1. Home
  2. Login
  3. View Basket
  4. Checkout

Cigar Information


The word ‘cigar’ is derived from the Spanish ‘cigarro’ which in turn is a derivative of the Mayan word ‘sikar’.
Cigar tobacco is mainly grown in – Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Philippines and the USA.
Tobacco has been smoked by the indigenous inhabitants in the Caribbean since the 10th century. However, it was at the end of the fifteenth century when two of Columbus’s crewmen took a few puffs of tobacco that they became the first European smokers.
When the tobacco leaves are harvested, they are cut and bundled into ‘hands.’ They are then packed into baskets, covered in sack-cloth and then taken to the curing barns.
These barns, thatched with palm leaves are known as ‘casas de tabaco’ and it is here the leaves are air-cured before the fermentation process begins. As temperature and humidity are important, careful monitoring has to be maintained. The doors are only opened if the weather conditions affect the temperature and humidity inside the barn. The leaves are then left to cure for between 45 and 60 days where they turn from bright green to brown.

The tobacco leaves are packed into long piles where they are subjected to the first fermentation process which takes about 30 days. If the temperature exceeds 35 Degrees C the piles are broken up and allowed to cool before the piles are rebuilt. The process results in a more uniform colouring of the leaves. When completed, the leaves undergo a moisturising process. The leaves are then classified by size, colour, texture and type. This process takes up to 60 days and results in a reduction in the amount of impurities and makes the leaves more palatable. The leaves are then laid out on airing racks and made into solid packages where they are then stored. Once the ageing process is complete, they are transported to the various cigar factories.

The production process is carried out by a torcedor(a) – cigar-roller - using a crescent shaped blade called a ‘chaveta’. The cigar will be made up from three types of leaves - filler, binder and wrapper.
The filler provides the bulk of the cigar and by careful blending, the desired flavour is reached. The least flavoured tobacco comes from the bottom leaves of the plant and is called ‘Volado’, the light-flavoured, ‘Seco’ comes from the middle with the strong flavoured ‘Ligero’ coming from the top of the plant. The preferred flavour is achieved by blending these three types of leaves.
Fillers are either long or short – the long filler comprises complete leaves and a high quality cigar whereas the short filler which is comprised of chopped leaves and stems, produces a much lower quality product.
Binder (Capote)
The binder simply holds the bunches of filler together before the wrapper is added. (The binder leaves are often wrapper rejects).
Wrapper (capa)
This is the most important part of the cigar and the leaves are specially grown under shade which reduces the size of the veins. Leaves grown under these conditions are very pale and result in the claro end of the scale. The opposite applies when the leaves are subjected to full sunlight resulting in the dark maduro wrapper.
The leave selected for the wrapper is layed face down and rolled from the base of the cigar to the foot. Finally a small cap is place around the base end and secured with a vegetable glue to prevent the wrapper unravelling.
Once the cigars have been made, they are then scrutinised for their size and colour before being accepted and subsequently boxed.

Ring Gauge

The diameter of cigars is called the Ring Gauge and measured in increments 0f 1/64th’s of an inch

Ring Gauge

The Main Shapes




The most popular sizes of cigars are:

Churchill - 175mm 48 Gauge
Lonsdale - 165mm 42 Gauge
Robusto - 127mm 50 Gauge
Corona - 142mm 42 Gauge
Petit Corona - 127mm 42 Gauge
Tres Petit Corona - 116mm 40 Gauge
Panatela - 116mm 30 Gauge

Cigar Accessories



There four main types of cutter and it is purely a matter of choice as to which one is used. It should be noted that the punch cutter is only suited to larger ring gauge cigars and for cigars without pointed ends. Great care must be taken when cutting the cigar as if too much is cut off, the wrapper will start to unravel, just remove sufficient cap to allow a wide enough aperture to allow for an unobstructed draw.



Where to Cut Your Cigar"

Double Cut

Double Cut

Where to cut cigar 





There are numerous types of cigar lighter but it is very important that the lighter produces an odourless flame, therefore a petrol lighter or candle should not be used – only use a lighter fuelled by butane, a long match but make sure the sulphur has burned away first or a spill.

Lighters Lighter

Glossary of Cigar Terms


Band – A ring of coloured paper around the foot of the cigar which usually denotes the brand name.

Belicosos A pyramid shaped cigar normally with a ring gauge of about 48

Binder This holds the main body (bunch) of the cigar together

Blend A combination of different tobaccos to give the cigar its distinctive flavour

Bloom A white powdery substances that is exuded by the tobacco. It is quite harmless and is not
damaging to the cigar and can easily be wiped off with a soft brush

Blue Mold If this bluish fungus is evident on your cigars then they can be deemed as ruined and
should be dispatched to the bin

Bunch The filler

Bundle – Some cigars, often the more economically priced, are packed into bundles of 25 and then
sealed with cellophane.

Cabinet Bundles of cigars tied with a ribbon and packed into boxes, often unbanded.

Cap This sealed end of the cigar

Capa The wrapper

Chaveta The crescent shaped knife used by the cigar roller

Cigarillos Generally machine made, less than 26 Ring Gauge and shorter than 100mm

Claro The lightest colour wrapper

Corona a cigar size of 142mm 42 Gauge

Culebra Three narrow ring gauge cigars woven into a rope-like braid

Double Corona A cigar size of approximately 190mm 50 Gauge

EMS English Market Selection. Hunters and Frankau created the EMS stamp in 1993. This is displayed on all their boxes of Havana cigars to prove, authenticity, quality and year of manufacture - indicated by the colour.



Fermentation A process where the tobacco leaves are subjected to high temperatures in order to
release the ammonia content.

Figurado Torpedo shaped cigars

Filler The main body of the cigar

Foot The end of the cigar which you light

Gorda A cigar size of approximately 142mm 46 Gauge

Hand Individual bundles of leaves, tied together and hung up after harvesting prior to the
fermentation process

Hecho en Cuba Made in Cuba

Long Filler Used in hand-made cigars and is comprised of leaves that run the complete length of the

Lonsdale a cigar approximately 155mm 42 Gauge

Machine Made Cigars Cigars made entirely by machine using chopped pieces of leaf.

Maduro From the Spanish meaning ‘ripe’ – the maduro leaf comes from tobacco plants that have
been subjected to direct sunlight and/or by extending the fermentation period.

Panatela a thin cigar typically 120mm 36 Gauge

Perfecto A bulbous shaped cigar that is closed at both ends

Plug A blockage within a cigar that prevents a proper draw.

Pyramid A cigar that is tapered towards the head

Ring Gauge The diameter of a cigar measured in 1/64th of a inch – eg a cigar with a ring gauge of 50 is 50/64th inch thick.

Robusto a cigar approximately 125mm 50 Gauge

Seco a type of filler

Shade Grown These a tobacco plants grown to provide a wrapper that is pale and whose veins are very thin.

Spill – a strip of cedar wood that is lit by another source e.g. a candle, and used to light a cigar

Sun grown Tobacco plants grown in direct sunlight to provide thicker and darker leaves

Torcedor(a) a cigar roller

Toro a cigar approximately 150mm 50 Gauge

Torpedo a bulbous shaped cigar with a pointed head

Tubos Tubed cigars

Wrapper the leave that is used to encapsulate the body of the cigar