The Hong Kong cigar market is very strong and there is no doubt it has benefitted from Mainland Chinese visitors, while locals are more open minded than ever before.
Despite the increase in this open-mindedness, de Rougemont notes that Hong Kong is still very much Cohiba and Davidoff. These super premium brands continue to be in demand.
Hong Kong island is a treasure trove of cigar lounges and shops, with many lounges located on the upper floors of commercial buildings or tucked away from street view. One such example is Cohiba Atmosphere, which overlooks the city. There is a trend for people to go for bigger ring gauge cigars but a shorter size. Many people are short of time and enjoy such cigars during their lunchtime.
In 2001 foreigners, especially Japanese tourists, were the biggest group of clientele. But since 2007, mainland Chinese have pushed sales higher each year. Besides Davidoff cigars, Fuente Opus X led the charge in the early 2000s, while Davidoff and other Cuban Cigars shared sales volume.
This lounge attracts more connoisseurs than any other in Hong Kong. They know what they want and are very knowledgeable. In the early 1990s the lounge was a favourite haunt for regulars. However over time, more hotel guests began popping in. The walk-in humidor might be a tight squeeze and there are over 18,000 sticks on site, not including private lockers.
In the lounge, a customer enjoys a cigar and casually taps away on his laptop as soft jazz oozes out of the speakers, and comfy leather chairs and slowly revolving ceiling fans set the mood.
Acanta stocks Davidoff, Camacho, Ashton and La Aroma de Cuba cigars while regularly featuring Davidoff Cigar rollers. It is a young culture compared to Europe states Frenchman Jacques Boissier while puffs a Partagas Series D No.4.
Residing in Hong Kong for over 30 years observes that cigars began as a show-off thing to do.
However people are now transitioning to finding pleasure in Cigars. Hong Kong cigar culture is becoming more friendly and people are sharing their passion. Ten years ago, lounges were quiet, private places. Now everyone is saying hello and discussing cigars.
Hong Kong is still very much a cUban cigar stronghold but with a growing interest in non Cuban cigars. It will take time for the market to move to non Cuban brands, even Davidoff is just a brand to many buyers, with not much thought of their origin.