Why do cigars need humidors in the first place. How do they even work?
For starters, a humidoris a container that stores your cigars. It can be in the form of a small box as a travel humidor or it can be as huge as a walk-in humidor as used by cigar shops. No matter the size, a humidor will have a good seal to maintain the internal temperature with the help of a thermostat and hygrometer. Any cigar lover will need a good humidor to keep their cigars in perfect condition to be smoked.
How long can my cigars stay in a humidor? Is there even a difference if cigars are kept in a humidor? What makes a good humidor?
Large or small, personalized or not, the way a humidor works is just the same - to keep the relative humidity and temperature. This way your cigar stays moist keeping the tobacco leaves from expanding and contracting. Meaning, you don't lose the flavor and aroma of the cigar.
Here's what every cigar lover must know about humidors:
Certain parts of a humidor are crucial to make it work efficiently. Understanding the role of each one will be able to give a good picture of how a cigar humidor works.
The Humidifier. This is what provides the humidification system. It is considered the most important part as it is the one that adds moisture to the humidor to keep your cigars plump, burn slowly and preserve essential oils that give your cigars the flavor and aroma. This humidification system can be simple or complex which largely depends on the size of the humidifier. The ideal relative humidity of a humidor should be at 70%. To do this, a source of water is needed by a humidor. Introducing moisture can come through sponges, floral foam, crystal gel, silica beads, humidipaks, and electronic humidifier. A sponge soaked in distilled water is the simplest humidifier. Green foam blocks or floral foams absorb cigar odors and works best with propylene glycol instead of water. Crystal gels can hold up to 500 times their water weight in water which they release into the atmosphere of your humidor keeping your cigars moist. Silica beads are the ones you find in packets when buying shoes. They are the best in absorbing excess moisture and your best choice for humidors in hot and humid climates. Humidipaks are special humidifiers wrapped in a membrane that allows water to be absorbed or expelled to keep your humidor on the ideal humidity level. Lastly, electronic humidifiers are small machines that add moisture to a high-quality humidor by keeping it filled with distilled water.
The Hygrometer. This is one vital component of the humidor. The humidity level is measured by the hygrometer and informs you if there is a need to add moisture or absorb excess water. You can choose from an analog or a digital type of hygrometer. In case your humidor comes with electronic humidity control, this one is connected to the humidifier. Checking your hygrometer regularly, say once every week or two is very important so you can make sure that all is well with your humidor.
The Thermostat. Having your cigars on top condition would require that you keep them at a steady temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Cigars can also be kept fresh as cool as 60 or as warm as 72 degrees. Humidors may not have any temperature control. In this case, a simple thermometer can give you the right condition inside your humidor. On the other hand, if the humidor has a heater or cooler then the thermostat will directly control the temperature inside. Remember that the thermostat will keep humidity level steady which means better cigar storage.
The Spanish Cedar. Traditionally, the humidor interior is Spanish cedar. Some come with the Spanish cedar wood for the shelves or drawers inside while others use cedar lining on the walls. Spanish cedar humidors can protect the contents from decay and repel insects. It also has absorbent qualities to help keep your humidor moist. What's more, is that it reduces the possibility of tobacco beetle infestations and prevents the growth of mildews and molds. Cedar also imparts a particular flavor to cigars that most cigar lovers love. It certainly has a place in the heart of cigar aficionados because of its fine qualities.
You know it's a bad cigar when it's too dry. They shrivel up and lose their appealing aroma and flavor. Dry cigars also burn too hot which makes it hard to smoke. Another way to know if you have a bad cigar is when it is exposed to extremely high humidity. The result is cigar develops mold, rot and even an infestation of tobacco beetles. The best cigars are those that maintain their level of humidity.
Or the more appropriate question is how much do you like tobacco to mature? Cigars need to mature over six months. They start yielding its best flavor in about five years when stored properly in a humidor. Cigars are made from organic matter and being so, they are prone to deterioration. However, if stored properly, they become better with age. Storing them in a humidor will keep the natural oils at work in keeping the leaves moist, fragrant and tender or else, they seep through the leaves or evaporate. Good cigars shouldn't be moist or dry. It should always be somewhere in between. Cigars have an unlimited lifespan if stored properly. This is why humidors should be a must-have in your collection.
Because you would need a place to store your cigars. And not just simply store them but have an ideal environment where it can maintain their ideal relative humidity and temperature. Keeping your cigars moist is a must.
Whether you settle for a small or large humidor, both work in similar ways and that is to maintain the proper temperature and humidity that your cigar needs. The price varies of course. Not because of its function, as it remains the same - to preserve your cigars, but more because of the aesthetics. It can cost from $40 to $40,000 or even more. It depends on your preference. It doesn't matter if you spend so much or so little on your humidor as long as it can do the job of preserving the flavor and aroma of your cigar.
It will always be the one that has everything you need to keep your cigars fresh and able to deliver the flavor and aroma that you like. When you know how it works and what parts to look for in a good one, you will never go wrong in finding the best humidor for a cigar aficionado. Level it up by having the box personalized with your friend or loved one's name or initials.
Here are the top 7 personalized humidors: