Similar to fine wine, high quality cigars are affected by their environment and require control of both humidity and temperature. If you’ve ever tasted a dried out cigar or smelled a cigar that reminds you of a dirty old sock (It is mold, throw it away!), then you have experienced the negative consequence of inadequate cigar storing environment.
Cigars are the final product of raw and natural materials. And just like any other natural product, temperature and moisture control is the key to optimize the freshness of the product.
- Optimal Humidity: between 68-72%
- Optimal Temperature: between 64-70F
Whether you’re a long-time cigar aficionado or new to the pleasures of a premium cigar, the following can help you maintain the quality of your beloved cigars.
1. Invest in a Cigar Humidor
A cigar humidor is a storage device used for, you guessed it, cigar storage. This device will help you keep cigars in an environment that is optimized in humidity and temperate; very similar where the tobacco was grown, fermented and rolled.
If storing your cigar for only a day or two, you can keep a properly humidified cigar in a plastic bag. If you’re going to do this, you’ll want to place a small, damp paper towel in the bag with the cigar to maintain the proper level of moisture. However, if you plan to store cigars for longer than a day or two, you will want to invest in a humidor.
Cigars that are exposed to the air in a heated or air-conditioned room will dry up and lose their flavor in a very short amount of time. Yet, those that are carefully stored in a humidor can last for years.
Many cigar fans choose to have a larger humidor for home use and a portable travel humidor for carrying a smaller supply of cigars. As your collection of cigars grows, you may want to consider separating your cigars by brand in multiple humidors. The reason for this is because the scents from cigars can mix and alter flavors.
You check out our travel humidors collection by clicking HERE.
2. Invest in Humidor Accessories
Besides a humidor, the humidor accessories are an essential component to ensure an optimal cigar storage experience. The two main humidor accessories needed are hygrometer and humidifier.
a. Hygrometer – humidor hygrometers are used to measure the moisture content in the humidor. It is highly recommended to obtain a hygrometer to be able to read the humidity level within your humidor, ensuring the optimal humidity level of 68-72%. By reading the humidity levels, you can prevent your beloved cigars to become dried out or moldy.
You can take a look at our quality hygrometer products by clicking HERE.
b. Humidifier – humidifiers are used to create the optimal humidity level within your humidor. In general, you will have three options to choose from: the passive humidifier, the electronic humidifier, and silica gel beads.
- Passive Humidifier: Passive humidifiers include foam pads and Boveda packs. A foam pad humidifier uses a mixture of propylene glycol and distilled water to provide humidity for your humidor. A Boveda pack uses a patented mixture solution of salt and water in little packs to create a 2-way humidifier
- Electronic Humidifier: This is a digital device that uses advanced electronics to monitor and gauge the levels of humidity in your humidor, typically utilizing distilled water as the main component in its cartridge. Uses electronic sensors to release moisture whenever it dips too low.
- Silica gel beads: Silica beads are a 2-way humidifier. They not only release moisture, they adsorb (not absorb) it as well. Water adheres to the pores in its surface, rather than soaking into its body.
You can check out our cigar humidifiers collection by clicking HERE.
3. Direct Sunlight is Bad, Avoid It
No matter what, you should never leave your cigars out near a window or anywhere that receives direct sunlight. Cigars are surprisingly delicate things, and too much light can cause them to dry out, which makes the wrapper split and crack.
If your humidor has lights inside it, you should never put your cigars directly under them. This can cause the same loss of moisture that occurs when cigars are exposed to too much sunlight.
4. Physical Check of Cigars
Even though cigar humidors and its accessories can increase and maintain the life of your beloved cigars for the long term, always perform a quick physical check on the cigar quality in a periodical basis to ensure freshness. In the event that you forgot to replace the humidifier pack or the hygrometer fails, a simple manual examination of the cigar should tell you if it is still fresh. If the cigar yields to your finger and bounces back, it is still good. If it is hard and looks dry, it may not be salvageable. If your finger causes a dent in the cigar itself, it may have too much moisture in it.