The most basic method of categorizing cigars is by the method in which they are made. Cigars are either rolled by hand, or manufactured by machines. The novice smoker may be tempted to start by trying those machine made brands sold in convenience stores, such as Dutch Masters or El Producto. However, the aspiring connoisseur should consider spending a little more and moving up to hand rolled cigars, which are sold online or at a local tobacconist.
Hand Rolled Cigars Are Made With Pure Tobacco
The reconstituted tobaccos used in machine made cigars are not pure 100% tobacco, but may contain paper, preservatives, and various chemicals. On the other hand, a hand made cigar consists of the filler
, the binder
to hold the filler, and the outer wrapper
, which are all 100% tobacco leaves and not any other substance. Most of the tobacco in hand rolled cigars is imported from other countries, such as the Dominican Republic. For the most part, such tobacco has a much better flavor than what is used in the machine made cigars, although scraps from the cuttings of long filler handmade cigars are sometimes used in machine made cigars. Long filler tobaccos are usually used in premium cigars that are totally made by hand, but it is noted that some "handmade" cigars are only partially made by hand, because the wrapper was hand rolled over a binder containing short and mixed filler that was bunched and bound by machines.
Not All Hand Rolled Cigars Are Expensive
Although hand rolled cigars are more expensive than those mass produced by machines, there are many inexpensive hand rolled cigars with prices of around a dollar. It is not unusual for a local tobacconists to have grab bags or bins of single cigars priced under a couple of bucks (usually house blends or discontinued items). It is also possible to purchase boxes or bundles of inexpensive hand rolled cigars online. Even the premium cigar maker Arturo Fuente offers low-price cigars that taste great, such as the Curly Head (Compare Prices)
. Curly Heads are among the first hand rolled cigars that I ever smoked, and though mild and a bit rustic, they are still appealing to me after my palate has matured over many years. When purchased by the box, the cost is less than $2.50 per stick at some cigar retailers.
Daily Smokers Vs Connoisseurs
Individual cigar smokers have their own unique tastes, and have their own individual financial constraints. Those who enjoy smoking several cigars per day may need an "everyday" cigar that is inexpensive. Therefore, the taste and cost of machine made cigars can be very attractive to some smokers. However, to the aspiring or experienced connoisseurs, the ones who enjoy an occasional cigar as a special treat, the hand rolled cigar is worth every penny.