How to Humidify Cigars
Cigars are truly one of life’s greatest pleasures and like any other finely crafted work of art, do require the proper care. Most importantly is, of course, humidification.
With a wide variety of humidors and their respective humidification devices available to aficionados these days, caring for your cigars is easier than ever.
Now for some casual enthusiasts who only smoke on occasion, a humidor doesn’t seem all that necessary. “Why invest in a humidor when there is a cigar shop near me? I’ll use their humidor!”
Well that certainly works, but for most of us it’s not only inconvenient when we are in the mood for a smoke, but it takes away a lot of the whole cigar smoking mystique.
It is a lifestyle after all, so why not enjoy every aspect of it! Besides most shops won’t want to keep that stash of Cuban Cohibas your buddy smuggled into the States on the premises! And opening your own humidor to have a sea of Cuban cigar bands staring up at you is an experience all its own! So enjoy your own humidors as wondrous creations that are your very own treasure chest filled with priceless booty.
Indeed a general understanding of humidors and how they work will definitely aid in understanding why they should be a part of your cigar kit.
What is a Humidor?
A humidor is simply a container in which cigars and tobacco can be stored at the ideal humidity. They can be wood boxes, plastic tubes, old Tupperware, repurposed cigar boxes,
aluminum cigar tubes, leather travel cases, just about anything and everything as long as it seals up and holds in the proper humidity.
Humidity is of course the level of water vapor in the air. For cigars the ideal humidity should generally range between 67% and 72%. Every aficionado will have a preference of the level of humidity, but just make sure that it is in the vicinity of 70%.
The reason this is considered the optimal level is that at this point the tobacco holds its shape and keeps all of the tobacco’s flavors primed for action. Cigars that are too dry will lose flavor, whereas cigars that are too moist can split or even develop mold.
You wouldn’t want to be offering guests a cigar out of your humidor and have them grab a Montecristo cigar only to discover it is covered in mold! So maintaining a consistent humidity is crucial to the overall enjoyment of your cigars.
Humidors come in all shapes and sizes, using a broad spectrum of different materials. Wood humidors are by far and away the most popular.
Generally in a box form, these humidors are almost always lined with Spanish cedar, the same wood that is used for most cigar boxes that are shipped from factory to tobacconist. Spanish cedar is the go-to choice for manufacturers and enthusiasts alike, as it helps maintain a constant humidity and also helps the aging process of cigars.
Mahogany is another wood sometimes used in lieu of Spanish cedar. Although ideal, wood-lined humidors are not absolutely necessary, yet if you plan to keep cigars for extended periods of time, having a Spanish cedar lining is highly recommended.
As with anything else, the style of humidor is
purely personal preference. Just be sure it is large enough to accommodate all of the cigars sizes in your rotation and that you have a space for it.
Regardless of the style, the one thing every humidor needs is a humidification device.
What is a Humidifier?
A humidifier is a device that releases moisture into the air to help increase the level of humidity. These devices are as numerous in style as the humidors themselves and have in
recent years become much more user friendly.
The classic humidification device was generally a plastic container filled with moisture-holding materials. The green floral foam used for flower arranging, for example, has been a popular choice for years.
Recent technology has, however, brought an onslaught of new materials such as gels, synthetic fibers, etc., that have allowed for more precise control over the humidity, all the while making the process virtually labor-free. And for those with larger stashes of cigars, there are electronic humidifiers which can accommodate larger surface areas.
For a popular Do-It-Yourself solution, put a small piece of moistened kitchen sponge with the Spanish cedar sheets found in cigar boxes into an empty cigar box or Tupperware container to create an instant humidor.
From high-end centerpiece to DIY stash box, the humidification process is the pretty much the same. Just consult your local tobacconist for what is the best style of humidifier for you.
Whatever the device of your choosing, with a careful eye and just a little bit of maintenance, your cigars will be ready for action every time.
What is a Hygrometer?
The hygrometer is another handy tool to have that quite simply measures the humidity. Whether the traditional analog dial or more tech savvy digital device, hygrometers help
gauge whether or not it is time to add moisture (or subtract if need be) to your humidor.
Digital readouts are nice to have, as many will also gauge the temperature.
Temperature is not as crucial as the level of humidity, yet it is something you will want to keep an eye on, as it ideally should be in the ballpark of room temperature (70 degrees Farenheit).
And so with the Humidor, the humidification device and a hygrometer in place, you are ready to stock up on your favorite smokes. As long as the humidity and temperature remain constant, your cigars will keep for years, so feel free to set aside a few cigars for extended aging.
If you have a collection of the best Cuban cigars, then letting them age while you wait for those special occasions to call on them will only make them better. And it is always fun to compare the same type of cigar at various stages of aging.
And so, as with most aspects of the cigar lifestyle, the type and level of humidor that you choose as your own is all a matter of personal preference that will reward you with amazing cigar smoking adventures.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this article, say Hello On: