Habanos
English Market Selection
Masters of Havana Cigars

Masters of Havana Cigars

The Higher Certificate, developed by Hunters & Frankau, represents the most extensive & prestigious qualification within the UK Habanos market.


Antonios Giannousakis

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Birley Cigars

6a Trebeck Street
London
W1J 7LY

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020 3928 1468 cigars@birleycigars.com www.birleycigars.com


Passed: 20th July 2022

Master of Havana Cigars : Antonios Giannousakis

What do you enjoy most about working with cigars?

The most exciting part of working with cigars is the people. Professionals or enthusiasts, it's a unique category of people that you can spend many hours or even days exchanging opinions and knowledge about cigars. People from all over the world and also from many different industries. This has as a result in an every-day development of myself.

What first interested you in cigars?

I was always interested in high-end products, and during a period of studying for spirits, wine and champagne I started learning also about the basics of cigars (how to preserve, how to serve etc.) that was the point that I realised how much labour, effort and love is behind this wonderful product. I believe that no one can oversee this excellent art behind cigars.

Do you remember your first cigar?

My first memorable smoke was a Quai D' Orsay Coronas Claro. It had such a smooth aroma and this perfectly balanced light toasted tobacco flavour is something that is engraved in my brain. Even now, when I have the chance I will always enjoy one of those wonderful sticks with a coffee.

What is the best piece of advice you have for someone just starting to smoke cigars?

I would suggest starting from something light and not very long and then start trying a lot of different cigars so this person can step-by-step build his palate. Even for a very regular cigar smoker, tasting different cigars is part of the enjoyment and the experience. It is well known that Habanos have a massive variety of smokes to enjoy.

What are your favourite three cigars?

It is one of these questions that there are a lot of answers, but I would never be satisfied with my answer. Cigars that I will always enjoy and savour every puff from them would be Ramon Allones Specially Selected -my favourite one from the category of Robustos, followed by a well preserved Cohiba Siglo V and last but not least a Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona is always a magnificent choice especially when you have some extra time to enjoy a cigar.

Has becoming a Master in Havana Cigars helped you in your profession?

Undoubtedly, all this knowledge and information plus the personal research that everyone needs to do in order to be ready for this exam does not only boosts your confidence and credibility on sharing information about cigars, but also you can realise that the cigar journey is very exciting and there are a lot of things to learn. We learn every day and this certificate for me is the beginning of a big research and continuous development in the cigar industry.

Meet the Masters

Claudio Chesini

Claudio Chesini

No.10 Manchester Street

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Jorge Gonzalez

Jorge Gonzalez

La Casa del Habano James J Fox in Harrods

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Cristian Secchi

Cristian Secchi

Tomtom Cigars & Coffee

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Maurizio Zatti

Maurizio Zatti

No.10 Manchester Street

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*There are also a number of Masters of Havana Cigars working in private members clubs that are not listed here.

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