Contributors

 

The world of the cigar is not only special but also impressively complex. Even after years of engaging with issues on the manufacturing of cigars, the culture and industry, passionados find that new subject areas and information continually come up.

Our correspondents have an eye on the international industry and are considered the most experienced specialists in their field and branch. We can thus guarantee that the articles in Cigar Journal are not only in-depth but also come directly from the heart of the cigar world.

 

This is where you’ll find information about the authors and journalists who regularly contribute to Cigar Journal:

 

Alexandre Avellar
Alexandre Avellar is considered Brazil’s main reference in cigars. In 2010 he founded the Conexão Tabaco/Tudo Sobre Charuto, the country’s #1 cigar news website. He also writes for many cigar publications around the world. He has been nominated to the Habanos S.A. the Hombre Habano del Año (Habanos Man of the Year) trophy for Communications in the 15th and 16th Habanos Festival. He travels around the world covering the main events and promoting the culture of smoking cigars.
marc-andre-cigar-journal Marc André
Marc André is a passionate cigar smoker and humidor manufacturer. He has developed various humidification technologies for humidors, consults on and creates special humidor series and custom orders, and is in high demand as a lecturer on topics like cigar storage and humidor construction. His website, www.humidorbau.de, features his 100%-made-in-Germany Century series, which offers a range of professional solutions to cigar storage – from small table humidors to aging cabinets.
javier-blanco-urgoiti-author-cigar-journal Javier Blanco Urgoiti
Javier Blanco Urgoiti is a Spanish journalist who is crazy about the processes surrounding tobacco that take place before its manufacturing in the cigar factory – in particular the secrets of tobacco cultivation. This is an area in which he tirelessly tries to educate himself. Javier started smoking and writing about cigars in 1998, initially for the Spanish magazines La boutique del fumador and La cava de cigarros, and later, as chief press officer at La Aurora, the oldest tobacco factory in the Dominican Republic. Now he writes for Cigar Journal as a correspondent in Spain.
simon-chase-cigar-journal Simon Chase
Acknowledged by the New York Times as “a British cigar sage”, Simon Chase worked for the London-based, UK Habanos distributor Hunters & Frankau from 1977 until he retired in 2009. Over this period he accumulated extensive knowledge of the cigar industry, past and present, particularly in Cuba. Today he runs his own consultancy, Simon Chase Limited, which specialises in cigar marketing and tobacco legislation. He remains on the board of Hunters & Frankau as a non-Executive Director. In 1998 he was awarded by Habanos S.A. the Hombre Habano del Año (Habanos Man of the Year) trophy for Communications. Since then he has become well-known as the auctioneer at the Gala Dinner that marks the end of the Festival del Habano every year.
manuel-froehlich-cigar-journal Manuel Fröhlich
At the age of 18, the Swiss Manuel Fröhlich founded an online trading business for cigars. He expanded the business during his studies at the University of St. Gallen, and then, in Zurich in 2014, opened Manuel’s, a Caribbean drink and tobacco shop for cigars, coffee and rum. For Cigar Journal, Manuel Fröhlich reports from Cuba and other cultivation countries to which he regularly travels, and researches background topics on everything to do with the enjoyment of cigars.
colin-ganley-cigar-journal Colin Ganley
Colin Ganley joined Cigar Journal in 2007 and now makes his home in Nicaragua where he heads up Cigar Tourism and Twin Engine Coffee. He ist he author of Le Snob: Cigars (2011). He also writes for cigar publications around the world, including Cigar Snob magazine, and runs the website cigarresearch.com, which is devoted to his research and writing on cigars. He developed a system for rating and reviewing cigars called the Independent Cigar Rating System (ICRS), which has been adopted by several independent reviewers and websites.
katja-rauch-cigar-journal Katja Gnann
She learned her journalistic skills from scratch at a regional daily newspaper, for which she wrote articles for many years. Through working for the magazine Der Spiegel in Rome she had the opportunity to increase her professional knowledge in the field of media. Katja studied art history and Romance studies in Heidelberg, Palermo and Rome and, during the course of her studies, spent many years in Italy. The country was her teacher in things related to pleasure and lifestyle. She has been working for Cigar Journal since 2004. In 2010 she became editor-in-chief.
roland-graf-cigar-journal Roland Graf
Roland Graf writes about the beverage world for German-language magazines and online media. His articles on the culture and history of alcohol appear in magazines such as “A la Carte,” “BEEF!” and “Mixology.” For Cigar Journal, he organizes tastings and documents delightful pairings of cigars and drinks.
gabriela-greess-cigar-journal Gabriela Greess
Since 2005, Gabriela Greess has been traveling the world to report on top cigar destinations for Cigar Journal’s Travel Corner. She also writes our business features, often interviewing top tobacco industry representatives. Her Tobacco & Arts articles highlight cigar-loving artists and artisans.
christof-habres-cigar-journal Christof Habres
Christof Habres is a freelance journalist, writer and art dealer based in Vienna, Austria. In addition to Cigar Journal, Habres writes for the Wiener Zeitung, the Weiner Journal, and Weltkunst and Skylines magazines. His articles for Cigar Journal search out cigar-friendly nightlife in major cities.
nick_hammond_cigar_journal Nick Hammond
Nick Hammond is an award-winning writer from the UK. He writes for prestigious international titles on cigars, travel, food, drink, hotels, luxury, and more. Nick has been writing for Cigar Journal since 2010.
frank_hidien_cigar_journal Frank Hidien
From 1997 to 2005, Frank Hidien was editor in chief for the German magazine Pipe & Cigar and has since been working as a freelance journalist. He is Cigar Journal’s correspondent in Germany, and for other publications he writes on subjects related to gastronomy.
james-leavey-cigar-journal James Leavey
James Leavey has been writing about cigars since 1995. A year later his first book, The Forest Guide to Smoking in London was published. He has since written about cigars for many publications including World Tobacco, Tobacco Reporter, Punch (‘Sharing an ashtray’), Cigar Style and others. He also edited JJ Fox’s occasional cigar newsletter, The Humidor, and The Harrods Pocket Guide to Fine Cigars. A regular contributor to several programmes on radio, he is also an occasional contributor to Matt Allan’s weekly radio programme, Lighten Up! broadcast throughout the USA. In December 2015 he was awarded The Snow Queen Cigar Writer of the Year.
simon_lundh_cigar_journal Simon Lundh
Since graduating with an engineering degree in surveying in 2005, Simon Lundh has preferred to follow a profession in journalism. He stumbled upon the cigar world while working for a non-governmental organization in Estelí, Nicaragua, and is now mainly making a living writing about cigars, metal music, tattoos, and travel.
rmcj-4 Randy Mastronicola
Randy Mastronicola (a.k.a ZenGuido) is a freelance writer and certified life coach living in Southern California. His writing has appeared throughout the cigar universe in magazines and a variety of digital platforms. Randy writes about premium cigars, spirits, lifestyles, food, travel, and pop culture. He was born and raised in New York City “When Greenwich Village was The World” and he is a graduate of New York University’s School of Journalism.
claudia-puszkar-cigar-journal Claudia Puszkar
Originally trained as a sociologist, Claudia Puszkar has written about Cuban cigars and their history for years. She travels regularly to Havana to hunt down old and new cigar factories, and is always on the lookout for new impressions of the city and its residents.
frank-seltzer-cigar-journal-contributor Frank Seltzer
A 2-time Emmy award winner, Frank Seltzer is a former Correspondent for CNN, Voice of America and a producer for ABC News. He has been regularly covering the cigar industry for over 15 years.
sam_spurr_cigar_journal Samuel Spurr
Samuel Spurr has been Cigar Journal’s Asia-Pacific contributor since his first feature on the Australian cigar scene in 2006. Regularly writing, Tweeting, and Instagramming about cigars, he’s recognized in Australia as a cigar authority and frequently hosts cigar master classes.
jens_tausch_cigar_journal Jens Tausch
In 2003, Jens Tausch introduced the hybrid format of reviewing beverages and cigars to German-language media through his articles in Cigar Journal. Since 2002, he has been leading seminars, events, and tastings that focus on spirits and/or cigars. With his business partner, Jens Tausch is also an organizer of the consumer trade show, Whisky & Tobacco Days.
guillaume-tesson-cigar-journal Guillaume Tesson
A journalist since 1995, Guillaume Tesson wrote for various newspapers and magazines. From 2005 to 2013 he worked for the French cigar magazine L’Amateur de Cigare as a reporter, member of the tasting committee, and eventually as editor in chief for the iPad version. His passion for cigars led him to write two books, Cigares (Hachette Pratique) and Le Petit Larousse des Cigares (Larousse). Guillaume lives in Paris and, for Cigar Journal, has his finger on the pulse of everything that goes on in France that has to do with cigars.
reinhold_widmayer_cigar_journal.jpg Reinhold C. Widmayer
His journalistic career began in 1979 as a freelancer for German-language newspapers in the US, and later for Austrian media including Die Wochenpresse and Das Wirtschaftsblatt. For ten years he also produced programs for over 60 radio stations around the world. In 1994, Reinhold C. Widmayer devoted himself to all things cigar, publishing technical articles in cigar magazines. He began working for Cigar Journal in 2001 and became editor-in-chief in 2005; under his auspices the journal has established itself as the world’s leading cigar magazine.
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