40%, 50%, 60%, 65% RH or 70% RH - Which to Choose?
Everyone knows the old rule of thumb "70% RH & 70 degrees". This "rule" originally became from an insert that a cigar manufacturer put into their cigar boxes and since it was an easy to remember marketing tool, brick & mortar owners quickly grabbed onto it and passed it on their clients.
I believe the reason many cigar shops like the 70% "rule" is because by the time most clients get their cigars home and put them in their improper home storage conditions, the cigars sold by brick & mortar cigar shops end up being smoked in the low to mid 60%s RH ranges anyway. But that's just my opinion with no data to back that up at all.
The choice between storing your cigars at 65% RH or 70% RH is first and foremost should completely based on personal preference. Some people prefer the "wetter" smoke that 70% RH delivers and others prefer the drier smoking experience of 65% RH.
With that said, many cigar aficionados actually prefer storing their cigars at 65% RH for several reasons.
1.) You will experience far fewer draw problems (on average) with a cigar stored at 65% RH as opposed to 70% RH.
2.) You will experience far fewer burn problems (on average) with a cigar stored at 65% RH as opposed to 70% RH.
3.) You should experience better flavor maturation and aging with a cigar stored at 65% RH as opposed to 70% RH.
After switching to 65% RH storage conditions nearly 10 years ago, I have experienced virtually ZERO draw, burn and flavor problems that couldn't be associated with construction problems of the cigar instead of RH storage conditions.
Don't believe me? If you are currently storing your cigars at 70% RH, try this:
1.) Grab one of the cigars that you smoke on a regular basis and that you are very familiar with in regards to construction, flavor problem and typical burn patterns that you experience.
2.) Get a small humidor with NO humidification device in it.
3.) Prior to smoking your next cigar, let it rest in the "dry box" for 3-5 days prior to smoking it.
See if you notice a difference.
These guidelines hold true for herbal medicines as well. Typically, 50% RH is the preferred RH level for medical marijuana storage and being hygroscopic is effected by humidity the same as cigars.