Sunday, August 15, 2010

Maintaining A Cigar Humidor

The great thing about wooden cigar boxes is they can look really nice sitting on top of your office desk and obviously that they keep your favorite cigars fresh. On the negative side however is the that they do need a little maintenance from time to time.

Cigar humidors require hygrometers which are measuring devices used to calculate the amount of humidity in the air. The ideal humidity inside your cigar humidor is between 64-72% humidity. When your hygrometer dips to 64 or below relative humidity, it's time to moisten your humidifier with some distilled water.

A common mistake made by many novices is they use regular tap water or drinking water for the humidifier and you don't want to do that because of the minerals and other impurities found in regular water. Always use distilled water.

Another mistake some beginners make is they soak their humidifier in the distilled water. Again you just want to moisten the humidifier and then give it a few hours to see where the humidity goes.

Another to note about cigar humidors is there location. You want to keep them away from direct sun light and you also want to keep them away from any electronics because they generate a lot of heat. Ideally your cigar humidor will be in a cool and dark place with the temperature somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How To Cut, Light and Smoke a Cigar

Most fine cigars are made with a cap on the end. This is done to protect the freshness of the tobacco inside the cigar as well as to prevent the cigar from falling apart. In order to smoke your cigar you'll have to cut off a piece on this capped end and you’ll have to be careful if you don’t want to ruin your cigar. It’s a great idea to buy a guillotine style cigar cutter when you buy your first few cigars because a tool like this will allow you to cut exactly where you need to and will make the job much easier.

The last thing you want to do with an expensive cigar is attempt to bite off the end with your teeth. This is a horrible idea and could result with your cigar falling apart in your hands while you try to smoke it. Most cigar cutters are pretty cheap coming in at around $5 and they are a good investment because cutting your cigar improperly could ruin your expensive cigar as mentioned previously. When cutting your cigar you want to try and notice the cap on the cigar end and when you cut your cigar you want to make sure to try and avoid the cap. Cutting at the cap or above the cap could cause your cigar to fall apart.

Most cigar connoisseurs recommend you cut about 1/16th or 1/8th of an inch from the capped end of the cigar but again what you definitely don’t want to do is cut at the cap line. There are also punch style cutters that don’t even require you to cut your cigar at all and in my experience these things form the perfect diameter hole for you to draw smoke from. With a punch style cutter all you do is push the cutter into the cigar and it makes a hole about the width of a ballpoint pen on the end and you don’t have to worry about cutting off your cap and ruining your cigar.

Lighting the cigar isn’t as complex as cutting the cigar but still there are a few intricacies that you should note. First of all you can light your cigar with anything but wooden matches are preferred by most connoisseurs. Wooden matches are ideal because they don’t have any fuel, like butane lighters, that could negatively affect the flavor and taste of your cigar.

Once you have a lighter or some wooden matches it’s time to light your cigar. When lighting your cigar you don’t want to actually let the flame touch your cigar. Rather you’ll want to keep it about an inch away and you’ll want to draw the flame into your cigar as your puff on the cigar. While you’re puffing and drawing on the cigar you’ll also want to rptate the cigar so that the whole end gets lit. Some cigars have a larger diameter so some may take longer then others. Larger cigars will take a few rotations but the key is to make sure your cigar is fully lit. You can ensure that the entire end is lit by taking a look at it and making sure that you have a nice red glow around the whole diameter of the end of the cigar.

While smoking your cigar you’ll want to make sure that you don’t smoke it too quickly. Smoking your cigar to fast or too aggressively will result in a cigar that burns hot and that will negatively affect the taste and flavor of the cigar.

Smoking a cigar is an art. You’ll have to experiment and determine the right timing between draws to get the best flavor and taste out of your cigar. But at the same time you also don’t want to allow too much time between smoking your cigar because it could go out if you don’t pay enough attention to it. There’s also a lot of discussion among connoisseurs regarding how much of the cigar you should actually smoke.

Personally my rule of thumb is to smoke the cigar for as long as you enjoy it. When the cigar starts tasting bad to you I say it’s time to put it down. For more tips on how to smoke a cigar, check out the video below.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Store Your Cigars Properly For The Best Taste And Flavor

Smoking a fine cigar is very quickly becoming the urban man’s best method for relaxing and unwinding after a good day of work. There’s really not much that compares to a fine cigar and brandy however the key to getting the most out of your cigar is keeping it fresh and to do that you have to keep it properly stored. A beautiful wooden cigar box will not only keep your cigars fresh but will also look really nice sitting atop your office desk.

Cigars have to be stored because they are hygroscopic and all that means is they adapt to the environment they're in. Proper cigar storage is critical for this reason because placing them in a dry environment will produce a dry cigar and a bad smoke. Cigars can be damaged by an environment that contains excessive moisture so it's best to keep them in storage in a really humid environment. The right percentage of humidity in the air is essential if you want the best out of your smokes.

A good sign of a cigar that is too moist is a cigar that won’t stay lit. If you're having a tough time drawing in smoke from the cigar, that's another sign that you have a bad cigar. Since you're a beginner we'll keep it simple. A cigar not stored at the right humidity level will be hard to smoke and enjoy.

Dry cigars just burn hot and taste bad. When cigars get dry they burn hot when you smoke them and it's because the cigar doesn't have the right amount of moisture to keep the cigar burning slow. The big problem with a dry cigar is that you don’t get to taste the natural flavors of the cigar because of the extreme heat. Follow the steps below to ensure the cigars you smoke are fresh and ready to smoke.

If you don't have a cigar humidor then you should limit yourself to 1-3 cigars on your first purchase. Keeping your cigars in their original packaging will keep them fresh a little longer then without.

If you really want to get the utmost out of your cigars then I highly recommend you pick up a cigar humidor. Try to keep your cigar's humidity level at about 60-70%. A hygrometer inside your humidor will let you know what the humidity level is inside your humidor. A hygrometer measures the amount of humidity in the air. Depending on where you live it's probably also a good idea to keep your humidor in a cool and dark place with the temperature in the mid 70's.

No doubt cigars are a great way to sit back and relax but to get the most out of those cigars it’s imperative to keep them fresh and to do that you need proper storage.

Friday, June 4, 2010

How To Choose Your First Few Cigars

If you’re a beginner to cigar smoking the very first thing you should do is buy a half-dozen different cigars to practice with. It’s not a good idea to purchase an entire box of cigars until you have a better idea of what type of cigars you prefer. Your best bet if you don’t know much about cigars is to ask your local tobacconist for his opinion on some good smokes for a beginner.

Your best bet when first getting started with cigars is choosing a few mild cigars to start with. The more full-flavored, or robust, cigars may be a little too much for you at this time. Mild cigars are also typically less expensive so that’s another plus for mild cigars for beginners.

Before you purchase your cigars you’ll want to inspect them first. You’re looking for fresh cigars that are rolled well. Take your prospective cigar and lightly roll it around your fingers and gently feel for hard or soft spots. You want a nice, even roundness to the cigar with a consistent firmness.

While rolling a cigar on my finger tips I also like to bring it closer to my ears and listen for any crackling type sounds indicating dryness or a cigar that is not fresh.

While looking at the wrapper of the cigar you’ll want to keep an eye out for color discolorations and cracks. Also keep in mind that mild cigars are generally lighter in color and have more a tan appearance then a dark brown one.

It’s important to note that cigars require storage in a very particular environment. If you do not own a cigar humidor, you do not want to buy more cigars then you can smoke within a few days. Make sure to leave the cigars in any type of containers they came in particularly cellophane packaging until you are ready to smoke them.

Never leave a cigar unprotected and exposed to the natural elements as this will cause it to dry out prematurely. If you have nothing else to store your cigars in you can always temporarily store them in a piece of Tupperware. Remember in order to get the most out of any cigar you’ll want them to be as fresh as possible.

Smoking cigars is an excellent way to relax after a long days work. Cigars are also a great way to celebrate special occasions. Get started the right way with the right cigars for someone who is just learning the nuances of smoking cigars for maximum pleasure and benefit.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Welcome To Cigar Geeks

Welcome to Cigar Geeks!

This is just an introductory post and i just wanted to talk a little bit about the premise behind the blog...

Basically A buddy and I got together since we're both big cigar fans but we're both just getting started and decided to start a review blog of sorts of different cigars that we smoke.

Whenever we decide to do a post we'll be doing so after smoking the same kind of cigar each and then we'll each post our own review.

As we learn more and more about cigars and storage we'll also be posting some of that info here so look out for that as well.