Posted September 02, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Culture.
Cigar Size, Shape, Color, Storage, Cutting and Lighting
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Helpful Cigar Tips
Cigar sizes are presented on inches for the length followed by a number - the ring number. This means that a cigar is ring 44, the cigar thick is 44/64 of an inch.
You can find from smaller cigars of ring 26 to the larger ones produced today over an inch — ring 66.
Cigars can be divided on two categories: those with straight sides - parejos - and those with irregular shapes - figurados.
Parejos are the most common cigars, those that the majority of smokers is most familiar. In this category you can find most of Cigar Sizes usual on the market - Coronas, Churchills, Robustos, Double Coronas, Panatelas, Londsdales.
Figurados, the ones with irregular shapes, can be recognized by the following types:
Pyramid have a pointed closed end and widens to an open foot. Torpedo also with a pointed head, has a more closed foot. Perfecto has both heads closed. Culebra has three panatelas twisted together. Diademas is a big cigar with eight inches, with one or both heads closed like perfecto.
Cigar colors are determined by the outside leaf - the wrapper - and are generally divided on six different categories.
Maduro Dark brown, like black coffee. Traditional Havana color, with a rich flavor, sweet taste.
Colorado maduro Dark brown, aromatic, with a rich flavor, used on the best Honduran cigars.
Colorado Reddish dark brown, aromatic, used by Cameroon wrappers on well matured cigars.
Colorado Claro Medium Brown, used on some Dominican Republic brands.
Claro Pale brown, also called natural, neutral flavor, used on Connecticut shade wrappers.
Double claro Greenish brown , called candela and AMS - American Market Standard, with wrappers that haven’t achieved maturity. Very mild, bland.
To keep your cigars in perfect conditions, they must be in very similar conditions of the semi-tropical environment, this means that you should keep them at around 18ºC (65ºF), and with a humidity level near 70%.
Cigar storage is very important to avoid that cigars will lose their properties, losing aroma and becoming dry.
If you are a regular smoker, a humidor will keep your cigars in perfect conditions. Humidors are fitted with a hygrometer to control humidity and keep your cigars under recommended humidity conditions.
Before smoking the hand made cigars need to be cut at the closed end.
This operation can be done with a cigar cutter guillotine or a cigar scissor. Some use also a knife, but to achieve a good cut is very important that the cutter chosen is sharp.
The cut must take off about two millimeters of the cap, at the top of the curve of the cigar closed end. This way you will not damage the wrapper.
To light a cigar is recommended that you choose a butane lighter or matches. There are some big and slow burning matches, but generally cigar smokers make a small bundle of two to four matches and let the sulfur burn. Gas lighters are not recommended because the odor that can be smelled, or felt, on first puffs.
Some smokers start lightning the cigar at 45 degrees angle, dancing with flame on is foot, and at he same time rotating the cigar to be sure that will have it light all around.
You can also help this procedure by blowing through the cigar. This will also prevents you from having a puff with lighter gases, or sulfur from the matches.
By the other end, others prefer first to hold them horizontally in contact with flame waiting until the end is equally burned and then putting the cigar on the lips.
With the first puffs and rotating the cigar you will have control of lightning and at the same time, regulate the burn to be equal on all the foot.
To not overheat the cigar, and spoil its flavor, do not puff it frequently. If it goes out, tap the cigar to remove the ash and relight it. With the lighter put the wrapper similar on all is perimeter and then, light it again like you had a new one in hand.
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