Travel Diary

  • Katja

The supreme discipline

My concerns about the supreme discipline in every cigar factory - bunching and rolling - were enormous; in recent years I have had the opportunity to roll a cigar a few times - and have failed miserably.

Since I've come to understand even more how precious tobacco is, I was afraid that my first attempts would destroy it. Therefore I asked my teachers to give me sorted out tobacco of inferior quality, if possible, in order to do a "dry-run" for exercise first.

But: no chance! After a few minutes of watching and explaining I was thrown into the cold water and had to start with bunching.

Regarding bunching there are two big challenges:

1. to distribute the tobacco evenly so that the consistency of the cigar is the same (and that the burning, draw and taste are optimal)

2. to mix the correct proportion of tobacco.

My first bunch was not an easy case regarding the format: Davidoff Escurio Gran Perfecto. The mixing ratio was a bit simpler: this filler consists of five different tobaccos, all mixed in the same proportion. So 20 percent each.

The Davidoff Signature No. 2 - my next lesson - is a Panetela format. The format is easier to bunch, but the mixture !!! -It really needs a lot of experience. The filler consists of three tobaccos, the mixing ratio is 60 %, 30 % and 10 %. How do I know how much 10% is? Help!

Between us: I was always supported by my teacher Anthony, who checked whether the mixing ratio and density fit. And: the

cigar hand bunch tobacco rolling machine was also helpful: it applies the binder over the filler tobaccos to form the bunch.

Then everything is placed into a mold and pressed.

The wrapper

There are also hurdles when attaching the elegant smoking of the cigar:

Where exactly do I cut the leave? How much tension can I use without the leaf tearing, but still sitting tight? And: how the hell do I get the tip right (fine motor skills!)?

Also here Freddy, my teacher, was very patient and at the end of the day I finished some Grand Cru No. 5.

It was an indescribable feeling of happiness - and now I'm totally addicted to this craftsmanship.

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©2019 by Katja Gnann - feat.