Traditional tobacco farm in cuba

How is Hand rolling tobacco made

People smoke hand-rolled cigarettes for a variety of reasons. For some, it's a fact that it's a little cheaper while others like the ability to create their own smoke with a specific tobacco.

Where does tobacco come from?

Over thirty countries produce tobacco; some notable ones include Brazil, China, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Argentina and the US. On these farms hand rolling tobacco can be classified into three types. These are:

1. Virginia tobacco - due to the golden yellow colour this tobacco is known as bright tobacco. This colour is caused by the curing process where the tobacco is laid out in heated barns; this process develops a light, bright aroma and taste. This tobacco is mainly grown in the US, Brazil, China, Argentina, and India.

2. Burley tobacco - cured by air in barns for two months the tobacco takes on a dark brown colour. A strong cigar-like flavour is developed.

3. Oriental tobacco - sun-cured in the open air this rolling tobacco is highly aromatic and possibly is the smallest of all the tobacco crops.

Production of hand rolling tobacco

Tobacco growing hasn't changed much in the last 200 years. Naturally, technology has helped efficiency, but essentially the entire process is still the same. Tobacco plants take 2-3 months to reach maturity, at this point they are harvested. After the harvesting tobacco needs to be cured, each type of tobacco is cured differently however it is the process of drying out the tobacco leaf. This can take upwards of two months depending on the methodology.

Grading of hand rolling tobacco

After curing the leaves are sorted according to quality and packed into bails for the sales process. During buying the tobacco is graded by expert leaf buyers to assess the quality of the colour, texture, and aroma of the leaf. Once selected the tobacco is shipped to a processing facility where the tobacco is further dried and cared for. It may be stored for several years to enhance the flavour.

Once ready it is then processed and cut into hand rolling tobacco; some are cut finer while others are ear-marked as 'shag' tobaccos which tend to be utilised by pipe smokers but can also be used in roll your own cigarettes.

We have a small but well-formed range of hand-selected rolling tobacco here at Bull Brand. View our range here, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team.