For cigar aficionados, being able to assess and control the relative humidity of their cigars is an important factor in enjoying an optimal cigar smoking experience. Previously, this was generally accomplished with a calibrated electronic hygrometer and Boveda/humidity source at a humidor level. Now, with the CigarMedics HumidiMeter, cigar smokers are able to accurately measure the relative humidity level of an individual cigar.
In the following review, I’ll be testing the HumidiMeter, explaining how it’s used, and laying out some of its best use cases. I’ll also evaluate its value proposition and whether it’s worth keeping as close-by as your cutter and lighter:
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How To Use The CigarMedics HumidiMeter
Previous to measuring the relative humidity of a single cigar with the HumidiMeter, it’s recommended that you calibrate the meter with a separate calibration device. This step is quick and merely consists of turning on the HumidiMeter and touching the two prongs to the two ports on the calibration device. At this point, the display should read 70% and the meter will have been calibrated.
Once calibration is complete, the relative humidity of a cigar can be tested. To do this, simply insert the two prongs into the foot or bottom of the cigar. After a few seconds, the display on the CigarMedics HumidiMeter will provide a static reading of the cigar’s relative humidity.
While the HumidiMeter is rather easy to use, it is not so simple a device. In fact, the HumidiMeter measures the moisture content of a cigar which is generally between 10-15%. However, since most cigar smokers are used to the relative humidity “RH” measure, the HumidiMeter converts the moisture content into a more user-friendly RH reading.
Optimal Cigar Relative Humidity
If you’re just getting started with cigars, it’s possible that you’re not familiar with the ideal relative humidity range within which you should keep your cigar. The packaging of the CigarMedics HumidiMeter includes not only instructions on how to use the device but also a quick guide on the optimum relative humidity range for your cigars. They are as follows:
- 0-60% Relative Humidity: The natural oils of the tobacco may evaporate leading to cracking of the outer wrapper, a fast burn, and/or a bitter taste when smoking.
- 60-70% Relative Humidity: This relative humidity range is considered optimal as it will provide a slow and even burn, a smooth draw, and the most favorable taste.
- 70%+ Relative Humidity: Cigars with an RH above 70% are likely to have a very tight draw with an uneven burn. Most importantly, high relative humidity is much more likely to lead to mold growth on cigars.
Best Uses For The CigarMedics HumidiMeter
The HumidiMeter has a number of different use cases that make it a valuable tool not only for seasoned cigar collectors but also for neophytes. Some of these include:
Testing The RH Of Newly-Purchased Cigars
Whether you’re purchasing cigars from your local “brick & mortar” store or an online cigar vendor, it’s extremely valuable to be able to measure your cigars as soon as they arrive. Seeing as how you’ve generally very little visibility into how cigars are stored before they make it to your humidor, it’s quite likely that they won’t be in optimal smoking condition when they reach you.
For instance, if recently-purchased cigars have a lower RH than you generally prefer, leave them in your humidor (or as I prefer a separate seasoning/acclimation airtight container for 2-4 weeks, before introducing them to my min humidors for long term storage) for some time can bring them into your desired range. On the other hand, if the RH reading is too high, you could “dry box” them so as to decrease the RH of the cigars.
Check Humidity Levels In Larger Cigar Cabinets
Large cigar cabinets and especially those with a climate control feature will often have a water reservoir at the bottom of the unit. As a result, this can cause the lower shelves of the cabinet to maintain a moisture level towards the bottom where the water is.
With the CigarMedics HumidiMeter, you’re able to confirm not only if those lower-shelf cigars are being maintained at a higher RH but also exactly what RH they possess. Armed with precise relative humidity readings, you’ll be able to fine-tune the settings of a climate-controlled cigar cabinet and gain control over the smoking experience of all of the cigars in larger humidors.
Also see our guide on the best hygrometers: https://bespokeunit.com/cigars/hygrometers/
Experience The Same Cigar At Different RH Levels
As discussed earlier, different levels of relative humidity can affect not only the burn of a cigar but also its taste. Indeed, these two characteristics make up what is basically the entire smoking experience.
You may be shocked to find how much of an impact a small difference in relative humidity can have on the experience of smoking your favorite cigar. With the CigarMedics HumidiMeter, you’re able to get an accurate reading of the relative humidity of a cigar and then optimize the rest of your collection to your preferred RH level.
The easiest way of tweaking the RH of your cigars is to place them in an isolated environment such as a Boveda bag with a specific RH levels Boveda pack and leave them to acclimate for a few weeks.
I find completing such “experiments” to be quite entertaining, not only because they help me expand my palate but also because, in a way, they lead to rediscovering the cigars that I already hailed as favorites and which I believed to be completely familiarized with.
HumidiMeter Price And Value For Money
The cost breakdown of the CigarMedics HumidiMeter I’ve reviewed here is as follows:
- HumidiMeter: $30
- Calibration Device: $12
- Custom Fit Case: $10
For slightly more than $50, I think the HumidiMeter package offers great value to a seasoned cigar collector such as myself. The only con I see is that the sensor prongs are too wide for some small ring gauge cigars such as lancero vitola.
For more occasional smokers, I still think this is a worthwhile purchase. The HumidiMeter can function not only as a second layer of security to the regular electronic hygrometer but also as a tool for better-experiencing cigars. In this manner, the occasional smoker can continue their passion from a more informed place.
"Useful for both seasoned and beginner cigar smokers, the HumidiMeter is sure to enhance your enjoyment of the hobby."
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