Humidity and cigars, as you know, have a complicated relationship. If the humidity is just a little bit off, a cigar can either crack and release all of its tobacco, or become so mushy that it can’t light, and even possibly develop mold. Cigar enthusiasts spend a great deal of time and money keeping their cigars at the proper humidity level using humidors, and this practice is key if you want to maintain smokable cigars that taste and light perfectly.
Many cigar manufacturers out there actually conduct humidity tests to ensure that their cigars are as satisfying as possible before they make their ways to store shelves. As it turns out, humidity tests are about so much more than making sure that the wrappers don’t crack.
Testing the humidity on a cigar is a very helpful way to get an idea of how it will smoke once the user lights it. For one thing, if the cigar is too dry, the wrapper has a high chance of cracking. It also means that the tobacco will be so dry that it will burn very quickly, which won’t exactly result in a satisfying smoking experience.
Additionally, if there’s too much humidity, that can come with its own problems. If the tobacco has too much moisture, it most likely won’t light. And, even if it does, there’s a good chance that all of that moisture will prevent the user from being able to have an enjoyable draw as moisture inhibits the production of smoke. And, too much moisture can damage the integrity of the tobacco itself as bacteria can develop.
You may be surprised to learn that the amount of moisture in a cigar can actually interfere with its flavor profile as well. Top cigar manufacturers know that achieving the right humidity level is crucial if all of those flavor notes are to unfold in the right manner.
As it turns out, the right level of moisture for a cigar should be between 13 and 15 percent. Anything above or below that could lead to an unsatisfying smoke. And, of course, as a consumer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you maintain that humidity level after you bring your cigar home by storing it in a well-functioning humidor.
What is the Process of Doing a Humidity Test?
The truth is that different cigar manufacturers have different methods for testing the humidity of their cigars. A lot depends on the company’s budget and their personal preferences. There are several ways to check for the humidity level, and those include inserting specialized instruments into the cigars themselves that measure the moisture level. Certain cigar manufacturers have employees who are so experienced with cigars that they can determine whether or not the moisture level is right simply using their hands, but that requires years upon years of practice.
Does it Really Make a Difference?
In short, yes, humidity tests make a big difference. Even the most respected cigar manufacturers are prone to the occasional error, and humidity tests are just another part of the quality control process that ensures that the brand’s cigars are consistent in terms of their ability to satisfy smokers’ needs. While not every company does do humidity tests, practically every manufacturer has their own unique way of ensuring that the humidity level is optimal so that the draw, construction and flavor remain intact.
Indeed, this is a Very Helpful Test
A humidity test can be an extremely helpful step in the manufacturing process as it makes it that much more likely that the user will end up with a superior and satisfying cigar. While not every company practices it, those who do are more likely to deliver a consistent product.