A Hella Sweet Humidor for Andy
My soon-to-be brother-in-law, or Andy for short, has taken to smoking hella fine cigars recently. He called a few days ago and had some questions. He thinks he’s hella ready for a new humidor but he doesn’t want to waste his money or ruin his cigars.
I just went through the same thing myself a while ago and did a bunch of research, and have just a few tips to share with both you and he. Most of what I’m going to share, you can find on any other cigar blog on the net. There are a few steps that should save you a hella big headache and some time.
Here’s the questions I would have loved answered before I made my first purchase.
Q: How do cigars ship?
A: So far every cigar I have received has been shipped in a celopak wrapper packet in 5’s, inside a thicker but not sealed celopak, inside a cardboard box via Ground Transportation.
I’ve purchased some nice cigars in packs of 5. Even though they look like they are going to come in some fancy wood box on the web page, they never have (at least for me). I’ve read elsewhere that they should be ok in the cellophane for a few weeks. A couple of mine were…. not. They got a little stale while waiting in plastic for the new humi to get seasoned. Save yourself some time/money and get the humi set up before you even think about buying more cigars than you can smoke in a sitting. Keep in mind the humi takes a hella long time to setup. Like a week to two weeks. You were warned.
Q: Can I really buy a nice humidor online? Or will it turn out to be shitty?
A: Yes, you can really buy nice ones online, and you’ll probably get a better deal than what you’ll find in a local store. I checked out several Oakland cigar / smoke shops before deciding to throw caution to the wind and order online from Florida, and I even bought my first humidor for the house at one of the local shops. The nice thing about the shop was that they appeared to be willing to negotiate price, and they also seemed to have all the same inventory that you can get from the catalog and online shops. They probably order them from the same place I got my second humidor.
Just look for a reputable company (read their customer reviews) in a region that has low sales tax, and honestly, you can save 10-15% just like that.
Q: The seasoning instructions seem really complicated, are there good instructions included?
A: NO. The instructions hella suck. I searched through all the cigar forums I could find, and tried two different methods, and let me just say they both took a really long time. Two weeks. Two weeks for me to watch hella videos giving conflicting information, two weeks to sit and wonder if I was doing the wrong thing, two weeks to fight the almost hourly urge to open the damn thing, two weeks of my expensive cigars sitting in a plastic sleeve, two weeks of screwing around with the thermometer and hygrometer, trying to figure out if they work (and p.s., that closet you’re storing your wine in, thinking it’s nice and cool? it’s not.)…
In the end, you really do need your own hygrometer, the built-in ones apparently never work correctly. And you should just buy the 85% Boveda packs designed for seasoning instead of messing around with the tiny plastic bottles of liquid you can get. It took the exact same amount of time, the results are exactly the same, and it’s so much easier.
Q: Is it worth the hassle of buying, seasoning, and maintaining a humidor?
A: Yes. By buying in bulk, you can save up to 80% on the cost of cigars, so you need somewhere to keep them where they won’t get ruined after only a few days. Example: Montecristo Media Noches – a 5-pack costs $65, making them $13 each. They also offer an “Introductory Sampler” consisting of three 5-packs, each a different brand (Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, and Hupmann), for a total of 15 cigars for $49.99 (making them $3.33 each). So if you buy 15 instead of 5, it will cost you $10 less. Buying in larger quantities is the only thing that makes sense in this situation. It costs less overall! And even if you don’t like the other two kinds, trade them with friends for added cigar pleasure!
And remember what we said about shipping up above? Those packs of 5 have been sitting in non-airtight cellophane inside a cardboard box in the back of a UPS truck all the way across the country from Florida. How much longer do you think they can take this treatment? And how many cigars do you really think you can smoke in just a few days? Are you really such a cold-hearted jerk that you’d just throw away the ones that went stale before you got to them?! NO! You are the future owner of a humidor, fine sir or madam.