How long does it take for a cigar to dry out?

Published :+ 2017-02-19 00:00:00
Categories : Cigar storage and ageing

There is no precise answer to this question because the relative humidity (RH) level in the room is decisive. Every owner of a humidor will have already noticed that the humidifier must be filled more frequently in winter than in summer. During the winter in Central Europe, the RH level can often drop to 30%; in the Caribbean, the RH level rarely falls below 60%. The ambient humidity level will naturally accelerate or extend the dehydration process.

How long it takes for a premium cigar to dry out is entirely dependent on its environment. If the cigar is initially stored in a humidor with the appropriate RH level but which is then abandoned for an extended period of time without refilling the humidifier, it could take several weeks. On the other hand, if it is left in the open on a desk or living room table, without even the protective cellophane wrapping, a few days could suffice.

It is important to take into account too the difference between so-called dry cigars, or short fillers, and long fillers, or premium cigars. Short filler cigars are made with machines using crushed tobacco. They do not have to be stored in a humidor. Long fillers are made from whole leaves, rolled while still moist, as otherwise the leaves would break. Those cigars must retain a certain amount of moisture inside, because if the cigar were to dry out, the essential oils in the tobacco would evaporate and the flavours would be lost along with them.

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