First of all, a humidor is an airtight container for keeping cigars moist. If you’re thinking this is an article about humidifiers—a device to keep the atmosphere of a room moist—you’re going to be awfully disappointed. Besides a need for moistness, these two contraptions have nothing in common.
For anyone who does not smoke cigars, the idea of purchasing a special container to store your vice of choice may sound like an addiction masquerading in a three-piece suit. If it seems a little ritualistic and extreme, that’s because it is. Cigar enthusiasts (read: socially acceptable junkies) will tell you that stogies must be stored in very specific conditions to preserve optimum flavor.
Fun fact: did you know that these famous people were cigar smokers? George Burns, Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill, Sigmund Freud, John F. Kennedy, Groucho Marx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Francis Ford Coppola, Bruce Willis, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Harrison Ford.
Why Do You Need a Humidor?
According to The Cigar Store, the best temperature to store your Cubans (the cigars, not the Castros) is between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of 70-72%. Some aficionados insist that the temperature should remain at a constant 70 degrees for the perfect tasting rolled tobacco leaf flambé. I can’t do laundry without breaking into hives, so I’ll just have to trust them. Anyway, the point is, if you want to preserve the taste, odor, and color of your cigar, you’re going to need a cigar humidor.
Size Is Important
Contrary to popular, politically-correct opinion, the size of your contraption is important. Cigars come in different lengths and widths, and if your storage box is too small or too big, you won’t be able to fit the cigar into it. And if you can’t close the lid or door to the humidor, then air and moisture, not to mention dust, mold or tobacco beetle infestations, will get in and ruin your Havana heaven.
Humidors come in a variety of sizes, from a small travel case that fits just a few cigars to a large cabinet that holds up to 2600 of these babies to a walk-in, room-sized humidor, typically found in exclusive cigar shops. Expect to spend anywhere from $15 to several thousand.
Other Features To Look For
The top feature to look for in a cigar humidor is, of course, that it must be an air-tight fit when closed. If it’s a wood box or cabinet, the inside of it should be smooth to prevent any splinters from tearing your beloved belvederes. A couple of wood shards might turn your cigar into kindling when you light up!
Another aspect to look for, though it’s not essential, is internal fittings. These indentations help keep the coronas in place when you move the contraption, which is especially useful when traveling or running away from the TSA at the airport. (Kidding. Never run in an airport. When fleeing security, always use a motorized golf cart).
When it comes to the interior of the box, there are different types of linings, but the best one is Spanish cedar. Many humidors are made of particleboard which is cheaper, not moisture-resistant, and contains formaldehyde. If you have already bought a cigar box made of this material, you can simply insert a solid piece of Spanish cedar to give it the added protection your havanas will need. If you had the wherewithal to read this article before purchasing one, make sure it is made of cedar, and preferably Spanish cedar.
Best Climate Controlled Humidors
- Travel – Cigar Caddy. This ABS molded plastic case is airtight, watertight, and crushproof, holds 5 cigars, contains a humidifier, and has a locking clasp.
- Small Box – Merger High Lacquer Burl 30 Count Humidor. An attractive box with high-lacquer burl finish and black edging, holds 30 cigars, has a Spanish cedar lining, premium humidification and hygrometer, and measures 11” x 8 ½” x 4”.
- Stand-Up Cabinet – The Remington Climate Controlled Cabinet Humidor. This unit measures 26″ W x 26″ D x 74-1/2″ H, holds up to 2,000 smokes, has an electronically adjustable climate control in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, a de-mist feature to prevent condensation, white LED interior lighting, and 6 cedar-lined drawers.
Just because cigar-smoking George Burns lived to be 100 doesn’t mean that puffing on a daily stogie will contribute to the longevity of your life. But if cigars are your habit of choice, at least you’ll know how to store and preserve your foil banded cylinders of tobacco.
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