If you are a cigar smoker, you will agree that cigars are more like fine wine. This is to say that they are both organic products with unique characteristics. Hence, to preserve these characteristics, including flavor and aroma, they should be stored properly. You will need cigar-humidors if you expect to keep your cigars for longer than a day. For this reason, purchasing a humidor should be the first step before buying a collection of cigars.
Every experienced cigar smoker can agree that with cigars, quality is of great essence. Well, you can achieve the quality of a good smoke by purchasing high-quality premium cigars. Still, it should not end here, especially if you hold your cigars for more extended periods. Having the right storage gear for your cigars goes a long way in improving the quality of your smoking experience.
However, buying is not the problem; knowing the best humidor, telling a good and quality one from a bad one, and some essential aspects of humidors are challenging issues. This is a comprehensive guide to humidors that will answer all your questions.
What is a humidor
A cigar humidor is an airtight container that can be as simple as a wooden box or as complex as a refrigerator used for storing, preserving, and aging cigars. As its name suggests, it is made with the specific purpose of maintaining the water moisture (humidity) and keeping the cigar's unique qualities. Cigars are made from tobacco which grows and flourishes well in humid conditions like Central America and the Caribbean.
Therefore, we can think of humid and moist environments as the best for tobacco preservation in cigars, which is precisely what-humidors do. They are made to ensure the cigars remain as healthy and fresh as they were made for many years. Humidors-can store and preserve various tobacco products and any other thing that requires specific humidity levels. This comprehensive guide to humidors will tell you everything you need to know about-humidors, including types, how they work to maintain the prime conditions, and many more.
Why you need a humidor
As discussed earlier, tobacco, the main content of cigars, grows and thrives well in warm, humid climates like those in Cuba and other Caribbean areas. Therefore curing, storing, and preserving the tobacco in cigars is all about the right humid conditions and steady heat that will promote slow drying without rotting. The bottom line is that tobacco grows and thrives in humid conditions. To preserve its lifespan and preserve its unique characteristics, humidity is a significant concern.
The following are some of the things the humidor does to your cigars.
Protecting essential oils
The unique aromas and flavors present in the cigar from volatile oils in the tobacco leaves and essential oils can be easily damaged and lost by extreme weather conditions like sunlight, cold, or heat. Humidors-keep the cigars at their best by protecting these essential oils by providing steady temperatures and dark environments.
Maintaining proper burn temperatures
Tobacco leaves burn hot and fast when the cigars are drying. When you smoke such cigars, they have acrid and unpleasant smoke. When the cigar environments are too damp, there are high chances of uneven burning, making it hard to smoke the cigars. Thanks-to-humidors that ensure proper burn temperatures for quality smoke.
Preventing insect damage
Tobacco beetle larvae are very common as they can survive curing and fumigation. They remain dormant until the humidity and temperatures are conducive for them to hatch. Once this happens, you can be sure that this dangerous insect will damage your entire cigar collection. Using a humidor will inhibit the life cycle of these tobacco beetles by maintaining shallow humidity levels that hinder their survival, protecting your cigars.
Improving flavor during aging
Years of storage of fine cigars encourages their aging, which enhances their cigar flavors. The cigars undergo some subtle changes as they age, and a humidor works to ensure the flavor of the cigars is improved as they age.
How long can cigars last if not stored in a humidor
If you still have not seen the need for having a cigar humidor, then it is best if you know how long cigars can last without a humidor. Within 2-3 days of not storing your cigar collection in a humidor, they will lose the essential oils, unique flavors, and aroma hence a reduced smoke quality. They will then start losing their freshness and quality. Storing your cigar collection in a humidor preserves these unique qualities that improve your smoke experience and ensure they remain fresh for a long time.
There are various types-of-humidors depending on size functions and styles.
A walk-in-humidor is a particular room with perfect humidity conditions. They can be built from scratch or simply by renovating an existing room to perfect environmental conditions. Walk-in-humidors are mainly found in cigar shops, but they can also be found in private homes, offices, and residences.
These are pieces of furniture of any kind, such as tables and cabinets used to store cigars. Cabinet-humidors are usually found in bars and cigar stores but could also be found in private homes and offices. It could be a big cabinet for various uses but with a specific portion specifically designed to store cigars. The number of cigars held depends on the size of the cigar compartment; the larger it is, the more cigars it can hold.
The most common table-humidors are coffee tables which are majorly used when space is an issue. However, care should be taken when using coffee tables-as-humidors as the conditions may sometimes be manipulated, such as placing a hot coffee mug or a stack of books on the table. Depending on the size of the table, a table humidor can hold cigars from a few hundred cigars to thousands of them.
This is a typical cigar humidor that almost all cigar smokers, whether semi-regular smokers or avid collectors, have as great for everyone. Most of them can hold cigars between 20 to 80, but others can hold more than this amount. In most cases, they are kept in office desks or on the mantle at home. Among the benefits of having such-humidors is that you can own a number of them and arrange the cigars conveniently.
However, it is essential to store different cigars, especially those with different flavors separately, to not interfere with the other flavors. Some separators can be used to achieve this. Still, it is best to have different-humidors for cigars of different brands or countries and light medium and full-bodied cigars.
They are fantastic, portable, and versatile-humidors and, as the name suggests, for traveling purposes. These humidors-come-in handy on many occasions, and as an experienced cigar smoker, you should have one. Subcategories of travel-humidors include;
Golf caddy-humidors- They can be attached to a bag or worn on the hip and are convenient for smokers who enjoy having a puff on the golf course
Vehicle-humidors-These are very efficient for smokers who take a puff while commuting, and they can be bought from cigar stores. However, some vehicle models like Rolls Royce have built-in-humidors either at the console or the glove compartment.
Pocket-humidors-They can typically hold two to three cigars, and they come in various shapes and sizes. They are only a temporary storage solution. Therefore, they can only store the cigars for a few hours as they are not controlled. They may look like anything from a small box, leather wallet, or cylindrical metal tube with a hygrometer.
Humidors-can also be classified according to the type of material used to make them.
This refers to a selection of unique or custom humidors-handmade from wood. They can be anything from small boxes to large-humidors like cabinets.
They are simple and portable-humidors made of durable acrylic glass with perfect humidity conditions to store up to 25 cigars. Since acrylic glass absorbs more UV light than glass, the humidor should not be left outside as it does not filter the UV light entirely.
These are airtight containers made from metal. They are controlled to make sure they provide the perfect humidity environment for the storage of cigars.
How a cigar humidor works
A cigar humidor mimics the ambient conditions required for tobacco. Like wine, cigars become fine when allowed some time to age, of course under the desirable conditions. Humidors-ensure the cigars are stored in correct humid conditions to preserve all the unique qualities such as essential oils, flavor, and freshness for a good smoke. Humidors-work to prevent cigars from losing their freshness and quality over the time of storage.
To properly store cigars, three components of the humidor need to work together as follows:
1. Cedar + seal
The Spanish cedar is well known for being the best inner lining material-for-humidors. The material has an incredible ability to retain moisture and release it when necessary. Any good-quality humidor will have this material somewhere as an inner lining. On the other hand, the seal covers the humidor thoroughly so that the moisture is not lost. It works to trap the humidity in the humidor.
A good humidor must also come with a humidifier often available in different sizes, styles, and designs to fit each humidor. It is arguably the essential feature of a humidor, and it works to add moisture to the humidor. Some of these designs include gel bead humidifiers, foam blocks to absorb and release water, and the most advanced of them all-electric humidifiers.
This is a tool essential in the humidor that measures the humidity levels (moisture content). It is necessary for determining the optimum level of humidity for the humidor. They are available in both analog and digital designs, with the digital ones giving almost accurate results.
For the humidor to work, all three or four components must function effectively.
Seasoning and maintaining the humidor
Seasoning is vital before storing the cigars in the humidor. Seasoning prevents drying out of the cigars by allowing the wood to absorb moisture. This process will enable you to ensure the correct humidity levels in the humidor. Here is a comprehensive guide to humidors seasoning.
Dampen a cloth or sponge with water and then squeeze to remove the excess water
The next step involves placing a plastic bag in the humidor and then putting the damp cloth on top.
Wait for 24hours after closing the humidor.
Check to see if the hygrometer reads between 72% and 73%. If lower than this, add more water to the cloth and then wait for another 24hours, and if higher than this, wait for another 24 hours.
You can then add the cigars to your humidor once the humidity levels are set. The humidor will come down to 70% after the cigars absorb some moisture.
It is essential always to ensure you follow the 70/70 rule of 700 temperature and 70% humidity. If too high or too low, adjust accordingly.
Here is a comprehensive guide-to-humidors that can help you tell a good and quality humidor from a poor one and therefore make an informed buying decision. To buy a humidor, you need to consider the following factors.
The size of the humidor
The material used in making the humidor, whether wood, acrylic glass, or metal. Choose the material that best works for you and suits your storage needs.
The portability of the humidor
Cost factors associated with the humidor. Select the one that fits your budget
Consider the accessories, whether built-in or separate
The humidor should have a tight seal
The factors to consider are not limited to the above list. There are several personal considerations you will make before buying. The bottom line is, ensure the purchased humidor satisfies all your cigar storage needs.
Investing in a good humidor is a 100% sure way of prolonging the life of your cigar collection. We hope this comprehensive guide-on-humidors has helped you, and in case you still have questions, we are willing to answer them.