A cigar is a 100% natural product and consists of three parts: the wrapper, binder and filler.
The wrapper is the outside leaf – it is what you see when you look at a cigar. Its color and texture are the physical embodiment of the cigar's character and it provides 30% to 60% of the cigar’s flavor.
The binder is the "blanket" that holds the filler leaves in place and separates them from the wrapper. If you were to remove the wrapper from a cigar, the next leaf you would see would be the binder. It is used for two purposes: to provide a smooth service for adhering the wrapper, and also for its combustibility, to ensure that the cigar burns well.
The filler tobaccos are the innermost leaves of a cigar that are held together by the binder. Filler tobacco is the “heart” of a cigar, and consists of a carefully blended “recipe” of different tobaccos – often from different countries - designed to complement the flavor of the wrapper.
The cap is a small piece of tobacco that is cut from the wrapper so that the colors will match, and is applied over the “head,” or the closed end of the cigar that you will ultimately clip. Its purpose is to give the cigar a finished look and to help keep the wrapper from unraveling.
Article written by: Richard Carleton Hacker, Author of the ultimate cigar book, with Cigar Master Benji Menendez