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Cigar Tip: Take Time to Smoke

24 May 2011

[Editors’ Note: In celebration of the five-year anniversary of, we’re updating and re-publishing some of our oldest articles, many of which focused on cigar basics. Our hope is to encourage a discussion among readers and reacquaint the community with important cigar fundamentals.]

I know it’s a cliché but, let’s face it, there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Especially if you’re a cigar enthusiast. Between work, commutes, showers, errands, friends and family, chores, three square meals, taxes, and all the other responsibilities us grown-ups shoulder, how exactly is a human supposed to set aside an hour (well, more reasonably, 90 minutes or more) to enjoy some premium tobacco?

But we must do it. We must smoke cigars. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t regularly take a break with a fine cigar, I’m just not that pleasant to be around. Not because I’m addicted to the leaf (I don’t know one cigar smoker who is), but because I need to unwind. I need to keep my blood pressure at a reasonable level.

And what better way to do that than with a fine, hand-crafted cigar? With the exception of fishing, there’s no other hobby that requires its participant to sit so patiently for so long.

Granted, you can always smoke and golf, walk, drive, or whatever, but I’ve always found that the best way to get the most out of your cigar is to put the rest of the world on hold and just smoke. Finding the time is the tricky part.

Speaking of time, be sure to take your time while you smoke. Smoke slowly. Cigar enjoyment is not a race, and there’s no prize for finishing first.

Besides, in order to “cook” the tobacco at the right temperature, you should try to limit your puffs to a couple per minute. You see, when you puff you’re caramelizing the sugars in the tobacco to bring out the flavors. If you puff too often, the temperature will rise, the tobacco will cook too fast, and the smoke may get hot and harsh.

I find this is especially true with full-bodied smokes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone sucking down a ligero-laden cigar like it’s going out of style. I can’t imagine that’s enjoyable. Most things, cigar smoking included, aren’t nearly as pleasant if rushed.

Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

3 Responses to “Cigar Tip: Take Time to Smoke”

  1. Ethan K Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    good advice, except that a couple of puffs per minute has proven to be too many for me; better about 1 a minute

  2. Gary Korb Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Great post Patrick, and agreed. You need to be patient with a cigar. There's a guy we work with here at Famous; we call him "The Chimney."

  3. Poppy Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    AMEN!! There is nothing else that covers the emotional spectrum. If you’re elated, you have a cigar to celebrate. If you are down, you have a cigar to console your being. Either way you set back and savor the pleasure alone with your thoughts. I bet if you looked real close, you could see the second hand on the clock slow down.