‘How to Keep Cigars Fresh’ is critical know-how of any cigar enthusiast or aficionado, considering the cost and intangible value of a premium cigar.
The freshest cigars reward us with the most natural aromas and flavours, delivering the best smoking experience. How so? Cigars are made of premium tobacco leaves, they need a specific humidity level to stay fresh.
Ideally this humidity level should remain between 68% and 72%. Along with the ideal humidity level, the temperature of where cigars are kept must not rise beyond 25 degrees centigrade.
OK so there are a few methods available in keeping your cigars fresh. The most effective of these is using a premium cigar humidor. But let’s explore all alternative methods.
How to Keep Cigars Fresh using a Cigar Humidor
At Cigar Cutter Expert we strongly encourage you to invest in one of the best cigar humidors, in order to keep your cigars super fresh. Cigar humidors do not cost much these days and perform the most effective job of not only keeping your cigars fresh, but also enhancing their aroma and taste (flavour). This is what makes it the first choice for storage, as recommended by cigar makers and aficionados, worldwide.
Cigar humidors have been around for over a hundred years. Starting out as a wooden box with a hinge, humidors have evolved into more sophisticated devices. Some are created as works of art and used as a decorative item in homes and offices. Today, cigar humidors are comprised of three components: humidor cabinet (box), humidifier and hygrometer. DIY humidors can also be made very inexpensively.
A great travel humidor is also recommended for taking your valuable sticks to the golf course or on vacation to help keep them protected. Travel humidors are usually smaller and less expensive then your main humidor, so they are well worth the price and effort to purchase one.
How to Keep Cigars Fresh without a Cigar Humidor
As a short term solution, there are a few ways to keep cigars fresh without a cigar humidor – especially if on holiday or travelling.
Let’s start with a disposable, zip-lock bag. These disposable bags can be used to keep your valuable cigars safe and fresh.
They come with a zip-lock that helps in sealing the bags after you put your cigars in them. Do not forget to place a damp napkin (distilled water) inside before you seal the bag.
Then there’s the jar method. Find an empty clean jar and fill it about a quarter way with distilled water and then put some sponge in it, to soak it up.
Cover the sponge with a piece of plastic and then put your cigars in the jar, ensuring there is no water contact. You can now place the jar in a refrigerator and keep your cigars fresh for up to 10 days.
Apart from these methods, you can use a mason jar with moisture beads to keep your cigars fresh. Just fill the mason jar with some distilled water and moisture beads and you have your own homemade humidor to store your cigars for a few days, at least.
As we mentioned earlier, cigar makers and aficionados strongly recommend the use of a cigar humidor, as the best way of keeping your cigars fresh. Created specifically to provide your cigars with the optimal humidity level and temperature, a cigar humidor ensures quality and consistency by retaining their freshness and aroma.
Best Cigar Protection Advice
By far, humidification is the best way of keeping your cigars safe and fresh. Cigar humidors were invented exactly for this purpose. You can actually keep your cigars fresh using a good humidor for many years.
You just have to make sure that the environment in which the cigars are kept is properly controlled. Humidors not only keep the cigars fresh, but also protect them from tobacco beetles and bacteria.
Cigar Humidor Set-up & Maintenance
With a cigar humidor, you can store you cigars indefinitely and safely. You just have to keep adding/maintaining the maximum distilled water level of your humidor’s humidifier.
We cannot overemphasise the importance of using only distilled water in a cigar humidor. Please do not use tap water as it contains bacteria and other contaminants that can form mold in the humidor and ruin the flavor of your stogies.
Check Your Humidor Once Per Week
You are encouraged to check the humidor once every week in order to make sure that no mould is forming inside it and to top it up with distilled water, if necessary. If you do see any mould in the humidor, you should remove all the cigars and clean it before you start using it again. Humidors can also be used to age the cigars.
Cigar Humidor Humidifier and Hygrometer: What are these?
When you buy a cigar humidor, you should first activate the humidifier and the hygrometer – usually included with the box. It is important that you do not place any cigars inside a humidor, before completing these important steps.
The hygrometer looks like a stopwatch or timer (see image above), but in fact, is used for measuring humidity inside the humidor. Cigars are kept at the optimum level of between 68–72% humidity, to retain their freshness.
There are 2 types of hygrometers: digital and analog. Digital hygrometers are more reliable and preferred over analog ones.
The humidifier is often rectangular (but can be other shapes as well) and looks like a grill. A good humidifier needs to first absorb the maximum possible amount of distilled water, before it can be placed inside the humidor and the lid closed.
You can also use humidity packs, such as the premium Boveda 72% relative humidity packs, as an alternative to a humidifier. The advantage of using these are less maintenance, you don’t need to deal with monitoring a humidifier.
One or two days later, read the hygrometer inside the humidor to gauge the humidity level, which should be at 68-72% humidity. You can start storing your cigars by placing them inside in layers – avoiding packing them in tight.
Your cigars will keep fresh for a long time. Be sure to check your cigars and hygrometer reading at least once weekly.
If you have bought a few cigars and you do not want to invest in a humidor yet, you can just use plastic containers or zip lock bags for storing them and keeping them fresh for a few days.
However, you should know that they will likely lose their freshness; and possibly intensity of aromas and flavours, if you keep them stored this way for days. Therefore, if you plan on keeping your cigars for longer and even building a collection, buying one of the best cigar humidors is an excellent idea. And the best part is, a good cigar humidor can be purchased for less than $99.
Let us know if this article was helpful in guiding you on how to keep cigars fresh. Happy puffing!
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