China is a place where there is never a shortage of smokers and cigarettes. About six months after I got to China, a former supervisor once offered me a cigarette. I politely declined and said it wasn’t my thing. He laughed and told me to wait another six months and that would change. Over six years in China and happily, he was wrong.
I now have a long pipe and have received so many compliments. But where do you go when you are in Beijing and you want to find nice pipe tobacco or a good cigar to enjoy on a night out or while relaxing after a hard China day? Fret not friends, because I’ve got you covered with four great spots in Beijing to meet your needs.
1) Cigar AmbassadorView In Map
Located at The Place, this place is the place to go (no pun intended… well maybe just a small one) if you are looking for a wide range of cigar needs. With a massive walk-in humidor, you know right off the bat that these guys aren’t joking around. And you can’t just pop in all willy-nilly. There is a code to open the door to the humidor. You will feel like James Bond walking into Q’s private vault.
After a member of the staff enters the code to let you in, you are enveloped in the wonderful aroma of perfectly moistened tobacco and cedar. Take a moment to just enjoy it before you rush off to make your selection.
And speaking of selection, well if you can’t find something you like here just give it up. Along with the standard offering from Cuba, you can find representatives from all the other major cigar producing countries as well; Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic and more.
Once you choose your cigars, you leave the heady scent of cedar behind and go back into the main sales floor. Here, you can choose cutters, lighters and cigar boxes. I have one of their small cedar boxes and thankfully they are fairly idiot proof. The staff will tell you all you need to know about their selection and help you make a decision.
Add: L137, Floor 1 (S2), The Place, 9 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang District
地址:东大桥路东二环中路外朝阳区光华路9号, The Place (S2)1层L137号
Tel: 10 5870 3652
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
2) Bottle, Boot & Cigar (BBC)View In Map
BBC is another great place to find all your cigar needs. But one thing makes BBC a bit different from other spots you can choose from and that’s the selection.
Doug, one of the owners of BBC, said that the store don’t have deals in place with distributors, so the selection you will get at BBC is something of an adventure because it always changes. Their stock comes from the travels of their friends and staff.
This means that at BBC, you’ll always be able to see something new and almost never on offer at another place in town. If you hate monotony, then you are going to love it here. And they really know how to treat their stogies. With a two separate humidity gauges and water pillows for your cigars after purchase, they truly exhibit a love for the leaf.
Not only are the selections always changing, but because they are a well and diversely stocked bar, you can get some great advise about pairings. So if you have a favorite scotch or whiskey then they can recommend a cigar to compliment it perfectly. And they can go the other direction as well. It makes for a great experience in a cozy environment.
Add: 168 Taipingzhuang Nanli (opposite the Big Smoke)
Opening Hours: 18:00 until late, Daily
3) Cigar Leisure Bar View In Map
The last place on the cigar side of things is located in Sanlitun next to Sunnie's American Diner. Along the tree lined street sits Cigar Leisure Bar. When you enter, be prepared because you might have a hard time tearing yourself away.
Beautiful cigar boxes line the wall at the front door and inside, the front room sports four massive, soft, amazing leather recliners. The back of the shop also has a more traditional area for sitting, having tea, alcohol and a cigar.
They are strictly Cuban cigar suppliers, but the knowledge of those cigars is impressive to say the least. When I asked why only Cubans they said, “It’s better to be a master of one great thing than nothing.” And that is a fair philosophy. Ask any question about their stock and they will have the answer.
There is no walk in humidor here, but there are several cabinet and tabletop humidor cases so you will never feel crowed while browsing the sizable selection.
They also offer quite a few adult beverages to enjoy while you lounge in a recliner. And the prices for their spirits are very low, but don’t get any ideas about just coming in for a drink. Those are strictly reserved for smoking customers and their guests.
Add: 28 Sanlitun Bei Jie, Chaoyang District
4) Brothers Pipe ShopView In Map
The last spot to mention is a double threat. In a very small shop on Xinyuan S. Road is Brothers Pipe Shop. With a large selection of pipes, many hand carved from Italy, they have the largest selection of pipe tobacco and accessories I have found in Beijing.
What’s more, the owners actually smoke pipes so they can offer some very good advise about a selection for you, but only in Chinese, so take a long a translator if your language skills are lacking.
They don’t keep their selections out for all to see. You ask for the menu and they hand you a binder with a wide range of choices from the traditional cherry cavendish to a stronger Virginia black.
They also carry the filters, cleaners and many styles of pipe tools as well as pipe lighters so you can satisfy all of your pipe smoking needs in one place. But that is only the first prong of the double threat. Brothers is also here to accommodate your refined cigarette needs by offering papers and an equally extensive selection of rolling tobacco.
And Brothers Pipe Shop gets a 200 bonus points because… they deliver! When you offer great tobacco for pipes and rollies AND you deliver them to a customer’s door, there is just no way to not be an essential stop.
Add: 14 Shunyuanli, Chaoyang District
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Keywords: Beijing Cigar Shops Pipe Shops Beijing
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