For those who are now starting in the world of cigars or those who are used to smoking cigarettes, it may be useful to know the parts that make up a cigar in order to better appreciate its characteristics or to understand the differences between cigars and cigarettes.
Cigars are divided into three main parts: the filler, the binder and the wrapper. Let’s see what these are made of and how they contribute to the cigar:
- The filler is the most relevant and most distinctive part of a cigar, where we can find the mixture or blend of tobaccos, which offer a cigar its characteristic flavors and aromas. This is the most inner part of the cigar. In higher quality cigars, which are usually handmade, this area consists of large tobacco leaves ranging from one end of the cigar to the other, to allow for maintaining a uniform taste throughout the whole smoke. These cigars made of whole leaves are called Premium cigars.
- The binder is the first layer wrapped around the filler and its purpose is precisely to bind the filler, so it must be resistant. It is also used to give a cigar its shape, to make it straight and easy to smoke. However, this tobacco also brings flavor and aroma, thus, it must be in harmony with the type of tobacco used both in the filler and the wrapper. This binder, that helps the cigar combustion, is glued with a bit of natural resin diluted in water. After applying the capote, the cigar is pressed for at least two hours, in order to acquire a cylindrical shape.
- The wrapper is the final coating, one tobacco leaf with oils, that is smooth and uniform. This is like a cigar’s visiting card, since it’s the part a smoker can see better. It’s made from higher quality tobacco leaves to make it look more attractive: smooth, marbled and even, with a nice color and a soft texture.
In the following video, our master cigar roller Luis López demonstrates the three basic pillars of a cigar.
Once composed of its three main parts, we can discuss other areas of the cigar:
- Head: the part of the cigar that is smoked, which is topped with a cap—a piece of the same leaf used in the wrapper to complete the cigar. It’s graded according to the size of the cigar.
- Body or barrel: this is simply the body of the cigar. We can say it is parejo when it has a symmetrical size, with straight and parallel lines. And we can call it figurado whenever it is not straight, but rather having a curved or oval area on either end, or both (doble figurado).
- Foot: this is the open part of the cigar, where we light it for smoking and where we can see the tobaccos that it contains.