Cigars should be kept in a controlled environment. A cedar lined box, called a humidor is traditionally used for storage. The cedar helps flavor and age the cigar. Cedar also holds moisture well which helps keep humidity at a constant level.
Cigars kept at 70% RH and 70° F offer the best smoking experience. Tobacco burns smoothly and tastes the best when kept with in this range. A dry cigar burns fast and has a harsh flavor. A damp cigar will be hard to keep lit and can grow mold while in storage.
Humidors should always close tightly, providing a seal that keeps the atmosphere inside at a constant level. A reusable moisturizer should be used to aid in the humidification. A gauge that monitors temperature and humidity can be helpful to keep optimal conditions constant.
Seasoning the Humidor
It takes time, patience and a little know-how to get a new humidor ready to hold cigars. You’re trying to recreate the tropical environments where most cigars are made, and you can’t rush the process. Putting cigars into a dry humidor can ruin good smokes, so take the time and read and follow the directions below.
Most humidors have an interior made of untreated Spanish cedar, the preferred wood for humidifying and aging premium cigars. The wood needs to be humidified, or seasoned, before the box is ready to hold cigars. If you purchased a Cigar Oasis Humidifier you will not have to season your humidor manually as the Cigar Oasis will do this for you in eight hours.
The first thing to do Take a NEW sponge– make sure it is unscented and free of soap — and wet it with a liberal dose of Glacier Mist or distilled water (use of tap water is not advisable). Wipe down all the exposed wood, including any trays and dividers, and the interior of the lid. Do not wet finished wood surfaces. Avoid using a paper towel or a fraying cloth; these will literally leave a paper trail on the wood. After you’ve wiped down the wood, squirt the sponge with more distilled water, then place it inside the humidor on a plastic bag–to avoid direct contact with the wood–and close the lid.
Close the humidor with the damp sponge inside, and leave it overnight. The next day, check the sponge. If it is fairly dry, add more distilled water. If it is very damp, leave it alone.
Let the humidor sit another night, and then remove the sponge and plastic bag. The walls of the humidor have now absorbed all the water they need, and now you can safely store your cigars.
Examine the hygrometer. Follow instruction for the device if specific instruction are provided. Otherwise, most units can be easily removed from the humidor and a few types are not designed for removal (the following treatment should not be applied to a non-removable hygrometer or one that is “pre-calibrated”; If you are uncertain, inquire with us before proceeding with the next step. If the hygrometer is removable follow these instructions: place the hygrometer in a wet cloth for 1/2 an hour or until the unit reads 95 – 100%, then return its normal place and allow 2 hours to reset. If the hygrometer does not reach 95-100% as described above, you will need to calibrate the hygrometer as detailed below for the salt test.
In a small container (milk bottle cap) place 1 tbs of sea salt in the container, add 1/2 tsp of water, place the salt mixture and the hydrometer in a Zip Top bag or a tight seal small container. Wait 6 hours, then check the reading on your hygrometer without opening the bag or container. If the reading is 75%, then your hygrometer is accurate and no adjustment is required.