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What Is A Humidor?
The dictionary definition of “humidor” is clear enough. It’s an compartment to store cigars that effectively keeps humidity around 70 percent. But abaft that definition exists a much more intricate and interesting account.
Like most tobacco adornments, the humidor has a lengthy history. In one form or another, the humidor goes back to age-old days, where tobacco was stored in cool, moist earthen enclosures. But the current cigar humidor really commenced in the 19th century, when cigars came into their more or less current form.
Today’s humidor is a more elaborate and conscientiously constructed affair than its relatively unpretentious looks could allude.
Larger cigar humidors for storing cigars are apt to be of a size that will hold the range of 10-100 cigars. They will almost always have an interior made of Spanish cedar, though less expensive units may use an alternative wood species. They’ll also always include some kind of humidity control device, and for the most part a hygrometer for regulating humidity. Often, those will be located in the same housing.
Still bigger boxes may store anywhere from 100-1000 cigars, though those at the larger end are usually used solely for commercial use. Anyone who needs to store 1,000 cigars for personal use is a true cigar aficionado. Keeping that many cigars in ideal conditions is a real test, even for the most frequent smoker.
At that standard, the humidor will probably be in the form of a specialized unit, similar to some wine storage boxes though with distinct humidity and temperature settings. Even more likely in that scenario, a small closet or room would be used containing automatic temperature and humidity regulators.
In the typical case of individual consumption for enjoyment, a fine humidor does more than just preserve cigars pleasantly, crucial as that is. It’s also an exceptional piece of furniture. That can take many shapes, ranging from a fashionable and highly polished wooden or leather box determined for table top use to a glass-windowed enclosure with legs.
The latter has to be carefully considered, though. Many cigar humidors are fine pieces of furniture, but including glass in a humidor presents certain problems. It’s more challenging to maintain humidity at the correct level. Moisture cannot escape through the glass and, despite popular belief, a good cigar humidor – while very well sealed – is not hermetically sealed from the environment. Some air does pass in and out.
Even trickier is the fact that invisible light (ultraviolet and infrared, to be specific) acts alternatively when passing through glass than wood. Commanding those effects, to avoid ruining the wrapper and contents, requires unusual (and therefore costly) manufacturing materials and techniques.
Still, every good cigar humidor design conforms to the same law: the cigars come first. Luckily, there are many available that achieve that goal very well and offer a classic display at the same time.
Stefanie Phillips is the Public Relations & Marketing Assistant at Vigilant. Vigilant is a premier design/build firm that specializes in high-end wine storage and cigar storage equipment. We manufacture wine cellars, wine racks, wine cellar doors, wine cellar furniture, cigar humidors and cigar cabinets. All of our products are designed to the exact specifications of our customers and are backed with the industry”s best warranty. Visit http://cigarhumidors.vigilantinc.com.