Few things on earth look best in sepia and speak best of class. A cowboy hat, old photographs, a vintage cigar flavor; they all speak of time and long-forgotten memories. If you sneak into the unopened corners of your house, you might chance upon an old box of cigars, perfectly preserved till this day, with the aroma intact.
If you wonder how they ooze out such great flavor after so many years, then let us tell you that the magic lies in the methods of storing the cigars. If you got your hands on a pack of cigars but are afraid that they might dry out soon, then you landed in the right place.
In this article, we’ll throw light on how to store cigars the right way so that they grow tastier and strengthen the flavors with years. Let’s dive right in.
In this article:
- Ideal conditions for storing cigars
- How to store cigars
- Things to avoid while storing cigars
- Additional tips for cigar storage
Ideal Conditions for Storing Cigars
Cigar storage is an art, and you have to master it to preserve your cigars perfectly. However, it’s not as complicated as it might seem. All you need to do is create the right environmental conditions at home to keep the cigars safe and secure.
The ideal conditions include temperature and humidity. Fluctuation in any of the two can damage the texture, taste, and aroma of your cigars. Let’s look at the perfect conditions that you must maintain to preserve your cigars.
1. Ideal Temperature to Store Cigars
The ideal temperature to store cigars is 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius. However, if you cannot exactly achieve this particular temperature, there is a range of 65 degrees to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The preserving temperature for your cigars should dwell between this range.
Anything more or less than this range can potentially harm the cigars. Basically, if the temperature goes higher than the range, the cigars can dry out and crack down sooner. On the other hand, a temperature less than the range can bring upon too much moisture accumulation. Therefore, your cigars will rot quickly.
2. Ideal Humidity to Store Cigars
Another crucial check to ensure that your cigars are in the proper condition is humidity. To preserve cigars perfectly, the ideal humidity level is 70%. But in case you find it hard to achieve the exact percentage, the optimal range is between 65% to 72%. You need to maintain the moisture level within this range to keep the flavors and tastes of your cigars intact.
Too much humidity can help with bacterial accumulation on and around the cigar container, potentially harming the cigars.
Related: Cigar humidity
How to Store Cigars
No matter how great a brand you choose, if you fail to store your cigars the right way, they will lose their strength and scent in just a few days. Therefore, you need to know how to store cigars most effectively.
You can either use a humidor or choose other conventional ways to preserve your cigars. Here, let’s discuss in detail the methods you can use to store cigars.
1. Using A Humidor – A Quick and Easy Way
# What Is A Humidor?
The humidor is a storage container that helps you to keep your cigars fresh and smooth. It helps you control the internal humidity, which should ideally be around 70% to 75%. You also need to maintain the temperature inside the humidor within 20 degrees to 22 degrees Celsius.
Most humidors available in the market come with a hygrometer and thermometer. However, with hygrometers, digital models are more accurate than analog ones. But if your cigars are getting moldy, no matter what the hygrometer shows, there is something wrong.
Humidors are available in various shapes and sizes in the market. For example, travel-sized humidors are small and can carry a few cigars only. But room-sized humidors can easily store thousands of cigar boxes.
# How to Keep Cigars Fresh in A Humidor
After you get yourself a humidor, you cannot just keep your cigars in it. There is a process of preparing and seasoning your humidor to keep the cigars fresh. So, let us check out the procedure to achieve this.
- Firstly, you need to go down to a local hardware shop or search online to get items like distilled water, sponges, cloth, and plastic bags.
- You need to drown the humidifier inside a bowl of distilled water for a minimum of 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure the humidifier is facing down while you are performing this process.
- After that, take the humidifier out of the water and wrap it up with some towel or tissue to soak the excess water.
- Then, place a small plastic bag inside of your humidor. Also, place a piece of sponge damped in distilled water inside the plastic bag.
- Now, take the hygrometer from the humidor, wrap it around with a damp cloth for 30 minutes, and set it aside. Then, calibrate it to measure the humidity, which should be about 95% to 97%.
- Set the humidifier and hygrometer in their respective places inside the humidor. Then, close the humidor and set it aside in a cool place for at least 1 to 2 days.
- You have to repeat this entire process if the humidity levels inside the humidor don’t reach up to 70% minimum. Preferably, you will reach the required levels by repeating the process for the second or third time.
Related: How to use a humidor
# How Long Cigars Can Last in A Humidor
When it comes to the longevity of cigars, there are several factors that you need to take into account. For instance, how you maintain your humidor will help you determine the longevity of those cigars. The quality of cigars also plays an important role. If stored properly, an average-quality cigar can hold its flavor and aroma for months. But, with proper maintenance, a good quality cigar easily lasts years.
Generally, the aroma and flavors of cigars get an eventually better time. However, the main factor behind the longevity of cigars is your humidor maintenance. If your cigars are getting moldy, your humidor is not working correctly. So, to get the maximum life out of cigars, you must create a well-balanced humidor. It will provide a controlled environment to your cigars by giving adequate moisture and temperature.
# How to Select the Best Humidor
Selecting the best humidor for you is a tough decision. Generally, good-quality humidors will cost you a substantial amount of money. We suggest you not invest money in cheap models or fancy-looking humidors. They won’t serve your purpose as most of them will fail to maintain the required humidity levels. Remember, your cigars are valuable to you, so they deserve protection and proper care.
The first thing you might consider before buying a humidor is its size. For starters, we suggest you get one that is bigger than your required size. Before buying, you also want to connect with locals dealers and cigars clubs to know rental facilities. It will help you determine the size that you actually need.
Buying a humidor is an investment as they are costly. So, you have to understand its features, performance, and construction. For example, if the lid is defective or the finish is off, avoid that humidor. Usually, humidors with heavier lids are more effective as the extra weight keeps it shuts tightly.
However, these humidors require a properly balanced construction with their opening and closing. For instance, if the lids open up too wide, it will make the humidor fall because of its weight. Or, if the lid opening is too small, the humidor might fall on your fingers.
Related: Best humidors
2. Keeping Cigars Fresh Without A Humidor
If you can’t manage an expensive humidor, don’t worry. You have some other simpler cigar storage solutions that come in handy. With these methods, you can effectively keep cigars fresh for a considerable amount of days.
- Ziploc Humidification Pouch
Perhaps the most convenient and easiest way to store cigars without a humidor is a Ziploc pouch. Conventionally, if you purchase a set of single cigars from a cigar shop, the chances are that you get them in a Ziploc pouch already. Such packaging will keep the cigars fresh for a week or two.
However, if you want to preserve the cigars for more than a couple of weeks, you need to insert a humidity source into the system. So, here you can use humidity pouches and place them inside the Ziploc bag. These humidity packs have perforated textures from where moisture releases to scale the relative humidity level up to 65% to 72%.
- Tupperware Container with Sponge
Using a Tupperware container with a sponge is also one of the best ways to preserve the essence and aroma of your cigars. The process is very simple, and it allows you to store more cigars than Ziploc pouches. You can use a damp sponge to maintain the humidity levels inside the airtight Tupperware container. However, you must use distilled water to dampen the sponge.
Normal tap water contains harmful chemicals and bacteria which will make your cigars moldy and destroy their flavor. But we suggest you not use a large section of sponge for humidification. It can over-humidify the cigars, especially if the container is too small.
- Cellophane Wrapper
Generally, manufacturers use cellophane to wrap the cigars individually before they pack them inside a box. Cellophane can protect cigars from losing their aroma and essence. It can also reduce the chances of any physical damage during the shipping procedure.
However, cellophane wrappers are not your ultimate solution to preserve your cigar’s freshness and flavor. Since no matter what, cigars need humidity to stay fresh and fluffy. Therefore, you may need to provide a source of humidity to your cigars even if you keep them wrapped with cellophane.
- Standard Cooler
If you don’t have the budget to buy a humidor but still want to store your cigars, standard coolers are your best option. They can help you to store your cigars for months while maintaining their aroma and essence.
It can easily maintain the humidity levels for a long period. All you need is a sponge damped in distilled water, a humidifier, and a hygrometer. So, for under $20, you got yourself a fully functioning humidor, but it requires a little bit of maintenance.
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Things to Avoid While Storing Cigars
Generally, most premium cigar brands sell their cigars in wooden boxes. Most often, these boxes are very stylish and decorated. But you cannot consider them as humidors and start storing cigars inside them for months. They won’t function as humidors as most of them don’t have airtight lids. So, even though these boxes are more aesthetically appealing than most humidors, they won’t serve their purpose.
Most brands also use cellophane to wrap the cigar box to keep the cigars protected for some time. So, don’t consider cigar boxes as the potential replacement for humidors.
Additional Tips for Cigars Storage
Keeping your cigars fresh with their aroma and flavor is not as difficult as you think. No matter which method you choose to store them, the following tips will make the job easy.
Be careful with flavored cigars
It is very important to understand that cigars can easily absorb from their surroundings. So, if you plan to keep a coffee or cherry flavored cigar with normal ones, it will impact the flavors of other cigars. So, we advise you to store the flavored cigar separately in a Ziploc pouch or a container. Thus, you can easily protect the essence and flavor of traditional cigars.
Rotate the cigars
For better humidification, you want to rotate the cigars in regular intervals. So, different smokes can get close to the humidification source.
You can re-humidify the cigars
If you have a box of cigars sitting ideal for over six months, you can still re-humidify them. However, the process will entirely depend on the condition of those cigars. Moreover, re-humidification takes time, so don’t be impatient. Try to introduce the humidity gradually.
To sum up, we would like to say that taking care of your precious cigars is not that hard. So, the next time you decide on your method for storage, this article will guide you around.
Now since you have learned something about how to store cigars, why don’t you also check out our other related guides as follows:
- Best travel humidors
- How to season a humidor
- Best cigar coolers
- Humidor solution
- Top 7 electric humidors
- DIY walk-in humidor
- Boveda humidor packs
- Best cigar accessories