Cigars 101

Cigars 101: A Newcomer’s Guide to the First Puff

Cigars 101 are more than just expertly rolled tobacco leaves; they are a beautiful fusion of art, history, and sensory pleasure. To a newcomer, this vast realm of scents, tastes, and traditions might appear daunting. But, like any grand journey, having the right guide can turn challenges into delightful discoveries.

In this guide, we will break down the basics so you can easily navigate this intricate world. By the time you finish, you’ll be well-versed with the essentials and feel the passion and respect that fans hold for these crafted wonders.

So, continue reading!

Cigar Basics

Before delving into the world of cigars, it’s crucial to understand the fundamentals. As stated above, cigars are special rolls of tobacco leaves. They come in various sizes and flavors.

There are three main parts of a cigar: filler, binder, and wrapper. The wrapper is the outer leaf and affects taste a lot. Before smoking, you must cut the cigar’s tip. A good cut allows for smooth smoking.

And here’s a pro tip: remember, a cigar is not like puffing on a regular cigarette, as there’s no need to inhale deeply. Instead, let the smoke dance gently in your mouth, where you can savor its rich flavors and complexities. Cigars 101 is all about the taste, and this method allows you to appreciate their unique character fully.

Choosing Your First Cigar

Picking your first cigar is like selecting a fine piece of art.

1. Shape and Size

Start with understanding its shape and size. Cigars have two main measurements: length and “ring gauge,” which shows the diameter. For instance, a 50-ring gauge means its diameter is almost an inch. However, size doesn’t tell you about the cigar’s strength.

Furthermore, Parejos and Figurados are two shapes that you should know for a better experience. Most traditional cigars, straight in shape, are called “Parejos.” Even the flat-sided ones, known as box-pressed, are a type of Parejo.

On the other hand, the uniquely shaped “Figurados” can have forms like pyramids or torpedo bodies. These shapes offer a visual appeal and can subtly change the flavors as you smoke. So, when choosing, think about your flavor preference and the time you wish to relish it.

2. Color Matters

When selecting a cigar, you might first notice its color. But there’s a lot more depth than meets the eye. The hue of the cigar isn’t just about aesthetics; it offers a clue into its flavor profile and strength.

Lighter shades, often seen in Connecticut wrappers, hint at milder flavors, while dark, almost chocolatey wrappers like Maduro suggest richer, robust tastes. But it doesn’t end there. The shape, size, and even the origin of the tobacco play crucial roles in the smoking experience. The blend of tobacco inside, the age, and the craftsmanship all contribute to the character of each cigar.

So, next time you select a cigar, remember it’s more than just a color. If you are still perplexed or uncertain about which cigar to choose, seeking expert advice is your best action. Thus, visit your trusted and favorite cigar shop, where experts can guide you toward the perfect choice for your taste and preferences. Doing so will truly begin your cigar journey guided by the wisdom of those who have walked the path before you.

How To Enjoy Your First Cigar 101

1. Select Wisely

Your first encounter with a cigar should be memorable. Instead of diving into strong flavors, it’s recommended to start with a milder cigar.

A gentle introduction allows you to acquaint yourself with the nuances and tastes without being too overpowering. As you grow familiar, you can gradually explore bolder options.

2. Preparation

Before lighting up, the cigar needs a clean cut at the capped end. For this, a sharp cigar cutter is essential.

A precise cut ensures an even airflow and prevents the wrapper from unraveling, contributing to a seamless smoking experience.

3. Lighting Up

The method of lighting can significantly affect your cigar’s taste. Common lighters or matches might impart unwanted flavors. Instead, choose a cedar spill or a butane lighter.

When lighting, it’s crucial to rotate the cigar, ensuring the foot is evenly ignited. This helps maintain a consistent burn throughout.

4. The First Puff

Unlike cigarettes, cigars 101 aren’t meant for deep inhalation. Drawing the smoke deeply into your lungs can be harsh and isn’t the intended experience. Instead, gently draw the smoke into your mouth, allowing it to linger for a moment to savor the intricate flavors, and then gracefully exhale.

5. Take Your Time

Rushing through a cigar defeats its purpose. It’s a symbol of leisure and relaxation. Each puff should be deliberate, giving you ample time to enjoy the evolving taste profile. By pacing yourself, you appreciate the cigar’s flavors betterando prevent it from overheating, which can alter its taste.

As you embark on this journey, remember that enjoying a cigar is a personal experience. The goal is to find what resonates with your palate and preferences.

6. Pairing

A cigar’s experience can be greatly elevated with the right beverage by its side. Whether it’s the rich aroma of coffee, the subtle notes of tea, or the bold flavors of whiskey, each offers a unique taste dynamic that can amplify a cigar’s profile.

As you enjoy the layered flavors of the cigar, sipping on a complimentary drink can introduce an interplay of tastes, enriching the overall experience.

> Remember Maintenance Matters

Cigar maintenance is paramount for preserving its quality and flavor. Storing cigars correctly ensures they remain fresh and age gracefully.

A humidor, a special box with controlled humidity, is essential. It prevents cigars from drying out or becoming too moist. Regularly check the humidity levels; ideally, they should be between 65-72%. Store your humidor away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations. This preserves the integrity of your cigars.

Periodically, rotate your cigars 101 within the humidor. This prevents any uneven aging and ensures that all your cigars maintain their optimal flavor.

By heeding these maintenance guidelines, one guarantees a cigar experience that’s nothing short of exceptional.


As you embark on this journey into the world of cigars, remember that it’s about more than just smoke; it’s about tradition, taste, and community. With the right guidance and a curious spirit, your first puff can be the beginning of a lifelong love affair with cigars.

So, enjoy your journey, and may every puff be a moment of relaxation and pleasure.


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