Friday, 26 October 2012

Tomtom Cigars Proudly Presents:

Thursday Night Cigar Club #2.

Featuring the Bolivar Petit Belicosos Edicion Limitada 2009

Following the initial success of our first Cigar club event we were exceptionally excited to welcome the guests of our second.

The Bolivar Petit Belicoso was smoked. Salmon was eaten and Prosecco was imbibed!

All in all, a very good show.

A big thank you to all who attended.

Tomtom Cigars Proudly Presents:

Thursday Night Cigar Club.

So, it’s been a little while since our last post but rest assured, this is only because our schedule has been packed full of cigar tastings and, thanks to Cuba, it feels like we have been launching new products almost weekly!

We have found time for a little fun in the form of our monthly Cigar club, which in only a short time has become (if I do say so myself) a Belgravia Institution!

Below are a few photos of our first, where we enjoyed, perhaps for one of the last times,

 the Trinidad Robusto T.

And what a fine cigar it proved to be:

As always, many thanks to Dan Pink who made the evening a more educational one for all.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Choosing a Humidor
Does it always have to be Spanish cedar?

Primarily three types of wood are used for the humidor's interior lining: Spanish cedar (by far the most popular), American (or Canadian) red cedar, Honduran mahogany.
Spanish cedar offers the following advantages:
- Protection from tobacco worms - through the cedar's special odoriferous quality
- High humidity absorption capacity - this ensures that a stable climate will be maintained inside the humidor and mould is prevented
- Supports the cigar aging process
- Positive effect on the flavour of the cigars

Spanish cedar is generally imported from Brazil and other countries of South and Central America. In some individual cases resin may form on the surface of the wood. The risk of resin formation can be substantially reduced by previously drying the wood carefully.
Protection from tobacco worms - through the cedar’s special odoriferous quality - High humidity absorption capacity - this ensures that a stable climate will be maintained inside the humidor and mould is prevented - Supports the cigar aging process - Positive effect on the flavour of the cigars Spanish cedar is generally imported from Brazil and other countries of South and Central America. In some individual cases resin may form on the surface of the wood. The risk of resin formation can be substantially reduced by previously drying the wood carefully.

American red cedar
 is inferior to Spanish cedar in humidity absorption and it exudes a more intense aroma. Some humidor manufacturers use American cedar because it is less expensive and with this wood there is danger of resin formation. Particularly when storing cigars for longer periods the cigars will adopt a strong woody flavour that is generally not desired.

Honduran mahogany has a humidity absorption rate comparable to that of Spanish cedar and at the same time has a less intense odour. Thus, unfortunately, the deterrent effect on worms and the desired flavouring of cigars is also not as good as with Spanish cedar.

The veneer of the interior wood should be untreated.

For long-term cigar storage those humidors should be preferred, which are lined with Spanish cedar. For cabinet humidors other woods with high humidity absorption capacity can also be used because in cabinet humidors the cigars are generally stored in their original Spanish cedar boxes. A tray made of Spanish cedar is recommendable for storing individual cigars in cabinet humidors.
Veneer or solid wood construction
There are two different options for constructing humidors:
Based on MDF (medium density fibreboard), the interior is lined with a veneer of Spanish cedar and the exterior consists of a veneer of some type of hardwood (often cherry)
The entire humidor case is manufactured of solid wood and is lined inside with Spanish cedar (sometimes the entire humidor is made of solid Spanish cedar without interior lining) 
Contrary to popular belief, solid wood humidors are not necessarily superior to veneer humidors. The higher price of the material of solid wood humidors will usually be far outweighed by the substantially more complicated construction of veneer humidors. Since the humidity inside the humidor is much higher than the external humidity, the internal wood expands and it leads to tensions in the walls of the humidor.
Veneer humidors have the advantage that the internal MDF will expand less with an increase humidity. Thus, fewer tensions in the inside of the humidor will develop - tensions which might otherwise lead to cracks and deformations in the humidor's lid. A further advantage of the veneer construction is that high gloss lacquer finishes can be better applied on hardwood veneers.
Solid wood humidors of Spanish cedar are more susceptible to dents and damages since the wood is very soft. As previously mentioned, the softness of the Spanish cedar limits the gloss and durability of the exterior lacquer.
For these reasons, the construction of humidors based on MDF instead of solid wood has become the standard in humidor production.
Does the humidor have to have an airtight seal? 
Cigar tobacco "breathes". Cigars consume oxygen and emit gases into the surrounding air. For this reason, it is important that humidors are regularly aerated in order to provide the cigars with fresh oxygen. Humidors should close so well that a constant level of internal humidity can be maintained. However, a hermetic seal is neither necessary nor desirable.

Glass or wooden lid 
For the storage of cigars that are to be consumed within a few months, humidors with glass or wooden lids are equally suitable. However, if cigars are to age over several years in a humidor then humidors with wooden lids are definitely preferable. When using humidors with glass lids avoid exposing the humidor to direct sunlight. Longer storage times may cause discoloration in the first few rows of cigars. On the other hand, glass-lid humidors have an advantage over wooden lid humidors in that they have to be opened less frequently and that they will be opened for shorter periods. Therefore a more constant interior humidity can be maintained.
Glass doors on cabinet humidors do not have any negative impact on cigar storage, as long as cigars are stored in their original boxes. With respect to the placement of cabinet humidors, the glass door should never be exposed to direct sunlight.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Tomtom Cigars & Coffee

Founded in 1997 Tomtom Cigars has become one of London’s leading cigar merchants. Our shop is at 63 Elizabeth Street, London, SW1W 9PP. Elizabeth Street runs North-South between Eaton Square and Ebury Street (see map for exact location). To complement our Cigar Shop this part of Belgravia has a very attractive selection of specialist independent shops and restaurants including the Poilâne French Bakery, Philip Treacy Hats, Erickson Beamon Jewelry, The Thomas Cubitt Public House, Oliveto Restaurant and our very own Tomtom Coffee House at 114 Ebury Street. 

Our aim is to provide the best that comes out of Cuba and can be smoked. Cigar smokers are an eclectic mix, and no more so than the happy souls you will find puffing their favourite smokes in our Belgravia shop. 
Tomtom's proprietor, Tom Assheton, provides an atmosphere that is relaxed, informed and open to anyone who wants to indulge a taste for real tobacco. You will be able to enjoy our wide range of Havana Cigars including Cohiba and Montecristo, aged cuban cigars indoors and outdoors. 
We also stock all those useful accessories to look after your Cuban smokes including humidors, cigar cutters, Dupont lighters. They also make great gifts and when you want to restore the scent of summer (or winter) to you home we have a huge range of Diptyque candles especially selected for the cigar smoker.

Tomtom has the highest classification from Habanos, the Cuban Cigar Authority, as a Specialist in Havanas (certified Gold). We have all the usual Havana Cigars and a very wide selection of the less available brands. In particular there is an abundance of gorgeous cabinet boxes (containing bundles of 25 and 50 cigars) with irresistible names such as H. Upmann - Connoisseur No 1, Hoyo de Monterrey - Epicure No. 2, Romeo y Julieta - Exhibition No 4, San Luis Rey - Series A, Partagas - Series D No4, Punch - Punch Punch, and of course the spectacular Cohiba - Robusto. At any one time we have Limited Edition Havanas in stock as well as some aged smokes. We believe the magic of a fine, handmade Cuban Cigar can gloriously enhance your mood. Tasting cigars in the shop is a pass time many of our customers enjoy. You can try a smoke from our huge selection of single cigars, which we constantly vary. This kind of ‘research’ will help you make an informed decision about box purchases. In addition we have a fabulous selection of accessories from Elie Bleu humidors, ST Dupont lighters, Davidoff, Dunhill, Tomtom, St Hilaire, David Linley humidors and others. Please have a look in the 'Accessories' section for all the details.

We are happy to give guidance whether you are a new convert, a well-established aficionado or are searching for that special gift. There are so many varieties available that an appropriate smoke can be found for any person or time of the day. Perhaps a light Hoyo for the morning, a mild Montecristo for after lunch and then a full bodied Cohiba to take to bed. Etiquette is not something we fuss about - but if you want, there is plenty of advice.

Tomtom has received a number of prestigious awards including being voted 'Cigar Retailer of the Year' at the Millennium Cigars awards held in London. Tom Assheton, the proprietor, has also received to coveted 'Silver Chaveta' trophy given annually by Havana importers, Hunters and Frankau, to a UK specialist in Havanas for outstanding contributions to the cigar trade. He was also nominated for Habanos Man of the Year (retail) in 2001 at the annual Cuban awards ceremony held in Havana. We feel the greatest reward has been the support of our established customers, shown to us by them returning time after time. Please dive in and deliver yourself to the unequivocal pleasures of a Havana.