How to Smoke Cigars with Newbie Friends
Montecristo Edmundo Cigars
PASSION. PATIENCE. PLUS THE RIGHT HABANO
Their nervous – you’re devoted. They try to imitate film icons smoking – you try to relax as they hold their cigar like a cigarette. Introduce your friends to cigars the right way – they’ll invite you to smoke their Cuban Cigars in the future. Show them wrong, and they’ll rebut your passion. Smoking a cigar with newbie friends is a delicate undertaking, with some skilful finesse on your part.
BASIC ETIQUETTE RULES – As a connoisseur, you know the delicacy of ash. You understand cigars are not a quick luxury you put to your lips as though you’re eating an ice-lolly before it melts. It's valuable for people new to smoking cigars, to comprehend basic etiquette first, before receiving a full education. Demonstrate how to cut and light a cigar, and then slowly give guidance (using yourself as an example) on a selection of rules as they familiarise themselves with new flavours and complexities. Importantly, notify them not to inhale. Speaking to Darius Namdar – World Habanosommelier champion 2018 at Mayfair's Luxurious Annabel's, he told us about the importance of sharing the same cigar as your guests. “Generally speaking, you should smoke the same cigar that you’re giving them. And if you’re not going to smoke the cigar you’re giving them, at least take that band off your cigar so they don’t know”. We at EGM Cigars advise the same. Choose a cigar for them, that you’re also happy to smoke. It adds a layer of camaraderie.
SHARING YOUR DEVOTION – Not many people are aware of the lengthy process to create cigars. Particularly with habanos – hand-crafted and made the same way for more than a hundred years. If you want your friends to treat their cigar as a piece of art, and not as a cigarette they once smoked, help them to realise this emphasis. As Darius remarked - when discussing why you shouldn’t stub a cigar out, “you want to pay a bit more respect to the fact this is a hand grown product that’s probably started its life seven years ago”. We encourage sharing some fascinating facts on the history of the cigar brand you give to your friends to smoke. Writing about Partagas Cigars, we uncovered how the creator – Jaime Partagas, fulfilled his tobacco dream in Cuba, shortly before he was murdered. The scandalous lives of some of the biggest cigar brand creators, merely adds to the intrigue and fascination of cigars, thus helping to turn a beginner to an enthusiast.
Top Left: Trinidad Coloniales Cigar, Bottom Left: Fonseca KDT Cadetes Cigar, Right: Jose L. Piedra Cremas Cigar
"Avoid temptation to offer cigars with a hefty ring"
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CIGAR – The most crucial component to consider. While it’s rare anyone’s first smoke is spot-on perfect, you want to try and get at least close. Avoid temptation to offer cigars with a hefty ring gauge and impressive length. Also avoid the obvious route of simply selecting a mild cigar. Consider whether your friend(s) have smoked any form of tobacco before, as well as the profile taste and strength of their preferred drinks. For a true tobacco beginner, a light Fonseca KDT Cadetes Cigar is a wise choice. The habano has a beautiful flavour of wood and earth tones, and is shaped in a pleasant 115mm by 36 ring gauge. For a stronger strength of flavour, a Jose L. Piedra Cremas Cigar is suggested. A more affordable Cuban cigar to share with friends, this habano has a nice draw – builds up gradually, is only 136mm in length by a 40 ring gauge, and delivers hints of spice and coffee near the end, without being overpowering. As a great all-rounder though, a Trinidad Coloniales Cigar is loved by both novice and expert. The flavours are well-balanced; the construction is immaculate, and the smooth coffee and cedar notes makes for a delicious smoke.
Photos from the annual event Amigos de Partagas in Cuba
"A cigar pairing is not just about drinks"
THE PERFECT DRINK PAIRING – It’s helpful to find a drink your friend(s) regularly enjoy. This will ease their nerves. When it comes to pairing, there’s a useful tip we learned from Darius Namdar, on our interview for Best Cigar and Tea Pairings. “If the liquor of choice or the spirit or the tea/coffee of choice is too strong, and it’s going to overpower the cigar, it’s going to be much harder to make a pairing with that… I think you start from an educated starting point of – I need to choose something that’s kind of like for like, or at least something that will stack up to its counterpart in the pairing, and then start to play around a bit.” On our blog, we have included a guide on one of the most classic pairings: Cigars and Spirits. A cigar pairing is not just about drinks nevertheless, there’s music, ambiance and food – preferably light snacks like olives and nuts during, to prepare for.
Browse though our cigars for sale online now, to find your perfect smoke – both for you and your cigar newbie friends – hopefully soon joining you as cigar connoisseurs.