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Rick Rodriguez, head blender for CAO Cigars, sheds some light on the subject of Box Pressed Cigars. While many of us know how they get their shape, the reason behind it and it’s impact on the cigar smoking experience isn’t quite as well documented.


Hey, guys. I’m Rick Rodriguez, the head blender for CAO. I want to talk to you about box-pressed cigars versus round cigars.

If you look at my line called Flathead. it’s a box-pressed cigar. The reason I box-pressed that cigar, I made that cigar, when I blended that cigar it was a round cigar and I was smoking that cigar. That smoke to me was very hot. Hot equals flavor. The flavor is not there. The hotter your cigar tobacco burns, the less flavor you’re going to enjoy from your cigar. So what I did was ask the team to make me a box-press. When I smoked that box-pressed cigar or Flathead versus a round cigar, I noticed that cigar offered me more flavor from that wrapper.

How do I know that or how do I accomplish that? If you look at a box-pressed cigar, what happens is it’s very hard for you, when you put it in your mouth, to completely shut your lips totally around that cigar. You’re always going to have some airflow to the sides of your lips. That airflow, that air in your mouth along with your cigar smoke is going to cool that cigar smoke down, allow you to taste more of that tobacco and release it. It’s amazing. A box-press is going to allow me to cool your cigar smoke down and thus enjoy more flavor.

How do I know that? If you’re cooking soup on the stove right now and it’s boiling away and I ask you to taste my grandmother’s chicken soup and it’s hot, very hot. I put a spoonful of that hot soup in your mouth, your reaction is one, spit it out or swallow it very quickly because it’s so hot. You want to get that hot sensation out of your mouth. Now I come to you, “Did you taste the onions, the carrots, the chicken?”
No, it was so hot, I just wanted to release it.”

The same thing if you’re smoking a cigar that’s too hot you’re heating that tobacco up too much. You need to cool it down. Either smoke a box-press or slow down because sometimes you guys are smoking way too quickly. You’re burning your tobacco too hot. Accepting that cigar smoke in your mouth thus is going to be hotter, you want to release it quicker. So if I was you, either smoke a box-press if you want to cool your cigar smoke down, or slow down your smoking on your round cigars.

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