The Humidor: Your Cigar’s Best Friend

Cigars | Learning Leaf
November 3, 2022

Did you know the quality, safety, moisture level and smoothness of your cigars are highly hinged on the humidor you choose for their storage?

That’s why it is so critical to select the perfect, humidity-controlled humidor to ensure every cigar celebration with friends offers a memorable smoking experience. Choosing a humidor with a discerning eye can take your cigar experience to the next level. This article will share a clear definition of what a humidor is, its importance and some practical tips for choosing the right one for you.

What’s a Cigar Humidor?

A humidor is a cigar storage box that allows for controlled airflow and is equipped with a device designed to maintain the internal humidity between 70 to 75% and internal temperature within a narrow range of 68º – 70º F. If your humidor doesn’t meet these specifications, it’s just a box. The reason a humidor is an airtight-moisturized box is to prevent your cigars from becoming damp and moldy.

How to Choose the Right Cigar Humidor or Humidor Cabinet

Cigars are a monetary and time investment. If you’re on the path to becoming an aficionado, you understand the emotional connection one can have with their cigars. Knowing the importance of proper cigar storage, it’s critical for collectors to invest in a humidor. Not just that; you’ll need to be pretty discerning on the humidor or humidor cabinet you choose. Whether you’re an experienced cigar aficionado or a first-time collector, here are some practical tips to help you find the right humidor.

1. Find a perfectly sized humidor

The secret to choosing the right-sized humidor is to purchase one that’s larger than the pack of cigars you plan to store. Why? A humidor must have proper airflow to ensure optimum internal climate. A densely populated humidor restricts airflow, humidity, and temperature, which ruins your precious cigar collection.
On the other hand, a humidor that’s too small or too big for your cigars can’t effectively regulate humidification. If you search the market, you’ll find humidors in various sizes and shapes with cigar capacities ranging from twenty to a thousand.

2. Match your humidor with your environment

We live, move, and operate in different environments, and you should find the type of humidor that complements your current space. You’ll find cabinet humidors, travel humidors, desktop humidors and end-table humidors.

They all come in a variety of finishes, from walnut and dark cherry to mahogany and anything in between. If you’re looking for a humidor that suits your living room or office space, you can find one that’s not only functional, but also doubles as a piece of furniture.

3. What types of cigars do you want to store?

As a cigar enthusiast, you have various options of cigars you might want to buy: mild, medium, and full-bodied cigars. It’s crucial to store each of these stogies separately to ensure you preserve their flavor and aroma for a delightful smoking experience. Thus, buy a humidor with separate compartments if you plan to store different kinds of cigars in a single humidity-controlled box.

4. Consider your geographical location

Different geographical regions experience different climates and weather patterns. For example, if you live in a region with moderate temperatures throughout the year, you don’t have the burden of maintaining the ideal Nonetheless, a region that experiences extremely chilly winters and hot summers can significantly impact your humidor’s functionality.
You can’t change the weather or climate, but you can achieve the ideal conditions using an electronic humidifier. Once installed, your only job is to regularly monitor and regulate the temperature and humidity levels from time to time. Doing that enables you to fine-tune your humidor’s technical parameters based on your location.

5. Quality and material are crucial

Humidors are primarily made of wood, but each wood has a different ability to retain moisture and temperature. The best humidors in consumer markets have an interior lining made of Cedrela Odorata (Spanish cedar wood). While they are relatively more expensive, Spanish cedar humidors offer proper insulation and protection against pests and insects that destroy tobacco, such as flea beetles, budworms, thrips, and suckflies.

6. Invest in a well-sealed humidor

To ensure that your Spanish cedar humidor remains insulated and humidified inside, you need to ensure it has a tight seal to protect it from outdoor conditions. It’s always critical to adhere to the 70/70 rule when storing your cigars. That means 70% relative humidity at a temperature of 70º F. It’s pointless to buy an expensive Spanish cedar humidor without a proper seal because your precious cigars will eventually dry and stiffen.

Problems Related To Storing Cigars Without a Humidor

If you’re an avid cigar collector, you understand how precious, valuable and sensitive they are. Cigars are extremely sensitive to their environment, and they require proper storage to maintain their overall quality and taste. Without a humidor, the freshness & flavor of your cigar can change in as little as 2-3 days. 

A true cigar connoisseur wouldn’t dare take shortcuts with such prized possessions, but if you store your cigars without a humidor, there are consequences. Some implications of poor cigar storage include:

1. Cigars will become moldy and cracked

Why did my cigar get moldy? Think of cigars as delicate flowers – they’ll wither quickly when left out in the sun, especially in summer. If you leave cigars out with the AC on or in direct sunlight, they’ll dry out quickly. Windy and sunny weather are notorious culprits, as they compromise the overall quality and smokability. This can make the puff taste like ash. With a humidor, you can moderate the moisture content and humidity to extend the cigar longevity and quality.

2. Essential oils and sugar evaporate

There’s a reason cigars have a far better taste and smell than cigarettes. It’s because they contain essential oils and sugars that sublimely blend to produce a sweet aroma in every waft of smoke. If you leave the cigars out in hot temperatures, the essential oils and sugars in the tobacco will evaporate, resulting in acrid smoke, lost aroma and a bitter aftertaste.

3. Tobacco leaves dampen

Without a quality humidor, your cigars’ tobacco leaves will dampen and swell. The individual flavors of each leaf will scatter, leading to a confusion of flavors. Uncontrolled moisture also dabbles the leaves, which lowers the smoke potency; that’s why investing in a digital hygrometer is crucial. A hygrometer can help maintain the moisture and temperature inside the humidor at the recommended levels.

4. Cigars stored outside a humidor double the risk of respiratory disease

Although cigarette smokers are at a higher risk of developing respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer and heart disease, smoking a poorly stored cigar may affect your respiratory health (even if you have one smoking session). Remember, poor storage leads to moisture buildup that ruins the taste and produces thicker smoke.
Cigars are much larger than cigarettes and contain 5-20 grams of tobacco. Smoking damp and moldy cigars can exacerbate the impact of the smoke on the olfactory receptors in your nasal cavity and your respiratory system.

5. Increased susceptibility to tunneling and canoeing

A damp cigar means the reduced quality of all its elements, and you may not enjoy smoking it at all. A cigar should burn evenly – in its core and the periphery. But if you burn its core and the outside remains fresh and intact, the volume of smoke becomes reduced – a process known as tunneling. In other situations, a damp cigar may burn only on one side, meaning you’ll have to take bigger puffs to burn the rest of it quickly. That’s known as canoeing, and it produces a pungent taste and smell.

Want to Purchase High-Quality Cigars?

Turn to Turning Leaf

At Turning Leaf, we pride ourselves in providing premier cigars, as well as leading CBD, vapor, and wellness products that match your lifestyle and wellness goals. Our team is ready to offer the best cigar shopping experience in our nine retail stores across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. Contact us online or stop by a store near you – we’re here to help with all things cigar!