Cigars are a luxurious and enjoyable hobby that has been around for centuries. Smoking a cigar is a ritual that involves taking the time to slow down, relax, and enjoy the flavors and aromas that the cigar has to offer. If you're new to cigars, don't worry! This is a subject that has been tackled 1000 times, with plenty of videos available, and there's always something new to learn. In this beginner's guide, I'll share some tips and tricks to help you get started on your cigar journey.
Cutting Your Cigar
Before you can enjoy a cigar, you'll need to cut it. There are many different types of cigar cutters available, but the most important thing is to make sure you cut the cigar properly. To prevent unraveling and ensure a perfect cut every time, here is a tips for the beginner : try using a flat surface. Stand the cigar on its cap on a table, with the cigar placed in the center of your cutter. The flat surface will prevent you from cutting too deep, ensuring a clean cut and a great smoking experience every times.
Lighting Your Cigar
After cutting your cigar, it's time to light it. As a beginner, I recommend using a torch lighter for precise toasting of the foot.
The foot is the opposite side of the cigar that you just cut, and it's important to ensure that it's evenly toasted. Igniting the filler, binder, and wrapper simultaneously will provide a sharp burning line and the best smoking experience. Remember that cigars are like gourmet plates they need to be lighten up properly, the same way you need to eat a dish with all its component to fully experience what the chef had in mind creating the dish for you. Properly lit, a cigar will deliver 100% of its flavors and aroma, just how the blender intended to.
While you can switch to a soft flame lighter once you're more comfortable, keep in mind that a single torch lighter is more practical when smoking outside in windy conditions.
Smoking Your Cigar
Now that your cigar is lit, it's time to start smoking. Remember, cigars are not cigarettes, and should be smoked slowly and savoringly. Take your time and enjoy the flavors and aromas that emerge as you smoke. Remember, do not inhale the smoke, it will bring nothing to the experience and potentially make you sick and ruin the moment.
Take a puff, and hold the smoke in your mouth for a few seconds to fully experience the flavor. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth.
Retrohaling Your Cigar
For an even more nuanced experience, try retrohaling, this will open a whole new world of flavors!
Retrohaling is the process of exhaling the smoke through your nose, allowing you to fully experience the flavors and aromas of the cigar. The sense of smell is responsible for up to 80% of what we taste, so it's important to engage your nose while smoking a cigar. In addition to the taste buds on your tongue, there are also cells that detect taste elsewhere inside the oral cavity: in the back of the throat, epiglottis, and nasal cavity. When you retrohale, you unlock 100% of the aromas and flavors, experiencing the cigar to the fullest.
But, remember, never inhale the smoke in your lungs.
To retrohale, exhale 80% of the smoke from your mouth first to cool it down, then exhale the remaining 20% from your nose. This technique will help you to fully experience the flavors and aromas of the cigar.
In the end, smoking a cigar is a great hobby that allows you to unwind, ideal for all the people that look for a way to relax, focus on something else, a luxurious and enjoyable hobby that requires patience and attention to detail. So why not giving it a try?
To help you choose amongst the huge variety of choices, head over to our variety pack section. We've curated a beginner starter pack that includes a cutter and a selection of the best cigars on the market. The pack is beginner-friendly and offers a wide range of shapes, smoking times, and straightforward flavors from different countries and terroirs. This starter pack will help you discover what you love and embark on a lifelong journey of enjoying premium cigars. Remember, smoking cigars is not just about the cigar itself, but also about the people you share them with, the memories you create, and the experiences you'll never forget.