What is the Cigar Community?

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What is the Cigar Community?

Much like a fine meal, cigars can be even more enjoyable when experienced with company. Think cigar smoking on a golf course or in the evening with friends after dinner. Cigar smoking is an easy, calming activity that promotes conversation and relaxation. Most cigars take 1-2 hours to smoke (though this can vary quite a bit depending on the smoker, the size of the cigar, and the presence or absence of distractions) and so allow time for a good conversation. The cigar community is large and has numerous venues. These venues can cater to someone new to cigars and curious about learning more as well as to individuals who have smoked cigars for decades and want to share their knowledge and enthusiasm. Like almost any community built around a hobby, the cigar community welcomes people through shared interest.

Cigar communities are easy to find; they exist around cigar shops, cigar lounges, cigar clubs, and mobile cigar lounges. They also exist online and can be found on all the popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Discord, and TikTok. One will find in any cigar community smokers with a large variety of experience and tastes. This is of great value to cigar smokers new and old as one can get great advice and ideas from people who have actually enjoyed (or not enjoyed) various different cigars. Wikipedia lists 646 cigar brands and each brand tends to have multiple different types of cigar they produce. This makes the abundance of selection almost overwhelming. Having a cigar community to get one started can make the process of finding the cigars most pleasing to the individual less intimidating.

Cigar shops are a great place to get started finding a local cigar community. Many shops have lounges where one can sink into a leather chair with an ashtray by the side and enjoy a cigar with good company. These shops are common in cities. Online venues are even easier to access as all one has to do is search ‘cigar’ on a social media platform. There are cigar communities local to an area, ones that are more regionally based, ones that are national, and even international communities. One will find communities based around specific cigar brands or around different types of cigars. Since cigars are often paired with other things (like alcohol, food, sports, etc.) one can find communities dedicated to some very specific kinds of pairings.

Members of the cigar community often like to refer to themselves as BOTL (brothers of the leaf) or SOTL (sisters of the leaf). A social gathering of cigar smokers is often called a ‘herf’ by the cigar community. The Origin of the Word “Herf” was coined in 1996 on an online chat forum dedicated to cigars. Herfs can happen in person or online via video conferencing or social media. The online version has become more popular after the social limitations presented by the COVID 19 pandemic.