HOW TO CUT A CIGAR
There are many techniques in cutting a cigar with various instruments: straight cut, v-cut, punch, and the Cuban way:
- For straight and v-cutters, locate the cap which is the small piece of tobacco that covers the end and keeps the whole thing together.
- Position the blades right on the cigar, just inside the end of the cap not past the cap. Add some pressure on the cutter but not too much that you’re going to start cutting the cigar. Then turn the cutter/cigar vertically and it should look perpendicular. Some aficionados prefer placing the cutter flat on the table while positioning the cigar within the blades of the cutter.
- Make a quick cut.
- For punch type cutters, position the punch right at the base of the cigar and punch out the tobacco. You should see a small hole at the base of the cigar with some of the tobacco resided.
- For v-cutters, some cigars will not work with tools (e.g. torpedo cigars), use a straight cut instead.
- For the Cuban way… use your teeth and bite out a little bit of the cap off (this is not recommended but often the technique used with authentic cigar rollers!).
- If you are comfortable with your fingers, you can also use a sharp knife to cut the cap off.
HOW TO LIGHT A CIGAR
- Use a quality butane torch or cigar lighter. Hold the cigar at a 45-degree angle about 3 inches above the flame.
- Toast the Foot: Focus on the outside edge of the cigar and rotate it until the foot begins to ignite. Make sure that the burn is even. The outside wrapper will develop a white/ashen quality when properly toasted.
- Light the Filler: Put the cigar between your lips, holding the flame about a half-inch from the cigar. Rotate the cigar in your mouth as you draw in the air. Do not inhale as you may turn green in the process!
- Release the Draw: Stop drawing on the cigar and watch as a surge of flame shooting up from the foot.
- Release the smoke from your mouth.
- Enjoy your cigar
CIGAR CARE – SPRING
After a long winter season, there’s a good chance that a lack of warm weather has caused you to neglect your humidor and the cigars inside it. Despite all your efforts to care for your cigars, they may dry out and may need to be resuscitated. If you find yourself in this situation, DON’T WORRY! Your cigars can be brought back to life if the wrapper hasn’t cracked, and they have not become so dry that all the oils have evaporated from the tobaccos.
Spring is a perfect time to nurse these neglected cigars back to health. Just follow these four steps:
- Re-prime your humidor with a moist, but not wet, cloth. Use only distilled water. Do not use tap water.
- Recharge your humidification element by adding one ounce of distilled water. Wait three days and check again. If the humidity isn’t rising, add another ounce. The humidor will gradually return to the optimal 70% relative humidity and the cigars will follow suit.
- If the humidity is not rising after six days, you may need to add a PG (propylene glycol) stabilizer solution. Add one ounce to your humidification system. Keep adding an additional ounce of distilled water every three days until the humidity returns to 67-72%
- WAIT… BE PATIENT! It takes from one to three weeks to re-humidify a cigar, depending on the ring gauge and how dry your cigar is. It is not enough to just humidify the wrapper; moisture must reach back into the innermost leaves of the filler. Again, this takes time. A cigar that hasn’t been properly rejuvenated will smoke hot with an unpleasant, bitter taste–so be patient.
CIGAR CARE – SUMMER:
Avoid over humidification during the summer months. In the prior section, we addressed how to nurse our neglected cigars back to health. During the summer months, we are reminding you that the humidity levels will rise, running the risk of over humidification. You might already know this, but just in case you forget, the ideal humidor conditions are 70°F (21°C) and 69-72% humidity so pay extra attention to your temperature and humidification levels. So crank those AC units, move your humidors away from windows, direct sunlight, and the outdoors as it would be a travesty to not enjoy those premium cigars during the summer months in the Midwest!
At Karma Cigar Bar, we offer a variety of accessories including cutters, lighters, and humidors to keep your cigars in very good condition. Ask any of our sales associates if you need some help in cutting, lighting, or storing your cigars. Stop by and enjoy a smoke or two in our lounge. See you soon and stay smoky!