First Habanos World Challenge

Cyprian Duo Wins The First Habanos World Challenge

One of the Habanos Festival 2018 innovations was the first edition of the Habanos World Challenge. Opposed to the tradicional Habanos Sommelier, this contest is an opportunity for cigar enthusiasts and professionals to show their knowledge in a more relaxed way.

Another difference between these two competitions is that, in the Habanos World Challenge the participants compete in duos. In this first edition seven duos represented Belgium, Cuba, Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Lebanon and Serbia.
In the preliminary round a written test about the world of the Habano had to be completed, as well as a blind tasting of two cigars and a presentation that involved the cutting, lighting and a pairing proposal.

At the finals, Daylin López and Mayli Mostaza (Cuba) and Raffi Der Garapetian and Alexis Tselepis (Cyprus) squared off. In the first round, the fastest duo to press the buzzer in each one of the twenty five multiple choice questions had the chance to answer. On the next round they had to do a presentation from a theme selected in a virtual roulette. Finally, both duos had to guess the right cigar and spirit in a blind tasting. In a very close competition Raffi Der Garapetian and Alexis Tselepis from Cyprus won the first edition of the Habanos World Challenge. This new competition proved to be very entertaining.

2018 Habanos World Challenge results
Winners: Raffi Der Garapetian and Alexis Tselepis (Cyprus)
Runners Up: Daylin López and Mayli Mostaza (Cuba)


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.


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