IS IT MOLD OR PLUME?
Many years ago when I built my first cigar store I was very excited. It was a beautiful shop with a small but elegant walk in humidor. I turned on the Humidifcation unit and loaded up the shelves. Within a few days I saw something that made me panic. As I looked at my cigars, especially the ones in glass tubes; I noticed what appeared to be powdery white spots on many of them. As a young tobacconist with a new store I was afraid. Afraid my customers would think I was trying to sell them bad or defective merchandise. I then began removing the cigars from their tubes and brushing this mysterious substance off.
Doing all this thinking I knew what I was talking about!
During this process I then heard a deep voice from behind me asking, “Is this your first cigar store son?” I quickly turned around to see a very well dressed elderly gentleman looking squarely in my eyes. “Yes it is sir” I meekly replied.
“You’re an asshole young man!” He calmly stated.
He then went on to explain that unlike mold which is green or blue in color, Plume which is the white substance on many of my cigars was a sign that not only were my cigars being stored well, they were aging perfectly in the right environment. When the oils of the inner leaves rise throughout the cigar and hit the outer leaf they turn to plume.
“Everyone of those cigars are the best cigars in your store” he emphatically stated. He then went on to direct me to pull the ones with plume and the ones I’d “cleaned off” into a box for him to purchase. For many years thereafter he’d send his secretary on a monthly basis to pick up any cigars with plume no matter what the brand, size or price.
Oddly enough as time passed I met many, many “Cigar Aficionados ” that would come to my counters to inform me of the “Mold” on my cigars. I went on to explain that Mold is green in color not white and is caused by either over-humidification or use of regular water in their Humidification systems. Mold can be found on the inner surfaces of cigar cabinets as well. All of them appreciated the lesson. So… IS IT MOLD OR PLUME?
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