The master roller

The rolling of the Habano is made in the galley, in that place the rollers, classified according to their skill create the different vitolas and cigars' brands.

It is said the career of a master rollers begins after two years as apprentice. Those who overcome this category should work at least for six years to master the job. From that moment on, the criteria to upgrade positions are very rigorous, so to be a master roller could take up to twenty years. In order to manufacture the habanos, the master roller uses a board, a knife named chaveta, a guillotine, a container of vegetal glue, a press and molds.

The hand of the roller prepares the capote with the purpose of holding the filler. The leaves of the mid part of the tobacco plant, more flexible and resistant, are used for this purpose. The filler is molded in a cylindrical form, and the leaves are shirred in the form of a fan to create horizontal path of air.

The filler, the very heart of the cigar, has three different kinds of tobacco: light, dry and volado. The first one comes from the high part of the plant, is the leaf providing strength to the cigar's flavour; the second one comes from the mid part of the plant, and it provides the aroma; the third are the leaves of the lower part of the plant and give combustibility to the cigar.

Cuban Tobacco The mixture of these cigars mentioned above is called blend. It is the receipt of the master tobacco roller. The union of the filling and the capote is an essential step, considering that in this process the cigar obtains its consistency and shape. The capote has the purpose of maintaining the filler together, in other words, holds tightly the inner leaves.

Afterwards, the roller closes the capote under the filler, calculating the longitude the cigar should have. The capote with the filler form the tirulo, a cigar with no cape. The tirulos are placed in lines of ten units above the wooden molds of the size of the final product.

The following step is the molding. It objective is to have the cigar pressed before placing the fine cover. Experts considered this is the most delicate operation of the process. The cigars are placed in wooden molds where they stay for a short term to obtain a specific final appearance.

The following phase is the pressing, when the molds are introduced in a press with the required pressure to have the cigars obtain their form. During the 45 minutes of pressure, the cigars turn with regularity to create the cylindrical desired contour. The press is the symbol of the rollers, even the form to place the boxes; the grade and time of the pressure are part of the secrets of each of the masters.

Then, it is the time to prepare the leaf for the wrapper. They are selected with special care, because they should have a perfect color, texture and brightness; it is the fundamental part of the process, because is the final image of the cigar.

The wrapper should be straightened before going to the following step, the cut. In this part the roller cuts it with a knife, and prepares the final "dress? of the cigar. The kind of cut is decisive to achieve a nice good final result. It depends on the vitola is going to be rolled. It is used only the central part of the leaf, to avoid its exterior veins.

Once the wrapper's leaf is ready, the twister has to place it properly , just to have it as tight and straight as possible. The tip of the leaf should be in the foot, while the base in the head; it makes cigars softer.

The manufacturing of the cigar's tip is the final operation in rolling the wrapper, is made using the knife and cutting the leaf according to the size.

The remains of the wrapper's leaf are not used to elaborate other cigars, despite of its good quality. At the end, the Habano is cut with a simple guillotine which gives the proper longitude for each vitola. Afterwards, the cigar's size is confirmed in a wood rule, according to the exact size of its vitola.