In the first installment of our series on creating your own, homemade, infused premium cigars I covered making flavored cigars using common kitchen flavorings including vanilla and rum extract. This time around, we’ll be making premium coffee infused cigars.
I first tried this technique about three years ago when I put some Tabak Especial robustos into a used Starbucks bag to see if the coffee aroma of the cigars would increase. Well, after a few months in the coffee bag and another month resting, these cigars were the like a double espresso straight up and a punch in the mouth. The coffee aroma had increased profoundly and the smoke developed a thickness and richness the originals didn’t have.
After my initial success, I decided to try the experiment with some non-infused cigars as a substrate. Since it’s the oil that coats the interiors of used coffee bags that convey the aromas to the cigars, I selected a cigar with a thick, dark Connecticut shade wrapper and a mild/medium profile, the Nick’s Sticks robusto natural by Perdomo.
It is important to use a cigar with a thicker wrapper since the leaf will be in direct contact with the coffee oils inside the bag. Cigars with thin, fine wrapper leaves may not take to being wetted by the coffee bean oils and run the risk of splitting. It is equally important to use a coffee bag that contained whole bean coffee not ground beans. Using a bag that contained ground beans will result in grounds becoming stuck to the cigar and a huge mess!
To make your own, coffee infused premium cigars, just follow these simple steps:
Begin by assembling your supplies:
One used, coffee bag from whole bean coffee (either zip top or roll close top)
One large (quart sized) heavy duty zip lock bag
Cigars, preferably a mild to medium line with a heavier wrapper
Permanent marker for labeling your cigars
The first step is to remove the bands from the cigars to be infused. This will prevent the paper of the bands from becoming saturated with coffee oils and staining or soaking the wrapper leaf underneath.
For the roll close type of coffee bag, gently place your cigars into the bag. Flatten the bag to remove most of the free space around the cigars. Do not crush the cigars! Fold the top of the bag down until just above the ends of the cigars and close with the included metal closure.
Tuck the rolled bag inside the labeled, quart sized zip lock storage bag and store.
If you have the zip lock type of bag, label the outside of the bag with the type of the cigars you are infusing and the date the process started.
Gently place your cigars in the coffee bag and carefully express the majority of the air from the bag. Seal the bag fully.
The oils inside the coffee bag will maintain an appropriate humidity level as they infuse the cigars so long as they are sealed airtight. I have found that after approximately 6-8 weeks, the cigars will have absorbed about as much coffee flavor and aroma as they will from the process.
At this point, I like to remove the cigars from the bags and store them in labeled zip lock type storage bags. I store my finished cigars in the sealed bags inside one of my “cool-a-dor’s” and find that sealed, they maintain good humidity for at least 6 months.
As some have pointed out in response to part one of this series, this is a time intensive process suited to the cigar hobbyist rather than the casual smoker.
However, with the looming FDA regulation of premium cigars and the very real threat to flavored and infused cigars, these techniques could prove valuable should the day come when you can no longer purchase premium, flavored or infused cigars.
Good smoking everyone!