Cigars are precious, and like many precious things are a bit delicate. They are susceptible to changes in their environment. They are mature products and must be kept in a carefully controlled environment with a good temperature and moisture. The first thing you should know is that cigars should stay in a humidor. This should be the case until you are ready to smoke them. When it is necessary, you can get away with keeping properly humidified cigars in a sealed plastic bag that has a small damp paper towel – this is ok for a day or so, but if you want to be a true cigar connoisseur then it is really important that you invest in a cigar humidor.
A humidor is an elegantly simple solution that keeps our cigars at their absolute best by maintaining them in conditions that are similar to those in which their tobacco both grew and fermented, as well as rolled.
If you leave it out in a heated or air-conditioned room, then a cigar can rapidly degrade – it can dry out and die like a delicate flower in no time. In a properly maintained humidor, however, which has an atmosphere that mimics that of the kind of tropical isle where cigars are usually cultivated, it can be kept for years.
Dedicated aficionados often have more than just one humidor. For example, they may have a large one that stays at home and a smaller and portable pen that can hold enough for a couple of days. Some might even have different humidors for different brands of cigars. The scents from various cigars mingle or marry with subtle shifts in flavour can result from cigars of one sort being stored adjacent to very different toned ones.
A humidor is a storage container that then allows for controlled airflow and that is kitted out with a device that maintains the internal humidity in the range of between 70 to 75 per cent. Its internal temperature should be maintained around 20 to 21 degrees Celsius. Without this sort of internal moisture control, it is not a humidor but merely a box.
This is not an airtight container – as that can lead to mould. It is much better to have the air circulating between the cigars in your humidor than it is to squash them in too tightly. While a humidor does need a device that maintains moisture levels it doesn’t need a gauge. Some models come with hygrometers, this indicates the internal humidity.
The true indicator of the conditions inside the humidor will always be the condition of the cigars themselves. Your cigars should be exuding a little bit of oil – if they are too dry add water, if they are mouldy, get rid of them immediately!
We hope this was a helpful guide as to how you should be using a humidor, if you have any other questions at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will help you learn what you need to know and to get the right equipment for you.