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The Importance of Tobacco Humidification: Preserving Flavour and Freshness

When it comes to enjoying cigars, the quality of the tobacco is important. But the best tobacco can soon lose flavour and freshness if not properly stored and maintained. Humidification is an important part in maintaining the quality of tobacco. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of tobacco humidification and how it keeps your cigars fresh.

What is Tobacco Humidification?

Tobacco humidification is a method of keeping a proper amount of humidity in a storage environment to help to preserve the quality of tobacco. This is particularly important for cigars, which are extremely sensitive to humidity changes. When the humidity is too low, the tobacco becomes soft and prone to cracking, resulting in a loss of flavour and aroma. On the other hand, if the humidity is too high, the tobacco may grow wet and mouldy, reducing its quality.

Why is Humidification Important for Tobacco?

  1. Prevents Drying: Cigars are made from tobacco leaves that are naturally high in moisture. If the storage environment is too dry, the tobacco can dry out, leading to a loss of flavour and aroma. Humidification helps maintain the proper moisture level, keeping the tobacco fresh and flavorful.
  2. Prevents Mould and Mildew: High humidity can lead to the growth of mould and mildew on the tobacco, which can cause it to become soggy and develop an unpleasant flavour. Humidification helps maintain a required level of humidity, preventing the growth of these microorganisms.
  3. Preserves Flavor and Aroma: Tobacco humidification helps preserve the natural flavour and aroma of the tobacco. When the humidity is proper, the tobacco can release its natural oils and flavours, resulting in a more enjoyable smoking experience.
  4. Reduces Cracking: When the humidity is too low, the tobacco can become brittle and prone to cracking. Humidification helps maintain the optimal moisture level, reducing the risk of cracking and ensuring that the tobacco remains intact.

Science of Tobacco Humidification

Tobacco, in its original form, is an extremely absorbing plant material. It easily absorbs and releases moisture from its environment, which is both a blessing and a burden. On the one hand, this absorbency allows tobacco to absorb and retain flavours, whether from the soil in which it grows or the later curing and ageing processes. However, this same property causes tobacco to dry out and lose flavour and freshness with time.

Humidification is the practice of keeping a consistent level of moisture within tobacco leaves to prevent them from drying out. This often happens by using a humidor, which is a designed storage container that maintains humidity and stops the evaporation of moisture from tobacco.

The Ideal Humidity Range

To preserve tobacco quality, it is important to maintain the ideal humidity level. Too much moisture could increase mould and bacteria growth, however less moisture causes the tobacco to dry up and become brittle. Tobacco humidification works well within a particular humidity range.

For cigar smokers, the ideal relative humidity (RH) range is 65%-72% RH. Because cigars are larger in size and burn at a slower rate, a higher humidity level is required to keep them lighter and draw smoothly. Pipe tobacco, on the other hand, works best when stored at 60% to 65% RH. This slightly lower humidity level reflects the faster burn rate and smaller amount of tobacco utilised in pipes.

How to achieve Ideal Humidity?

  1. Use a Humidifier: A humidifier is a device designed to maintain an ideal level of humidity within a storage environment. There are various types of humidifiers available, such as digital and analog models.
  2. Monitor the Humidity: It is important to monitor the humidity levels within your storage environment to ensure that they remain proper. You can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels and make adjustments if needed.
  3. Maintain a Consistent Temperature: Temperature also plays an important role in maintaining the quality of tobacco. The required temperature is between 65°F and 70°F (18°C and 21°C) to ensure that the tobacco remains fresh and flavorful.
  4. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Direct sunlight can cause the tobacco to dry out and become brittle. Store your cigars in a shaded area or use UV-blocking window film to prevent direct sunlight from entering the storage environment.

Methods of Tobacco Humidification

Traditional Humidors

A traditional humidor is a wooden box, typically made from Spanish cedar, that provides a stable and controlled environment for tobacco storage. The wood acts as a natural regulator of humidity, absorbing excess moisture when levels are high and releasing moisture back into the air when levels drop. Spanish cedar is particularly favoured due to its ability to absorb and release moisture efficiently, as well as its pleasant aroma that enhances the flavour of the tobacco.

Humidors come in various sizes, from small desktop models that can hold a few cigars to large cabinet-style humidors that can store hundreds. They often feature a hygrometer, a device that measures humidity levels, allowing for precise control over the environment. Traditional humidors require occasional maintenance, including seasoning and the regular addition of distilled water or a humidification solution to maintain proper humidity levels.

Electronic Humidors

With technological advancements, electronic humidors offer a more modern approach to tobacco humidification. These devices use electronic humidity sensors and a water tank to automatically maintain the required humidity level. They are highly accurate and typically feature digital displays that show the current humidity and temperature readings.

Electronic humidors remove the guesswork and manual adjustments associated with traditional humidors. They are particularly useful for larger collections or when storing tobacco in environments with continuously changing temperatures and humidity levels. However, they require a power source and regular refilling of the water tank.

Boveda Packs

Boveda packs, also known as humidity control packs, offer a portable and low-maintenance humidification solution. These small, affordable packets contain a mixture of salts and water, which together create a stable humidity environment. The packs are placed inside a container with the tobacco and will either release or absorb moisture as needed to maintain the desired RH level.

Boveda packs are available in different RH levels, making them suitable for both cigar and pipe tobacco storage. They are disposable and can be replaced every few months, depending on usage and environmental conditions. One of their key advantages is their ability to be used in any airtight container, providing an affordable and effective humidification method for tobacco farmers on a budget.


Tobacco humidification is an important part of maintaining the flavour and freshness of your favourite cigars or pipe tobacco. Understanding the science behind humidification and using the proper methods will make sure that each smoke provides the senses of pleasure you need.

Hydrofogger has a humidifier for all your needs.

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