Proper treatment of your cigars is crucial to getting your desired level of pleasure from smoking them. Even if you do everything correctly when you store your cigar you will also have to know how to prepare your cigar to be smoked. Both of these topics are equally responsible for the quality of your smoking experience so in this article we will focus on both. To elevate from a rookie to a knowledgeable cigar smoker you need to know the most important aspects of cigar preservation and preparation; storage & cutting.
An improperly stored cigar causes a myriad of problems that include but are not limited to: inconsistent burning, trouble lighting or staying lit, mold, drastic change or ruining of flavor, and parasites. These are not subjects to be taken likely as smoking a contaminated cigar can be extremely hazardous to your health. To properly take care of your cigars you will need a decent humidor and do the proper maintenance on it so it works correctly and keeps your cigars on par. You can try to use plastic bags & refrigerators but don’t be surprised when you lose more money than you are trying to save by cutting corners.
When you are storing your cigars you need to think about two things: temperature and humidity. Messing up either one can transform even the finest cigar into an unusable mess that will have to be thrown out. A temperature that is too high or extremely low will dry out your cigars and make them burn irregularly while simultaneously ruining their taste. Remember that even with the correct temperature an excessive amount of humidity creates the perfect conditions for mold and parasites to destroy your cigars.
Experts worldwide agree that a cigar should be stored at a temperature no higher than 73°F (23°C) in between 65-72% humidity. Ideally if you have a good humidor you should aim for the perfect sweet spot of 70°F (21°C) with 70% humidity. Only use distilled water in your humidor since tap water contains unwanted minerals & chlorine that can clog the humidor’s pores and cause it to function improperly. Keeping your cigars within these temperatures & humidity levels will help you avoid unwanted surprises when you retrieve your prized cigars for a special occasion.
Preparing your cigar for smoking is equally as important as storing it. A sharp cutter is essential for getting the clean cut necessary to attain a perfectly balanced cigar. Using a dull blade will cut unevenly and crush parts of the cigar that will obstruct the cigar pull.
You want to cut your cigar only when you are ready to smoke since cutting cigars in advance will dry out your cigars and adversely affect the taste. Cut exactly where the cap meets the body, since cutting into the body of the cigar will cause the wrapper to unravel. It is also recommended that you use butane lighters or wooden matches to light your cigars so no foreign chemicals are introduced that can affect the cigar’s flavor.
And don't forget, while you're out and about with your cigars, store it in our cigar holder to keep it safe and dry.