your appreciation. So, next time you light up your favorite cigar, take a moment to savor its unique flavor, aroma, and history.