Keep the cello or remove the cello?

One of the questions we’re most commonly asked on proper cigar storage is, “Leave the cello on or take it off?” Let’s cover what cello is and what purposes it serves.

Cellophane (cello) is an organic material commonly made from trees. It’s not always a clear film, but it almost always is when it relates to cigars. Cello transmits water vapor about 7 times slower than a naked cigar. This means a cello-wrapped cigar is less sensitive to shifting humidity levels than a naked cigar. For example, if you had two identical cigars stored in the same 70% humidor and put them on your desk in a dry environment, it would take 7 times longer for the naked cigar to turn into kindling. For this reason alone, cello is a short insurance policy against humidity/temperature fluctuations in the manufacturer’s supply chain. And with a Boveda in the box, these fluctuations are completely irrelevant for a much longer period, because Boveda is adding or removing moisture to maintain 69% in the box.

Cello also gives the delicate wrapper a small layer of physical protection. It shields the cigar wrapper from damage when you’re stocking your humidor or tossing one in your pocket for a dinner party. And if you’re using gel/crystal/beads in your humidor, cello will reduce the chance of ruining your cigars from the 100% humidity they emit – because they can’t remove moisture.

Now the big question – does cello influence the flavor of a cigar? Scientifically, no. Given enough time, everything that happens to an unwrapped cigar happens to one with a cello sheath. But what about the smokers that swear cello does make a difference? Do you know why they do scientific studies with a placebo group? Because if you’re told you’re taking a medicine, you’re inclined to think it works, even if you’re taking the placebo. The really crazy thing is that if even when subjects are told they’re in the placebo group, they’re still inclined to perceive the intended effects! So if you believe cigars are better without cello, then remove the cello. Cigars are a matter of mood, experience and going to a place in your mind, so we encourage you to go there – cello or not. It’s the same reason that smoking an Opus the day your dog dies won’t be as good a cigar as a dime store cigar on the day you win the lottery. Gray matter between your ears has a lot to do with cigars.

Why do some manufacturers use cello and others don’t? Part of it’s tradition. Cubans aren’t cello-ed. Since Cuba is still regarded the cigar mecca, if just for the traditions, there’s a certain feel to a box of cigars that aren’t in cello. It hearkens back the “old days” and the romance of cigars. It’s aspirational. It’s elegant. Padron and Tatuaje are just a couple that do this very well. At the same time, few brands have as rich a history as Fuente, yet many of their cigars are wrapped in cello.

Thankfully, personal preference will still persist. There’s no doubt cello serves an effective purpose, without a downside. But if you’re careful with your cigars and you’re storing them with the global leader in 2-way humidity control, the only thing you need to wonder about is when you’ll smoke the next one.

– Charlie

 

The surest method of reviving dried cigars

We’ve been reminded recently of some vintage methods of trying to revive dried cigars. This article from Cigar Inspector discusses variations of methods that have existed for years, using items/places around your house. The reason results vary widely is because they’re 100% dependent on external conditions – ambient RH, ambient temp, number of cigars, level of dehydration, etc. – and every smoker will have their own unique set of circumstances. The only guarantee you have by following all those steps is that it’s a lot of work. Here’s why:

1-way moisture devices (PG solution with sponges, crystals, beads, kitty litter) will only give off humidity and they don’t know when to stop. They only quit giving off moisture when they completely evaporate. This “flashing” of your cigars with humidity is dangerous anytime, but especially when the wrappers are dry and hyper-sensitive to moisture. Could it work? Sure. But odds are it will be an expensive lesson when the wrappers crack during smoking.

There’s a way to avoid all the risk of the old methods – Boveda (formerly Humidipak).

Our patented 2-way humidity control only adds a safe, measured amount of humidity and it stops when it gets to the RH% on the pack. That’s why, unlike every PG solution/distilled water + sponge, crystal, bead, etc., that keep adding moisture even when it’s not needed, you’re never in danger of over-humidifying cigars with Boveda. That’s the beauty of 2-way humidity control. It adds or removes moisture as necessary. It acts on the environment instead of being controlled by it. So, here are two one-step methods of reviving dried cigars.

1. Put cigars in a Fuente Humidor Bag (69% Boveda inside) for a month. Done.

2. Put cigars and a Boveda 69% in Tupperware for a month. Done.

Why a month? Cigars lose moisture 4 times as fast as they can safely gain moisture. They need to be exposed to a safe, stable level of perfect humidity to minimize the chance of the wrapper cracking as the filler gains moisture and grows. Nothing good happens quickly with cigars, so be patient.

Of course, you can avoid dead sticks in the first place by using our zero-maintenance products in any of your storage devices. For simple how-to videos, check out our YouTube page.

Charlie

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