Have you always been fascinated with cigar smoking? It has become an enjoyable activity for many people, providing relaxation and a way to destress. But, it’s not something that you can do immediately. You’ve got to learn how to maintain and buy cigars so that you enjoy the experience. So, here’s a beginner’s guide to cigar smoking.
Maintaining and Storing Cigars
Before you buy your first cigars, you need to understand how to take care of them. Indeed, they require proper storage so that they maintain their flavor and they’re enjoyable to smoke. Here’s what you should do.
Buy a Humidor: One of the first things you should invest in is a quality humidor. This is where you’re going to store your cigars. This isn’t just a fancy box; it’s a place where the temperature and humidity are closely regulated. Ensuring they’re maintained at the right levels means that your cigars are preserved. Northwoods Humidors has various humidors and cigar accessories you can purchase. Whether you’re looking for a desktop or an electric humidor, they’re a highly-rated company you can trust.
Season the Humidor: Once you’ve bought your desired humidor, you’ll need to season it. This gets it ready for storing your cigars. This will involve wiping the interior, which is done with a special solution or distilled water. Read about this prior to storing the cigars.
Decide on Aging: A lot of people like to age their cigars. This is a move that can enhance the flavor. For example, you can age them for a few months or even several years. You’ll want to learn more about how to do this and whether you want to embark on this journey so you can also buy the right cigars.
Choosing Your First Cigar
Selecting your first cigar is an exciting part of your journey. There are countless options out there, so here are a few tips to help you choose the right one for you.
Size: Cigars come in various sizes, from petite coronas to hefty churchills. As a beginner, it’s often a good idea to start with a smaller size, as they tend to be milder.
Shape: The shape of a cigar, known as the “vitola,” can also impact the smoking experience. Common shapes include robusto, torpedo, and figurado.
Strength: Cigars are classified by their strength—mild, medium, or full-bodied. As a beginner, it’s advisable to begin with a milder cigar to get a feel for the flavors.
The Cigar Cutting Ritual
Cutting your cigar properly is a crucial step in ensuring an enjoyable smoking experience. You want a clean cut that allows for a good draw without damaging the cigar.
Types of Cigar Cutters: There are different types of cigar cutters, such as guillotine, punch, and V-cutter. Choose the one that suits your preference.
Proper Cutting Technique: When cutting, aim to remove just the cap, which is the sealed end of the cigar. This leaves a clean opening, ensuring a smooth draw.
Lighting Your Cigar
Lighting a cigar is a bit more nuanced than sparking up a cigarette. Here’s how to do it right:
Choice of Ignition: You can use matches, a butane torch, or even cedar spills to light your cigar. Butane torches are a popular choice due to their reliability and even flame.
Toasting the Foot: Before putting the flame to the cigar, gently toast the foot, or the end you’ll be lighting. This helps ensure an even burn.
Lighting Technique: Hold the cigar at a slight angle and slowly rotate it over the flame. You want to char the entire foot evenly. Avoid directly touching the cigar to the flame.
The Proper Way to Hold and Smoke a Cigar
Cigar smoking is an experience meant to be savored. Here’s how to enjoy it:
Hold It Gently: Grip your cigar gently between your thumb and forefinger. There’s no need to squeeze it. Let it rest comfortably in your hand.
No Inhaling: Unlike cigarettes, cigars are not meant to be inhaled. Draw the smoke into your mouth, savor the flavors, and then exhale it slowly.
Rotating the Cigar: While smoking, rotate the cigar slightly after each puff. This ensures an even burn and a consistent taste. Plus, it can last longer.
Cigar smoking comes with a set of unwritten rules and etiquette. Following these guidelines shows respect for the tradition and the people around you.
Consider Others: Be mindful of non-smokers and the environment. Avoid smoking in confined spaces or near those who might be bothered by the smoke. You’ll feel more relaxed when you’re smoking, and it’ll be appreciated by everybody around you.
Proper Extinguishing: Don’t stub out your cigar like a cigarette. Let it go out naturally, and don’t crush the remaining ash.
Sharing: It’s customary to offer a cigar to a friend, but always ask if they’d like one before lighting up.
You’ve now been introduced to the art of cigar smoking, from selecting your first cigar to savoring its flavors and enjoying the experience to the fullest. Remember, cigar smoking is about relaxation and appreciation. It’s a journey that can be as simple or as intricate as you choose to make it. Embrace the world of cigars responsibly, and enjoy the camaraderie and pleasure it brings. Now, go out there and savor the moments with your favorite cigar in hand.