Cigar Accessories: Humidor ( Part Five )

A humidor is a wonderful gift any cigar smoker can appreciate. Having “too much storage” is hardly a problem, and you’ll quickly find that a humidor will fill up faster than you may think. Keeping our cigars at their optimal smoking condition is critical to the smoking experience. There are endless styles of humidors available; the important factor to focus on here is the proper storage of our cigars. Style, of course, is a lovely bonus.

The humidity our cigars are stored in is very important. You want a secured seal to keep and maintain the proper humidity. An easy check for any suspected leaks is to place a small flashlight in the humidor, close the humidor, then turn off the lights in the room to see if any light is escaping.

There are many options for humidification from distilled water, propylene glycol solution, crystals, and packs. I recommend going to your local cigar shop to see what your tobacconist keeps in stock and what replacement system will work best for you. The ideal number we all here is “70/70” for temperature and humidity of our cigars. Don’t worry too much about an exact number- as long as your cigars feel and smoke fine then chances are they are fine. I personally like to keep mine stored just a bit below at 65 as I find that works best for me. You don’t want your cigars too dry as they will fall apart and all those natural oils will be lost, nor do you want the cigars to be too humid as they will not burn properly.

Most humidors will come with a hygrometer, most commonly an analog hygrometer. It has been my experience that through shipping and time, these analog hygrometers can be a little off. You can do a salt test at home to check the accuracy of your hygrometers reading or simply take it to a cigar shop where you know the cigars are kept at an ideal and controlled environment. Most tobacconists will be happy to keep your hygrometer for a day or so and calibrate it for you. With an adjustable analog hygrometer this is easy. If there is no way of adjusting it then you’ll have to make a note of the difference in reading. Another option is to invest in a digital hygrometer for a more accurate reading.

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Remember, a humidor is more than just style. It’s about maintaining the perfect condition of your cigars. Find a system that works best for you. Most are quite simple and don’t take too much effort on your part. It’s a small step to invest in your cigar purchases and gifts. There’s nothing worse than being given an absolutely wonderful and special cigar to be smoked on a special date, only to be discovered months later that without any humidification it is hard as a rock and tearing apart at the touch. Take care of your cigars and they will reward you with the best of smoking experiences.

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