Buying a cigar is like buying a fine wine; it can get expensive if you aren’t careful. Without spending a bomb, it should be noted that you should avoid the really cheap ones, as they may not provide the suitable environment for your cigars. This article will discuss the things you need to consider in regards to your cigar humidor. It’s not just a box!
One of the most important aspects of the humidor is its ability to hold humidity. When looking at cigar humidors, look for one where the seal doesn’t bang and make a sound. It should land on a cushion of air – which is the sign of a fine seal. The hinges should be hidden quadrant or piano hinges, as these supply the overall product with a great seal that will provide a great environment for your cigars.
2. Exterior Construction
The exterior of the humidor should be at least half an inch thick. Thick sidewalls will create a more stable humidor interior meaning that there will be fewer fluctuations in temperature or humidity, which will ruin your cigars if present. You should check the base exterior of the humidor to ensure it has sufficient protection from your other furniture. The last thing you want to do is buy a cigar humidor that scratches or marks a piece of furniture you place it on.
3. Interior Construction
The best humidors are lined in Spanish cedar wood and are often considered the industry standard with good quality humidors. You don’t want an overly aromatic wood used in the humidor as it may give off an unwanted and artificial flavor to your cigars. Additionally, Spanish cedar is less prone to warping, which is often quite prone to other woods when exposed to humid conditions. A warped humidor will result in poor conditions for your precious cigars. The Spanish cedar wood is also kiln-dried, ensuring that all the natural moisture is taken care of appropriately.
Are you interested in impressing visitors or simply having something nice and simple? Depending on your taste and requirements, you will want a certain style of humidor. There are plenty of styles, with large humidors, portable humidors and medium sized humidors made in a variety of shapes and variations so you can fit your personal style should you browse and pick carefully. Matte finish or a multiple layer high gloss finish?
5. Quality of humidor
Don’t be influenced by price and style alone – consider the quality of the humidor. There are various humidors that are available at low and high prices. Not all low priced humidors are poor quality, but always investigate closely before making a purchase. If you are paying a premium for your humidor, the chances are it is of a good quality – but don’t be afraid to investigate to make sure.
Avoid mixing mild and strong cigars in the same humidors as they can alter one another’s taste – especially if they are not in cellophane wrappers! It is often suggested that the same group of cigars should be kept together without wrappers on in a reliable humidors. Always take your time choosing and we wish you the best of luck finding a humidor for you.
The history of smoking loose pipe tobacco goes back to 5000-3000BC when tobacco was cultivated in South America. Smoking tobacco soon became a major part of culture during these times, where smoking was undertaken extensively in rituals and ceremonies by a host of tribes and communities.
By smoking tobacco and other hallucinogenic drugs, these ancient communities could enter a state of trance and believed that this was the way they could enter the spirit world. Eastern North American tribes carried large amounts of tobacco in pouches, as the plant became a popular trade item. Smoked in pipes by adults and children, the plant was believed to be a gift from the creator, and it was believed that the exhaled smoke could carry the user’s thoughts and prayers up to heaven.
Tobacco also played a role in medicine. It was used as a painkiller for earache and toothache and was also used by desert Indians to help cure colds, especially when tobacco was mixed with certain plants and leaves. Some of the combinations used were believed to be good to help fight against asthma and tuberculosis during these times.
Before the Aztecs sacrificed many people to their god Tezcatlipoca, they often took part in smoking to help them reach the spirit world. The medicine men of the Tonoupinambaultiis tribe in Brazil puffed the smoke from their pipes in the faces of their warriors before they went to fight, as it was believed to give them demonic strength in battle. Tobacco quickly spread across the rest of the world and became a popular commodity smoked by millions of people.
Nowadays, loose tobacco is smoked by many avid smokers, often placed in pipes and rolled in cigarettes. You can find a great range of tobacco, accessories and other items online at UKTobacco.com
We are still accepting orders for Christmas delivery up to 1pm on Friday 21st December.
Please note that orders placed today will need to have our Royal Mail insured delivery option chosen to guarantee Christmas delivery.
Pipe smoking is the oldest traditional method of consuming tobacco since tobacco leaves were first regarded as a source of recreational pleasure. Pipe tobacco offers pipe smokers the opportunity to taste as well as inhale the smoke for an intensified smoking experience.
Origins of Pipe Tobacco Smoking
Native Americans are extremely proud of their pipe smoking traditions and the beautifully crafted pipes go hand in hand with the stunning outfits and ceremonial traditions of the Native American people. Pipe tobacco was smoked for ceremonial purposes along with other sacred herbs as they believed it brought them closer to their gods. The calumet or “peace pipe” was smoked in ceremonies to mark covenants and treaties and was highly regarded by Native American society. When Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in the 16th century he brought back a practice that was going to spread across Africa, Europe and to the far corners of China and beyond.
Although the pipe is no longer regarded for its religious significance pipe smoking is viewed as the dignified gentleman’s pursuit. The classic “smoking jacket” would not have existed if it wasn’t for pipe tobacco and the Pipe Smoker of the Year award has been received by politician Harold Wilson who won Pipe man of the Decade in the sixties, esteemed playwright and author J B Priestly and television favourite Stephen Fry.
Preparing a Pipe
You cannot rush pipe smoking as the pipe must be broken in gradually by half filling the bowl at the bottom of the pipe and drawing the smoke gently to allow the pipe to harden and get used to holding smoke.The pipe must be cleared properly before use as the pipe may burn hot and bitter resulting in a “tongue bite” sore on the tongue. It is essential that the pipe is filled correctly by holding it upright and trickling the pipe tobacco into the bowl gradually until it is full.
Lighting a Pipe
A pipe lighter or wooden match is most suited to lighting a cigar pipe. Conventional lighters can cause an unpleasant odour and taste. The method of “charring” the top of the tobacco to allow the flame to catch ignites the tobacco without scorching the bowl. After this the coast is clear to apply the second light which will add to the intensity and pleasure of the pipe smoking experience.
Maintain Your Pipe
A pipe can reward its owner with years of smoking pleasure and the best part is that a pipe actually improves with age if you treat it well. Never refill a warm pipe and wait until it has cooled before adding more tobacco. Some people smoke two pipes to address this issue. Do not be tempted to bang the pipe to disrupt the contents as this will damage your bowl. A simple pipe cleaner can be run through the stem to remove moisture and loose tobacco.
As you may know – there are a wide range of lighter types available to the consumer – ranging from cheap disposable ones, to fancy Zippo and butane lighters. Depending on your requirements, will depend on what type of lighter you decide to go for. Below you will find a little info on what lighters are available on the market, and what differences they have fro one another.
1. The Classic Zippo lighter:
Classic Zippo lighters are extremely well known across everybody. Smoker or not, the chances are that the next person you chat to will know what one is. There is a chimney design that acts as a windproof barrier for the flame. The main body is enclosed inside the metal casing, with a cap with a hinge that brings the flame up after the flint strikes the striking wheel. Zippo lighters have a lifetime guarantee and have built up a reputation of being very reliable, practical and useful, for smokers and non smokers.
2. The Butane Torch type:
A butane lighter uses fuel and piezoelectricity in place of a wheel and flint, which activated when the ignition button is pressed- causing a hammer that is loaded with springs to strike quartz and form sparks. A flame ignited by this type of lighter is often much defined, and cannot be put out until the button is let go of. This type of lighter is suitable for lighting up something to smoke, due to its defined flame.
3. The Disposables:
Disposable lighters are usually cheap to buy and are designed to be disposed of shortly after. The plastic body is filled with fuel that can only be used up until it has run out. This type of lighter is the cheapest way to spark a flame for whatever you may need one for. As long as the wheel is rotated and the lighter is ignited by a small button, the flame will light. The flame will remain until it is either blown out or the button is let go of. These lighters are considered to be relatively poor at lighting, especially in windy conditions. These lighters are probably the most common, due to their price and disposability.
4. In-car Lighters:
These lighters have now become a standard feature of any car. These lighters are powered from the battery of the car, which powers the coil heater of the lighter. The lighters found built into car are usually circular, and are easy to use once lit. You simply apply the heated coil to the end of a cigarette in order to light it. The socket for this lighter can also be used to power plugs, such as in car mobile/cell chargers.
Updated on 22nd October 2012 – New selection of 12 Hand made pipes by Ian Walker of Northern Briars now available. Also a new selection of six speciality pipes from Peterson’s of Dublin.
Christmas will soon be upon us and we expect to be adding many new gift lines, ideal for christmas, to the web site over the coming weeks. To kick the festive season off we have just added two new tobaccos from Peterson’s of Dublin. Firstly, we have the new seasonal Christmas 2012 tobacco in a 100g tin and secondly an addition to the regular range by the name of Hyde park which comes in a 50g tin. Please click here for further details.
Cigars are special items and are considered to have there own specialist vocabulary – some of which may be strange or unknown to a casual or novice smoker. Getting acquainted with the ‘lingo’ can be a key step in understanding the cigar industry, helping you to learn more about cigars in general and how you can increase your enjoyment of smoking them along the way.
The definitions found within this article are a great start for any cigar smoker to get familiar with the basics:
Dimension should be measured in terms of length and width of the cigar. Although the length of a cigar is generally measured in inches, the width is measured as 64th of an inch. These dimensions will help guide you to knowing which dimensions equate to a certain size of cigar:
32 – 34 refers to slender and little cigars
35 – 39 refers to normal and lengthy cigars
40 – 44 refers to Coronas and Lonsdale
45 – 47 refers to Coronas Extra and Grand Coronas
48 – 50 refers to Giant Cigars
Ring Measurement – The ring measurement refers to the width or circumference of the cigar. Generally, the thicker the cigar is, the richer and more bodied the flavour will be and the slower it will burn.
Filler – The filler is the protective material that is found around the cigar, which can be both extended and shortened.
Ring binder – This is the part that fixes the filler in position. Generally, a leaf is used as the binder, but it is not uncommon that compressed tobacco is used for this job.
Bouquet – The bouquet refers to the fragrance of the tobacco’s mixture.
Box – The box is simply what the cigar is packaged in.
Wrapper – The wrapper covers and protects the cigar from the outer surface.
Wrapper Colours – Colouring can be Light Green (Candela); Medium Brown (Natural) or if tobacco originates from Africa, the colour is called Cameroon; somewhat a dark brown colour (English Market Selection) and rich dark brown (Maduro)
Cutter – A cutter is a ‘must have’ piece of equipment, as they are used to properly cut the top of the cigar before smoking.
Humidor – This is an important storage box for the cigar, which is set to a certain humidty, which helps stop cigars from drying out or becoming soggy. They can come in a wide range of sizes.
Blends – The blend or ‘mixture’ of the tobacco plays a major role on the taste of the cigar. The blend can either be Olor or Cubanito
Olor – This is a crossbreed of two different tobaccos’ between Havana and Connecticut Valley.
Cubanito – This is considered to be the real Cuban tobacco and is used across a wide range of Cuban cigars. Although it is considered to be Cuban, it also grows in Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Smoking tobacco along with other substances that was discovered to be suitable to smoke, the ancients could see the spirit world through entering a state of trance. Many tribes across Northern American tribes carried large amounts of tobacco in pouches wherever they travelled, as it was a great item used in trade dealings, as tobacco was a much sought after item. People used to smoke their tobacco through pipes, in a variety of occasions, routines and rituals by both adults and children alike. Many people believed that tobacco was a gift from god and that when the user inhales and exhales, they send their messages, thoughts and prayers up to heaven within the smoke.
Tobacco was also used in the past as a medicine and painkiller for aches and pains, as well as a cure to colds, when mixed with the leaves of the small Desert Sage, Salvia Dorrii, and root of Indian Balsam or Cough Root Leptotaenia multifida. These combinations were also considered to be good for asthma and tuberculosis as the combination of the tobacco and root was thought to be a remedy. Since smoking tobacco was considered to be spiritual and a way to contact the creator, people smoked it into the faces of those they were sacrificing, to equip them with heroic virtues, and also done to warriors before battle, to give them heroic and demonic strength and courage.
A new selection of Meerschaum pipes are now available to purchase on our UKtobacco web site, we have 12 new pipes in all and prices start at £60. For full details please click here
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The Governments consultation period on plain packaging for Cigars, Cigarettes and Pipe tobaccos ends on 10th july. Many of you may have thought that this was only applicable to Cigarettes but in fact it covers all tobacco products including Cigars and Pipe tobaccos. If approved then this will undoubtedly lead to manufacturers cutting back on the number of products therefore leading to less choice for the consumer, it will also make it much more difficult to identify your favourite brand in the shops. This legislation would in fact prove to be a counterfitters dream come true as there will be no Cuban Government warranty seal or Habonas seal to guarantee that Havana Cigars are genuine and all pipe tobacco packets will look identical with the only difference being the brand name written in very small letters.
Please support the NO campaign to plain packaging by filling in an online form and sending it electronically to the Department of Health, you can do this via Hunters & Frankau’s web site at www.cigars.co.uk
Please remember you must act before the closing date of 10th July.