How to properly light a cigar. Items necessary for lighting cigars. Evaluation of indicators of quality and freshness of cigars from specialists.
Ivan Litvin teaches how to properly light a cigar.
- scissors (guillotine)
- matches (or gas lighter)
1. Get the cigar out of the package without touching it with your hands; you can only hold on to the cigar ribbon.
Expert commentary: We evaluate its appearance. The best indicator of quality is a glossy, slightly oily finish, indicating freshness. This is especially true for Cuban, Honduran and Nicaraguan cigars. This criterion is less effective in the case of cigars from Santo Domingo: oily sheen is not defining proof of even the most prestigious varieties.
2. Cut the head of the cigar with a firm and precise movement, making sure not to cut off excess. The cut location is where the curled leaves lie horizontally, parallel to each other. A small depression at the base of the head serves as a good reference point.
Expert comment: If the cut diameter is too small, the aromatic smoke will be difficult to move. Even tar and nicotine plugging is possible. Too wide a cut is not dangerous, but it will make the craving too free, which will lead to overly "hot" smoking. This is especially true for short robusto or obus cigars, in which the cut should be minimal.
Everyone decides at his own discretion how to cut the cigar - with scissors or a special guillotine:
Cigar scissors allow you to trim the cigar with almost surgical precision and cleanliness. They are expensive, but some cigar makers attach them to their products for free by attaching them to the lid of the box.
Drill (or punch) - items that are almost out of use when lighting cigars. However, recently, the fashion for them is returning. The gimbal is a small stainless steel cylinder in a leather or plastic case, sometimes it is made in the form of a key chain. With its help, a round hole is obtained in the head of the cigar. The gimbal must have a flawless cutting edge. The punch can only be used for traditional cigars, not curly
3. To light a cigar, you can use both matches and a lighter, but only a gas one. In this case, you need to make sure that the flame does not directly touch the leg of the cigar, which should be in your hands, between your thumb and forefinger, and not in your teeth. It must be held, slightly turning, until the heat of the fire transfers to the leg and spreads over the entire area. After that, bring the cigar to your mouth and, without stopping to rotate, take a few careful puffs. In this case, you can bring the source of fire to the leg of the cigar, but now not so close. The leg should turn red evenly. The cigar is ready!
Expert commentary: During smoking, the cigar may go out - this is not surprising, since the burning of a cigar, unlike a cigarette, must be constantly maintained. However, if the cigar is extinguished too often, this indicates its low quality. As soon as you notice that the cigar has gone out, carefully remove the ash from the end, using a match. Bring the fire to the resulting hollow and keep it for as long as necessary to evenly light the cigar throughout the entire diameter. Then gently draw in the smoke.
When a quality cigar burns, the ash repeats its shape or forms a mild cone. If a horn or crater forms at the end of the cigar, this may indicate a factory defect, as a result of which the tobacco leaves and wrapper leaves burn unevenly. Try cutting that cigar and lighting it again.
At the end of smoking, in no case try to extinguish the cigar yourself on the bottom of the ashtray. Just put it in the ashtray and let it go out on its own. The whole process will take no more than 2-3 minutes.
Photographer: Alex Kharadze