This is a question anyone in the cigar industry will get at least once a day…how do you properly store your cigars? This question is as complex as it is simple. There are hundreds of ways you can properly store your cigars using different containers, humidity devise, even different rooms in your house. The questions is not really how you store them properly, but what is necessary for proper storage. That is what we are going to look at today, what is required for proper cigar storage.

                                                                                       Humidity and Temperature

 First and for most, humidity plays a major factory in cigar storage. In fact it is probably the most important factor. Cigar tobacco is usually grown is moist, humid climates such as Cuba, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. In order for your cigars to remain fresh, keeping the at the right humidity is essential. The rule of thumb is that cigars must be kept between 68-74% humidity and no higher than 70°F. If the humidity goes below that, you risk your cigars being dry and crumbling. If you go any higher, your cigars will become too moist and therefore un-smokable. At high temperatures and humidity, tobaccos beetles also become a problem. Beetles can only hatch and grow when exposed to high temperatures or humidity, anything about 74°. It is of the utmost importance to keep a close eye on your humidity and temperature.

                                                                                            Maintaining Humidity

 Humidity maintenance is the be all and end all of cigar storage. It doesn't matter where you are keeping them, if the humidity is not controlled you will lose your cigars. The first step is getting a hydrometer. A hydrometer is a device that displays the humidity of any enclosed area. While many humidors come with analog hydrometers, the serious Cigars team highly recommends purchasing a digital model. They are a tad more expensive, but are much more accurate.

Alongside your hydrometer, you will need a humidification device. These range in price and style. If you are going for low budget and effect, we suggest some Boveda packs. These are small humidified packs that you leave in your humidor or storage container to maintain humidity. They come in different percentages depending on your needs. If you live in a drier area or if it is a drier time of year, lets say winter, you want a larger percentage pack. The opposite goes for a more humid area.

In terms of actual humidifying devices, they range from simple sponges that soak up distilled water to machines that pump out humidity capable of taking care of whole cigar stores. The purchase of these machines depends on the amount of cigars you are storing. If you have a small humidor or container with 20 cigars, a Boveda pack or a small sponge humidifier will be fine. If you have a large cabinet unit with hundreds of cigars, we recommend purchasing a large scale humidifier, such as an oasis.

                                                                                                   Storage Units

 This is wear the conversation gets divisive. The question now becomes "do I need a humidor?". The simple answer is yes. However, a humidor can be any container you use to effectively store your cigars. Many beginners will go with a simple plastic container, while seasoned smokers will go for expensive desktop units. Again, this is subjective. It depends on how many cigars you are keeping, where you are keeping them and your opinion on aesthetics. The best way to store cigars is to use a proper cigar humidor. This is because humidors are built and designed for the sole purpose of storing your cigars. They usually come lined with Spanish cedar, also known as red cedar. This would is incredibly absorbable, holding in the moisture to keep your cigars humidified for longer. The cedar also adds a nice, subtle flavor to your cigars.

 When it comes to humidors, the main requirement is seal. Yes, it's nice to have Spanish cedar to keep the moisture in and to add in some flavor, but without a proper seal, it is all for not. Any container, whether it be a take-out container or a travel humidor or an older wine cooler, will make an effective humidor if it stays sealed. If there is a crack in the seal, the humidity and moisture will leak out, causing your cigars to dry out. While we fully recommend buying an actual humidor, for the smoker with a low budget and of the above mentioned containers will work just fine. It is important to note then when using a proper cigar humidor, you must keep it at least ¾ filled with cigars. These humidors are calibrated to maintain 70% humidity, but only when there is the proper amount of cigars being stored. A simple solution is to buy some cheap filler cigars to take up space.

                                                                                                  Storage Liquids

 In order to keep your cigars moist, you will need to use one of two liquids. The first, and easiest to acquire is basic distilled water. This is water that has been distilled to remove most of its impurities. It is important to not use plain tap water, as many of the minerals can cause problems for your cigars and can cause mold. Distilled water can be purchased at any super market for a very low cost. The second liquid is known as propylene glycol solution. This chemical compound is more affective then distilled water in that it dissolves over a longer period, meaning you will have to refill your humidifier less frequently. If you decide to go with a humidifier device over a humidity pack, we recommend using the glycol.

                                                                                                   Storage Areas

 Now that you've chosen your container, your humidifying apparatus and your liquid, the final piece is where to leave your humidor. The most important aspect is to keep it in a room that is temperature controlled. Once you set up your humidor to the right humidity, leaving it in a room where the temperature fluctuates will cause issues for your cigars. It is also important o keep it out of sunlight since on and off contact with direct sunlight is a form of temperature fluctuation. For bigger cabinet units, a good spot would be either a finished basement or living room. Basements are prime areas because they are usually slightly more damp or moist then the rest of your living area. If you do not have a basement, any room where the temperature is control will still work.

 There are many more details we can discuss for proper cigar storage, however this is a great baseline. Following these steps will ensure your cigars are safe, secure, and fresh every time. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please let us know… otherwise enjoy your cigars!


POSTED ON Mar 06, 2018

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