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Danny_Cigar

Starting the cigar journey

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Hello!

I had my first cigar the other day, it was a Montecristo Edmundo Petit. It was a little heavy, but a delightful experience! I am an ex cigarette smoker so I don't want to get back into smoking regularly, but having a cigar on occasion shouldn't hurt. 

I found this lifesaver of a forum after searching for cigar advise and falling down the internet rabbit hole. I really need some advise on starting out and I would really appreciate any help! 

I intend to smoke on occasion or once every few months. I enjoy cigars but I don't want to make a habit out of it. So I will be storing cigars for months at a time.  

 

Humidor:

I'm looking to get a low maintenance, under $100 humidor, I've been advised that the Acrylic Humidors are best for my situation. Has anyone tried these out?

Cigars:

Since I'll be storing cigars for months, I read that it is ideal to store Cuban and Non-Cuban cigars at different humidity levels. Something about how Cuban cigars smoke better and taste better at 65% RH while Non-Cuban cigars need 69% RH?

Does this mean that I shouldn't store Cuban and Non-Cuban cigars in the same humidor? Is it ok to store both cigars at the same 65% or 69% RH? 

I live in the UK so it is generally cold and humidity is roughly 45% during winter. 

 

Thanks a million for all your help. This forum is a life saver. 

 

EDIT - I found many comments, thanks for all the help! Much appreciated!

Edited by Danny_Cigar
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Seems like you got a good head start. If you’re displaying the acrylic humidor for looks then that’ll work great. If you don’t care about looks, then save yourself some money and get a large Tupperware with a good seal. Your RH is good to go for cuban and non cuban and I suggest boveda packs. I store my Cubans at 62% because my house gets into the 80s in the summer months. Don’t over think It though, cigars are pretty resilient. Good luck. 

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I don’t know that you need to even waste the money on an acrylic humidor. You’d probably be good using tupperware for now. Not much difference between that and acrylic humidor. See how much you get into cigars before spending the money on a humidor. Better to spend the money on cigars and get a variety of stuff so you can decide what you really like. 
 

As far as storage, 65 should be good for nc and cc, but someone who has more nc experience than I do may chime in and recommend what to store those at.
 

Good luck and welcome.

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Boveda makes some pretty cool acrylic humidors of different sizes. As for storing them together, I would simply use the lower of the two RHs, so 65 or lower in this case. I am not an expert, but this has worked well for me.

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Welcome to the forum.

 I'd always get something larger than you think you need for storage-those cigars soon multiply . My preference would be a large cedar lined wooden humidor with some 65RH Boveda in-they look good and I think cigars age better surrounded by wood rather than plastic, but that's just my opinion. Alternatively you could go the cheaper route with some Tupperware with cedar sheets inserted. I have a Tupperware for my few non Cubans that I like to keep separate at 69%. 

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Welcome

I'm mostly echoing the others here.  If you don't care about displaying your cigars, I'd recommend buying cigars by the box and then storing the boxes in weatherproof tupperware type containers.  You can get a 46 quart container for about $30 and it'll hold 10 boxes or so of cigars.  Just add a couple Boveda packs and they work great as long as you keep the setup in a relatively stable temperature environment like a basement.  Then I use a small cedar humidor to drybox my cigars that I intend to smoke within a few days or to share with the neighbors.  

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Danny, welcome to the forum!  There is a lot to learn by browsing / searching the posts here -- you can pretty much get more than you need to know and may want to know.  Personally, I have found the wealth of information here on FoH fascinating! So my first piece of advice is take the time to read as much here as you can - you will find posts on every topic you asked questions about.  Wait until you start reading about the proper rH and humidity control - there are pages and pages of info here and some real world class experts like PigFish.

I'm relatively new to cubans (about 8 months) but have been collecting and smoking NC's for 30 years.  One constant piece of advice I see the experienced CC collectors give us newbies is to start slowly and take the time to experiment because we all have different tastes and palates.  I have taken to storing my CC's with my NC's and lowered the rH to 65% to accommodate both types of cigars.  Just like your question asks -- I like my NC's higher rH about 69% and my CC's about 62% rH.  When I tried lowering my humi to 62% the NC's (that I normally really like)  tasted terrible.  When I keep the rH higher my CC's are hard to keep lit and also do not taste as good.  So, I've compromised to 65% and then dry box my CC's just as Chibearsv above recommends.  The NC's taste fine at 65% to me.  The important part of my explanation is that you need to find what works best for you and what you think tastes best.

I support the start with Tupperware (we all have started that way) until your collection grows.  Tupperware also allows you to experiment a little with the proper rH for your tastes.  Although it take a long time for cigars to really change their internal moisture content anyway (but, you'll get this as you read some of PigFish's posts). 

Good Luck and enjoy!  If I can be any more help feel free to PM and I'll respond.

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Hey there, fellow based in UK smoker here. Welcome!

Key piece of advice: don’t buy boxes yet, buy quarter boxes (from here, it’s great). Much better to taste a wide range, develop your palate, and work out what you enjoy before going deep on any one thing. Enjoy the variety and the journey. No need to chase things yet. There are always, always more cigars.
 

Good advice here about storage. Lock n Lock boxes plus Boveda is the way to go.

Cheers!

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8 minutes ago, RDB said:

Hey there, fellow based in UK smoker here. Welcome!

Key piece of advice: don’t buy boxes yet, buy quarter boxes (from here, it’s great). Much better to taste a wide range, develop your palate, and work out what you enjoy before going deep on any one thing. Enjoy the variety and the journey. No need to chase things yet. There are always, always more cigars.
 

Good advice here about storage. Lock n Lock boxes plus Boveda is the way to go.

Cheers!

This!

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Welcome to the forum and the hobby !! I am an ex cigarette smoker too. I have not had an issue with relapse to cigarettes, I feel It is quite different actually you will just have to retrain yourself not to inhale. Lol..

 About how many cigars are you thinking about storing ? Also what is an average temperature where you will be having your humidor? 

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Welcome!

I'd definitely echo the sentiments about not getting sucked into buying entire boxes as you start - even though it is incredibly exciting seeing them arrive on your doorstep.  Here you have the absolute luxury of being able to purchase quarter boxes of some of the best, nearly hand picked cigars on the planet.  Do that, and then dip your toe into the full box experience.  You'll certainly thank yourself later. 

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Hello and welcome friend!

I suggest a small Igloo type cooler to store your cigars in with Boveda 65. The cooler will shield from temperature fluctuations and be airtight. I have had success with them.

Clean any of these plastic containers. Make a paste of distilled water and Bicarbonate of Soda and coat the container to sit overnight. Rinse with distilled water and dry. Put your cigars and  Boveda(s) in and off you go!

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Hi Danny, fellow newbie to the forum.   Just to throw a couple more thoughts around:

if the Montecristo was a bit overwhelming, I would recommend a Hoya de Monterrey Epicure Especial, or a Romeo y Julieta short churchill.  If the Montecristo felt like a 7, these will probably be more like a 5.

Cigar opinions are as varied as human beings are.   There are a zillion factors that influence the enjoyment of the experience.   Pay attention to those.   Also helpful is to look for those (reviewers, cigar makers) who seem to have a common palate.  Their recommendations weigh more with me.

Don’t know where you are in the UK, but if possible, go to a shop/club and have a cigar.  Maybe look at some youtube videos are on how to get the most out of the experience.  

If you do any of that and find the cigar that really excites you, don’t be surprised if once every couple months turns into once per week.

Enjoy!

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8 hours ago, RDB said:

Hey there, fellow based in UK smoker here. Welcome!

Key piece of advice: don’t buy boxes yet, buy quarter boxes (from here, it’s great). Much better to taste a wide range, develop your palate, and work out what you enjoy before going deep on any one thing. Enjoy the variety and the journey. No need to chase things yet. There are always, always more cigars.
 

Good advice here about storage. Lock n Lock boxes plus Boveda is the way to go.

Cheers!

Ah nice, thanks for the Lock n Lock recommendation! Does the humidor have to be Acrylic or does any old plastic work?

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6 hours ago, La_Tigre said:

Hello and welcome friend!

I suggest a small Igloo type cooler to store your cigars in with Boveda 65. The cooler will shield from temperature fluctuations and be airtight. I have had success with them.

Clean any of these plastic containers. Make a paste of distilled water and Bicarbonate of Soda and coat the container to sit overnight. Rinse with distilled water and dry. Put your cigars and  Boveda(s) in and off you go!

Thanks for your response! I noticed that you mentioned temperature fluctuations. I live in an apartment so I don't have a cool place to store the humidor. I guess it will just live in a drawer somewhere or a desk. Temperature can range between 65 - 75 degrees f. 

13 hours ago, Chibearsv said:

Welcome

I'm mostly echoing the others here.  If you don't care about displaying your cigars, I'd recommend buying cigars by the box and then storing the boxes in weatherproof tupperware type containers.  You can get a 46 quart container for about $30 and it'll hold 10 boxes or so of cigars.  Just add a couple Boveda packs and they work great as long as you keep the setup in a relatively stable temperature environment like a basement.  Then I use a small cedar humidor to drybox my cigars that I intend to smoke within a few days or to share with the neighbors.  

Thanks for your response! Do you always drybox cigars? Have you noticed a difference between drybox and non drybox?

18 hours ago, Yellot00tr said:

I don’t know that you need to even waste the money on an acrylic humidor. You’d probably be good using tupperware for now. Not much difference between that and acrylic humidor. See how much you get into cigars before spending the money on a humidor. Better to spend the money on cigars and get a variety of stuff so you can decide what you really like. 
 

As far as storage, 65 should be good for nc and cc, but someone who has more nc experience than I do may chime in and recommend what to store those at.
 

Good luck and welcome.

Thanks for your response! Would any plastic tupperware work for long term storage or is it a short term solution in your experience?

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12 hours ago, GVan said:

Danny, welcome to the forum!  There is a lot to learn by browsing / searching the posts here -- you can pretty much get more than you need to know and may want to know.  Personally, I have found the wealth of information here on FoH fascinating! So my first piece of advice is take the time to read as much here as you can - you will find posts on every topic you asked questions about.  Wait until you start reading about the proper rH and humidity control - there are pages and pages of info here and some real world class experts like PigFish.

I'm relatively new to cubans (about 8 months) but have been collecting and smoking NC's for 30 years.  One constant piece of advice I see the experienced CC collectors give us newbies is to start slowly and take the time to experiment because we all have different tastes and palates.  I have taken to storing my CC's with my NC's and lowered the rH to 65% to accommodate both types of cigars.  Just like your question asks -- I like my NC's higher rH about 69% and my CC's about 62% rH.  When I tried lowering my humi to 62% the NC's (that I normally really like)  tasted terrible.  When I keep the rH higher my CC's are hard to keep lit and also do not taste as good.  So, I've compromised to 65% and then dry box my CC's just as Chibearsv above recommends.  The NC's taste fine at 65% to me.  The important part of my explanation is that you need to find what works best for you and what you think tastes best.

I support the start with Tupperware (we all have started that way) until your collection grows.  Tupperware also allows you to experiment a little with the proper rH for your tastes.  Although it take a long time for cigars to really change their internal moisture content anyway (but, you'll get this as you read some of PigFish's posts). 

Good Luck and enjoy!  If I can be any more help feel free to PM and I'll respond.

Thanks for the detailed response! Have you found that temperature of your home affects the cigars? My internal home temperature generally ranges from 65 - 75 degrees f. 

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1 hour ago, Danny_Cigar said:

Ah nice, thanks for the Lock n Lock recommendation! Does the humidor have to be Acrylic or does any old plastic work?

A humidor - in the sense of something to keep your cigars in good condition - just needs to be airtight and not impart any unwelcome smell. I’m recommending those boxes because they are easy to get in the UK and very effective. As to the material, the key is ‘neutral’, so food grade plastic is good.

Of course, a humidor is often also a nice object in the home, in which case looks are important as well as function. I use an Adorini which I love. I run it slightly drier than my storage boxes, and every so often transfer cigars from storage to the ‘ready to fire’ desktop. 

However, most desktop humidors don’t seal as well as a lock top box, as very few have a gasket. And believe me, you’re going to need more storage space than you think! So unless you have the space and £££ for huge humidors or a walk-in, you’ll almost certainly be going for storage boxes sooner rather than later.

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52 minutes ago, RDB said:

A humidor - in the sense of something to keep your cigars in good condition - just needs to be airtight and not impart any unwelcome smell. I’m recommending those boxes because they are easy to get in the UK and very effective. As to the material, the key is ‘neutral’, so food grade plastic is good.

Of course, a humidor is often also a nice object in the home, in which case looks are important as well as function. I use an Adorini which I love. I run it slightly drier than my storage boxes, and every so often transfer cigars from storage to the ‘ready to fire’ desktop. 

However, most desktop humidors don’t seal as well as a lock top box, as very few have a gasket. And believe me, you’re going to need more storage space than you think! So unless you have the space and £££ for huge humidors or a walk-in, you’ll almost certainly be going for storage boxes sooner rather than later.

I see! I purchased both a Sistema KLIP IT container and a Lock n Lock one. Do you think using tupperware is a viable long term solution or should I look to invest in a wooden humidor? 

Locally I've found that cigars go for about £20 a stick. Boxes are quite expensive, I think the average price of a box was about £700. I might buy a box once I've found a cigar I favour above others, but for now I'm buying 2-3 sticks of recommended brands. 

Have you ever had issues with temperature? I live in a flat so I don't have a basement, but I read that I should store the cigars in a cool place?

Thanks for the help mate, appreciated.

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9 hours ago, La_Tigre said:

Hello and welcome friend!

I suggest a small Igloo type cooler to store your cigars in with Boveda 65. The cooler will shield from temperature fluctuations and be airtight. I have had success with them.

Clean any of these plastic containers. Make a paste of distilled water and Bicarbonate of Soda and coat the container to sit overnight. Rinse with distilled water and dry. Put your cigars and  Boveda(s) in and off you go!

Thanks for your reply! What does the bicarb and water mixture do? Also Do you coat all of your containers with this mixture, even tupperware? Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Danny_Cigar said:

I see! I purchased both a Sistema KLIP IT container and a Lock n Lock one. Do you think using tupperware is a viable long term solution or should I look to invest in a wooden humidor? 

Locally I've found that cigars go for about £20 a stick. Boxes are quite expensive, I think the average price of a box was about £700. I might buy a box once I've found a cigar I favour above others, but for now I'm buying 2-3 sticks of recommended brands. 

Have you ever had issues with temperature? I live in a flat so I don't have a basement, but I read that I should store the cigars in a cool place?

Thanks for the help mate, appreciated.

When you say ‘tupperware’ do you mean those Sistema / LnL boxes? They are totally fine for long term storage. 
 

Temperature does matter, because what we should really care about is the absolute humidity / moisture content of our cigars (and temp changes affects these things). @PigFish is the total expert on these things but beware - he knows more than we need to! Simplifying greatly: you won’t go far wrong with 65% Bovedas and a temp of around 70F.
 

Buying retail in the UK is absolutely punishing. It can be a good way to experience single sticks with some age though. Have to be careful discussing vendors on the forum btw. PM me if you like, but the short advice is: buy from FoH. Monday and Friday 24:24 are your friends.

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5 hours ago, Danny_Cigar said:

Thanks for your response! Do you always drybox cigars? Have you noticed a difference between drybox and non drybox?

I keep my cigars stored at about 62-63% Humidity with Boveda 62 packs so they are generally ready to smoke but they perform even better with 2-3 days in the dry box. 

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Here are some pics of what I do in Michigan, USA.  The locking tupperware with the rubber gaskets costs $3-9 USD.  Top one will hold about 50 sticks, bottom 20.

The cheap igloo cooler about $35.  With the coolers, I use 65% beads.  I recharge them with distilled water about once per month.   Because humidity can settle toward the bottom a bit, the bottom layer I put empty boxes.  Also, notice the hygrometer.

 Another option is the armored, Pelican style case.   The picture is a 10 count (they go past 40).   It is my main to-go humidor.  A mini Boveda pack lasts 3 months+.   Notice the green foam disc in the lid?  These are often included in a variety of humidors.  NEVER use these.   All they do is pump out 75%+ humidity until they dry out.   They will ruin cigars pretty quickly.

All of this stuff I wash with high quality dish soap and hot water.  The goal is to wash off any mold-release agent, just like any food container.  I also throw the cedar sheets that come in a lot of cigar boxes in with the singles in the tupperware.   I’m dubious they do much, but I’m not throwing them away.  

I keep non-Cubans to smoke at 67-69%.  I age non-Cubans and store/age Cubans at 63-65%.  I can pull any cigar out and it almost always smokes fine.  If it doesn’t, I blame the cigar.

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On 6/26/2020 at 4:14 AM, Danny_Cigar said:

Thanks for your reply! What does the bicarb and water mixture do? Also Do you coat all of your containers with this mixture, even tupperware? Thanks!

It cleans away the residues and absorbs any lingering plastic smell. We did it to all of the coolers and tuppers but I’m using bigger tuppers, too. 

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