How to Make Clove Cigarettes or Kretek?

how to make clove cigarettes

Clove cigarette is one of the most seek tobacco product commodities due to its remarkable flavor and aroma. So, it was indeed a piece of bad news for American cigarette enthusiasts when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned clove cigarettes in the United States. 

Some people begin to wonder how to make clove cigarettes for personal consumption. If you are also looking for methods to create clove cigarettes for your usage, then you are in the right place!

Why Clove Cigarettes Are Illegal in the United States?

Some cigarette fans begin to search for ways how to make clove cigarettes due to the clove cigarette ban. But, why did the FDA decide to make kretek illegal? Let’s break down the reasons why FDA banned clove cigarettes before delving into how to make clove cigarettes

The verdict to make any activity in selling, producing, and importing clove cigarettes illegal in the United State was made official in 2009. Along with kretek, the FDA also banned all types of flavored tobacco, excluding menthol-flavored cigarettes. 

Besides menthol-flavored cigarettes, cigars, and flavored tobacco pipes are also safe from the ban. But why clove cigarette isn’t exempted from the ban? 

The main reason why FDA deemed clove cigarettes illegal is due to the health hazard it possesses. Clove cigarettes have a higher tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide content than regular cigarettes. 

As we know, tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide are dangerous substances that can harm your body. Inhaling these poisonous compounds can increase your risk of having health issues, such as dental and respiratory problems. 

Moreover, kretek and other flavored cigarettes have a sweeter taste than conventional cigarettes. The unique taste makes clove cigarettes become the first choice for young people under 18 years old to participate in smoking.

To decrease the number of young smokers, the FDA decided to ban clove cigarettes and other flavored cigarettes that are seen as a gateway for juveniles to do smoking.  

Despite the official reason, some people still believe that the ban is controversial since menthol-flavored cigarettes are free from the ban. In fact, menthol-flavored cigarettes are even more popular than clove cigarettes in the United States. 

This led to speculation that the ban is mainly for political reasons. One of them is to secure Philip Morris company’s position in the cigarette business. 

The Process of Making a Clove Cigarette

Clove cigarettes don’t only contain clove, typically there will be 60-80 percent tobacco and 20-40 percent crushed clove or clove oil inside a kretek. Therefore, the first thing to do is to chop or ground the cloves.

Afterward, the kretek maker will choose suitable tobacco that matches the clove’s quality, flavor, and aroma. Sometimes, there will be more than 30 various types of tobacco inside a clove cigarette. The kretek maker will also decide the ratio of the clove and tobacco mixture. 

Later on, a special sauce will be added to the blend. This sauce is unique to each brand and it separates one brand from another.

The special sauce is a secret recipe that consists of a combination of different kinds of fruit, herb, and spice extracts that will increase the taste and scent of the clove cigarette. There can be up to 100 different ingredients inside the special sauce.

The blend that has been poured with the special sauce will be rolled into a wrapping paper manually with hands or automatically with high-technology machines.

For the finishing touch, some brands put artificial sweeteners on the wrapping paper, such as saccharine, to give a sweet flavor to the clove cigarette.

This is how a clove cigarette is made in a kretek business industry, but what if you want to make it by yourself for personal usage? The making of clove cigarettes for your use will be simpler than in a factory.

How to Make Clove Cigarette at Home?

Before talking about how to make clove cigarettes, do note that this is just one method to make kretek. You should always do your research before producing a clove cigarette for personal consumption. 

You can try these steps below on how to make clove cigarettes at home. Remember, you can only consume the kretek for personal use and not for commercial sales. 

1. Prepare the Ingredients

First thing first, you have to search and select the loose-leaf tobacco and clove that suits your taste preference. One of the clove recommendations is the Ceylon cloves type since it has a unique aroma and flavor.

You can buy the number of cloves and tobacco depending on the ratio of the mixture. The best ratio of cloves and tobacco range from 1:3 to 2:3. If you overcalculate the ratio, your blend will not burn well. 

2. Manage the Clove

The next step is to prepare your cloves. Before blending the clove and tobacco, you have to crush and ground the clove first.

If you want a better experience when enjoying the clove cigarette, you should separate the sepals and petals of the clove. The sepals are the four points between the petals and the stem, while the petals are the ball part at the end of the clove stalk.

You can detach the sepals and petals section by making a clean cut with a sharp paring knife slowly. 

If you decide to not separate the sepals and petals, you can ground the clove coarsely with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.

But, if you detach the sepals and petals section, grind or chop the petals coarsely while grounding the remaining parts of the clove finely with either mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. You can toss the remaining parts of the clove inside an electric coffee grinder for around 20 seconds to achieve a fine powder. 

3. Blend All Ingredient

After grounding your cloves, now you can mix the cloves with the tobacco according to the ratio you have chosen. You can simply roll the mixture into a wrapping paper or pipe before enjoying it.

On the other hand, you can proceed to the next step if you want to add more complexity to your blend by adding the sauce.

4. Make the Sauce

As stated before, the sauce is a mixture of fruit, herb, and spice extracts that will elevate the clove cigarette’s flavor and aroma. You won’t be able to replicate a certain brand’s secret special sauce perfectly, but you can make your original sauce!

First, list all the liquid extracts that you want to mix into the blend as your sauce, such as alcohol, vanilla, coffee, tea, fruit, or almond extract. 

Next, combine the liquids and mix them with the clove and tobacco blend with a 1:7 or 1:8 ratio in a container or bowl. The ratio depends on your taste preference, patience, and the equipment you will be using to dry the mixture.

5. Dry the Mixture

Before drying the blend, you have to wait at least 1-3 hours for the liquid to soak into the clove and tobacco mixture. Afterward, lay out the blend on an ovenproof tray or bowl before drying it in the oven with the pilot light setting.

You have to mix the blend occasionally while it is drying in the oven. When the blend starts to get crispy, it’s a sign that you can take it out of the oven. 

If you don’t have an oven, you can just simply spread the blend on a tray or sheet and let it dry naturally on its own. Although, it will take a longer time for it to dry compared to drying it in the oven.

6. The Final Touch

The dried blend can simply be rolled in a wrapping paper or inserted inside a pipe. You can add other spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, with the blend before covering it with a wrapping paper or adding it into a pipe. 

If you want to add extra sweetness to your clove cigarette, you can lace the tip of the kretek in a solution of saccharine water by crushing and dissolving the saccharine tablet into the water. But, don’t forget to let it dry overnight first before lighting it up.

Free Yourself from All the Hassles!

As you can see, making your clove cigarette isn’t as easy as it sounds. Instead of searching on how to make a clove cigarette, you can simply visit Clove Cigarettes Online and browse the perfect kretek to complete your day.

Clove Cigarettes Online has been selling various superb and authentic clove cigarette products, like Djarum, Gudang Garam, and Sampoerna. You can just click this link to start your journey into the clove cigarette world. 

Although, before buying a clove cigarette, check out if your state allows you to have and smoke a clove cigarette.