Resposted from El Cannatorcedor Blog / Jan 2016
Word of the week : Torcedor – a highly skilled and specifically trained cigar roller. The Torcedor skill set has been refined since the first use of tobacco in cigars by Europeans after tobacco was introduced to the Old World.
Inspiration seeps in from unexpected places. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, until 6 months ago. Needing extra cash while trying to put together a brand and a company, I picked up a contract position with Starbucks. I didn’t realize it immediately, but after a few weeks I was absorbing my surroundings and taking advantage of a great opportunity.
We would have office meetings where we would gather and taste coffee and discus and connect, sampling different coffees from single origins around the world. I learned so much. Prior to boutique coffee shops springing up on every corner in the US, the majority were exposed to coffee as black or with sugar+cream. They were not exposed to a connoisseur market or mindset unless they had the opportunity to visit places in Europe that treasure their coffees. Single Origins or the intricacies of the roasting process which can bring out flavors in each and radically change the flavor qualities were unknown concepts. Every now and then a coffee drinker might be able to detect a hint of cocoa, sweetness, or even a change in acidity, but it was rarely articulated and sought after for those qualities until the artisan coffee roaster boom in the 1970s-1990s.
Cannabis consumers today, in most locations where it is less than legal, are similar to American’s pre coffee-boom. Even among those who enjoy it, there are few likely to be selective because they don’t have the opportunity to be. They don’t know much about the true origins of the buds they enjoy, genetically, geographically, etc. Things are about to change.
There are complexities to any consumable that is enjoyed for its taste and effect. Only in the lightening legal conditions of a blossoming cannabis industry has their been a real opportunity for the average cannabis enthusiast to sample a wide variety of cannabis and dial their palette into sensitive receptivity.
Wine, Coffee, Cigars – they all share something in common. With some exceptions, those who develop a refined discrimination for them, are romantics, and lovers of the experience, they are savoring of the substances that they love and truly appreciate a diverse range of qualities and products, even if they arrive at a favorite and stick with it. I strive to elevate Cannabis into it’s proper class. An appreciated past time with a rich history, an enjoyment to be savored, and an elegant celebratory treat to be respected and cherished.
From the coffee and wine world, I have imported insight into geographic distinction of cultivars, and the concept of Terroir. I have taken note of the common flavor/strength/rating/vintage profiles and what constitutes a fine label. I have retained valuable insight that will serve my business in the creation of a loftier vision for cannabis lovers.
July of last year I knew that delivering fine cannabis was the goal, but I lacked a product to really make my company distinctive. I was toying with the idea of a line of Fine Joints, and of course, oils and edibles, but something was ….not right. Joints are much like cigarettes. Cigarettes aren’t too terribly classy anymore, they tend to taste of the paper just a bit, and they have lost a lot of popularity. Cigarettes, also, are rarely about enjoyment, but mostly about a quick fix, a satiation of a nicotine craving. Joints, in a similar mental pattern, represent the same for cannabis. Rarely does one savor the taste of a joint as much as a fresh green bowl, or terpene rich oil.
In the elevation of the status of cannabis, joints shall not suffice as a mainstay product. Then it hit me, cigars! Leaf wrapped cannabis cigars.
I’ve never been a cigar smoker. And it’s been a decade since I wanted to touch a cigarette. I had stumbled on a video by Sautter Cigars. I was very delighted – the gentleman who speaks in the youtube videos, Laurence Davis, boasts of his line of Brandy to compliment his cigars – and his logo is a silhouette of himself with a cigar in his mouth. This reminded me very much of my beloved Gentleman Cannabisseur Logo – a silhouetted Gentleman with a smoke in his mouth that looks more like a cigar than it does a joint really.
I could watch Laurence speak about cigars all day long. His passion, his knowledge, and very descriptive critique of his products is absolutely inspiring. The Sautter videos really pushed me into wanting to master the art of cigar wrapping.
I began to roll cigars, with little experience or knowledge, and they were completely awful. Those that managed to make it to my lips, unraveled while smoking.
Cannabis leaves are a challenge. They are not one giant air-tight leaf like a tobacco wrapper. But, there are methods that are workable. I finally produced a solid smokable cigar, but I am yet to be satisfied.
These are exciting times. The craft of the Torcedor is as infinitely fulfilling as growing cannabis itself. It is an art that can be mastered, refined, and transmitted. I am envisioning, within in a decade, at least a handful of cannabis cigar shops, if not one amazing one, specializing in a market that will eventually boom, and take cannabis off of the streets and into the Estate where it belongs.
Cheers, future Cannatorcedores!