by Staff Writer
Smoking a high-quality cigar is a real pleasure; in fact, cigars are a passion for the many people who keep a selection of their favorite varieties in the home or office at all times. The finest tobaccos command a high price, so if you enjoy purchasing and smoking cigars, even occasionally, you'll want to protect their quality. When cigars are exposed to air, they deteriorate quickly, becoming dry and brittle. Dry cigars also yield a different, less satisfying smoking experience. Yet storing cigars need not be an overly complicated process, and once you learn how to store cigars, you can have them stay fresh for a long time.
If you have just a few cigars to keep for a few days, you don't need special equipment for storage. Place them in a sealed plastic bag that contains a dampened paper towel. Put the bag in a cool, dark area.
Use a humidor for longer storage periods and for larger quantities. Humidors maintain a constant temperature and humidity level in order to keep cigars fresh. Smoke shops and online retailers sell humidors, which come in a variety of price ranges and designs. It is not necessary to overspend on a cigar humidor, as they all function about the same. The differences among humidors are mostly related to size and decoration. Smaller units hold up to 25 cigars, while the larger units can hold over 100.
Season a new humidor for the first time use by placing a small cup of distilled water inside the main compartment. Place the hygrometer inside and monitor it until it reaches the desired humidity level recommended by the manufacturer, usually 70 percent. Remove the hygrometer and fill the provided vial with distilled water; then replace the hygrometer.
Load your cigars into the humidor, arranging them for easy access to all varieties. Remove any wrappers or tubes from a cigar before placing it in the humidor.
Place the humidor in a cool and dark area away from direct lighting and heat. The temperature of the storage area should be maintained at near 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rotate your cigars for aeration and check their condition about once every month to maintain optimal freshness. Monitor the humidity level, too, and repeat step three if the level falls below the optimal level.
By following these outlined steps, you'll be able to preserve your favorite fine cigars for many years to come, and when you enjoy smoking one, it will be as fresh and flavorful as the day you purchased it.
Purchase the correct size humidor for the number of cigars you plan to keep at a time.
Read the manufacturer's recommendations for maintaining your humidor to keep it in good working condition.
Let a humidor double as a piece of home decor; many are made of beautiful woods and feature expert craftsmanship.