The first time Boris Crestia smoked a cigar was the first time he smoked anything. Even if the experience wasn’t quite what he expected, he never smoked anything but cigars after that. Quickly, a passion grew, not only for cigars but also for tobacco culture, cigar blending, rolling and of course, tasting.
Co-founding the first cigar club in Togo was a game changer. From Cuban cigar trading in West Africa, to Torcedor, a highly skilled and specifically trained cigar roller school in Cuba, and from seeking rare and unusual vitolas to interning in East Java tobacco fields, Boris just embraced every opportunity to grow and share his knowledge and passion.
« Often compared to wine, cigars are considered by amateurs and connoisseurs as the ultimate form of elegance and tasting. If some see cigars as a social statement, it’s first a personal and intimate journey, recruiting 4 of the 5 senses, and sometimes all of them », says Boris. He adds, « Actually you don’t ‘smoke’ a cigar in the sense that you don’t need to inhale to enjoy. You puff, keep the smoke in the mouth and release the most unexpected aromas: wet earth or dry tea, roasted coffee or dark chocolate, licorice or even leather… generally the first effect, is a dry taste, sometimes short and powerful. Then a more subtle yet deeper taste gives hints of what is unfolding next. And that’s just the warm up.
Tobacco leaves, according to their origin, the soil, sun and water they grew with, can provide a large variety of experiences. Add to this the various ways to roll a cigar and you open a world of possibilities. Just like wine or perfume, a cigar has conversation. And what it says after you light it up and take your first blow is generally different from what it reveals as long as you keep the conversation going… and listen with your nose and palate.
Indonesia is a major world class actor when in comes to tobacco, and especially cigars, providing the second best leaves in the world after Cuba. Boris didn’t need much to create the very first cigar workshop in Asia. His goal is simple: unveil the rich culture, etiquette and knowledge behind the myths. Guests get a multiple experience: touch and feel authentic leaves from the most reputed lands, smell and classify unexpected scents and aromas, select leaves and create a unique combination when rolling their own cigar, cut their vitola 4 different ways, light up and blow just fine like a real connoisseur. And we didn’t mention the pairing part… »