Food is preserved through refrigeration. Leather is kept supple and shiny through regular conditioning. The mummies of ancient Egypt were preserved by being rubbed with special oils and then wrapped in cloth. But how do you preserve your pricey, hard-to-come by Puerto Rican cigars? Why, with the use of a humidor, of course! A humidor is used to control how much humidity surrounds cigars and other tobacco products.
Not Just Another Box
At first glance, a cigar humidor may look like an ordinary box. Made of wood, its interior is often carved out of beautiful Spanish cedar. A humidor is far from being just another box, however. While mainly utilized as storage, it may also be used for maintaining and aging cigars. It may even be used as furniture or a valuable family heirloom that is passed from one generation to the next.
The Perfect Humidity
The ideal humidity range for storing cigars is 68% to 72%. This is at room temperature, which is usually about 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit. A humidor typically includes a hygrometer to measure how much humidity is inside the box. Then, it maintains its optimal range of humidity by inserting or removing moisture on the inside.
The Time to Season
So, you bought yourself or your friend a humidor. Should you immediately stash your cigars inside it? The answer is no. New humidors and humidors that have not been used for a long period of time must first be seasoned. A humidor adds humidity to the cigars’ environment. If you were to skip this step, the cigars would dry out because the wood would absorb their moisture. As previously mentioned, cedar is usually used as a cigar humidor’s interior.
Why should you season your cigar humidor? Well, seasoning gives the humidor an atmosphere akin to the tropical weather where the majority of cigars are produced. To season humidors, follow these carefully and step by step:
1. Soak a new sponge in distilled water. Do not use soap or scents. Additionally, do not use tap water because it contains minerals that could damage the humidor.
2. Wipe all of the exposed wood. This includes the inside lid and the dividers. Make sure not to use a fraying cloth or paper towels because these could damage the wood.
3. Spray the sponge with additional distilled water. Then, put it inside the cigar humidor, on top of a plastic bag. The plastic bag is necessary because it keeps the sponge from touching the wood directly.
4. After the humidifying tool is filled, it must be wiped down. Then, for about half an hour, it should rest on a hand towel.
5. With the wet sponge and the humidifying tool inside, close the humidor lid and let it sit overnight.
6. The following day, refresh the humidifying tool. Also, if the sponge is only somewhat dry, more distilled water must be added.
7. Let the humidor sit for another evening. Afterwards, take out the plastic bag and sponge.
In a world where cigars are as prized as jewelry, South American cigars are the Roles Royce of tobacco products. Keep your cigars well-protected inside a seasoned cigar humidor to ensure that your investment will not go up in smoke.