I've been fighting a cold for the past four or five days so my forays into the humidor have been mostly of the virtual variety. I picked up a K. Hansotia sampler from Cigarbid, lost a bid on some 5 Vegas Series A, and have been poking around for interesting cigar sites.
Among the more interesting I found is a Chinese site for The Landgent International Apartment complex in Beijing. Under the Life Style tab are listed: Coffee Life, Grape Wine Culture, and most intriguingly, Tasting Cigar.
This essay on the history and culture of cigar smoking is worth looking at, if only for the inventive use of English employed by the translator, who may or may not be electronic in nature. Might be a combination of the two.
What I like about this page is the author's passion for cigars. His command of English is a little shaky, but he knows whereof he smokes.
Each bottle of fine grape wine is marked with the producing areas, species of the grapes and the year of production. But not every European knows this. They can drink grape wine everyday, just like most Chinese people drink tea. At least people who go to the restaurant drink tea there, but not everybody knows the nuance between Bi Luochun of Suzhou and of Wuxi. Cigars are of the same. Good cigars are marked with their brands, producing areas and year of production. Thus if you buy a cigar only for the purpose of the price of 300 yuan RMB per cigar, it is more piquant to burn the money directly.
While some of the advice offered here is a little bit suspect — "you shall first knead the cigar body to see whether the cigar clothes have got neck and crop" — the author has all due respect for the holy smoke.
Smoking cigars, just like drinking the pure afternoon tea in British system, is a fussy and rigid ritual. There are rigid requirements from the implement to the tie-in refreshments and to the topics discussed by the invited people, and even to the rest room in the house. Besides, the British Queen will absolutely not invite people to drink the sacking Lipton black tea, and people who smoke cigars will never hand over a machine-made small cigar and say, “Smoke a cigar, please.”
And also, lest you fall into this all too familiar trap: no cigar smoking while playing mah-jong. Check it: The Landgent