When starting to smoke cigars, many beginners aren’t sure how to get the most enjoyable experience. The truth is that while there’s no one ‘right’ way to smoke a cigar, there are proper practices that make smoking easier and more enjoyable. Here are four expert tips to help you enjoy a better cigar smoking experience:
1. For Beginners, Smaller Isn’t Always Better
If you’re a cigar novice or prefer a milder experience, don’t make the mistake of assuming that smaller cigars will be less intense. In fact, because your mouth is closer to the flame with shorter cigars, it can actually be a harsher experience. To avoid coughing up a lung, choose longer, thinner cigars, which are usually milder, and choose a lighter blend rather than darker if you have the option.
2. Toast the Foot
As soon as you cut the cigar, the first thing you’re supposed to do is toast the foot, or the far end of the cigar that you’ll be lighting. To do this, hold the cigar at an approximately 45-degree angle and hold the flame beneath the foot, being careful not to light the wrapper further down from the tip. The reason for this is that you want to dry out the filler leaves in the foot, which is necessary because cigars are stored in a humid environment. By drying out and ‘toasting’ these filler leaves first, you’ll be able to light your cigar more easily and evenly for the best possible smoking experience.
3. Don’t Let Ash Accumulate
While it might seem fun to let as much ash build up on the end before tapping it off, this often leads to the ash falling off onto your lap or the floor. Once the length of the ash reaches an inch or so, you’ll want to tap it gently into an ashtray, or onto the lawn if one isn’t available (premium cigars are all-natural and biodegradable.) If the ash won’t dislodge, just continue puffing on the cigar and tap it again shortly–this isn’t an issue, and can actually be a sign of a good cigar.
4. Relight Quickly
If your cigar does go out, which will happen at some point, it’s important to relight it quickly while it’s still warm. If you try to re-light a cold cigar, there will be smoke or ash in the barrel that can worsen the taste. Taste is perhaps the most important quality of a good cigar, so re-light yours quickly if it goes out, or light up a new one if you have to.
By following these simple bits of advice, you can enjoy the best possible smoking experience. Even if you’re a complete beginner to cigars, don’t worry; as long as you follow the basic rules, exactly how you smoke a cigar is of little importance. Anyway, you get more experience smoking cigars, you’ll likely find a method that you prefer.