Steve Crotty gets his chops round the decidely upmarket* Cafe Creme Blue mini cigars.
Café Crème Blue
Henri Winterman Company
Approximate price £5 – 8
Mini cigar smokers generally fall into two categories. There are those that find a cigar too powerful and consuming but still appreciate the craft and taste provided. Then there are those who want a decent smoke and simply don’t have time for a full cigar. Café Crème Blue aims to provide a middle ground.
Made by Henri Winterman in Holland, they are marketed as a classier mini than many of the standard torch-bearers on the market. This is a refreshing touch as most mini manufacturers (you know who you are) seem to believe that their smokers are undeserving of quality and taste, an attitude about as up to date as keeping slaves.
Café Crème Blue are well known and should be available from any shop, supermarket or alcohol merchant worth their salt, sitting next to their rougher council-estate cousins Café Crème Original. The blue packaging is unmistakeable but just in case you are a moron, simply saying ‘Café Crème Blue’ when being served should suffice. Another nice feature is that they come in a metal tin. Doesn’t improve the flavour in any way, just makes you feel more valued as a customer.
The cigars themselves are as much of a joy as the classy packaging. The smell is crisp and light, the cigars light brown and well-constructed. Not one of them fell apart or did the classic trick of releasing a large wad of unpacked tobacco on to my tongue whilst smoking, yet they were not so densely packed that it was a detriment to the inhalation. Each draw produced roughly the same yield of smoke, a welcome surprise given the price.
The taste is delicate, smooth and refined. There is a nuttiness that runs through the tobacco, along with a hint of berry that soothes any harshness that there could have been. Can I really describe a cigarette as juicy? If not, then certainly refreshing as there is no bitter aftertaste to be found. They also work splendidly alongside a coffee of your choice, the caffeine helping to bring out the nuttiness of the minis even further. To use a tired stereotype, they are the perfect mini to be smoking outside some Parisian café with an espresso in one hand and a thought-provoking anti-establishmentarianism riddled book in the other.
Mini cigar smokers everywhere: stop tolerating inferior quality from your smokes. Just because you don’t want the full cigar doesn’t mean you deserve any less from the manufacturer. You are not a poor relation to cigar smokers. You deserve good quality at a reasonable price. I urge you to give Café Crème Blue a try. In terms of value for money and quality, they have no equal that I have smoked.
*Upmarket for Bridlington