Buying Havanas - Not an Easy Task
Shopping for Havanas is difficult. It is always quite an expensive activity, even in the countries where duties are low. Cuban cigars are themselves not cheap - accurately the opposite. The problem is that there are too much Cuban cigars offered on various markets - they may be very good and some may appear not what you have expected them to be. And there are even fakes. Fake Cuban cigars make up a real problem in many European countries (in the USA too, but in this country it is actually prohibited to trade any).
Some experts claim that Cuban exporters choose the quality of the cigars to send to a certain country by judging its smoking traditions and demands. For example, Great Britain is known to be a highly educated cigar country so that only the best cigars should be sent there to be successful.
Choosing the tobacconist is maybe the most crucial part of the Havanas purchasing process. A good expert can help you with the right advice if you don't really know what you need. There many options available when choosing a cigar from Cuba and if you are not an experienced cigar aficionado, your tobacconist may be very useful.
More than 42 shapes and sizes of handmade Cuban cigars are available these days. Their length varies from less than for to more than nine inches. Therefore, one can hardly be surprised with the fact that novices do experience difficulties when choosing their first Havana.
Weird as it is, there morning, noon and night cigars. If your tobacconist is an expert, he will tell you that in case you smoke more than one cigar a day, you should never smoke a lighter cigar after a full one. He may also ask you about the usual time you have available for comfort smoking. Choosing a vitola (which is the unique combination of cigar size and shape) of your cigar depends on when you are going to smoke this cigar. Discount Cuban cigars usually develop their flavor while smoked and you would hardly be happy to part with your cigar at the most enjoyable stage (usually after the halfway mark).
Nice tobacconists have nice humidors. No clutter, great outlook, reputed manufacturer – these are the features of any good humidor. Cuban cigars improve with time, sometimes up to 15 years, so they should be kept properly. If not, they may become harsh and unpleasant to smoke. Havanas are usually stored at between 16°C and 18°C, at a relative humidity of between 65 and 70%. Note that the last aspect is the most important one. If you prefer vintage cigars, your tobacconist would likely recommend you to buy a Havana cigar, store it in a good humidor and wait for a year or two.
If you happen to see bloom on cigars at your tobacconist, don't think he is a bad expert. Every breathing cigar would have bloom on it. Bloom is usually brushed off with a soft brush and cigars are perfectly ready for smoking.