If you’re just getting into the wild world of cigars, at some point you’re going to hear the word “humidor.” Whether they be desk storage or larger, climate-controlled units, humidors are essential for keeping the freshness of cigars in place and avoiding them drying out. Much of the flavor of good cigars comes from their retention of the tobacco essence involved in their creation. However, left to a regular air environment and poor packaging, cigars will deteriorate over time, losing their signature flavor. Humidors help avoid this problem.
Multiple Sizes are Available
Humidors are crafted and provided in different sizes. Starting out, you may just want a desk or shelf unit that is small enough to fit out of the way but large enough to hold a handful of prime quality cigars and keep them safe. That said, over time, you may graduate to larger units. Many who become serious about cigar smoking like to build collections of different brands and flavors, to enjoy them at different times. That means a larger unit is needed to protect the collection.
The core benefit of the cigar humidor is its ability to maintain a stable level of humidity, which cigars need when kept in storage. As furniture, larger humidors effectively protect full inventories of cigars, which is an advantage for commercial venues that sell high-quality imported cigars that need to stay protected for longer periods (higher priced products tend to take longer to sell). This is doable with cabinet humidor furniture built for large quantity storage. Of course, there is a humidor style and design for everyone, from the beginner to the decades-old professional cigar aficionado.
Only as Good as the Construct
The cigar humidor does have an Achilles Heel, however. If the humidor’s seal does not work well, it won’t be able to keep the humidity inside at a constant level. That will allow air exchange, and ultimately the cigars inside will dry out and lose flavor. Seals are regularly tested as, over time, even humidors begin to fail with age. High-quality humidors don’t suffer this problem for years, but lower-quality units lose their seal quickly, not being fabricated carefully.
Another key aspect of a good humidor involves the inside lining. High-quality units include Spanish cedar for the lining. This feature keeps bugs out, particularly beetles that like to eat cigars. And, the cedar is a natural sponge for moisture, another element that can eventually cause cigars to rot (after all, they are made of tobacco leaves).
The Size of the Humidor Matters
Most folks starting out might choose a smaller unit, just large enough for a typical handful of cigars they buy every month. This is a mistake. A larger humidor allows for viable air circulation. Air is needed to let the cigars breathe. If cigars are stuffed together, they build up heat and moisture, which again is a bad thing. So, having enough extra room with a cigar collection lets air move around and disperse built-up moisture, but the humidor keeps the overall environment stable as a contained system.
Don’t waste all your energy, money, and time spent obtaining a nice cigar collection if you’re not going to protect it. A high-quality humidor is a solid investment, both for your cigar enjoyment as well as for the protection of your cigars.