Cigars & Pipes in Taiwan

Operated by Mr. Max Hsu and Miss Ines Lin is located at No. 28 , Lane 199, Sec. 4, Hsin-yi Road in Taipei, Taiwan. Phone: (886-2)2707-0674-5 Fax: (886-2)2325-2206.

Taipei, Taiwan’s oldest
and best smoke shop.

SMOKER’S INN is the first cigar, pipe and tobacco store in Taiwan’s capital city of Taipei. It has been open since 1994. Each year has proven more favorable than the previous. Cigars and related accessories are being discovered and appreciated by more people in all of Asia.

The ultra clean store boasts a walk-in humidor that displays and maintains hundreds of sizes and shapes of Cuban and Dominican cigars. Smoker’s Inn offers a complete selection of premium smoking accessories dazzles customers. From matches to lighters to humidors, Smokers Inn has it.

Miss Lin maintains the walk-in humidor at 72% – 74% relative humidity at 70ºF/21ºC. Also on display is a selection of humidors to satisfy the needs of entry level cigars buffs to full blown aficionados.

As cigars gain popularity, the number of new stores has increased dramatically. Smoker’s Inn maintains the most comfortable market position as they offer: information, service and quality items.

Taiwan’s largest selections of pipes and cigar accessories, Smokers Inn sponsors a variety of cigar and wine activities. This includes: cigar and wine tasting along with cigar rolling demonstrations.

Mr. Julian Rayo has over 30 years of experience rolling all sizes and shapes of cigars. Mr. Rayo visits Smokers Inn and demonstrates all phases of cigar rolling. Mr. Rayo began in the cigar business as a teenager at the Romeo y Julieta factory in Cuba.

Smoker’s Inn understands premium cigars and accessories are enjoyed by connoisseurs of other pleasures of life. Thus they offer a fantastic wine selection. The store offers customers a relaxing place to light up their favorite cigar as they enjoy a glass of fine wine.


The first avant garde cigar and wine divan in the world.


Welcome to The NURSE
The NURSE, a futuristic split level Havana haven opened Dec. 18, 1998. Located prominently at The Ritz Carlton, a renowned elegant hotel in the heart of Central – Hong Kong’s financial center. The NURSE is latest creation by Mr. David Tang, the Chairman of The Pacific Cigar Company. Envision a sanctuary to pamper the minds and souls who appreciate only finest genuine Havana cigars as a modem approach to the millennium.


The NURSE brings state of the art in technology and design. In a club like atmosphere, cigar aficionados can meet for a relaxing smoke in spacious sleek surroundings with the most updated LCD screen, Hi-Fi system, and for the latest in cigars world update, you may search your way into our internet. A wine cellar is located on the first floor for those who enjoy fine wines.


Experience the perfection of the cigar maker’s art with the latest new brands. The NURSE has: Vegas Robaina, Cuaba, Trinidad and Vegueros and the largest selection of Double Coronas and Churchill’s in Hong Kong. A full range of the latest premium accessories: humidors, cutters, lighters, cigar pouches, cigar books and magazines are all available.


Moreover, you may relax and order your lunch, afternoon snacks, or dinner from our all day menu provided by The Ritz Carlton.

Hong Kong

Cohiba Cigar Divan in the lobby of
the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on HK Island.

Master Cuban Cigar Roller Senior Angel Gonzalez visits the Cohiba Cigar Divan and demonstrates the art and craft of producing fine hand made premium cigars. The finest leaves are brought from Cuba's premiere growing regions for his visits.

Mr. Robert Adams HK managing director of Cranbrook Intl. LTD is enjoying one of Senior Gonzalez's Churchill size cigars.


Welcome to La Casa Del Habano. Second floor of the Sheraton Hotel in Kowloon.

Local businessman Jimmy Cheung, Taiwan executive Melody Chen and Belgium entrepreneur R. Popelier visit and enjoy fine cigars, drinks and conversation.

Virtually every brand of Cuban Cigar is offered at the Cohiba Cigar Divan. Cigars are kept at 70% – 72% relative humidity at 70ºF/21ºC. Favorite cigars in 1998 were the Trinidad and Cohiba.

Visitors feel comfortable in the warm cozy ambiance that reflects authentic Cuban smoking tradition. The Divan is tastefully appointed with fine smoking accessories. Spirits, espresso and rare Cuban rums are offered to enhance the cigar experience.

Store manager Johnny Wong and Lawrence Leung offer a fantastic selection of cigars, accessories and information. Visitors feel most welcome.


A deluxe hotel menu is offered for single or group dining, as well as private cigar lockers.

Southeast Asia Cigar Scene

S.E. Asia Cigar Scene
Where to buy your HAVANA’S & cigar accessories in S.E. Asia.

In HK it is the Cohiba Cigar Divan,
La Casa Del Habano and the Nurse.

The Cohiba Cigar Divan is in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel,
HK on the lobby level. La Casa del Habano is in the
Sheraton Hotel, Kowloon on the second floor. The Nurse is
located in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, HK ground floor.
All three are the creation of Pacific Cigar Co. LTD.

Pacific Cigar Co. Ltd. is the exclusive distributor for all Havana Cigars for the entire Asia Pacific region. It was established in 1992 by the recondite visionary Mr. David Tang.

Currently PCC maintains five state-of-the-art retail stores: The world famous Cohiba Cigar Divan located at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in HK, La Casa Del Habano at The Oriental Bangkok, La Casa Del Habano at The Mandarin Oriental in Jakarta, La Casa Del Habano at The Sheraton HK & Towers and the newly open Nurse at the Ritz Carlton in HK.

Cohiba Cigar Divan

Mr. Teddy Lam, store manager of the Cohiba Cigar Divan invites you to relax and enjoy your favorite premium cigar. Select from hundreds of aged premium quality Cuban cigars. Enjoy some of the worlds finest cigar hospitality at Hong Kong’s first cigar lounge.


Each store offers a full range of sizes and main brands of Cuban cigars. Popular cigars enjoyed in PCC’s smoking lounges are: Cohiba, Trinidad, Montecristo, H. Upmann, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, Bolivar, San Luis Rey, Quintero, La Gloria Cubana, Rafael Gonzalez, Quintero, and others.


Each store has a complete selection of fine humidors, cutters, leather cases, and other accessories.

There are other fine cigar stores and divans in HK. The newest is located in the Conrad Hotel. This features a specially designed walk-in humidor located in the Pacific bar. This magnificent humidor was installed by Mr. Giovanni Viterale, the hotels food and beverage manager.

PCC is represented in:
Australia by the Alexander Group, at 5 Rosemary Court in Victoria.
Japan by the Intercontinental Trading Corp., at 3-9, 2-Chome Azabuai, in Minato-Ku, Tokyo.
Korea by PCA Development, at 260-199 Iteawon Dong, Yongsan Ku at the Narnsong Bld. Suite #10, Seoul.
Malaysia by the Havana Club, at PI, Prestige Floor, Level 4 Lot at 10 Shopping Centre, 50 Jalan Sultan Ismall in Kuala Lumpur.
Philippines by The Tabac Inc. at Suite #502 in the Alexander House, No. 132, Amorsolo St. in Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila.
Macau by Son Wai Cigars Trading Co. Ltd. at Avenida Da Praia Grande, No. 63 EDF, Hang Cheong, 12 Andar “E”. Macau.

Humidors and Humidification

Cigars get better when kept in the proper environment.

It could be an inexpensive air tight food type container or a hand crafted humidor. HUMATIC® is the #1 choice of cigar connoisseurs the world over.

HUMATIC® 50™ in a $3.50 Tupperware® container.

Two HUMATIC® HR™’s in a $3500.00 Elie blue humidor.


Storing Cigars
Cigars must be kept in some type of humidity controlled environment. Traditionally, cigars are stored in humidors. Humidors come in a variety of sizes and designs. The most important consideration is that humidors seal tightly. It is preferred that humidors are lined with Spanish cedar wood. Cedar is used for two reasons: a) It gives cigars a cedar flavor that is enjoyed by many cigars enthusiasts. b) It will hold moisture and not mold or rot. If conditions were created that provoked mold, it is obviously too wet.

Cigars are best if kept at 72% relative humidity at 70ºF.
Cigars stored at 72% RH offer their greatest taste. Their bouquet and combustibility is perfect. Some people prefer their cigars kept at 70% RH. Some people prefer their cigars kept at 74% RH. Keeping cigars within these parameters becomes a personal choice.

If kept below 68% RIH cigars start to dry out. Dry cigars bum fast and taste harsh. Above 80% RH, cigars are too wet to stay lit and enjoy. Above 85% RH, they will become soggy and develop mold.


Protecting your cigar investment
Shown on the left are several choice Cuban cigars. They are stored in a $3.50 Tupperware® container. They are maintained in perfect condition with the simple, maintenance free and low cost HUMATIC® 50™ pouch.

Shown of the right is what is generally agreed to be the finest humidor in the world. This hand crafted French made Eli blu humidor is adorned with gold medallions. It is maintained with two HUMATIC® HR™ humidification regulators. The two HR™ regulators are serviced with HUMATIC® Scientific Solution™ twice a year.

The proud owner of this choice Eli Blu humidor trusted his precious Cuban made: Cohiba robusto’s, lanceros and esplendidos to HUMATIC®.


Aging cigars
Cigars should be stored in optimum conditions for 18 months. By this time, they begin to offer many beneficial characteristics cigar smokers desire. If kept for three years, they develop deeper character. If kept for five to seven years, the same cigars become masterful.

Cuban cigars photographed in Canada.

The Many Benefits of Tobacco, Without Additives.


The Doctor is In:
Rx for relaxation, pleasure and satisfaction.

Teddy Lam eminent board certified specialist in premium cigars checks the condition of a vintage Havana cigar. This examination is performed prior to dispensing to one of his many trusting patients, esteemed colleagues or for his personal consumption. Photo: Taken at The Nurse in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in HK.


Tobacco: Then & Now
Tobacco has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Topical, it has been employed to treat wounds. Internally, it has been used to treat gastric disorders. As a combustible it was often employed as an anti-depressant. Today cigar smokers use it to embrace feelings of relaxation, clarity, stimulation, and creativity.

In WWII cigarettes with high levels of nicotine were put into the kits of US service men. It was believed that the nicotine in strong cigarettes would keep military men alert. This spawned a new generation of cigarette smokers that were nicotine dependent. In the 1940’s-50’s-60’s-70’s cigarettes were in vogue. They were shown in movies, in print and promoted on television.

The concern of selling items that prayed on peoples vulnerability via addiction became a super business. As cigarettes became more popular, an increase in health problems surfaced. Cigarette smokers are simply ‘hooked’ on addictive nicotine and/or compounds that have nothing to do with relaxation that are sometimes added to cigarettes. This can be evidenced by observing a hard-core cigarette smoker attempting to enjoy a premium cigar. Before the cigar is finished, they smoke a cigarette. This strongly suggests that the cigar has considerably lower levels of the nicotine effect on the nicotine addicted cigarette dependent junkie.


Inhaling Cigarettes Vs. Puffing On Cigars
It is a fact that some tobaccos utilized for the production of offensive odor producing cigarettes are cultivated with special properties. Some of these properties include growing strains of tobacco with significantly higher amounts of addictive nicotine than found in naturally occurring tobacco.

Cigarette producers have admitted to introducing trace amounts of ammonia into the processing of tobacco for finished cigarettes. Ammonia triggers the human brain into receiving a ‘kick’ from nicotine or a ‘jolt’ from artificially high levels of nicotine. This gives the user a short lived rush.

It is suspected that induced nicotine and/or other non-natural properties found in cigarettes are directly responsible for addiction as well as a variety of serious health related illness.

High profile cigarette smokers like: John Wayne, Joe DiMaggio, Edward R. Morrow, Humphrey Bogart, Yul Brenner, Nat King Cole, Robert Ryan, and countless tens of thousands of non celebrates have died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer associated with cigarettes.

It is a fact that tobacco utilized for the production of premium, cigars is cultivated in a totally natural way. Tobacco used for these cigars is also fermented several times prior to being hand rolled into finished combustibles.

Fermentation is accomplished by placing slightly moistened leaves one on top another in a stack that is usually 3 to 4 feet high. This bale is then covered with a burlap or plastic cover. Temperature is carefully monitored during this process. If the leaves get over 140T, the leaves are remoistened and restacked. This process is repeated two to three times until ammonia and other odors are released, along with chlorophyll and nitrogenous gasses.

It is believed that this laborious process dramatically reduces nicotine. This also gives the cigar a pleasant bouquet, marvelous taste and rewarding effect as it is being enjoyed.

High profile cigar smokers like: Winston Churchill, Milton Berle, Groucho Marx, Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, George Burns lived into their late 80’s or 90’s without getting cancer.

Rating Cuban Robusto Cigars

This size cigar is usually 50 ring x 5″. The robusto size cigar gained popularity in the mid-1980's. When introduced, it was considered a short Churchill. Today, smokers have discovered the benefits of the rich flavor produced by a large ring gauge cigar combined with the relatively short smoking time of 30 minutes to 75 minutes. The time it takes to smoke a robusto depends on the smokers mood and the level of conditioning the cigar has received.

Each cigar was smoked shortly after they were obtained from retail stores. Each store had humidified storage rooms. The production dates located on the bottom of each box indicated that these cigars were offered about 75-120 days after their manufacture. When new, all cigars (except #9) were dryer than optimal, smoked rapidly tasted hot.

In about one year, each cigar was totally conditioned (14% of the cigars weight was moisture), and began of offer a most pleasant smoking experience. After three years of proper storage each cigar developed great character and offered the smoker a most flavorful and rewarding experience. All cigars were very well made.

#01 Hoyo de Monterey Epicure #2
#03 El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme
#04 H. Upmann Connoisseur #1
#05 Vegas Robania robusto
#05 Montecristo robusto
#06 Saint Luis Rey robusto
#07 Juan Lopez #2
#08 Romeo y Julieta Exhibition #4
#09 Cohiba robusto
#10 Ramon Allones Specially Selected
#11 Bolivar Royal Corona
#12 Partagas Serie D #4


#01 Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2. New, this cigar had no flavor and effect. In one year it tasted better, without effect. In three years, it offered a nice mild taste with a very mild effect.


#02 El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme. New, a light flavor and little effect. In one year, a sweet taste and mild effect. In three years a honey taste and mild effect. A summertime smoke.


#03 H. Upmann Connoisseur #1. New, this cigar had mild taste and mild effect. In one year, a mild to medium taste and effect. In three years, a medium rich flavor and medium to full bodied effect. A world class afternoon or evening smoke.


#4 Vegas Robaina robusto. New, mild to medium taste with little effect. In one year, medium taste and effect. This cigar was obtained 12 months prior to tasting.


#05 Montecristo robusto. New, mild to medium taste with medium effect. In 7 months, medium taste to medium full effect. This cigar was obtained 7 months prior to tasting.


#06 Saint Luis Rey robusto. New, mild to medium taste, some effect. In one year, medium to full taste and nice effect. In three years, rich taste and medium to full bodied effect. Nice after a medium to heavy lunch. A cigar for experienced smokers.


#07 Juan Lopez #2. New, medium flavor and effect. In one year, rich flavor and medium to full effect. In three years, rich flavor and rewarding effect. Very nice after a heavy lunch.


#08 Romeo y Julieta Exhibition #4. New, medium flavor and effect. In one year, rich flavor and medium to full bodied effect. In three years, rich flavor and full bodied effect. Brilliant smoke. #09 Cohiba robusto. New, medium rich flavor and effect. In one year, rich taste and medium to full effect. In three years, rich flavor and rewarding effect. The only cigar ready to smoke out of the box. This is a robusto with class. Expensive.


#10 Ramon Allones Specially Selected. New, mild to medium flavor with medium effect. In one year, medium rich taste and fuller effect. In three years, rich flavor and full bodied effect. This robusto develops complex flavors and a rewarding effect.


#11 Bolivar Royal Corona. New, little flavor and medium effect. In one year, medium to full taste and strong effect. In three years, rich flavor and heavy effect. A powerful robusto.


#12 Partagas Serie D #4. New, medium flavor and effect. In one year, rich flavor and strong effect. In three years, deep rich flavor and a very powerful effect. This is a lights out cigar.


This tasting of 12 of Cuba's finest robustos was performed over 3 1/2 years. With the exception of the Vega Robania and the Montecristo robusto. These cigars were introduced in 1998 and 1999 respectively. Each of the cigars were smoked and evaluated when they were store obtained, at one year and finally at three years. All cigars were kept at 70ºF with a relative humidity (RH) of 72%, using HUMATIC® systems.

How to judge a good Cigar

Cigar experts. Cigar magazines. Cigar ratings. Cigar expert wanna-be’s seem to be everywhere.

When reading cigar magazines, descriptive terms such as: leathery, spicy, herbal, woody, metallic, etc. have been used to describe taste or flavors. Taste is subjective. What is ‘herbal’ could be young or green to another.

The reality is that there are only 4 considerations in judging cigars.
1) Construction. How well the cigar is made. Does it fall apart? Are there soft or hard spots in the body of the cigar? Are all the cigars from the same box the same length and diameter? How does it draw. The draw is directly related to the manufacturing and final conditioning of the cigar.

2) Degree of conditioning. All cigars should be conditioned prior to smoking. Conditioning takes from 10 months to several years. When obtaining cigars from a local tobacconist, the cigars are usually dry. Even though they may be in a humidified room. A dry cigar will bum rapidly, taste hot or harsh and not be able offer the smoker any idea of what that same cigar could offer, if properly conditioned.

Conditioning and Relative Humidity
Conditioning is performed by placing cigars in a humidor that is maintained between 68ºF – 75ºF, at a constant relative humidity (RH) of 70%-74%. 70% RH is the absolute lowest to keep cigars. 74% RH is the highest. Properly conditioned cigars will display an oily or silky wrapper. They will have an even feel throughout the entire body. There will be no hard places that restrict the draw.

Properly conditioning your cigars is an absolute MUST. Allow your cigars to deliver all their potential. A rich and rewarding smoking experience.

3) Taste or flavor. This is directly related to the leaves employed that make the cigar, and the level or degree of conditioning the finished cigar receives. When properly conditioned, the leaves that make up the entire cigar will marry. Like fine wines, cigars must be conditioned prior to consumption.

4) Effect. What effect does cigar have on the smoker? During the smoke, does the cigar build in taste, flavor, complexity and effect? Or does it simply give the same taste all the way through, and go nowhere? Does the cigar relax you? Or, after smoking, are you ready for another cigar? Some cigars offer a mild experience. While others present a dramatic effect of near physical debilitation.

Mood of the smoker and conditioning.
If the smoker is nervous they tend to puff faster and the cigar is consumed rapidly. As the smoker becomes relaxed, the rate of puffing slows. If the cigar is properly conditioned, the total weight of the cigar is about 14% moisture (maintained at 72% relative humidity). Then the cigar will bum slower, and taste richer. I.E. Relax. Enjoy a properly conditioned cigar.

Machine-Made Cigars

There are two types of cigars: Machine Made and Hand Made.
Both types of cigars have three main parts. The filler, the binder and the wrapper. Each step of making a machine made or hand made cigar is vital to the quality of the finished cigar.

A machine made cigar is basically a bundle of tobacco that is rolled into a tubular shape. This bundle is called the filler. The filler is held together by the binder. The binder and filler are covered with the wrapper. The entire process of making this type of cigar is totally automated. It is the operator that feeds these machines with the various tobacco parts. There are some very good machine made cigars.


The filler is the part of the cigar that gives most of the flavor. In machine made cigars, the filler is made from chopped or shredded pieces of tobacco. These pieces are usually the scraps from hand rolled cigars. In high quality machine made cigars, the pieces are relatively uniform in: size, texture and grade. In some low grade machine made cigars, these scrap pieces consists of low quality tobacco. In very low grade machine made cigars one could find pieces of stems or woody like stalks.


The binder is used to hold the filler together. High quality machine made cigars use a tobacco leaf for this purpose. Lower quality and cheaper machine produced cigars use a Homogenized Tobacco Leaf (HTL) as a binder. HTL is usually made from tobacco scraps that are ground up, mixed with combustible agents and water, then stretched and rolled in a large paper like sheet.


The wrapper is the last part of the cigar. It is the outer skin. The wrapper gives the cigar its appearance. Machine made cigars are not made with wrappers that develop into oily, silky smooth grand cigars. Some people believe that the wrapper gives about 50%-70% of the cigars taste. Others believe the filler gives the cigar its taste.


Machine made cigars are produced in most cigar producing countries and are the least expensive. They are offered in: cigarette stores, news stands, gas stations, etc. They are usually sold in cellophane wrappers. Most are small to medium in size. Some have a hole in the cap or head of the cigar. Although some machine made cigars have great taste and draw well, they are not able to offer the complex taste that develops with a quality hand made cigar made with long leaf filler.

Making machine made cigars inside the La Corona factory in Old Havana. A wrapper leaf is spread out on one side of an idle aluminum disc that rotates. With one swift motion, gears move, the aluminum disc rotates 1800, wheels spin, little arms reach out and grab bunches of tobacco, the operator puts another wrapper leaf on the ready side of the disc. In a few seconds rolled filler is being covered with its wrapper. And so it goes. Cigar after cigar. The equipment employed to make machine made cigars is virtually unchanged for 40+ years. There is a tremendous amount of maintenance required to keep this apparatus operative.

Cigar Factories

Most cigar factories in Cuba are located in old Havana. Pictured are the marques of two of the most famous.

The Partagas Factory was established in 1845 and is located across the street from the State Capitol
Some of the premium cigar brands produced at the Partagas Factory are: Partagas, Bolivar and La Gloria Cubano.

In 1995 the Partagas Factory celebrated its 150th anniversary. They produced the world famous Partagas 150th Anniversary Cigar. This limited edition Cuban Cigar was produced with specially selected leaves that were conditioned and matured for a minimum of five years. Today one of these highly sought after and appreciated sticks could cost upwards of USD $250.00.

The H. Upmann Factory (renamed Jose Marti) was established in 1844 and is located directly behind the Partagas Factory.
Cigars produced at the H. Upmann Factory are identified by the JM on the bottom of the box. Cigar connoisseurs and Havanaphiles actively search out Cuban cigars with the JM mark. Some believe these are the best handcrafted smokes.

Most cigar factories in Cuba are located in old Havana. Pictured are the marques of two of the most famous.

The Partagas Factory was established in 1845 and is located across the street from the State Capitol
Some of the premium cigar brands produced at the Partagas Factory are: Partagas, Bolivar and La Gloria Cubano.

In 1995 the Partagas Factory celebrated its 150th anniversary. They produced the world famous Partagas 150th Anniversary Cigar. This limited edition Cuban Cigar was produced with specially selected leaves that were conditioned and matured for a minimum of five years. Today one of these highly sought after and appreciated sticks could cost upwards of USD $250.00.

The H. Upmann Factory (renamed Jose Marti) was established in 1844 and is located directly behind the Partagas Factory.
Cigars produced at the H. Upmann Factory are identified by the JM on the bottom of the box. Cigar connoisseurs and Havanaphiles actively search out Cuban cigars with the JM mark. Some believe these are the best handcrafted smokes.