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How to Preserve Your Cigars for a Fresh Smoke Every Time

How to Preserve Your Cigars for a Fresh Smoke Every Time
Image by Konchai Klangkanasub from Pixabay

A fine cigar can cost upwards of around $20 – with limited edition releases often fetching triple or quadruple that amount. These price points reflect the slow cultivation, artisan craftsmanship, and considerate handling of the product on its journey toward your lighter. 

Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to continue that care and preservation once you purchase the cigar. And for your efforts, a well-preserved cigar will reward you with rich flavors, dense smoke, and a satisfying pinch. 

Below, learn how (and why) to preserve your cigars for a fresh smoke every time. 

Why Preserve Your Cigars? 

Let’s start with a quick analogy. Say you’ve purchased a fine filet mignon steak and a small tin of sturgeon caviar for dinner; the former cost you $20, and the latter set you back $60. Would you leave that steak next to the kitchen window for the day to warm and dry out in the sun? Would you leave that caviar tin in the fridge uncovered to meet a similar, dried-out fate? No, of course not – you’re not a monster!

Partly, preserving your cigars is about safeguarding your investment, ensuring the money you spend doesn’t go to waste. It’s also about preserving the flavor and texture of the product. An improperly stored cigar will be dry, brittle, fast-burning, and muted in flavor. 

A Humidor, Any Humidor

Caring for a cigar starts with providing an ideal environment: little to no air exposure, the correct relative humidity (RH), and a sensible temperature. 

Your journey toward cigar preservation starts with a humidor. Essentially, a humidor is any tightly enclosed space that limits airflow and promotes a consistent RH. The finest cigar humidors are lined with Spanish cedar (or Red Cedar or Honduran Mahogany), which retains ideal humidity, repels pests, and imparts a woody aroma. However, any tightly sealed container will work in a pinch (leather travel cases or even durable zip-top bags!). 

Two-Way Humidity Packs

You can’t trust a humidor alone. Any cigar enthusiast will tell you that you need the extra insurance of a Boveda pack to preserve the natural flavors of your cigars. Pop a Boveda pack in the humidor, and it does the hard work of dialing in the RH. 

The packs feature what’s known as “two-way humidity control.” If the humidity is too high in your humidor, the packet absorbs ambient moisture to maintain the ideal RH – between 65% and 75%, depending on the type of cigar and surrounding environment. Meanwhile, if the humidity drops too low, the packet releases moisture into the humidor until it hits that sweet spot RH again. 

It’s a foolproof way to ensure your cigars never dry out and never spoil from mold. 

Temperature Control

Some cigar experts follow the “70/70” rule: 70% RH at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not the most ideal combination for every cigar and situation, but it’s a handy mnemonic. Plus, it underscores the importance of temperature in this equation. 

High temperatures encourage the proliferation of mold and cigar beetles (yes, those are real bugs, and yes, they are gross). Meanwhile, chilly temperatures can shock the tobacco and cause splitting, peeling, or other forms of structural damage to the cigar. Set your home or humidor room thermostat to the correct temperature for best results. 

Your tobacco traveled a long distance to get to you. It should meet its fate at the hands of your lighter – not the damaging effects of improper humidity and temperature. Follow the steps above to ensure a satisfying cigar every single time. 

Featured Image by Konchai Klangkanasub from Pixabay

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