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| Cigar 101 |


Our short cigar 101 information pages provides a unique overview a three important cigar topics to learn about cigars, cutting and lighting your cigar and cigar care and storage so that you can keep your cigars fresh for the entire life of your cigars.​


What are cigars made of?

The answer is simple:

  1. The filler tobacco at the center

  2. A binder leaf which holds the filler together.

  3. The outer wrapper, which is rolled around the binder.


Hand rolled cigars "long filler" tobacco: leaves which run the length of a cigar. In a handmade, the filler, binder and wrapper are combined manually to create a cigar.

Machine-made cigars utilize high-speed machinery to combine "short filler" tobacco - usually scraps or pieces of tobacco - with a binder and wrapper. Because of the tension placed on the tobacco by the machines, the binders and wrappers are often made of a homogenized tobacco product which is stronger than natural leaves and can be produced in a variety of flavors, strengths and textures.

The quality of the tobaccos and more importantly, how they are blended, determines the quality of the smoking experience. In the filler, "ligero" leaves which provide power are blended with "seco" leaves with a milder flavor and "volado" which helps to ensure an even burn. These are combined with a binder and wrapper to provide a balanced flavor.


What are the types of wrappers?


Manufacturers have identified more than 100 different wrapper shades, but they can be grouped into seven major color classifications, where these are:


Double Claro

Also known as "American Market Selection" or "Candela," this is a green wrapper.


This is a very light tan color, almost beige in shade; often grown in Connecticut or from Connecticut seeds in Ecuador.

Colorado Claro

A medium brown found on many cigars, this category covers many descriptions.


This shade is instantly recognizable by the reddish tint.

Colorado Maduro

Darker than Colorado Claro in shade, this color is often associated with African tobacco, such as wrappers from Cameroon, or with Havana Seed tobacco grown in Honduras or Nicaragua.


Very dark brown to almost black. Tobacco for Maduro wrappers is primarily grown in Connecticut, Mexico, Nicaragua and Brazil.


This is black.


What are the sizes found in cigars?

There are cigars of every shape and every size for every occasion. From small and tiny to giant cigars, where every smoker has a wide variety to choose from.


The following table lists 20 well-known shapes, and is adapted from Paul Garmirian's explanation of sizes in The Gourmet Guide to Cigars. The "classical" measurements for which this shape is known are given, along with a size and girth range for each size for classification purposes:

Cigar sizes

Remember to download and print your cigar size chart for reference.

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