If, by any chance, you find yourself in the company of important businessmen, after an important meeting in an important restaurant – chances are that much bigger that you will be offered a cigar.
And just like the cigar has been wrapped, this is your opportunity to wrap up the deal.
What to do if you haven’t smoked cigars very often, or possibly – never?
There are a couple of tips on how to behave and what to do so the situation can be overturned in your direction, nevermind if you’re with business partners or with your friends.
Firstly and mostly, if you don’t have any medical conditions against this – do not, ever, refuse the cigar.
This enterprise will immediately gain good will with the cohort and provide you some time to investigate the cigar. At gothamcigars.com you can check all kinds of different types, intensities, varieties and excellencies. This is also where you can find out about different categories of cigars based on their shapes and sizes and that for each of them comes a proper cutting device.
Based on shapes and sizes the most important are:
- Traditional cigars or Parejos – these are the most common type of shape, with a cylindrical body, straight sides, one end open, and a round tobacco-leaf “cap” on the other end that must be sliced off.
- Tapered or Figurado cigars – these irregularly shaped cigars are known as figurados and are often priced higher than traditional ones because they are more difficult to make. The shapes can be torpedo, pyramid, perfecto and presidente.
Depending on the shape of the cigar, these are some of the most common tools:
- Guillotine Cutter (aka Straight Cutter)
- V Cutter
- Punch Cutter
- Cigar Scissors
- Cigar Piercer
The Parejos are usually cut with a guillotine cutter, although you can use a V-cutter and punch too, while for Figurados are used deep V-cutters.
The skill of cutting the cigar must be rehearsed and for many cigar smokers it is still a troublesome art.
Good thing is that the cigar can be spruced up without cutters as well and so by using your thumbnail, slicing it, poking and lastly, biting it. Just be careful you are not cutting too much under the head. Least you want is to cigar to unravel because you’ve cut it too low or to burn too hot and fast because you’ve cut it too wide.
So, make sure to practice beforehand or at least recognize which device you are being offered, in case you didn’t bring your own (think in advance).
The last thing you can do is to carefully observe what others are using and doing.
Whether using a wooden (not cardboard!) match, butane lighter, or cedar spill, the lighting ritual is the same.
- It starts with toasting the foot of the cigar – this is done holding the cigar at a 45-degree angle, applying heat to the foot of the cigar while rotating a few times in order to warm the tobacco. It is absolutely important not to let the flame touch the tobacco and the cedar wrapper, but to hold for about 10 seconds until the tip is just blackened (toasted).
- Next you want to light the cigar – if you’ve toasted the foot of the cigar properly, three long draws is all you need to ensure the perfect light.
- Make sure you have an even lit – check the foot of the cigar by gently puffing at it and, if needed, relight it again. This happens, and you don’t need to worry, just heat the part which isn’t lit nicely.
- Remember to puff and not to inhale – the proper way to smoke a cigar involves inhaling the smoke into your mouth not lungs, and then exhaling.
- Lastly, don’t try to knock off the ash. Let it fall on its own or leave it to grow to about an inch before tapping off, along the edge.
First-time smokers often feel pain or burning in their throat and lungs, and some even feel sick the first few times they try tobacco. Hopefully, you will have some sort of liquid near you and this nuisance can be prevented by taking a couple of sips and by practicing puffing, not inhaling.
In whatever the situation you find yourself in, whatever the cigar and tool you choose and use, remember that the posture is everything, make sure to have confidence and to, why not, practice the art and enjoyment of smoking the cigar privately first. This will probably involve making more than a few mistakes along the way.
And fear not, mastering needs experience and training, careful observation and a reminder that smoking cigars is all about relaxing, enjoying the company of friends and colleagues and savoring the taste and complexities of the handcrafted thing you’re holding between your fingers.