Journey of A Tobacco Leaf

Story of Tobacco Leaf becomes a Cigarette

Hello everyone, I am a tobacco leaf,

I have many brothers and sisters,

I was first discovered in the American Indians.


In October 1492, Columbus led an expedition to America,

And saw locals smoking.


In 1558, sailors brought tobacco seeds back to Portugal,

Then smoking was spread across Europe.


In 1612, the British people began to cultivate tobacco at Jamestown, Virginia.

And started to do the tobacco trade.


Tobacco was introduced to China in the middle of the 16th century.

And introduced to Japan in the late 16th century.


You may be curious about

How a cigarette is made

How I transfer from green to warm shade of yellow.


So let me give you a brief overview

My “Metamorphosis”.


From Leaf to Cigarette

From Leaf to Cigarette


First, tobacco planting

To obtain raw materials, of course, we must be planted first,

I grow up all over the world,

The best is in Zimbabwe,

Where I grow in great shape and strong.

I also have siblings in China,

The most famous is from Yunnan.


Generally, the picking time is in autumn,

But the harvesting time of different parts is not the same.

My lower leaves

Are Harvested between June 25th and July 1st,

At this time the bottom leaves are mature.

And my middle leaves

Are Harvested between July 5th and July 10th.

During this period, the surface of the leaves is light yellow.


Second, tobacco leaf selection

No matter how unique the flavors and fragrances are,

They are only auxiliary roles.

The mellow aroma of cigarettes comes from the tobacco leaf itself.

The aroma and quality of tobacco leaves are the soul of cigarettes.

All processes in the following steps,

Are for maximizing the aroma of tobacco leaves.

The selection of good tobacco leaves is the key to raw materials.

green leaf processing

green leaf processing

After I mature, I need to pass the screening and inspection,

Only qualified tobacco leaves can be selected.

And strict standards

Make the final products to be superior.


Third, the initial roasting of tobacco leaves

This is the first step in

turning the planted tobacco leaves into cigarette raw materials.

Tobacco farmers put the fresh tobacco leaves harvested from the field in the curing barn

to roast and prepare them,

making them the raw flue-cured tobacco.

From appearance,

I will transfer from green to yellow,

From water expanded state to wither, dry, until scorched.


This is the first step of my experience.


Forth, threshing and redrying

You may have a question

Why do I need to redry?

Because the moisture content of the newly roasted tobacco leaves is not uniform

due to the uneven moisture resurgence

when the tobacco leaves are tied together, and the different climates and storage conditions in different places.

The moisture content after initial roasting is not the same,

and some tobacco leaves still have high moisture content after initial roasting,

then mildew and deterioration will occur.

To summarize,

The reason for redrying:

  • to adjust the moisture to prevent mildew;
  • to eliminate miscellaneous gas and purify aroma;
  • to kill insects and sterilize, which is beneficial for storage;
  • to maintain the color and luster, which is beneficial to subsequent production.


Now my second level of experience is over.


Fifth, tobacco fermentation

The above three steps are considered to be an initial test

Now I am delivered to the raw materials processing container.

The next step is alcoholizing.

Although I have gone through the primary election,

I still have many problems.

For example, my miscellaneous gas, rough smoke

Thus, I cannot be directly used to make cigarettes and must be properly alcoholized.


Through alcoholization, the color of tobacco leaves is more uniform and properly deepened,

the miscellaneous gas and irritation are greatly reduced,

the aroma substances are increased, and the taste is mellow.


Sixth, the cigarette formula

Just like every dish has its materials and condiments,

the production of cigarette products also pursues good color, aroma, taste, and safety.

Combining various types, grades, and styles of tobacco leaf raw materials and auxiliary materials such as flavors and fragrances to produce the best quality effect.

This is the cigarette formula.

The formula will affect the taste of the product,

so, each product has its exclusive formula.


Seventh, producing tobacco shred

After Cutting and loosening,

Now I transform to the shred status.

Only become shredded tobacco

I can be put into the cigarette papers one by one.

producing tobacco shred

producing tobacco shred

Two reasons for making tobacco shred:

  • To ensure the stability and consistency of cut tobacco, uniform ratio of raw materials and essence liquid material, uniform moisture content;
  • The produced shredded tobacco has a high filling value, which increases toughness and saves raw materials.


Eighth, cigarette production

In the shape of loose shreds,

I will be pre-formed into a uniform tobacco rod and placed on the rod paper.

Then the paper is glued together and the resulting tobacco rod is cut into equal cigarette sticks.

Two cigarette sticks and one pre-cut filter rod are wrapped with tipping paper, glued together, and cut through in the middle.

Now we get two finished filter cigarettes.


Ninth, Packaging cigarettes

In a given quantity (normally 20 nos.),

The cigarettes are wrapped into an inner foil. This is one pack.

Then 10 individual packs are wrapped in cellophane to form a carton,

The cartons are then packed into boxes and stacked on pallets for dispatch.


Above is my growth experience,

From fresh green leaf

To a pack of cigarette products.

Both tobacco farmers and cigarette factory staffs give their efforts to this industry.

Now you can tell a tobacco leaf’s story while you enjoy the smoke!

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