Cigars – not an unexpected gift to receive on a birthday or Christmas! Maybe a friend gave you a few to try for the first time. You are not going to smoke them all at once, right?
It would be best if you stored them right away.
It is vital to keep cigars humidified, especially if you live in cold, dry weather. Using a humidor is the right way to store cigars for a long time. It’s essentially a humidity-controlled box (usually wooden) that keeps cigars warm and moist.
If you do not have a humidor or are just trying out cigars, and are unsure about your interest in having a collection, you can learn how to store cigars without a humidor.
Relative humidity of 65-70% is the ideal benchmark to store cigars. The article explains different ways to store cigars with materials already in your home.
Let us see what they are.
#1 Store as Received
If you have received the cigars wrapped in cellophane or in a sealed wooden box, store it as received in a cool place away from direct sunlight. The wooden box will contain cigars wrapped in cellophane.
Though these wooden boxes are often ornate and elaborate in nature, it does not function as a humidor. At best, you can store it for few days, making it a very short-term solution.
#2 In Ziploc Bags
You can extend the life of cigars with good quality Ziploc bags. Place the cigars in the bag and close it after removing as much air as possible.
Remember that Ziploc bags are not 100% airtight, so this is again a short-term storage solution without a humidor.
Ambient weather conditions will definitely impact the shelf life.
Dry conditions in winter months will reduce the cigars’ shelf life, whereas mild weather conditions will keep the cigars fresh for a couple of months.
Another method, or rather a variation, is to use plastic cling wrap. Put the cigars in a tall glass container, cling wrap the glass, and store it in a cool and dry spot.
#3 Fashion a Tupperdor
A plastic container or Tupperware with clamps on the side and a rubber gasket, called a tupperdor, serves as a homemade cigar humidor for long-term storage. It is airtight and maintains the right humidity level for the cigars to mature.
An ideal option to store cigars without a humidor, a tupperdor is cheap, versatile, transportable, and does not require any preparation before use.
It is readily available in your kitchen and the number of tupperdor required depends on the quantity of cigars to be stored.
A small tupperdor is enough if you are just starting out. Further, you can just pick up and carry it anywhere – an ideal homemade cigar storage solution.
Open the container every 2-3 weeks to air the cigars for a few minutes. This way, cigars will not dry out.
You can also improvise a basic tupperdor. Moisten a paper towel or a clean kitchen sponge with distilled water (important!) and place it inside a Ziploc bag.
Keep the bag slightly open and put it in the tupperdor. Do not place the cigars inside the Ziploc bag. The process imitates how a humidor works on cigars – it will allow a little bit of humid air to flow out into the container and keep the cigars fresh.
Do not use tap water; mineral water is the next best alternative to distilled water.
#4 Build a Coolerdor
A standard cooler is another excellent way to store cigars for an extended period outside of a humidor. Select a standard cooler depending on the number of cigars you want to store.
The typical red cooler with a white lid would suffice. Seal it tightly and store it in a cool, dry place. Air it every month for maximum freshness.
Cigars absorb the essence near to them, kind of like how sponges do. As such, CLEAN the coolerdor (cool name!) of grime and smell before using.
If you are storing many cigars, get a digital hygrometer to get an accurate idea of the humidity level. Hydrometer is an instrument that measures the level of humidity in the air.
Lastly, regardless of the storage method used, rotate the cigars regularly.
Storing Flavored Cigars
Cigars absorb the essence of what is around them and impart their own essence to other cigars. Do not club together cigars of different flavors like coffee, vanilla, cherry, and others.
Whatever storage method you decide, store flavored cigars separate from the traditional non-flavored cigars and other flavors.
Cigar re-humidification is a gradual process and cannot always be carried out successfully. Whether you can revive your cigars or not depends on how they were stored and what the storage looks like in its current condition.
If a box of home-stored cigars was lying under the bed for over six months, throw it in the trash can! It has crossed the point of no return — the cigars would be too dried out, with the storage wrapper crumbling and flaking off.
If it has not reached this stage, gradually reintroduce humidity over a few days. Do not blast it with an aggressive humidity level; the wrappers will crack and ruin the cigars.
All you need is humid air; no dollars invested!
You can also watch the short instructional video by Bespoke Unit to get a visual idea of what you need to do.
The four-step process is the ideal way to achieve cigar storage conditions at home. No need to remain on the fence and undecided!