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Richard's Diary

February 2009

Great Smokes without blowing the wallet

By Richard on February, 19th 2009 - 1:28 pm

Given today's economy, personal pleasures have become that bit more important in order to escape the harsh reality of every day life. Curbing ones spending does not necessarily mean you have to give up on personal preference or quality. As we viewed Cigar Aficionados Top 25 cigars of the 2008 and their particular attention to price, we quickly realized that their was a false belief that Cubans are always expensive. Lets compare what is comparable. A Cohiba Esplendidos may cost $35 a stick, but then so does the Opus X Perfection #2, a comparably sized non-Cuban cigar (although I would argue not comparable in quality). When I started to compare what you could get in Cuban production for $4-6 a stick with what you get in non-Cuban production for the same price, I was very surprised by the difference in quality. I truly believe you can now smoke Cuban cigars of higher quality than non-Cubans for the same price. Better blend and better construction for the same price or less! So we have created the Bargain Market, where you will find all of the reasonable Cuban cigars in one click. Even in tight economic times, who can't justify spending $4-6 for a wonderful cigars?

Chocolate and Cigars

By Richard on February, 09th 2009 - 11:56 am

The journey into the leaf can be experienced from many different angles. The initial phase of this apprenticeship is usually very much focused on the exploration and discovery of 'the cigar'; size, strength, aroma, etc... Finding ones likes and dislikes is the first key step. Once you have found your palate's preferences, you can then move onto the maze of pairing your favorite cigars with different influences, be it food, drink or even environmental factors. This phase of continual new experiences is one that can go on throughout your smoking life, as your palate changes with time. My personal preference when it comes to 'cigars supports', is finding stark contrasts to my cigar type. For a sweet, light wood flavored cigar, I love a rich dark alcohol. For a powerful, woody, leathery cigar, try sampling a fruity ice cream or sorbet. My latest discovery and current pet habit, is pairing all my cigars with chocolates. And when it comes to chocolate, being in Switzerland we are more than catered for. I recently found a local 'Artisanal' Chocolate maker, who has specialized in developing chocolates for the cigar smoker. The House of Grauer Chocolates are hand made, ensuring a quality and individuality for each bite. The House of Grauer have understood what the cigar smokers needs to compliment his smoke. Contrasts such as Lime, Raspberry or Bee Pollen will new give life to your regular smokes. The House of Grauer have gone all out in finding rare and Grand-Cru cocoa's. Having sampled the full box with cigar smoking friends, I can assure you that this box of chocolates will change the way you smoke.

WEF Annual Meeting - Davos, Switzerland

By Richard on February, 05th 2009 - 10:32 am

'The message from the Annual Meeting is that leaders must continue to develop a swift and coordinated policy response to the most serious global recession since the 1930s: global challenges demand global solutions.' Another fantastic effort from our chosen world leaders. I am sure this statement will go a long way to stemming the tide of recession. This was the end product of the 2009 World Economic Forum's (WEF) Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland (28 Jan - 01 Feb 2009). One has to wonder whether the motto of this year's meeting, 'Shaping the Post-Crisis World', is a statement of intent or of future possibilities for more profit for the few??? The whole thing sounds like a good excuse for the rich to enjoy good food, wine and cigars in the Swiss Alps, whilst hiding behind a curtain of 'doing good'.

You can see:
Official WEF site
Anti-WEF forums

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