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How to light a cigar

Many people underestimate the importance of lighting a cigar.

First of all, lighters that could transmit odors to the cigar should NOT be used. For example, Zippo lighters, which use gasoline as fuel for the flame, are absolutely not suitable. Using a Zippo, in fact, we would transmit smells of gas to the cigar, which we would then perceive on the palate, completely ruining the smoke.

If a lighter is used, it must be powered by Butan. The difference between certain lighters is in the different types of flame. There are lighters with a Soft Flame or a Jet Flame. The Soft Flame is the classic one, the same one that lighting a match developes, so to speak. The Jet Flame is instead a type of flame that resists and does not go out even in the presence of wind. It has a blue color compared to the yellow – red, which is typical for the Soft Flame.

Soft flame:

Jet flame:

If a match is used, wait until it is completely lit before putting the flame in contact with the cigar. This is because the Sulfur has first to burn completely. Once the match is lit, it emits a strong odor (due to the fact that the chemicals necessary to start the combustion process), after a while, however, when the flame stabilizes, there are no longer strong odors emanating. From this moment, we can use the flame of the match to light the cigar.

There is a third way to light the cigar: using the cedar strips from the cigar boxes. Some smokers break the cedar sheet into thin strips of cedar, which they then use to light the cigar. There is no problem in using this lighting technique, but it certainly cannot be considered convenient or practical. There is no difference in respect to the other lighting methods already described above.

HOW TO LIGHT A CIGAR:
To light a cigar correctly means to form a burn capable of burning and advancing evenly. By creating a good burn, we will avoid the possibility of the burn line progressing unevenly, unless there are defects in the construction of the cigar.

The lighting phases are two:
1- toasting the foot
2- actual lighting

  1. Toasting the foot is a step that serves to preheat the cigar’s foot, preparing it for the actual lighting.
    2. Lighting a cigar consists in creating the burn, that will allow us to smoke the cigar.

Then there are 2 lighting methods.
The first involves a toasting of the foot and lighting the cigar, while it is in your mouth, and taking the first puffs with the flame burning near the foot.
The second method consists instead in toasting the foot and lighting the cigar in practically the same way. That is, bringing the flame near the cigar, it will continue to heat up the cigar until the Burn is completely formed.

The advantage of the first type of ignition is that it is faster (but if you do not pay attention it is easier to get an uneven burn), the second method instead, will take longer but we will start smoking the cigar when it is completely lit, and therefore the smoke that will reach the mouth will bring the flavors, from the cigar, to the palate from the beginning.

Personally, we prefer to use the second lighting method, which, together with the use of a Jet Flame, is able to guarantee a greater precision in the lighting of the cigar.

A trick that you can use to see if the cigar is lit correctly is to blow on the foot of the cigar and see if the burn covers the whole foot (it must be all red, if there are black or dark areas, it means that the tobacco in that area is not lit).

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