Cigars get better with age. As such, finding the ideal storage conditions that will ensure the cigars don’t dry out or become stale is essential for every cigar smoker. The native environment of cigars must be preserved to maintain the soft firmness and freshness of cigars.
- Maintain Constant Humidity and Temperature
The perfect conditions for storing your cigars range between 65 and 72 degrees and 65 and 72% humidity. Air contains different amounts of moisture at different temperatures. Cold air has no moisture. On the contrary, warm air has a lot of moisture. The cigar’s taste and ability to burn correctly can be significantly affected by a change in either the temperature or the humidity.
The required humidity range can be tough to maintain as it varies with seasons. An excellent way to keep the acceptable humidity value is by altering the humidity based on the temperature. When the temperature is lowered by one degree, the humidity should be increased by one percent and vice versa.
- Use a Humidor to Store Your Cigars
A humidor is a wooden box with a lid which contains moisture in its interior. Most humidors have a cedar lining on the inside which preserves the natural flavor of the cigars. A humidification unit supplies the necessary moisture in the humidor.
Humidors require maintenance which can be done by refilling the humidification unit occasionally. Distilled water is preferred over tap water since the latter creates an unwanted moldy condition. The molded humidor will gradually change the flavor of the cigars. Additionally, tap water contains minerals which can alter the effectiveness of humidors.
The following are tips that give insight regarding the storage of cigars in a humidor:
- Store the same brand of cigars inside one humidor to avoid marrying cigars.
- Allow sufficient airflow between cigars by staggering their rows.
- Get a humidor of an appropriate size that suits the size of your collection.
- To ensure the humidity in the humidor is evenly distributed, rotate the position of the cigars every six months.
- Inspect the moisture levels in the humidor weekly and look out for any signs of mold on the cigars
- Purchase a Hygrometer and a Humidistat
A hygrometer is used to show the precise humidity levels of a particular area. There are two types of hygrometers: a digital and analogue hygrometer. Analogue hygrometers are relatively inexpensive compared to digital hygrometers. However, the digital versions don’t require bi-yearly recalibration and are more reliable.
A humidistat, which is a small humidifier, helps maintain humidity around 70%. Many cigar humidistats are made of synthetic clay and don’t require electricity to maintain a constant humidity. When purchasing a humidistat, go for one that suits your cigar collection as well as your budget.
- Use a Plastic Bag and a Humidification Pouch
Use of a plastic Ziploc is the most basic way of storing cigars. The plastic bag helps to preserve the freshness of the cigars. However, this method of storage is not long-term and can only last for a couple of days without added humidity.
Humidity pouches release humidity at regular intervals through their porous skin. They are usually placed inside Ziploc sleeves releasing moisture at predetermined levels. These pouches require no maintenance as long as the plastic bags are zipped.
- Use a Sealed Plastic Container and a Sponge
This method is practical and straightforward since you only need a sealed Tupperware container, a clean, unused kitchen sponge and distilled water. Wet the kitchen sponge with distilled water, put it in the Tupperware container which has the cigars and close the Tupperware with a lid.
One sponge can be used to store 25 cigars. If the Tupperware container is small, use a small piece of the sponge to avoid over-humidifying the cigars. Humidity pouches could be used in place of kitchen sponges since they are more convenient.
When choosing a storage method, it is crucial to keep in mind that cigars absorb what is around them. Therefore, flavored cigars should be stored away from the non-flavored ones. Additionally, remember to rotate the cigars occasionally to humidify them optimally.