- a foam cooler or any platic air tight lidded box of a good size. don't use a paper box
- a sponge
- a small container for the sponge (a soup/soda can, or a small plastic food container is ideal)
- a pair of scissors, a knife, or your hands if you are able.
- cigars (machine made is just fine, and the focus of this lesson)
I encourage the use of Phillies Titan cigars, with are the cheapest by volume cigar (as low as 65 cents on various internet shops)
for a review of most of the machine made cigars on the market (the brands which are nationwide and have/will remain stagnant for decades), please check out the following blog;
sorry for the poor pictures.
Step 1: Machine made cigar basics.
The problem with machine made cigars is that the tobacco is sprayed with an incindiary chemical that will help the tobacco burn. This chemical, when inhaled to the mouth, gives the effect of kerosine or rubbing alcohol.
Tobacco leaves naturally contain ammonia and nicotine, which taste horrible. Aging will remove the bad sensations of your cigar and give you a fine smoke. The vast majority of cigar leaf is call "carribean basin tobacco". This is a generic term for Honduran, Costa Rican, Carribean, etc. leaves that are discarded for any number of reasons (veins in leaves, wrong color, odd texture to the fingers).
They are good leaves, but not attractive, and they sometimes burn unevenly so they are not used for handmade expensive cigars. But we don't care about looks, do we? Lets turn some cheapies into goodies.