One of the most common questions new cigar smokers ask is, "What is a humidor and why are they so important?"
Let's see what we can do to provide a few answers.
Why Use a Cigar Humidor?
Humidors are used to store and protect cigars so they are kept at their peak flavor. Without using a humidor, cigars will dry out, lose their flavor, and burn too quickly.
How does a humidor work?
A humidor works by keeping a cigar at a constant temperature, somewhere between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and about 70-72% humidity.
Many cigar aficionados claim that the ideal temperature for storing cigars is 70 degree F. Any lower will tend to age the cigar, rather than keep it at a constant level. Humidors are not meant to age, but rather to preserve the integrity, flavor, and color of the cigar.
What to look for when purchasing a humidor?
A good humidor should close completely, with a tight fitting lid that protects cigars from outside elements and prevent the exchange of moisture. Seams should be smooth and well fitted for cigars.
Wood crafted humidors
Although humidors can be found made from a range of wood types including Mahogany, Cedar, Walnut, and Red Wood, Cedar, especially Spanish cedar, is generally considered to be ideal for the interior of the humidor. Of course, make certain your brand of cigars fits well into any humidor you are considering purchasing.
Where to buy a quality humidor
You can find quality humidors from a variety of sources; Cigar shops, online stores, eBay, and even garage sales and Pawn shops. Prices can range from $50, to hundreds, to even thousands of dollars. The amount you spend depends on your level of cigar smoking experience and, of course, your budget.
Humidor buying tips
- Decide on how much you want to spend
- Write down a list of features you're looking for in your humidor including; construction, materials, size, and number of cigars you need it to hold.
- Physically go to a local cigar shop and compare the merchandise. While you're there, have to proprietor give some insight into the different brands.
- Armed with the above information, you should have a short list of humidors you're thinking of purchasing.
- Now go online and compare prices and shipping costs. Don't be surprised if you find that an online retailer offers a better price. Even so, don't completely disregard your local cigar shop just to save a couple bucks.
Remember, buying a humidor is generally a one time event. But buying cigars is something you will do over and over again. And I've found that building a good relationship with a local cigar store can reap you many rewards.