The Parts of a Cigar and Why Use a Humidor?

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What are the different parts of a cigar?  Many long-time smokers enjoy their stogies without learning the basic parts of their cigar.  While it’s true that you can enjoy a cigar without knowing how it was put together, learning the basic parts of a cigar can be instrumental in helping you choose the best quality cigars.

The first thing many smokers notice about a cigar is the wrapper, the layer of tobacco on the outside of a cigar.  A cigar’s wrapper is very important because it provides much of the flavor of the cigar.  The best quality tobacco leaves are usually used to construct the wrapper.  They range in color from very clear (claro) to very dark (oscuro).

Last but certainly not least is the filler used to make a cigar.  The filler is the tobacco.  Generally, filler can be either long or short.  Long filler consists of whole tobacco leaves, while short filler consists of scraps.  
Binders are known as the ‘intermediate leaves.’  They are used to hold the tobacco filler together.  Binders can vary considerably.  
What should you look for when purchasing a humidor?  —The good humidor should close completely, with a tight fitting lid that will keep the cigars well kept from the elements and prevent any exchange of moisture.  Seams should be smooth and well fitted for cigars.  Cedar, especially Spanish cedar is ideal for the interior of the humidor.  Of course, make certain your brand of cigars fits well into any humidor you are considering purchasing.

Many cigar aficionados claim that the ideal temperature for storing cigars is 70 degree F.  Any lower will tend to age the cigar, rather than keep it at a constant level.  Humidors are not meant to age, but rather to preserve the integrity, flavor, and color of the cigar.

If you are not an experienced cigar smoker, you may be wondering why cigar aficionados use humidors.  Humidors are used to store and protect cigars so that they are kept at their peak flavor.  A humidor works by keeping a cigar at a constant temperature, somewhere between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and about 70-72% humidity. 


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