Smoking cigars is an exceptional experience. Before you become an expert in cutting, lighting and smoking cigars, you first need basic information on cigars. Knowing which cigars to get is a challenge for several casual smokers, leave alone a novice smoker. They come in many different shapes, brands, wrappers and sizes.
Furthermore, suppose you are interested in getting into it. In that case, you are probably equally interested in knowing what goes into making a quality cigar and things such as shelf life. On a lighter note, sharing what you know about your cigar with others is a great conversation starter. What better way to enjoy your cigar at the lounge than talking about them with fellow novices and enthusiasts.
While it might be tempting to start with cheaper smokes, don’t shy away from splurging on your first premium bnbtobacco if you want a great first experience. Unfortunately, cheaper cigars often have inferior quality than premium ones, although this is not always the case. To help you on your journey, here are some basic things that you need to know.
1. They are natural, artisanal products
In today’s business world, businesses are quick to use buzzwords like “natural” because customers appreciate artisanal and natural products as premium. Unlike most gimmicky products, handmade cigars certainly qualify for these credentials. These smokes are made from pure and unadulterated tobacco.
No leaf is artificially or chemically treated to alter the actual taste. Instead, flavor, color and other qualities are achieved naturally. This makes them a work of art. Different shades of brown are obtained through organic processes, and the flavors are also naturally occurring. Preservatives, dyes, and sweeteners are reserved for mass-produced, machine-made cigarettes and cigars.
Making cigars by hand is done by artists, and blending tobacco requires skill and experience. The finest cigars are an expression of their makers.
2. Tobacco is fermented
Fermentation is used in the production of alcohol, and it is also used in the tobacco industry. The type of fermentation in the latter is known as microbial fermentation. It utilizes water, oxygen and pressure to break down tobacco leaves organically. During the process, heat is released as the leaves undergo physical and chemical changes through oxidation and humidity. Alcohol is not produced.
The primary reason for this process is to ensure that the tobacco tastes better. The smell and flavors become less bitter and astringent but nuttier, sweeter, and more floral, thanks to the fermentation. The process involves curing the leaves in a barn, and the only thing that’s added is water. Because the tobacco leaves are arranged in large piles, the weight causes pressure resulting in a microbial and enzymatic breakdown. Heat is a by-product.
Once the internal temperature is ideal, the piles are taken apart. Subsequently, they are rotated by hand and reassembled meticulously. Tobacco leaves are fermented according to type and size. In order to produce high-grade cigars, this process cannot be rushed or skipped as under fermented tobacco usually has a harsh after taste. It also smells like ammonia.
3. You should smoke cool and slowly
Puffing too often is a common mistake among cigar smokers. There are some reasons why it is ill-advised. First, the point of smoking cigars is savoring and enjoying the experience. When you smoke too fast, you are doing the opposite. If you have made this mistake before, try slowing down and taking your time, and you will experience a significant difference.
Besides that, there is a deeper reason why puffing fast is not ideal. When you puff too frequently, you are bound to overheat your cigar, making it bitter. Unfortunately, this bitterness is often irreversible. A well-made smoke is crafted to burn cool and slow, which steadily impacts the flavor.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t smoke too slowly either because your cigar will probably go off. Relighting it repeatedly can result in unsavory tastes of char, bitterness and carbon. For the best flavors, puff in 30 seconds or 1-minute intervals. Lastly, leave the ash because it serves as a temperature regulator.
4. Price and quality
The price of a cigar is not always an indication of its quality. Therefore, a cigar costing $25 is not always more enjoyable than one that costs $ 10. That is the reason why cheaper cigars sometimes perform better than pricey ones. At the same time, you should understand that premium cigars are made from premium materials.
The best materials, finest craftsmanship, and stringent quality control will cost substantial money. Therefore, there are different levels of quality depending on aroma, flavor, burning and appearance. You are bound to pay a premium price for a high-grade leaf compared to a coarse one that isn’t as flavorful or aromatic. As mentioned above, tobacco has to undergo fermentation in cigar making.
Some leaves take longer to ferment, and the longer the cycle, the higher the cost of production. Unfortunately, sometimes cigars have a premium price point for gimmicky purposes. However, this is not often the case, and usually, the cost of premium smokes is justified. Try different flavor profiles while staying within budget to ensure that you don’t regret anything.
5. Know the blends
Choosing wisely when purchasing cigars is crucial. This primarily means understanding different blends before buying anything. Doing so ensures that you don’t get cigars that are too mild or too strong. Knowing the basics of a blend is all you need. That doesn’t necessarily mean knowing every last component of your cigar of choice.
Many casual smokers know the intensity they prefer, whether mild, medium or strong. If you are a novice, you will need to try different flavor profiles and intensities to know which you like best.
Cigars are an experience, a lifestyle. Learning new things in this area will give you a better start and prepare you for what to expect. If you still have questions and want a more hands-on experience, try frequenting your local cigar lounge. You will find many people with similar interests, and you can learn from them.