Cigar smoking is famous for its style and fashion. If a cigar is not properly smoked, it cannot be enjoyed to its fullest. “A cigar is as good as memories you have when you smoked it,” said Raul Julia, a famous actor.
To smoke a cigar, first, it needs to be cut at the right end, lit using a good flame, and smoked, considering the health effects. It is also necessary to have certain cigar accessories to enjoy smoking a cigar.
Picking the smoke
The thing most people seem to spend time on is picking out a good cigar. Do they want a light Connecticut shade to have it nice and creamy? Or a dark Maduro for a coffee and earthy flavor? Maybe something in the middle, like a Corojo or Habano, for some spice and cedar? Talk to the local tobacconist about this.
Cutting a Cigar
All cigars have a head end (closest to the label) that goes into the mouth, while the foot end is lit for smoking purposes. The head end needs to be properly cut before smoking. Cigars are cut using thumbnails, guillotine cutters (available in single and double blades), cigar scissors, or tabletop cutters, even without a cutter.
All of these serve the same purpose of cutting the head end of cigars, but they differ in the quality and ease of cut. Guillotine cutters are portable. Not using wedge cutters is advisable because they can damage the cigar. The proper cut is necessary for a cigar, or it may unravel or produce a sour flavor.
Lighting a Cigar
The cigar is lit at the foot end. Cigars should be lit using a butane lighter or wooden matches. The cigar is kept horizontal and continuously revolved while lighting. The cigar ends should be kept about half an inch away from the flame and drawn to burn the cigar end evenly.
You’ll get the hang of it, much like roasting a marshmallow, especially as you become more acquainted with the power of your torch and how different types of cigars react to it.
And just like a marshmallow, you don’t put it directly in the fire; you roast with the heat, not the fire. Otherwise, the cherry of the cigar might be too hot and can cause the cherry to block the airflow when you are drawing the smoke to your mouth.
Lighting a cigar using simple lighters is advisable, and fluid-filled lighters and paper matches should be avoided as they can change the flavor to unpleasant and bitter.
Smoking a Cigar
The smoke is drawn into the mouth through the head end. To experience smoking a cigar, it is not necessary to inhale the smoke into the lungs. Smoke is drawn into the mouth and twirled before releasing through the nose or mouth. In a cigar, nicotine concentration is enough to be absorbed through the mouth skin into the blood. Inhaling smoke into the lungs can be harmful.
Slow down your puffs and appreciate the aroma while holding the item in your hand. Puff every minute or so to keep it running. Cigars may be intense, so approach it as a marathon rather than a sprint. Out-puffing, your friend, will make you feel nauseous.
If you’re new to smoking, make sure you eat something!
Do you inhale cigars?
No. We’ve gone through how to light a cigar in great detail. Conversely, cigarettes are meant to give a rapid dosage of nicotine into your bloodstream when swallowed into your lungs.
Cigars are all about flavor, fragrance, length, and pleasure. How you smoke a cigar has a lot to do with how you get to the many flavors and transitions it offers. Cigars are supposed to be savored slowly over time.
If you inhale by accident or are curious, you’ll quickly know how it will affect you. You will most likely cough, wheeze, or have trouble breathing. It’s going to be intense few seconds, even tears dropping. Don’t inhale!
Gently press your lips against the cigar.
To avoid hurting the wrapper, don’t push too firmly when putting the cigar in your mouth. You should practice properly inserting the cigar into your mouth to seal all the air gaps and achieve a perfect draw. Pull on the cigar once every minute to protect the draw from burning out.
Puffing too frequently might result in a scorching burn, making your cigar bitter.
Only take an inch of the cigar and place it in your mouth.
Avoid putting nearly half of the cigar in your mouth when holding it. When you place the cigar in your mouth, it should not be five or six inches long. When you smoke in public, you appear to be an inexperienced smoker.
Do Not Rush the Smoke
When smoking a cigar, ensure you have enough time to enjoy the whole cigar. Do not light up a cigar when you know you will need to go out in 30 minutes. Instead, make sure you have an hour or two set aside to enjoy the cigar.
The worst feeling in the world is lighting up one of your best cigars and then getting rid of it only halfway through because something came up. Sit down, grab a beverage, and enjoy the smoke to get the full effect and taste of the cigar.
Letting it all out
When you let the smoke out, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This helps press flavor in as if letting soup flow past. The flavors will come out more. As the smoke is released, notice the flavors that stay behind. These can be very simple to very complex.
To add to the flavor, breathe in the smoke coming out, only through your nose. I have had cigars with bitter aftertaste but a sweet smoke with hints of almonds. Now, mix those to make for a nice aftertaste.
Sip and puff
Much like a fine bourbon, cigars sometimes need to be cut with a beverage. People sometimes feel overwhelmed with flavor or want to add to it, like a dark cigar and brown soda work well or coffee.
Some are very strong, and water is your best bet with those. It is like a very strong bourbon, where you add a little water to break it up and taste more. The same type of thing is going on with this. Now please note, do not dip your cigar in water.
Avoid saturating your cigar with saliva.
Avoid soaking the head with saliva as you place the cigar in your mouth. That means you need a small amount of moisture at the cigar’s tip to keep it spinning in your mouth. Too much moisture on the cigar is a bad thing that might ruin it.
If the cigar’s head becomes clogged, the draw will get clogged. Remove the cigar from your lips every minute after the initial draw to avoid soaking the cigar head with saliva.
Do not chew or bite your cigar.
You may be tempted to bite or chew the wrapper while holding the cigar in your mouth. This is something you should avoid at all costs.
When you bite the cigar, the wrapper breaks, and the architecture of the cigar is weakened, resulting in an inconsistent draw. If you must leave the cigar in your mouth without holding it, do not clamp it too tightly with your teeth to prevent hurting it.
No talking while holding a cigar in your mouth.
You should not converse with your smoking companion when you have a cigar in your mouth. Yes, it is allowed to chat while smoking, but as a novice, you should avoid it since you risk choking.
When you chat with a cigar in your mouth, most people won’t comprehend what you’re saying. It’s the same as talking with food in your mouth. You should avoid this one habit, especially if you want to smoke in public.
Extinguishing a Cigar
People put cigars out by smashing the lit end into the ashtray. This is a bad idea. First of all, it is disgusting looking. It smears a bunch of charred tobacco everywhere. Second, the smell goes away. You want that little smoke to leave you with an aroma.
And lastly, it burns longer. You push the ember into the tobacco further. You want to set it in the ashtray and just let it go out on its own. Less mess, more aroma, and it goes out quicker. It is like a quick, little treat.
A cigar, if left unattended, naturally gets extinguished, unlike cigarettes that keep burning. Before relighting the cigar, it is necessary to clean it completely of remaining ash before relighting.
When the cigar has burnt about three-quarters down, it emits strong smoke.
The taste slowly turns bitter and dry. This means it is time to go for a new cigar. The cigar should not be extinguished at this time. It should be left in the ashtray and thrown away when it is extinguished. Deliberately trying to extinguish a cigar can result in a foul odor.
Writing it all down
Now you can keep a small journal about what you just had and how you enjoyed it (or disliked it). Also, note what you had with it if anything. You don’t want to buy a bad stick twice. It is easy to forget names. So, note the brand, size, and cost with your notes.
Storing a Cigar – Cigar Humidors
Cigars are stored in humidors and kept in controlled humidity and temperatures. Ideally, cigars should be kept at room temperature at 60 to 70 percent humidity. Cigars can be stored for several years in cigar humidors.
These tips will help you have a fuller cigar smoking experience. Enjoy.