WARNING: SMOKING KILLS KA MATE KOE I TE KAI HIKARETI

Tip #1- Buy Quality Cigars

I want to be sure you undersand the difference between a machine made and a hand made cigar, and the pros and cons of each.

Hecho a mano - Made by man (human hand)
Hecho a wrecko - (made that one up) Machine made

Made by hand- you'd think that there'd be a lot more mistakes made because of human error, but this is what makes it an art form. Artisans and skilled torcedores making each cigar by bunching up carefully selected and blended long leaf tobacco. It's set and placed into wooden molds, pressed under special hydraulic or screw compactors, then masterfully wrapped in the final outer wrapper leaf. It's capped, trimmed and there's your Churchill, Robusto, Lancero, Corona or whatever the length of the day is.

Think about it. We live in an era where we get to experience this delicacy on demand.
How many large agricultural industries have been swallowed up by computer automation, machines, robots and no human touch? Think about how lucky we are! This could very well be the next disappearing art form- hand made cigars.

Maybe a cigar roller could be compared to a 3 star Michelin chef where they are being tested with everything they create. Flavour, presentation, ingredients, timing, expectation, critics, enjoyment, and infallible consistency.

Take Maccas- you know what the Big M will taste like, smell like, leave you feeling like, but sometimes you just gotta reach for the machine made food. Same goes for the cigar. You know what you're gonna get and you can't bitch or complain about it because it is what it is. How do you pontificate over that? You can't. However, most machine made cigars do not need humidification or clipping, so your fast-food fix is at the ready.

So despite the subtle imperfections one encounters with hand made cigars it's all very interesting and completely subjective. Only you know what something tastes like. That's what makes it so irresistible. It's a process of discovery every time. You might question the simile to a Michelin chef. There is one factor unaccounted for- you are dealing with take-aways of the highest order. You have a responsibility to care for and nurture this cigar and therefore all the blame cannot be placed on the maker or the factory of origin if it goes awry.

Are leftovers the same compared to the way the food was delivered and presented at the restaurant? Perhaps supplying cigars is more like a catering business. The food leaves the premises but is still delivered to you in an appealing and acceptable manner. It's delicious, as intended by the chef, and you are happy with the food.

Buying quality cigars means you need to consider where you are purchasing them from and are they being cared for, handled properly and stored under ideal conditions. How are they shipped to your door? When you open your courier package are you confident they have been under the care of a professional or the brunt of a bad joke.

Go reputable. If a cigar dries out there is no coming back from the dead. Yes you can re-hydrate it in a humidor but that's like taking dried mushrooms, soaking them in water and expecting them to taste like fresh mushrooms. Do you want be a serious cigar connoisseur or just some Fun-Guy (fungi)?

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