Setting up a new humidor always a challenge. You need to take several steps to ensure the quality of the humidor itself as well as the way it keeps in humidity and temperature. Freud once said, “Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar”. this may be true in many cases, but if kept in a well groomed humidor in the right conditions, a cigar can be something more. It can be a stick of tobacco perfectly ripened and aged to perfection in a way much like a fine wine.
You see, if you look at premium cigars in the same light as fine wine, you will find that there isn’t much of a difference. There are wine aficionados and there are cigar aficionados. These type of people are generally the same when it comes to how their respective product is made, aged and kept or stored. Many people will actually walk around in a humidor and sniff and lightly squeeze each cigar to find the perfect softness they are looking for – and some pople will go to great lengths to get the cigars (or wine) they desperately desire.
With a well stocked humidor at the right humidity and temperature, you can always make sure your cigars are fresh and ready to he smoked. The standard most cigar smokers go by when preparing humidity is anywhere between 68%-72%. Anywhere above around the 72% mark can make your cigars become too soft and moist, which makes them hard to light and soggy. If you go below the 68% mark your cigars can become stale and hard, making them too hard to smoke and easily crackable – and you definitely don’t want the cigar cracking and having the wrapper crumble off – to ensure your humidity is sitting just where you wanted, you must always calibrate the hygrometer that comes with your humidor (the instructions should tell you how to do this) or use an electronic hygrometer. You can pick them up at Radioshack, or here in our online store.
To maintain your humidor properly, you can always go the traditional route by using a simple plastic/foam humidifier and filling it with distilled water (although this way you must always make sure to stay on top of the levels of water). Due to new technology there are also several other ways to humidify your humidifier and make sure your cigars continue to stay fresh. Brands like Dr. RH, Cigar Caddy and Humidipacks by Boveda make caring for your cigars a much simpler process. These products require very little time and attention by replacing the traditional distilled water/foam for new ways that provide humidification with little to no intervention.
Humidipacks work great and can keep your humidor humidified for several months with just a couple packets. They come in a variety of humidity %s and are relatively cheap. Dr. RH offers several humidifiers and jars full of a special get that keeps humidity flowing with a special solution that you use to add to the jars when the time comes. Most of these specialty humidification items are available in different sizes on our website and are available for humidors of all sizes.
The bottom line is, you can not have a good smoke unless you have a properly kept humidifier. Old, dried up and cracked cigars are never good for anyone involved. Especially if you plan on handing out cigars to guest(s) on a special occasion. Like they say, first impressions are everything and a man with good, well kept cigars is like a man with a nice firm handshake. You can’t go wrong with a well kept, just right cigar and the only way to ensure this is always the case is to make sure you always have a properly prepared humidor.