How Did Cigar Leaf Become A Commodity?

It all started when the Spanish explored America, as they became aware the tobacco plant can be used to produce cigar leaf, it traveled to Europe with them and was heavily traded.

It didn’t take long before the cigar consumption became a trend on a global level, thanks to the industrial revolution. Cigars became widely popular and available all around the New World and Europe: which encouraged a substantial boost in market growth.

Cigars are created using three basic component: cigar wrapper, cigar binder, and the filler. Components can be sourced globally from various origins. Flavors and strengths vary as the source and type of the tobacco properties change. Tobacco properties get affected by several external conditions such as the tobacco plant growing conditions.

Even when the seed is the same, growing conditions like soil composition and strength of the sun will give each plant its own unique flavor. Master blenders know how to find and match the different leaves to create an excellent tasting cigar. Star Tobacco works hand to hand with master blenders to be able to provide exceptional quality cigar wrappers, cigar binders, and cigar fillers on a wholesale basis.

Let’s break down the components of a cigar.

Cigar Leaf Structure

Cigar Wrapper

The wrapper is the most significant and expensive part of a cigar. The color and general appearance of the exterior wrapper is the first thing a consumer engage when interacting with a cigar. Moreover, a cigar’s wrapper determines 60% to 90% of the cigar’s overall flavor. Cigar wrappers vary in color from yellow to dark brown. All leaves are originally green, but the fermentation and aging process is what settles the final color.


Star Tobacco customers have the option to choose cigar wrappers from the following origins:

  • Indonesia
  • Cameroon
  • Nicaragua
  • Ecuador

Star Tobacco has access to a broad cigar leaf supply in Indonesia with the main variety of Besuki which is a sun-cured variety grown in the Eastern part of Java Island. Besuki typically has a mild character with a slightly sweet undertone. The TBN wrapper is a variety which is a shade grew and where the use of protection cloth allows the leaves to grow evenly in a controlled environment.  TBN leaves are usually red-brown, have a very smooth and thin surface and have a pleasantly mild flavor perfect for use as wrappers.

Cigar wrappers from Cameroon are sun grown and dark-brown. They are known for their velvety softness and the leaves deliver deep and rich flavors.

Ecuador’s specific soil and climate create flavorful leaves for wrappers. A large amount of Connecticut seed is shade grown here. The lack of sunlight contributes to a very mild flavor and low nicotine content, and it usually has a woody and spicy taste.

Habano cigar wrappers originate from Cuba, but today it grows mostly in Nicaragua and Equador. The leaves give a powerful and spicy boost to the overall flavor.

Cigar Binder

If you remove the wrapper from a cigar, the next leaf you will see is the binder. It is used for two purposes: to provide a smooth surface for the wrapper leaf, and also for its combustibility, to ensure that the cigar burns well. The binder is essential for keeping the fillers in place and for keeping the overall structure of the cigar.


Indonesian Besuki binders are very popular as they have good strength and flexibility and have excellent burning properties. Besides, it’s neutral taste will not interfere with the aroma provided by the wrapper and filler of the cigar.

Cigar Filler

Filler tobacco is the heart of a cigar and consists of a carefully blended recipe of tobaccos from different countries to achieve the desired taste and optimum burning qualities. The filler leaves chosen can dictate the overall strength of the cigar. While the wrapper creates the look and feel of the cigar, it’s the filler leaves that set the base for a well-balanced cigar. Filler leaves ideally are dark and oily and should have the capacity to burn slowly and evenly, creating a desirable smoking experience.

Star Tobacco can help you to provide the right components for your filler mixture whether it be whole leaves that are rolled together by hand (long-filler) or small pieces of chopped tobacco (short filler) which are intended to be part of a machine-made cigar. Contact us to learn more about STI cigar leaf products.

If you are interested in wholesale cigar leaf, simply drop us a message below and let’s chat about your needs!

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Related Products: Wholesale Tobacco Leaf, Reconstituted Tobacco.