Many people are under the impression that smoking cigars are an expensive hobby to take up. While this can be true, it doesn't have to be, and it doesn't mean sacrificing quality either. Buying cigars is up to you and your preference, but what about storing them?
Keeping cigars fresh is essential if you want to maintain their flavor and the way that they smoke. You might believe that this means buying an expensive humidor or creating a bespoke cigar cabinet, but do not let this put you off. Storing a cigar does not require costly equipment. In reality, your perfect storage container could be a combination of materials found in your kitchen.
The main function of a humidor is to maintain a constant humidity (moisture level) for the cigars stored therein. As we know, a cigar with a proper moisture content is infinitely more enjoyable than one without. You can do this by creating a personal system that is just as good as an expensive humidor, and just as functional. It just takes a few steps.
Start by getting a hygrometer. This instrument measures moisture levels in a closed environment, like a container. A hydrometer has an analog (or digital if you prefer) display of humidity. A basic hygrometer can easily be bought online for $10 or less. There are some which display both temperature and humidity for a bit more.
The prime level of humidity for a cigar rests between 65-72%, and they should be in a room with an ambient temperature between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. As a basic rule, temperature and humidity levels should be the same, or within a few degrees. Many aficionados swear by the “70/70 Rule” (70 degrees Fahrenheit and 70% humidity), but you can experiment to determine your personal taste.
Ziploc Bags and Sponge Combo
If you need to store one to five cigars, a Ziploc bag works well. Simply cut a piece of kitchen sponge into a 1” square. Dip it in distilled water and firmly squeeze out excess water. Place it inside the Ziploc to maintain the humidity. Then, you simply need to place it in the right ambient temperature. Check it once a week or so to ensure the sponge hasn't dried out.
Tupperware Container or a Jar
For a larger number of cigars, a Tupperware container or a resealable jar is just as easy as a Ziploc bag. Just place a damp sponge at the bottom of the jar or container, place a layer of kitchen wrap on top to avoid direct contact, and seal the container. An even easier way to do this is to stop by your favorite cigar retailer and purchase a humidity packet, such as a Boveda water packet. Simply drop the packet in the container and you are done!
A small cooler and a sponge or a dish of distilled water set on the bottom is another basic way to store your cigars. Remember that cigars are like sponges and soak up anything in the air around them. It is best, in this case, to invest in a brand new cooler. An important consideration is that it has a tight seal, or rubberized edges which maintain a firm closure.
Do NOT Use a Refrigerator or Freezer
Unlike some older myths or cigar advice from your favorite uncle, it is not a good idea to store your cigars in the refrigerator or freezer. This environment ruins them within hours.
Now that you know how to create a great humidor, why not stock it with some great new cigars? Cayman Cigar Company has a variety of premium, hand rolled cigars at introductory prices! Our cigars will soon be available for sale in the USA! Stay tuned for the big, BIG “Toro Grande” sized announcement!