Cigar Smoking

Don’t Get Burned: 9 Essential Beginner Tips for Cigar Smoking


Hey there, fellow aficionados! Are you ready to embark on your journey into cigar smoking? Whether you’re a curious newcomer or a young gentleman looking to refine your smoking skills, this guide is tailored just for you. In this article, we’ll explore nine essential cigar tips for beginners, ensuring that your first smoke is a memorable and enjoyable experience. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the wonderful realm of cigars.

Understanding Cigars – The Basics

What Makes Cigars Special

When it comes to cigars, they stand in a league of their own. Unlike cigarettes, which are typically inhaled, cigars are meant to be savored. They are hand-rolled with a combination of tobacco leaves and feature a distinctive wrapper, binder, and filler. These components work together to create a unique flavor profile and smoking experience.

The Importance of Size and Shape

Cigars come in various sizes and shapes, which influence their smoking characteristics. From robustos to torpedos and everything in between, each size offers a different smoking experience. Similarly, the shape of the cigar, such as a parejo or a figurado, affects how the smoke is drawn and the flavors are released. Exploring different sizes and shapes will allow you to find your preferred smoking style.

Selecting the Right Cigar

Start with Milder Cigars

As a beginner, it’s best to begin with milder cigars to get accustomed to the flavors and strength. Look for cigars labeled as “mild” or “medium” to ease yourself into the experience. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the journey, not overpower your senses.

Consider Flavor Profiles and Strengths

Cigars come in a wide range of flavor profiles, from creamy and nutty to spicy and woody. Experiment with different flavors to find the ones that suit your taste preferences. Additionally, pay attention to the strength of the cigar, ranging from mild to full-bodied. It’s advisable for beginners to start with milder strengths and gradually work their way up.

Exploring Reputable Cigar Brands

When selecting cigars, it’s always a good idea to explore reputable brands known for their quality and consistency. Brands such as Arturo Fuente, Oliva, and Romeo y Julieta are excellent starting points for beginners. Remember, each brand offers a unique experience, so don’t hesitate to try a variety and discover your favorites.

Proper Storage and Humidity Control

The Significance of Humidity

Proper storage is vital to maintain the quality of your cigars. Cigars require a specific humidity level to ensure they stay fresh and flavorful. Ideally, aim for a humidity level between 65% and 70%. Too much humidity can lead to mold growth, while too little can dry out the cigars. It’s essential to strike the right balance.

Using a Humidor

Investing in a humidor is the best way to store and protect your cigars. A humidor creates a controlled environment with the ideal humidity level. It’s like a safe haven for your precious cigars. Make sure to season your humidor properly before storing your cigars to ensure optimal conditions.

Alternative Storage Options

If a humidor is not within your reach just yet, there are alternative storage options available. You can use airtight Tupperware containers with a humidification device or even a ziplock bag with a humidification packet. While these options may not offer the same level of precision as a humidor, they can still maintain humidity to some extent.

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Preparing and Cutting the Cigar

The Art of Cutting

Before you can enjoy your cigar, you’ll need to cut it. There are different types of cutters available, such as guillotine cutters and punches. The key is to make a clean cut to ensure a smooth and even draw. Experiment with different cutting techniques and find the one that works best for you.

Toasting the Foot

To light your cigar, it’s essential to toast the foot first. Hold the flame close to the foot of the cigar without touching it. Rotate the cigar to evenly warm the tobacco. This process helps in achieving an even burn and enhances the overall smoking experience.

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Lighting and Smoking Techniques

Lighting with Care

When it comes to lighting your cigar, avoid using regular cigarette lighters. Opt for a butane torch or wooden matches instead. The clean burn of butane or the natural flame of matches ensures a pure taste without interfering with the flavors of the tobacco.

Puffing with Poise

Smoking a cigar requires a relaxed and measured approach. Take slow, gentle puffs, allowing the flavors to develop on your palate. Avoid inhaling the smoke into your lungs; instead, let it swirl in your mouth and savor the unique taste. Take your time and enjoy the moment.

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Appreciating the Flavors and Aromas

The Journey of Flavors

Cigars offer a captivating range of flavors and aromas. As you smoke, you’ll notice subtle shifts in taste, from earthy notes to hints of cocoa, coffee, or even spices. Pay attention to these nuances and allow yourself to be immersed in the journey of flavors.

Pairing with Beverages

To enhance your smoking experience, consider pairing your cigar with a complimentary beverage. Whiskey, coffee, and even certain types of tea can beautifully complement the flavors of cigars. Experiment with different pairings to find the combinations that delight your taste buds.

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Etiquette and Social Aspects

Respect for Others

When enjoying a cigar in social settings, be mindful of those around you who may not appreciate the smoke. Be considerate and choose designated smoking areas whenever possible. It’s important to respect non-smokers and maintain good etiquette.

Sharing the Experience

Cigar smoking can be a social activity. When in the company of fellow cigar enthusiasts, don’t hesitate to share the experience. Offer to light their cigars, engage in conversation about your shared passion, and exchange recommendations. Cigar smoking can create connections and foster friendships.

Caring for Your Cigar Accessories

Maintenance and Cleaning

To ensure the longevity of your cigar accessories, proper maintenance is essential. Clean your cigar cutter and lighter regularly to remove any residue or buildup. This will ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Removing Cigar Odors

Cigar smoke can leave lingering odors on your clothes, hands, and accessories. To combat this, wash your hands thoroughly after smoking and consider using odor-neutralizing sprays or wipes. You can also place charcoal or baking soda in your cigar storage area to absorb any lingering smells.


Congratulations, my friend! You’ve now familiarized yourself with the essential cigar tips for beginners. Remember, cigar smoking is a journey of exploration and enjoyment. Take your time, experiment with different flavors and brands, and develop your palate. With these beginner tips in your arsenal, you’re well on your wayto becoming a confident cigar aficionado. Remember to choose milder cigars as a beginner, select reputable brands, and properly store your cigars to maintain their quality. When it comes to cutting and lighting, take your time and savor the experience. Appreciate the diverse flavors and aromas, and consider pairing your cigar with a complimentary beverage. And finally, always practice good etiquette and respect for others. Enjoy your journey into the world of cigars, and may each smoke be a moment of relaxation and indulgence. Cheers!

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