If you want to get into smoking cigars, it can seem daunting if you don’t have any experience with them before. There is a huge variety of cigars, as well as something beyond a particular process for buying, storing, cutting, lighting, and actually smoking them. So let’s start with the basics, and we’ll give you some tips on how you can get into smoking cigars and exude swagger like you mean it.
Pick Mild Strength
Let’s start with picking your first cigars to smoke. Smoking cigars can be a bit of an acquired taste, but they come in a wide variety of flavors to choose from. The biggest problem will be unknowingly buying cigars that are very strong in nicotine, as it makes them taste more harsh and may make a beginner nauseous.
That’s why we advise beginners to start with milder cigars. The flavors are more subtle, so you won’t be overwhelmed to start with and can develop a discerning taste for them. Mild cigars aren’t just sold for beginners either — even people who have smoked cigars for decades can appreciate a good mild cigar based on their preferences.
Start with Smaller Sizes
It’s also a good idea to pick smaller sized cigars to start with. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by how long it takes to smoke larger ones, the same as it’s easy to get overwhelmed by stronger ones. When you’re just starting out and don’t yet know what types and flavors you like, you don’t want to pick big ones and wind up not liking the ones you chose.
So when you start out, pick smaller cigars. That way you can start to get an idea of what flavors you like in smaller doses. Once you start figuring out what you like, you can get bigger cigars that you know you already like so you can really appreciate them more.
Mix and Match
When you start out smoking cigars, it’s a good idea to go to a shop and spend some time talking with the people there for a short while. Tell them what flavors you tend to like outside of cigars and trust them to make some recommendations. Give them a good smell to see if you like the scent, and pick out a few smaller, milder individual cigars that you think you’ll like the best.
Don’t start out getting a box of a bunch of one type or flavor of cigars, for the same reason you shouldn’t start by getting bigger cigars — you don’t know yet that you’ll like them. Picking out a few different individual cigars to start with means you won’t spend that much money at the beginning, and it lets you experiment to determine what you like and what you don’t. When you go back, talk with the people at the shop again to report back about what you liked and disliked the most. Experiment some more, but by now you’ll start having more of an idea of what you know you will like.
Keep a Starting Budget
When it comes to starting to buy cigars and accessories, don’t blow your budget. It’s harder to keep an open mind when you spend a lot of money and the first cigars you try are ones you don’t like that much. Just like you shouldn’t start by buying a box, don’t splurge on expensive humidors, lighters, cutters, and so on. Get the basics of what you need and nothing more.
For example, instead of a sophisticated humidor you can get a more affordable airtight Tupperware container with a humidifier and hygrometer put inside. Instead of getting expensive lighters before you know how to properly light cigars, get some basic matches or a simple, cheap lighter that an expert can vouch for as a good starting lighter.
Light It Right
After choosing a smaller, milder cigar that you think will have a flavor you will like, you can accidentally ruin the flavor if you don’t light it properly. If you use a lighter, make sure it is a butane lighter instead of a regular one that has traditional lighter fluid. Similarly, don’t use sulfur matches — the sulfur and regular lighter fluid will ruin the flavor of the cigar.
If you have a friend or family member to help you get started, take them to a shop with you to get your first cigars and basic accessories. Talk with them and the people at the shop to hear a variety of tips and opinions, and make your choices based on what you think you’ll like.
About the Author:
Paul Agelidis has been the founder and owner of Revolucion, a Canadian cigar, tobacco and men’s gift shop in Vancouver, since 2005. For the last decade Paul has worked very hard to become an expert in tobacco products, men’s care, travel & accessories, body & bath, and gifts & home. Prior to 2005, from 1997 – 2005 Paul worked in the wholesale cigar industry and travelled to the annual cigar trade show (Habanos Festival every February). He loves to share his tips with others who are looking to achieve a complete lifestyle with the finer things in life.
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