Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cigar Essentials: The Humidor

The humidor, the most important piece to a cigar enthusiast, yet the most misunderstood! The humidor is the castle to your cigar kingdom, and without the right protection and care your kingdom will fall apart. It is essentially a porous box that is prime for keeping a certain humidity. If one thinks about what a cigar is, it becomes very apparent for special care. Because the cigar is a dried dead leaf, it can mold, lose taste, and dry up if the proper humidity is not maintained. That proper humidity is 65-75%. Monitoring that and achieving that, is done by getting special humidifiers and hygrometers.

So what should one look for in a humidor? Fist and foremost, it should be Spanish Cedar or Honduran Mahogany. These two porous woods allow for the proper breath-ability for the humidity levels to stay at 70%.

The next couple attributes are mainly personal tastes. Glass or no glass? I have one that is similar to the one pictured, but some people do not like or approve of glass tops. They don't have the properties of the wood and allow for sunlight to further increase temperatures and cause other problems. If kept in a dark place it doesn't really matter, in my experiences at least. I have had a great experience with the glass top and it holds the 70%. I also like the look of the glass top, it is up to you.

The location or allotment for the hygrometer is also a personal taste. I like mine to be built into the box, like pictured. This allows to monitor the humidity without actually opening the box. The only problem with these are that the analog hygrometers are finicky and I have had trouble with them in the past. I will recommend nice digital hygrometers in future articles.

Then there is the issue of shelves or dividers. I don't feel a particular preference either way, but I like the idea of being able to separate certain cigars from others. You wouldn't want to mix your sweet cigars with your earthy maduros. I would never recommend mixing flavored cigars in any box with normal cigars. An Acid or Java cigar can overpower other cigars and really alter the taste. I found it preferable to have 3 humidors! Ya that's right, 3. One for my sweet mocha cigars like the Java and Tabak Especial, one for aromatic Acids, and one for my traditional cigars.

Now that you learned just a few things about selecting a humidor lets look at how to season your new humidor. They say you need to season a new humidor because the wood has not absorbed any humidity and can literally suck the moisture from your cigars! You don't want a vampire humidor so always season new boxes! When you buy your humidor, “season” it by applying a moist cloth to the interior wood and then leaving a small, closed container of water inside the humidor for 12 hours. If the humidor “drinks up” most of the water, leaving the container near-empty after 12 hours, repeat the process for another 24 hours. Once the water stops evaporating, the humidor is ready for your cigars! Just add the humidifying solution to your humidifier and insert into the humidor. Make sure to sprinkle it into the device, do not drench it! It seems to actually cause it to not release enough humidity. Enjoy and I hope you found this helpful, feel free to leave comments and advice!
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  1. well really very nice post and greatly explained all the concerning aspects, Without a humidifier, humidification system and/or a hygrometer, it's nice to look at, but useless.
    well great efforts seems to be there in your post.
    for more information:
    display humidors

  2. Thanks for reading! I appreciate your feedback and sorry for responding so late.