For many, the ability to roll a cigar by hand is not only impressive but is considered a delicate art in the stogie world. However, not just anyone can whip up a premium cigar by hand, and it takes years of experience for a cigar roller to become truly skilful in his work. An integral part of the cigar rolling process is when the filler tobacco is moulded together and wrapped up in binder leaf to form a perfect cigar; this is known as cigar bunching and requires the utmost skill to perform. Today, we’ll be taking you through four different bunching methods including Entubado bunching, Accordion bunching, Book bunching and Lieberman bunching, as well as sharing the advantages of each and how they are used today:
Originally developed in Seville during the 1600s, Entubado bunching is one of the oldest methods of tobacco rolling but is rarely used by cigar manufacturers today due to being too time-consuming. In this bunching technique, the filler leaves are twisted into thin scrolls that are then positioned alongside one another and moulded together to form a bunch. This bunch is then rolled together in a binder leaf, creating a tightly wrapped cigar that delivers a beautiful combination of aromas and flavours.
Although Accordion bunching is not as refined as the Entubado method, it takes far less time and is thus used more frequently. In this method, the filler leaves are rolled from their edges inwards and piled up on top of each other until the bunching is complete. Then, as with the Entubado technique, they are wrapped together in a binder leaf. Not only does Accordion bunching enable an exceptionally clean draw but as a result, it is also one of the more popular tobacco rolling techniques.
Undoubtedly the simplest method, Book bunching is when individual filler leaves are placed on top of one another and folded together neatly like the pages of a book. However, while this rolling technique is the least complicated, the simple folding does result in less airflow through the cigar, meaning the flavours are not able to mix as easily as they would in Entubado or Accordion bunching. Yet many cigar manufacturers employ this method due to its simplicity, thus maximising their roller’s output.
Finally, instead of being carried out entirely by hand, Lieberman bunching is ultimately mechanically assisted bunching, carried out by a Lieberman machine as well as a roller. The machine consists of a steel frame and a rubber mat and is placed on the roller’s workstation to enhance the rolling process. In this method, the filler leaves and binder leaf are placed together in a small groove underneath the rubber mat and rolled together by turning a lever, thus creating a perfectly rolled cigar every time. As such, whether the cigars produced via this method can truly be considered as hand-rolled remains to be a controversial topic among connoisseurs. However, due to the roller’s heavy involvement in the process, the consensus among manufacturers is that they can!
While these are only a few of the most famous cigar bunching techniques, there are many more to discover. To find out more about how cigars are made, check out our blog or visit our website to browse our extensive range of premium cigars online now.