How to Keep Your Tobacco Fresh for Longer
Do you hate it when you reach for your tobacco only to find that it’s drier than the Sahara desert? Do you get frustrated because you’ve tried everything to keep your tobacco fresh, but it always seems to dry out? Dry tobacco can cause your smoke to be very dry and harsh.
When tobacco is cured, it is dried a tiny bit to prevent it from becoming too moist when smoking, allowing chemical processes to take place. However, the manufacturers keep some of the moisture retained in the leaves, so you get a nice, smooth smoke. They store it in sealed containers to prevent the tobacco from getting dried out.
However, when you get your tobacco and open the container, it lets air in, causing the leaves to dry out sooner than you want. When storing tobacco, it’s best to be proactive; this means keeping it locked away before it gets too dry. Another tip is to buy your tobacco in bulk, so you don’t have to keep buying smaller quantities, which tend to dry out faster.
You definitely don’t want to wait until after the leaves get too dried out, or else you’ll have to re-hydrate them, which is a lot more work than keeping them moist in the first place. In order to keep your tobacco fresh and hydrated, you can put it in an airtight container (mason jars are perhaps the best). Once your tobacco is dried out, it loses the flavors that make it smooth and savory when you smoke it.
If you find that your tobacco is dry even when you’ve taken the right precautions, you can bring it back to life with these tips. If you’ve already stored your tobacco in an airtight container, try adding an apple slice or damp paper towel to secure the moisture in the container. You can also use orange peels instead of apple peels to add humidity into the bag, and this will also keep the tobacco smelling fresh! Using these methods will allow the tobacco to re-hydrate itself for extended use. Try not to spray the tobacco with water, because it tends to dilute the flavors, making the tobacco not as flavorful.
Another option for keeping tobacco hydrated is using mason jars! These are also a great inexpensive option. Mason jars contain a rubber seal along the rim of the lid that is very effective at keeping unwanted air away from your prized pipe tobacco. These jars come in several sizes, so it is fairly simple to accommodate different amounts of the blends you enjoy.
Tobacco pouches are great for temporary storage, but not a good long-term option. There are several pouches on the market, and they work fine for short trips or day outings. But for me, my blends are going into a mason jar. It's a proven method for cellaring those quality blends.
There are occasions when a blend will need to dry out prior to packing the pipe. Some blends come wet from the factory, and some will retain this high moisture level after transferring to a jar. Most people simply let the tobacco sit for a few minutes' drying time prior to filling the bowl. This works great, and it usually takes around 10 minutes to achieve a more optimum moisture level.
Storing your tobacco doesn’t have to be difficult. All it takes is a little planning, a few materials, and you’re good to go! Fresh tobacco is much smoother and flavorful than dried-out tobacco. If you maintain hydration before the tobacco loses it’s moisture, you’ll be puffing smooth all year long!