At Top Leaf Cigar Lounge, we welcome cigar smokers of all levels of experience, from long-term veterans to complete beginners. If you are curious about cigars and want to try smoking one for yourself, keep reading to get a basic overview of the proper cigar smoking technique.
- Choose – Before you can smoke a cigar, you will need to choose one. The best way to pick out a cigar that you will like is to ask the salesperson at your local shop for recommendations–they will be able to direct you to cigars that suit your tastes, and in many cases will even let you take a whiff of a few different options before you decide. On a more practical level, always make sure the cigars you choose are firm throughout and have no blemishes for a great smoking experience.
- Cut- The next thing you will need to do is cut off the end to expose the tobacco leaves. While it’s possible to do this with an ordinary knife, we highly recommend that you buy a proper cigar clipper instead, as this will give you the most even cut, which makes for the best smoking experience. Simply hold the clipper in your dominant hand, insert the head of the cigar (the end closer to the band), and squeeze to depress the blades.
- Light- The next step in mastering the art of cigar smoking is learning to light the cigar properly. We recommend using a torch lighter for this purpose, as these lighters produce the most even flames. Hold the cigar just above the flame and rotate it slowly to ignite the outer layers of tobacco. The goal here is to create a uniform orange glow—when you achieve this, your cigar is ready to smoke.
- Smoke- Now that you are ready for cigar smoking itself, first know that you should never inhale cigar smoke into your lungs. Instead, when you take a puff, simply let the smoke fill up your mouth, then exhale it. You will need to do this four or five times in a row after lighting up to get your cigar to produce a thick, white smoke. Once the cigar reaches this stage, you can slow down, puffing just once a minute or so to keep the burn going. The goal is to savor the experience, not to smoke the whole cigar as fast as possible.
- Ash – When smoking cigars, you can let the ash build up rather than tap it off immediately like you would on a cigarette. A long head of ash is a sign of quality in a cigar. However, don’t let it get too long (longer than about an inch), as too much ash will impede the airflow to the rest of the cigar. When you ash a cigar, gently roll it around in the ashtray until the ash breaks off.