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Your First Humidor

More Than a Box - a Humidor is an Investment in your Passion

Where should I store my Cigars? Do I need a Humidor?

Chances are, if you are already familiar with Canteros New Zealand, then you have probably tried a few cigars by now; you may even have developed a taste for the cigars/types of cigars you like.

Now you want to buy a few more, to have them on hand - but where should you store them?

First off, how many cigars do you have or do you want to have on-hand?
If you are only ever planning on having a handful of cigars; you can get away with a zip-lock bag and an SIZE-8 69% or 72% Boveda pack; or a few more; the ol' Tupperdore always works with a SIZE-60 69% or 72% Boveda pack.

If you are looking to have 15+ cigars (always pays to have some Quorum Tres Petit's on hand for friends that "want" a cigar, but will never actually smoke more than half a cigar); then maybe it's time for a Humidor.

What is a Humidor?

A humidor is a specially crafted storage container for cigars; lined with Spanish Cedar it preserves your cigars in an ideal condition, ready for your enjoyment.
Through a careful combination of temperature (20 degrees is best) and humidity (70% is the ideal) your cigars will age and stay as perfect as they can be.

TCM Tip: Spanish Cedar is used because it holds humidity without warping over time; the subtle aroma is believed to aide the maturing of cigars and beetles don't like the taste of it.

Humidors come in all sizes - from personal portable accessories to room-sized walk-in humidors; most passionados have a desktop-humidor for their storage of cigars. Likewise humidors can be relatively inexpensive through to bespoke, one-off designs that are destined to be heirloom pieces.

What size Humidor should I have?

Here in New Zealand we talk about single-cigars a lot, simply because the Government has made them a luxury due to their heavy-taxes on tobacco; other countries (like the USA) talk about "how many boxes will you have".

Let's say you want to have 20 cigars on hand, a nice selection that you can have a few different cigars for differing occasions.

My advice is always buy a little larger than you plan; you may never fill the humidor up, but you might and you'll appreciate the extra room.

Over the past couple of decades as a tobacconist, I would have to say the majority of passionados would have 20 to 50 cigars at any one time; some have a hundred; some have collections in the 100's.

Canteros New Zealand always carry a wide range of humidors from small desktop-humidors (up to 50 cigars) through to medium and larger desktop-humidors (50+); it really depends how much of a hobby you plan on making your cigar passion.

Personally, I started with a lovely Cherry-wood 25-count humidor some 25+ years ago; I've upgraded considerably since then.

If you do wish to upgrade or even downsize, feel free to drop us an email and we can assist; when we have any trade-in humidors, we normally gift to novices just starting out.

What style of Humidor should I get?

This really is a question for your partner, they have to live with it and they probably have better style-sense than you.

It does all come down to some simple choices though;

  • How many Cigars do you desire having on hand
  • Do you want extra space to age some Special Cigars
  • What design do you like (more importantly, what your wife likes)
  • Will you have enough room for a Digital Hygrometer (a MUST) and Boveda packs / holder

What other items do I need?

For the bare basics of owning a Humidor you will also need a bottle of PG Solution (50% distilled water/50% PG) - that is really it.

However, 25 years of experience has taught me a thing or two; Boveda packs are a must, they regulate the humidity using a 2-way exchange system, they are not messy and they last longer than refilling the old fashion humidifier with PG every week.

Sorry to break it to you, but an analogue hygrometer is just useless; get a Digital hygrometer as soon as you can.

Lastly, if you pick a humidor that suits it; an engraved nameplate really does add that little extra touch of "wow" to your new humidor, your relaxation passion.

TCM Tips:
Always store your humidor in a dry, stable temperature place in your home - lots of temperature changes or exposure to direct sunlight will impact on the quality of your cigars.

Fluctuating temperatures impact on your RH (relative humidity) a lot; around 20 degrees and you'll find you have stable 69% humidity.

Colder temperatures, you just won't get the humidity high enough; hotter temperatures (over 21 degrees) and you can run the risk of having beetles hatch and eat your precious cigars.

Maintain the seasoning of your humidor - in the next BLOG post I will take you through how to setup your humidor and season it; but one key thing to remember is to also maintain the seasoning.

By this I mean every 3 to 6 months, using PG solution re-wipe the "lips" of your humidor; the parts of the Spanish Cedar that touch to form the seal.

When you "drop" the lid of your humidor, it should not go "clunk" - it should gently close as the wood is slightly swollen and creates a barrier.

Do not use just distilled water - for seasoning you need 50% PG and 50% distilled water; the PG assists in retaining the humidity (moisture) in your humidor.

Please check back for next weeks BLOG post - Setting Up and Maintaining Your Humidor

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