The cigar you choose, the way you cut it, light it, smoke it and especially the flavors you prefer, all of this belongs to you and belongs only to you. These are some practical recommendations, however, to never forget.
The choice
Choosing a Habano appeals to four of your five senses - or even all five if you believe, like some, that rolling a cigar against his ear is of some lesson.
The cape must flatter the view. Perhaps you prefer it a light color, or a dark maduro. Anyway, the color should be solid and the cape slightly shiny. Don't worry if you see, on the cape, such white dot or such green spot. These are only natural imperfections, "beauty grains" of sorts, which have appeared during growth or drying. They do not compromise the quality of the cigar.
Gently try your habano, press it lightly between your thumb and forefinger to check its condition. It should be firm but soft to the touch.
Smell it to enjoy the smells that give off, at the exit of the box, its well aged leaves, promises of aromas to come. It is only by smoking it that you will be able to enjoy all its qualities. A real challenge that is thrown to you if you remember that there are 33 brands of Habanos to try.
For beginners, we recommend starting with a common module to many brands, such as Mareva. And to choose, for their first weapons, one of the lightest, where the characters of the different Habanos are classified.
We still recommend that novices start with small formats. As for experienced smokers, the time available will be their best guide. Let them remember that a long Habano tripe is designed so that its aromas gradually intensify.
It would be a real shame to have to abandon a Habano before he had time to express all his qualities. So choose a vitole for which you know how to have the time necessary for its complete tasting.
Cutting off the head
The cut should be done just above the line where the ''cap'' joins the cape (for the figurado, about 3 mm from the tip).
The goal is simple. It is necessary to create a sufficient opening to ensure an easy draw while ensuring that some of the perilla remains in place, which will prevent the cape from coming off.
Many instruments make it possible to practice this cut. The most famous is the guillotine, whether it is one or two blades. Another solution is special cigar scissors. Let's also mention the cookie cutter and its circular blade. It cuts a round section of the perilla, which offers the advantage of preserving the shape of the head. However, this instrument is not suitable for figurados.
Avoid V-shaped cigarette cutters. They tend to damage the head. Similarly, it is important not to puncture the head with a match or a cocktail spade, which would compress the tripe and cause a cork, thus harming the draw. Do not try to remove the ring, you could damage the cape.
The ignition
Two principles to observe.
The first: light your cigar only with an odorless flame. Use exclusively a gas lighter, or a wooden match or piece of cedar. Never use an oil lighter, a blow or wax match or a candle, their smells would sweeten the aromas of Habano.
The second: take your time and be thorough. Nothing spoils the enjoyment of a Habano as surely as a faulty ignition.
This little ritual will help you turn on your habano properly.
Present the foot of the cigar perpendicular to the flame and rotate it until the entire circumference is ablaze.
Bring the cigar to the lips and, while holding the flame one centimetre from the foot, suck until the flame reaches it. Keep running the cigar.
Blow gently on the burning parity of the cigar to make sure it is evenly lit.
How to smoke
A Habano should smoke slowly. Shoot at small puffs. Too deep and too fast aspirations would cause overheating, which would hinder the proper exposure of the aromas.
Don't swallow the smoke - it's not a cigarette. Breathe gently and let the smoke fill your mouth to better charm the taste buds of your palate.
Be relaxed to enjoy the subtle smells and aromas of blending tobacco.
There is no harm in turning your habano back on if it goes out. Start, however, by ridding it of its ashes, or else it will have difficulty relighting it.
A Habano lets itself smoke happily about more than three quarters of its length. Don't worry about the size or the fate of the ash. Tapping nervously on his Habano, as one does with a cigarette to bring down the ash, is the fault of know-how. Let it fall on its own, preferably in an ashtray, of course.
When the sad moment comes to separate yourself from your Habano, don't crush it. Let it rest on the ashtray, it will go out on its own. Let him die with dignity.