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.


Erik Simonics

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Birley Clubs

26-28 Conway Street
London
W1T 6BQ

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020 3915 4046 esimonics@annabels.co.uk www.annabels.co.uk


Passed: 10th February 2022

Master of Havana Cigars : Erik Simonics

What do you enjoy most about working with cigars?

Cigars have always been my secret passion. I really enjoy learning more about how they are made and different brands. But the most I enjoy is sharing my passion with those guests, professionals or friends who enjoy smoking them as much as I do.

What first interested you in cigars?

I really like craftsmanship in general. It's an art to make wine from grapes, Michelin star dish from ingredients or a habano from tobacco leaves. Therefore I fell in love with cigars at a young age during my studies at the hotel school. I used to spend my pocket money to buy some cigars and books.

Do you remember your first cigar?

I bought my first cigar in a regular tobacconist in Slovakia. It had a small humidor with few cigars in it. I cannot remember the exact size, but it was definitely a Romeo & Julieta. Probably Petit Corona.

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

For someone just starting to smoke cigars I would suggest sticking to 'classic' brands and vitolas to start with. No point to jump straight to smoking a Behike 56. Montecristo, Romeo & Julieta, Hoyo de Monterrey and H. Upmann are all excellent brands to start with. Once that's done, there is a huge world of Havana cigars waiting to be explored.

What are your favourite three cigars?

Romeo & Julieta Short Churchill, Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 and Quai d'Orsay Senadores 2019. I can smoke these day and night, anytime.

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

Absolutely! I'm definitely more confident when it comes to recommending a cigar, talking with someone who is a great cigar lover or just having a great smoke with my fellow colleagues. Moreover, I'm now able to pass on my knowledge to my colleagues who are also interested in cigars. During the preparation for the exam, I learnt a lot. I mean, a lot! And the more I knew, the more I wanted to learn about them, and to smoke one, or two. Only one unfinished thing remained now, to visit Cuba!

Meet the Masters

Claudio Chesini

Claudio Chesini

No.10 Manchester Street

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Calum Conn

Calum Conn

La Casa del Habano (Chester)

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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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