Dr. Gaby Kafie, whose Kafie 1901 Cigars line was one of the bigger clients in the Boutique Cigar Association Pavilion at PCA 2023, talks about some new cigars and other developments for his company.
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The Art of Smoking Cigars
A cigar is a natural, artisanal and time-honored pastime enjoyed by many discerning smokers. As a luxury product, premium cigars are enjoyed in rare moments of rest and relaxation – be it following a fine meal or after a long day at work. They are also a symbol of sophistication and class, and can be used to create a sense of camaraderie amongst friends or colleagues.
Cigars take anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours to smoke – far longer than a single cigarette – and as such, are often seen as a more relaxing experience. This extra time allows the smoker to savour the finer details of the cigar, allowing the taste and aromas to be fully appreciated – something not possible with a quick puff on a standard cigarette.
The cigar’s filler tobaccos, binder and wrapper are where the cigar maker can be at their most creative – blending several different types of tobacco from various countries and using a number of different primings to achieve the desired flavor and strength. For instance, a full-bodied blend will contain more ligeros, while a medium bodied blend will use more visos and secos.
Like wine, cigars are a natural product and as such will never be identical from one to the next. However, cigarmakers do everything in their power to ensure consistency, relying on careful cultivation and meticulous agronomy. They also age their products in order to allow the tobacco to reach its peak, which is when its flavours are at their most balanced and nuanced – a process similar to aging wine.