Life as we know it has changed, of that there is no doubt. Whilst business may have been commonplace, this seismic shift in the way in which go about our day-to-day has made our time even more precious. Ironically enough, despite many of us finding ourselves at home more than ever before, the opportunity to enjoy a cigar seems to constantly evade us; gone are the days when the adage ‘if I can find an hour to smoke, I can find two hours to smoke’ rung true. Fortunately, a slight change in the way we choose our smokes can afford us such an escape. 

Current trends in the cigar market externalise the preference smokers have for larger vitolas, with the toro replacing the robusto as the most popular size sold in the U.S. Naturally, the ripple effect of this is being observed throughout the cigar smoking world, and understandably so: the idea of one to two hours of unobstructed relaxation accompanied by one’s favourite cigar seems the perfect remedy for many an ailment, but one which many passionados believe is currently out of their reach.

However, the popularity of the aforementioned vitolas may be clouding our judgment. Whilst time is scarce, it is not impossible to enjoy such moments, serene in nature and scented by the aromatic and seductive smoke which, seemingly mythical in power, carries us away from the realities of our day. 

Smokers’ recognition of such a possibility is evident in the resurgence of the petit robusto and half corona sizes. It would seem that it is indeed the motion of the ocean that counts…

However, let us talk about the unsung heroes who, rather than taking their place in the spotlight, are shaded by the grandeur of their counterparts: the smaller cigars which eagerly await their time to shine, but whose neglect has even lead to their exclusion from the majority of cigar-size charts, a guiding and definitive resource for every new smoker. However, it would seem that their time is now.

I am talking about the puritos, the exquisitos and the demi tasses, the piccolinos and the café cigars; little offerings of premium, hand rolled tobacco bursting with flavour. These cigars, perched humbly in the humidor longing to be selected, are often overlooked. However they have much to offer both seasoned and novice cigar smokers. 

Their versatility is unquestionable: they can be paired with a quick coffee early in the day, offer some reprise with a post lunch latte, or accompany a light spirit at the close of the day, when eyelids grow increasingly heavy and the temptation of a two hour smoke, whilst tantalising, is drowned out by the weariness of a mind seeking a little comfort before accepting the arrival of sleepiness as the most inviting of respites. Despite their small stature, they are magnificent cigars which should be savoured and enjoyed with the same enthusiasm as any Churchill. 

For those smokers who, like most of us, started off with smaller cigars before graduating to the ego nourishing baseball bats that often adorn the covers of Cigar Aficionado magazine, perhaps this is the time to return to those old friends who, like a first love guiding you through the liminality preceding adulthood, acquainted you with the wonders of the cigar world. You will likely find that your increased appreciation for cigars will allow you to draw a lot more from these petit offerings than you did in the past, or thought that you ever could. 

Simply put, I believe that every cigar passionado should have a plentiful supply of smaller smokes in their humidor, the only justification for their absence being that you are on your way to your local lounge to restock your coffers (or are shopping online, of course). 

So, when seeking to start off your morning on the right foot, or contemplating which cigar will accompany you on the veranda and usher in your evening repose, reach for a smaller cigar. They are a staple of the industry, and we are grateful that they have stuck around amidst the popularity of larger vitolas. In these turbulent times, you may find yourself grateful for these petit yet timeless offerings that serve as the perfect go-to smoke. Trends come and go, but there is a reason that some things remain, and will continue to remain timeless. To paraphrase another embodiment of timelessness: let’s hope you never leave old friend, because like all good things, on you we’ll depend.

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