Why do people smoke cigars? Do cigars have nicotine? These are some of the most popular questions among cigar smokers. Cigars have nicotine, and since they can take up to two hours to smoke, they’re an excellent recreational activity.
You can smoke one with friends or alone as you reflect. However, there’s more to the story. There are more questions among cigar fans, like: how do you smoke cigars? How do you pick cigars? How do you cut cigars?
What’s the importance of cigar ageing? Do cigars have chemicals and additives? Let’s dive in and find out.
Smoking Should Be Relaxed And Slow
No one loves a bitter cigar. When you smoke fast and overheat your cigar, that’s exactly what you get, and unfortunately, the bitterness is irreversible.
Cigars are not cigarettes, so you should not puff them every half a minute.
If you’re wondering how long a cigar lasts when smoking, a 5-inch cigar should last you at least 45 minutes. That’s because a well-made cigar is constructed to burn slow and cool to offer flavour in a steady progression.
So, know when to stop smoking a cigar and leave the ash for as long as possible, which will help with temperature regulation. Though, you shouldn’t smoke too slowly as you’ll have to keep relighting it.
Cigar Smokers, Pick Your Cigars Well
To enjoy the full benefits of cigar smoking, you’ll need to choose wisely. You want to pick one that’s not too mild or too strong. Hence, knowing the strength level of your cigars prior to buying is critical.
A majority of cigar smokers, even those who do occasional cigar-smoking, know if they want a mild, medium, or strong cigar.
While there are smokers who want cigars full of flavor but not strong (medium-bodied), there’re those who want strong cigars full of heavy flavors (full-bodied). Powerful cigars contain Ligero tobacco, which are the darkest tobacco leaves that are rich and oily due to being exposed to direct sunlight.
Leaves that are less robust grow lower the tobacco plant’s stalk. They’re known for their better combustion and flavor.
One important thing that cigar smokers should keep in mind is the sangria effect, whereby the strength of the cigar sneaks up on you.
Light And Cut Like A Pro
If you’re not used to handmade cigars, you’ll need to know some basics of cutting and lighting. It would be best to cut the head before lighting as they’re not usually ready to smoke. Do not cut below the shoulder line as the cigar wrapper could unravel.
Know that cutting too little is also a problem. It causes the build-up of tar in the head, oozing into your mouth. However, you can always cut more when you cut little, but you can never take back an excessive cutting.
A charry taste is what you get when there’s too much direct contact between the flame and the tobacco. Avoid windy conditions, too, as they force you to use too much heat during lighting, resulting in the much avoided charry taste.
You’re not welding a pipe, so avoid robust torch lighters. Soft natural flames are best!
Aging Is Significant
Another thing cigar smokers should keep in mind is aging. This is done for both the cigar leaves after fermentation and the cigars after they’re made. The leaves are aged to bring out the desirable tobacco properties and offer maturity and polish, removing green notes or vegetal from the tobacco.
To know if tobacco hasn’t been fully aged, it tastes like raw green beans or freshly cut grass. But if the cigar smoke smells like orange blossom, raisin, and almond, it has aged well.
So how are tobacco leaves aged, you ask? They’re packed into bales to undergo a gradual breakdown of carotenoids.
After a consumer receives a box of tobaccos, they can decide to age them some more. This removes acidity, much like aging wine, giving the cigar a smooth, complex trait with rich flavor. A good cigar can age for decades, granted the humidity and temperature are stable the whole time.
But know that aging a sour cigar will only make it old and bitter. Also, aging cigars for too long will lose flavor and offer a dusty and flat taste.
Cigars Are An Artisanal And Natural Product
What makes cigars so unique is the fact that everything is natural without any chemical additives. The flavor is achieved through natural means.
Most consumables are not natural as they use preservatives to increase shelf life and sweeteners to boost flavor, which is not the case here. However, machine-made cigars will have chemicals and additives, much like cigarettes.
When it comes to crafting, an ideal handmade cigar needs artisanal skill and years of experience. More art, skill, and science are required to blend tobacco as weather can cause the crop to vary year after year.
Like other handmade products, no cigar is exactly the same as another. There will be minor differences caused by the skill of the cigar maker and natural causes that affect the cigar plant.
What’s The Conclusion?
Whether you smoke one cigar a week or ten a month, having these answers and tips will help you enjoy your favorite hobby. If you consider these things that cigar smokers should keep in mind, you will smoke quality cigars better. You will have plenty to share with your friends at the cigar bar. Happy smoking!