Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Where We Live Now: Little Havana Cigar Factory

I'm not kidding. Please forward our mail to the Miami address.


Because upon further reflection, it will be cheaper to move residences than ship all the cigars we want to buy back to Massachusetts. 

It is very very fun to say the name of the street: Calle 8--
but you have to say Callay Ohchay with confidence and then you sound like a native.
Unless you then say other words and the illusion is ruined.
True story.

Within the first five minutes of stepping in the door of Little Havana Cigar Factory, we had a box of La Palina Goldie lanceros and a box of LFD Mysteriosos. Plus all the other things we're going to get. But the two fabulous gals, Ibis Luis and Nerelys Camacho, working here did not laugh in our faces when we asked about the great white whales of cigars. We're used to that reaction but still, we try. 

But these ladies, know what they said? They said "Of course."

Of course they said "Of course."  Because look:
It's all so so so purty and cozy there!
In order to better serve you as a reporter, I sat in all these chairs. Yep! Totally cozy!

If I weren't so wiped out, I'd get up and take another picture of the rows and rows of premium cigars. But Miami is exhausting and the people are so amazing and we haven't slept more than a few hours every night that we've been here. There are so many things to do!! And so many fun people to do those fun things with!

And then I stopped typing and went to try other chairs or encourage Valentino to purchase more cigars, and now it's a week later. I'm still comfy but on another couch, because we were all mature and decided we should probably come home. (Yay and boo.)

So we did. But we weren't empty-handed! Oh no! This happened:

If you happen to go to Miami, which you totally should, you will be amazed! It's like the anti-New England: Here, if we see a stranger in passing, we usually look down and away to avoid eye contact. There, not only to the residents smile at you before you ever get the chance to look down, you'll probably wind up, at the very least, having drinks with them and probably wind up married within the hour.*

Oh wait. What I meant to say is...If you go to Miami, you must must must go to Little Havana  Cigar Factory. And if when you do, be sure to get some of these:

Some coffee, some cocoa, a hint of pepper, an abundance of smoothness.
(I paraphrased Valentino's thoughts.)
The wrapper is habano from Ecuador;
binder is criollo from Nicaragua,
and the fillers are viso from Jalapa and ligero from Esteli.
These are lots and lots of Valentino's favorite things!

Oh heck, you don't even have to go there--order them--if when you do, be sure to get the habano. The Connecticut was so light it barely registered any flavor. In fact, the gals from the shop warned us about that, but we bought one anyway--just to try! Luckily, we had also picked up a box of the more deliciousy ones. Maybe the entire box of 20 was supposed to be a gift. Maybe there's no way all 20 will be making it in that direction. Oh, hell, who am I kidding? There's no "maybe" about it. Maybe a couple were accidentally smoked. Accidentally.

According to Cigar Aficionado, "If you're a cigar smoker, Calle Ocho offers even more. In a way, it's America's cigar central, and there is no other place quite like it in the world of cigar making. The vast majority of the world's premium cigars are made behind the walls of free-trade zones, off-limits to tourists. On Calle Ocho, not only can you buy cigars in a host of places, you can also watch such renowned cigars as La Gloria Cubanas and Tatuajes being rolled right in front of you."

We were a little sad because this was one hell of a whirlwind tour and a bunch of the places we wanted to go to, for example to check out the LGC rolling, were closed on our only free-ish day, Sunday.

We have so many many many Miami stories to tell you that I'm going to put Valentino to work writing some of this stuff. There's not enough time! Zoiks!

*I'm exaggerating. Kind of.**

**Only one sparkle? Not on my blog!!***

***Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle.

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