Films, television shows, and other media forms commonly depict cigars as always-ready, spur-of-the-moment impulses that are enjoyed in an instant. Like many other subjects and topics, popular culture seems to have overly simplified and completely misunderstood stogies, including their composition, crafting process, aging benefits, and need for humidification.
Rather than being quickly made and enjoyed indulgences, cigars are slowly and steadily formed in a process that can take the better part of a decade. Tobacco must be grown in ideal conditions before being dried and seasoned, cigar wrappers must be similarly grown and cultivated, binders must be considered, the health and moisture levels of the plants must be monitored, and many other factors must be accounted for, by industry professionals. The larger point to take away is that cigars endure a long and impressive journey from conception to smoking.
More than being very, very awesome, this means that cigar smokers need to do their part in assuring the quality of their smokes by purchasing and using a well-suited humidor. As you probably know, humidors are like houses for cigars; cigars can be carefully stored inside these tight, well-built, and moist containers for years upon years. And more than maintaining their quality as opposed to becoming dry, cigars stored in humidors will actually season and improve in terms of taste and burn. It's accordingly not uncommon for some experienced smokers to store their stogies in a humidor for multiple years!
Popular culture has it wrong—smokers don't just pick cigars up out of a box or off the ground before lighting up. They attentively store and age them inside humidors, thereby maximizing their quality and providing them with valuable time to improve. Then, they precisely search the contents of their humidors to find the perfect cigar for a particular mood, setting, and time of day. This process might require more time than simply starting a scene with a smoke, but it's a lot more enjoyable too.
To help you get the most out of your cigars and benefit from a stress-free purchasing experience, here's some information on the different kinds of humidors, the perks and drawbacks of each humidor type, and considerations of each stogie storage unit.
Types of Humidors
Like cigars themselves, humidors are diverse and intricate, and every type of smoker will be able to find a suitable model.
Jar humidors are small, compact, clear, inexpensive, and to-the-point cylindrical containers—perfect for cigar smokers who don't have many smokes on-hand at once, who don't want to spend a lot of money on storage, and who don't want their storage unit to occupy much space.
Jar humidors are air-tight and easy to keep moist, and as was said, they don't require much room to store or money to buy. On the other side of the coin, they cannot hold very many cigars at once and are prone to accidental breaks, just as dishes and glasses are.
As is suggested by the name, tabletop humidors are those that're small enough to be placed on tables and desks. These humidors are ideal for smokers who will only be storing a box or so of cigars, those who have limited space for their stogies, and those who're seeking an often unexplored way to look cooler than their coworkers.
Tabletop humidors are once again small and compact, and they can also be purchased for very, very affordable prices. However, if there's any chance that you'll receive or need to store more cigars, the humidor type's limited size can actually become a liability. Finally, some tabletop humidors don't come equipped with built-in hygrometers, or the tools used to measure the humidity of humidors and assure that they're well-suited for cigars. In these instances, you'll need to purchase a standalone digital hygrometer.
Bar and countertop humidors are large, vertical-rising units that are perfect if you have a medium-sized number of cigars to store, an entertainment area to spruce up, and a fair amount of free space. And as you've likely gathered, this type of humidor is generally designed for placement on a counter or bar, as its front door opens perfectly from this angle (relative to one's height, that is).
While bar and countertop humidors can hold more cigars than desktop units, they don't boast the largest capacity of stogie storage units by any means. However, they look excellent and can be purchased for "middle-ground" prices.
Cabinet humidors are massive, all-encompassing cigar containers typically owned only by the most serious and avid smokers. These colossal cigar havens can easily store hundreds if not thousands of smokes, and your biggest use challenge may in fact be remembering where you placed a cigar! As you'd expect based upon the humidor type's convenience and size, cabinet units cost quite a bit to buy.
Often very large in capacity and not overly imposing in terms of size, chest humidors are perfect for smokers without the space for a cabinet, as well as smokers with a ton of cigars to store! You'll be impressed with how easily entire boxes fit inside chest humidors, and the biggest potential drawback to the model is that crowded units can take some time to sift through, to find the desired cigar. Furthermore, chests often cost more to buy than every other humidor type besides the cabinet. It should also be noted that cold floors—perhaps in the basement during the winter—can throw-off the humidity and temperature of chest humidors, as they obviously rest on the ground. In serious instances this can lead to damaged cigars.
A hybrid between the refrigerator and the humidor, coolidors are electronic cigar storage units that allow users to control both the humidity and the temperature stogies are stored in with the simple press of a button. These units typically boast large capacities and are normally shaped like the bar and countertop humidors—although they may be too heavy to place on some surfaces. The ability to once again control both the temperature and humidity of the humidor is a big selling point.
However, the coolidor does use a fair amount of electricity, can make some noise as it operates, and costs quite a bit to purchase.
Hopefully this guide helped you to better understand the different types of humidors and to also select a unit that suits your situation and needs. Thanks for reading, and remember that a quality smoking experience starts with a quality storage experience!