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 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 |
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.
|Bruce Busch |
Bruce’s love for the leaf quickly became his passion after visiting cigar factories and tobacco fields in Honduras. After participating in the blending and selection processes for many cigar blends over the last 10 years, Bruce became a proofreader for Cigar Journal and has been for the past 3 years. He received his Master’s in Foreign Language Education from the University of South Florida and has been teaching German and Spanish for over 15 years. Besides his passion for cigars, Bruce’s interests include traveling the world and coaching soccer. He lives in Florida with his wife and 2 children.
|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.
|Nicola Di Nunzio |
Nicola Di Nunzio has been both a great lover and a passionate collector of Cuban cigars and memorabilia since the Noughties. He writes for Cigar Journal as well as the Italian magazine SIGARI!. Nicola is a member of the Puromotivo Torino Cigar Club, active as both secretary and treasurer. In addition, since 2011, he has been board secretary for the Cigar Club Association (CCA) in Italy. He is the main person responsible on the CCA panel, coordinates the editorial team of SIGARI!, and is, furthermore, panelist for Cigar Sense. Currently, Nicola works for Cigar Must Lugano and the magazine LiveIn.
|Pia Gaudenzi |
Pia Gaudenzi studies German Literature and Language as well as Media at the University of Innsbruck. Her father introduced her to the world of cigars. While still studying, she worked at a publishing house and is still writing for a local newspaper. Her first short story is published in summer 2018. Still a Rookie with cigars, she writes about cigar events and reports from the best locations to smoke cigars.
|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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
|Justin Harris |
Justin Harris is a Certified Consumer Tobacconist and professional blogger who has been a lover of the leaf since 2003. In an effort to educate new and experienced cigar enthusiasts, he created CigaHr.com in 2013, relaunched as CigarInsight.com in 2018. It is that focus on education that has enabled him to build relationships with both cigar manufacturers and consumers. Justin is a member of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association and the Cigar Rights of America, where he serves as the Ambassador for the State of Tennessee. Whether through social media or face-to-face interactions at cigar lounges, Justin is always promoting premium cigars and the experience they provide.
|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.
|Klaus Hruby |
Klaus Hruby learned his trade as a journalist at a young age and published articles in various media such as Die Zeit, Der Falter, as well as in renowned literature competitions in German-speaking countries. His love for cigars was ignited during his apprenticeship; his great-grandfather still owned a tobacco field. Klaus Hruby has been writing Austria’s biggest cigar blog, www.derblauedunst.com, since 2014.
|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.
|Petteri Patjas |
Since from his very first puff in mid-1990s Petteri has been a dedicated passionado exploring constantly the world of cigars. He served as a chairman of Kirjaclub Cigar Club in Helsinki between 2013-2017 and continues to influence the cigar scene heavily in the Nordic and Baltic regions. As a passionate golfer, he contributes regularly to the Finnish GoGolf magazine and online media covering golf course reviews and travel destinations. Being a member of Cigar Club Mareva in Split he is also a regular participant to the CSWC events around the world. Petteri is also a member of Cigar Journal tasting panel.
|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 |
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.
|Samuel Spurr |
Samuel Spurr has been writing for Cigar Journal since his first feature on the Australian cigar scene in 2006.
Since 2015 he has been the magazine’s Asia-Pacific Editor and Business Development Manager for the region.
Originally from Sydney, Australia, now based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he writes and produces content about cigars, cigar events, and cigar culture across Asia.
Recognized as a cigar authority, Sam frequently speaks at cigar industry conferences and hosts cigar seminars.
|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 |
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 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.
|George Manzella |
is a passionate cigar smoker who credits his father for introducing him to the leaf in 1994 when he was just 18 years old. George has been a high school teacher of English in New Jersey, USA since 2003 where he has taught literature, writing and journalism. He is also the founder of the New Jersey Cigar Club. George wrote for two local community periodicals prior to joining Cigar Journal in 2015. His passion for premium tobacco and his zest for writing has taken George on a remarkable journey through an enchanted world of unforgettable memories and life-long friendships.
|Jorge Tapies |
Jorge Tapies is a passionate cigar smoker for over 20 years who enjoys visiting a tobacco farm or factory as well as spending time with friends at a cigar lounge anywhere in the world over a glass of aged rum. Jorge holds the Tobacconist University Certified Consumer Tobacconist as well as the International Association of Cigar Sommeliers’ Cigar Ambassador certifications and is an avid reader and book collector on anything cigar and tobacco related. Jorge is a regular contributor and ambassador for Cigar Journal, especially in Spanish speaking countries. He is also member of Cigar Journal’s tasting panel since 2012.