Humidor: The Cigars Sanctuary
Posted on June 26 2020
You finally got that promotion! The perfect opportunity to light up that Cuban cigar that you received on your birthday a few months back.
You are not much of a cigar smoker, but how can one resist a Cuban?
You take it out of your desk drawer and remove it from the zip lock bag.
The touch of it is a little on the dry side, but you listened to your friends and kept it in the zip lock bag this whole time, so its texture has probably stayed normal.
As you clamp down the blade and shave off part of the cap, two small cracks appear by the head. Paying no mind to it, you proceed to light the cigar, and start puffing away. The cracks enlarge per puff. Until part of the wrapper came undone entirely, and the rest started to flake off.
I don’t think I would need to go any further describing the experience one will have in that scenario. In general, the person who’s smoking it wouldn’t have a good time to say the least and for anyone whose around him (if there’s any) would cringe every time they look at it.
This is one of the many scenarios that can happen to your cigars if it’s not stored properly. Which brings me to today’s topic on why do cigars need to be stored in a humidor?
Before I dive into humidors and its specifics, there are two sub-components I want to discuss that tie cigar and humidor together, humidity and temperature.
Similar to many organic products, humidity and temperature control plays a major part in retaining the freshness of the product. In terms of cigars, over humidified will result in difficult in lighting the cigar. In addition, it can also encounter with expanding, contracting and in some cases molding.
On the opposite spectrum, when it doesn’t receive enough humidity, or dries out completely, the cigar will experience cracking or an uneven burn. More importantly, if the cigar becomes too dry, the essential oil within the tobacco evaporate. In layman’s term, the wonderful flavors within the cigar would be gone. Even if you attempt to salvage it by reintroducing humidity, the cigar will never be fully restored to its original quality.
As for temperature, either extreme side of the spectrum can be very deadly to your cigars as well. Too cold, it would dry out the cigar as well as causing them burning too hot which leaving an unpleasant bitter taste if smoked. Too warm, it would break down the oil and ruin the flavor. In a worst-case scenario, too warm of a temperature can lead to birth of cigar beetles. That will be a whole separate topic on its own, but I will say this with a fair warning; you DO NOT want cigar beetles anywhere near your precious stash.!
In general consensus, the ideal setting for a cigar is 70°F (21°C) and 70% humidity. However, anywhere between 65°F to 72°F is acceptable and 65% to 72% for the humidity.
Now that we’ve covered the basics and importance of temperature and humidity, we can start exploring the relationship between cigars and humidor.
Just like the title suggested, humidors are the safe havens for cigars. It is a resting place for them before the owner decides to utilize them.
The essential feature for any container to be consider as a humidor is that it needs to be airtight. The vessel itself can come in all different sizes and shapes.
The main purpose of a humidor is to help maintain the humidity level for cigars. In order to reach and maintain at the desirable humidity level, humidifier is added into the container. There are several different types of humidifier out there, one of the most common and easiest system people use are Boveda packs. There are also humi-beads which is a gel type humidification. Some other people stick to old school with distilled water.
Another helpful device you can get to help monitor the humidity and temperature level is the hygrometer. Just like any other measuring instruments, hygrometer specialize in measuring humidity level of the space it’s in.
As you can see, there are many benefits to own a humidor if smoking and collecting cigars is a hobby of yours. If it’s something new to you and you want to test the water and not make any hefty financial commitment then there are few makeshift options as well, which will be another topic in the near future.
Over the years, people became quite crafty when it comes to makeshift humidors. I myself have what we now called a “wineador”. I received a wine cooler as a gift, but I drink more than I collect. So, I decided to make better use for it, with a temperature control feature, which is a plus. There are also “coolerdor”, “tupperdor”, “ammodor” just to name a few.
- Kevin Sun