The flavor and aroma are what make a cigar irresistible, but there is an entire history behind every single stogie that you shouldn’t waste.
Sadly, these qualities are often disregarded or forgotten by beginner cigar smokers.
For example, not having enough knowledge about proper cigar storage results in the poor quality of a stogie.
Cigars often come in a cellophane wrapper before being placed inside a storage unit, but do you leave cigars wrapped in a humidor?
Below, you’ll find out how to properly keep your cigar in its storage unit to maintain its flavor.
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What Is Cellophane?
Despite being repeatedly mistaken for a plastic wrapper, it is actually not made out of plastic.
The thin transparent sheet in cello wrappers is made of regenerated cellulose. Cellulose, on the other hand, comes from the cell walls of hemp, wood, cotton, and other plants.
Cellophane provides a layer of protection from bacteria, oil, grease, and even water.
However, water vapor can pass through the invisible holes of cello sleeves, making them ideal for cigars.
Cellophaned cigars receive just enough water vapor to keep them fresh. Additionally, since it isn’t made out of plastic, cellophane is biodegradable.
Fun Fact: The term cellophane comes from cellulose, the primary ingredient of this material, and diaphane, which means “transparent.”
Why Do We Use Cellophane Cigar Wrappers?
There are several benefits to packaging cigars in cellophane wrappers.
Firstly, if you accidentally drop a box of cigars, the shock can cause cracks in the wrapper leaf. This is particularly true for delicate wrappers.
Now, if the cigar is wrapped in cellophane sleeves, the material functions as a shock absorber.
Additionally, cellophane prevents fingerprints from forming on the wrappers of cigars.
Sometimes, the texture of the leaf causes finger marks when somebody touches the cigar’s body. This can be rather uninviting for anyone.
A cigar seller can easily prevent this by adding a protective barrier to the stogie.
Identification is also very important in any industry that sells a product. Obviously, applying barcodes to a cigar’s wrapper leaf is unsanitary.
The cellophane wrapper makes it very convenient for businesses to monitor their inventory since they can just apply the barcode to the material for scanning purposes.
If you are a fan of a well-aged cigar, you’d be surprised to find that cellophane can actually help this process.
Cellophaned cigars age more evenly if you leave the sleeve on.
However, it is mostly a matter of personal preference, as some cigar smokers do not like the blend that the cellophane causes to the cigar.
Nonetheless, if you keep the sleeve on, a yellow cello is a good sign that the cigar has undergone proper aging.
Do You Leave Cigars Wrapped in a Humidor?
Here comes the million-dollar question: Do you leave cigars wrapped in a humidor?
As we’ve mentioned, water vapor can still penetrate cellophane, so humidity can still reach the cigar.
However, the presence of microscopic pores on the cellophane does not mean adequate humidity reaches the stogie.
In other words, cigars wrapped in cellophane receive less moisture than unwrapped cigars.
So, to answer your question, no, you shouldn’t leave cigars wrapped in a humidor.
Especially if you plan on keeping your cigar in your humidor for several months, we suggest removing the cellophane wrapper.
Doing so will facilitate the aging process more efficiently. At the same time, it will also be beneficial to the other stogies next to your cigar.
By removing the cellophane from cigars, you encourage the exchange of aromas and precious oils between the stogies and the entirety of your humidor’s environment.
This does not only apply to cellophane cigars but also those packaged in wooden, glass, or aluminum tubes.
Why Leave Cigars Wrapped in a Humidor?
Again, you get a good number of benefits from leaving your cigars wrapped in cellophane when you store them in your humidor.
We don’t plan to hide that from you.
Sometimes, the aging process when you remove the cello will affect specific parts of the cigar more strongly than others.
As a result, some areas of the stogie might be stronger, more flavorful, and more aromatic than others.
If this isn’t something you are necessarily excited about, it is better to leave the cigar wrapped in cellophane.
Doing so will result in a more consistent aging process and, therefore, a uniform taste.
Additionally, if you will only be storing them for a short time, say, a couple of days, it is fine to leave the cellophane on.
This is also beneficial if you are traveling. The cellophane protects the wrapper and the cigar itself from the harmful elements of the outdoors.
Nonetheless, no one said you must throw the cellophane wrapper away.
If you want, you can remove the cello from the cigar when you place them inside the humidor.
Then, if you plan to go somewhere and want to bring a cigar with you, just grab the cello sleeve and wrap the cigar before sliding it into your breast pocket.
Does Cellophane Change the Taste of My Cigars?
One worry cigar smokers have is that cellophane might change the taste of their cigars if they leave the sleeves on upon storage.
In the short term, there should be little to no effect on your cigar’s taste.
However, cigars aged in cellophane for months or years will exhibit a shift in their flavor profile.
No, we are not saying this shift is terrible.
Again, it is a matter of personal preference. Some cigar smokers actually prefer the aging process caused by cellophane wrappers.
If you are unsure which you prefer, take it for a test.
Grab two of the same cigar, leave the wrapper on one of them, and remove the wrapper from the other.
Let them sit in your humidor for several months, then smoke them in the same week. You will immediately find out how cellophane affects its taste.
At the same time, you’d also determine whether you want a humidor-aged or a cellophane-aged cigar.
Here is a quick guide to cigar tasting to help you better gauge how the presence or absence of cellophane can affect your cigar.
It All Depends on Your Preferences
The thing is, we all have different tastes.
If you want the traditional aging process caused by humidors, remove the wrapper. On the other hand, leave it on if you want to preserve the original taste of the cigar.
Then again, who’s to say you cannot enjoy the best of both worlds?
If you want to learn more about cellophane wrappers, check out our in-depth article about them.