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Havana Factory

The Havana cigar factory today is much as it was when the art of cigar making was standardized in the mid-19th century and the production of cigars became industrialized. There are only eight factories making handmade cigars in Cuba today (compared with 120 at the beginning of the century). read more...
Cigar Sizes

There are countless cigar sizes. Cuba alone produces 69, 2 of which are for handmade Havanas. Each has a factory name, which usually bears no relationship to the name by which we know them, like Prominente (Double Corona), Julieta 2 (Churchill), Mareva (Petit Corona), Franciscano, Carolina, and so on. Some brands, Partagas for example, have 40 sizes, though several are machine-made. This is a throwback to the past when many selections were even larger. More modern brands such as Cohiba and Montecristo have just 11 sizes. Non-Havana brands tend to offer more manageable lines, although many, like Davidoff, which now boasts 19 sizes, have started to grow.
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Cigar Structure

Handmade cigars have three constituent parts: the filler, the binder, and the wrapper. Each of the parts has a different function when the cigar is actually smoked.
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Cigar Chart

Cigar Chart
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Making Cigar

In making a handmade cigar, two to four filler leaves (depending on the size and strength of the cigar) are laid end to end and rolled into the two halves of the binder leaves, making up what is called the "bunch". Great skill is required to make sure that the filler is evenly distributed so that the cigar will draw properly. Wooden molds are used into which the filler blend (rolled into the binder) is pressed by the "bunchers", with a mechanical press then used to complete the process. read more...
Hand made Cigars

The essential difference between handmade and machine-made cigars lies in the fact that, on the whole, most machine-made cigars aren't made with long fillers.  Fillers, that is, which run the whole length of the cigar, thus making the drawing and burning qualities (they burn faster and become hotter) of the machine-mades significantly inferior. Some machine-made brands, Bering for instance, use long fillers, making them better but still inferior to handmade cigars. The quality of wrappers on machine-made cigars is also usually inferior to those used on the best handmades.
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Cigar Band

The cigar band was introduced by the Dutchman, Gustave Bock, one of the first Europeans to get involved in the Havana cigar industry, somewhat after the introduction of the cigar box and labels, and for the same reason: to distinguish his brand from the many others on the market. read more...
Cigars History

Nobody knows for sure when the tobacco plant was first cultivated, but there is little doubt about where. The native peoples of the American continent were undoubtedly the first not only to grow, but to smoke the plant, which probably first came from the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. It was certainly used by the Maya of Central America, and when the Maya civilization was broken up, the scattered tribes carried tobacco both southward into South America, and to North America, where it was probably first used in the rites of the Mississippi Indians. It didn't come to the attention of the rest of the world until Christopher Columbus' momentous voyage of 1492.
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Cigars Map

PINAR DEL RIO and VUELTA ABAJO, CUBA read more...
Growing

The following passage is specifically for Havana cigars, but the process is, broadly speaking, similar elsewhere.
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Cigars Box

Cigars were originally sold in bundles covered with pigs bladders (with a pod or two of vanilla to improve the smell); then came the use of the large cedar chests, holding up to 10,000 cigars.
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Storing Cigars

Cigars, like any natural product, need to be carefully kept. They should be protected from extremes of temperature and kept in a humidified environment, ideally at 60-70 degrees F with 65-70 percent humidity. This may be difficult to achieve, particularly in air-conditioned or centrally heated homes. read more...
Smoking Cigar

All handmade cigars need to be cut at the closed end before they can be smoked. Just how you do this is up to you. There are a number of cutters on the market ranging from small, cheap, easily portable guillotines (which come in single or double blade versions, the latter being the best); to fancy cigar scissors which need some skill to use properly. You can also use a sharp (which is essentially) knife. Or, if you use your fingernails, you just pinch off the very top of the cap. read more...
Cigar Wrappers

Cigar wrappers can be classified into seven basic colors, although there are dozens of possible shades:
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Selecting Cigar

As a general rule, cigars with larger ring gauges tend to be fuller flavored (there is normally more ligero and less volado in the blend), smoke more smoothly and slowly, and heat up slower than those with small ring gauges. They also tend to be better made than the smaller ones (which are the sizes recently qualified apprentices start on).
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Reviving Cigar

If cigars are very dry, they will be difficult to revive satisfactorily. But, essentially, if moisture can escape from a cigar, it can also be replaced.  read more...
Cigar Dossier Book

These mellow mild to medium cigars (not too different from the rival Macanudo) are made in the Dominican Republic with claro and colorado claro wrappers. read more...
Cigars Collection

The only serious collectors market for cigars is in pre-revolutionary Havanas. There, they demand premium prices, about 5 or 6 times higher than the current retail price. read more...
Buying Cigar

When you buy a box of handmade cigars (certainly Havanas) you should ask to open the box to check the contents. No decent cigar merchant should refuse. If he does, he either doesn't know his business, or there is probably something wrong with the cigars. The first judgment to make is purely visual: they have to look good. Make sure that the cigars are all of the same color. read more...
Cigars Accessories

A cigar smoker can choose a wide variety of accessories that enhance the smoking experience. read more...
Cigar Accessories

What is a Cigar Accessory?
 
Cigar accessories are products that enhance your cigar smoking experience. The major items are humidors, cigar cutters, cigar cases, and cigar lighters. Then there are those cigar related products that cigar smokers and those around them enjoy. These include cigar holders, ashtrays, cigar smoke eliminators and cigar themed gift items. Even cigar books and magazines are considered an accessory for cigar smokers.
 
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Cigars Collection

The only serious collectors market for cigars is in pre-revolutionary Havanas. There, they demand premium prices, about 5 or 6 times higher than the current retail price. The best place to find them is in London, because of the old tradition of laying down large cigar reserves at the main cigar shops. These cigars usually come onto the market when someone realizes that he will never get through the reserve, or when he dies (sometimes there is no obvious beneficiary). They are particularly attractive to American smokers, who have been able to buy and import them with a clear conscience since the trade embargo was imposed on Cuba in 1962. Unopened boxes are the most sought-after, as are sizes and brands which have now disappeared.
 
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Cigar clothing

Cigar smoking has gained prominence in the last decade all over the world. Not only has it resurrected as a habit but as a culture itself. There are many cigar manufacturers and cigar brands springing up all over the United States, and most of them manufacture an assortment of cigar accessories that have totally revolutionized the lives of cigar lovers. read more...
Handmade VS Machine made cigars

The essential difference between handmade and machine-made cigars lies in the fact that, on the whole, most machine-made cigars aren't made with long fillers.  Fillers, that is, which run the whole length of the cigar, thus making the drawing and burning qualities (they burn faster and become hotter) of the machine-mades significantly inferior. Some machine-made brands, Bering for instance, use long fillers, making them better but still inferior to handmade cigars. The quality of wrappers on machine-made cigars is also usually inferior to those used on the best handmades. read more...
Havana Factories

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Cigar Band

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Cigar Boxes

Cigars were originally sold in bundles covered with pigs bladders (with a pod or two of vanilla to improve the smell); then came the use of the large cedar chests, holding up to 10,000 cigars. read more...
Urban Stories about Cigars

An urban legend is a kind of modern folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them. The term is often used with a meaning similar to the expression "apocryphal story". read more...
Events to smoke

As a smoker, I can admit, that every occasion is a “smoking party” for me.
Two or three day before the occasion starts, I will go to my favorite store in order to purchase an appropriate cigar that will fit the specific occasion. read more...
Beetle Cigar

THERE IS NO MORE DEPRESSING SIGHT THAN, WHEN OPENING A BOX OF YOUR FAVOURITE HAVANAS, YOU FIND THE CIGARS INSIDE RIDDLED WITH HOLES.  IT MEANS THAT YOU HAVE SUFFERED AN ATTACK BY THE TOBACCO BEETLE. The term Tobacco Beetle garners several images in the heads of those who hear it. Some people may have an image of a beetle relaxing in a recliner, smoking a pipe and reading the Termite Times, others may picture tiny bugs festering on the leaves of tobacco plants, sniffing in the aroma of luxury. But, for the cigar lover, the term Tobacco Beetle produces a chilling image that is unmistakable: a bug, a humidor, and a big problem. read more...
The Winning Christmas Gift for Cigar Smokers

YES!!! It’s my favorite time of year… Christmas! Now everyone I’m tasked with coming up with a ‘list’ of things I want / need / don’t ever need / will use. So this year I decided to make a list that would serve a dual purpose. 1) It will make my list public incase any of you want to buy me something and 2) It will hopefully give some ideas to others out there that are shopping for their loved ones that happen to enjoy cigars. read more...
Cigar Gifts and Gift Ideas for Christmas

Christmas is a time of year when we gather with friends and family, planning meals and coming together to celebrate all that we are thankful for, making each day special. It’s a time for preparation and celebration. And for many, an exceptional, hand-rolled cigar is called for at these special occasions. read more...
Great Cigar Gift for the Holidays

If you’re shopping for the cigar lover on your holiday gift list, whether it’s for your husband, boyfriend, or your cigar smoking buddies, here is a great, mostly inexpensive item that I know I would enjoy receiving. read more...
Top Cigar Christmas Gifts For 2015

During the last couple of years, many new cigars and accessories were released that would make great gifts for cigar smokers. The new gift ideas in this article do not replace (but are in addition to) cigar gifts that were recommended during prior years. When giving a new cigar to a recipient who has not smoked that particular cigar before, we still recommend purchasing either sampler packs or several single cigars, instead of taking a chance on buying an entire box of cigars that your gift recipient might not fully enjoy. read more...
Top Gifts for Cigar Smokers

Let's start by saying that there is not one specific top cigar gift that would be suitable for every cigar smoker in the world. Therefore, the following list of top cigar gifts was composed emphasizing the criteria that should be used for selecting a particular type of gift for a particular type of cigar smoker. Although the specific top cigar gift picks that are listed should please most cigar connoisseurs, your particular selection(s) will be determined by how well you know the recipient of your gift. read more...
Christmas Gifts Don't Have to Be Bland. Consider This Idea

Christmas gift-buying season is upon us once again, and this year you don't want to wait until the last minute and buy a lame tie or an uninspired toaster. No, this year you want to do something unique and thoughtful. You want your Christmas gift to show someone you really care about them. You want it to be special. So for those of you that are looking for that special gift and not sure what to buy, Here is a perfect solution. Give cigars for Christmas this year! read more...
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