NewAir CC-300H Humidor Review
I’m not a stranger when it comes to NewAir and their products. While they have been specializing in storage and refrigeration for some time, they entered the cigar humidor area a few years back and have quickly became a household name. I’ve known quite a few people who have had great success with their products so I’m excited to get the chance to see what they can do.
The NewAir CC-300H is the latest release in NewAir’s cigar humidor collection. Based off the popular CC-300 this 400 count humidor adds a new heating element. Now not only will the humidor cool your cigars if the temperate needs to drop to reach your desired setting, but the new OptiTemp system will also raise the temperature in the winter months as needed. While we don’t have too much of a winter here in the desert this is especially useful for someone like Jeremy who is buried in the snow for 11 months out of the year.
Along with a heating and cooling element the CC-300H features a digital temperature setting, blue LED interior light, customizable Spanish cedar shelves and drawers and a locking mechanism to keep your cigars out of the hands of the haters.
While you can purchase NewAir humidors at many outlets, the best option is make your purchase directly through them. Why? Well, outside of direct customer support and super fast shipping (described below) you can visit this url: https://glnk.io/4j4/tonycasas and using the coupon code CASAS100 you will receive $100 off your CC-300H purchase. They have quite a few different options and sizes just in case the CC-300H isn’t right for you.
First of all, the shipping time on this package was incredible. I can’t speak for everyone due to their geographical location but this arrived 2 days after my order was received. I live in West Texas and the company shipped from California so I understand that it isn’t the farthest trip, but I am still impressed with just how quickly this bad boy got here. The NewAir CC-300H is also packaged incredibly. The humidor comes in a very large, oversized cardboard box with an easily removed, yet secure lid. Inside the humidor is packaged with inched and inches of foam on each side, but only on the top and bottom portions. This not only limits the amount of waste but also the amount of stuff I have to clean up after I unbox it. Another big plus is that the packing is such high quality that I can easily re-use all of it’s components. Inside I fine the humidor wrapped in plastic. The doors have been taped shut to ensure nothing shifts around during shipping. Outside of the humidor itself I find a startup brochure as well as they keys from the locking component. All in all it took me about 2 minutes to unpack and left me with very minimal cleanup.
The first thing I did after unboxing was I took out all the cedar drawers and washed down the inside of the humidor with light soap and water to remove any foreign objects as well as the new plastic smell, which was surprisingly pretty mild. After a thorough cleaning I left the humidor to dry over night with the door open. After drying I plugged in the humidor for the first time and let the temperature acclimate.
Next comes the seasoning. There is nothing more refreshing than the smell of fresh spanish cedar. First things first. Let’s customize the shelves. The CC-300H comes with 3 cedar trays and 2 rather large cedar drawers. While I toyed around with the layout a bit, I found that having the drawers on the bottom and trays at the top worked best for me. One observation here is that each of the shelves and trays action have openings in the bottom of them allowing humidity to flow freely between drawers. My other winedor has closed drawers which restricts airflow causing me to have to monitor each drawer more closely.
The manual instructs you not to allow any water or moisture to come in contact with the cedar. This is the first time I have ever heard/read that during a humidor setup. Since I have seasoned many humidors with great success I decided to forgo this rule and broke out the towels and distilled water wiping each and every surface of the cedar down with a good amount of pressure. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, by doing so you are removing all the saw dust and wood particles from the wood which would otherwise end up on your cigars. The amount of sawdust that came off these drawers was actually impressive as it dyed my light-green rag a reddish-brown. Secondly, this allows the wood to open its pores and ingest the water providing humidity to the air. Otherwise the wood would just soak up all the humidity in the air and take much longer to level off. After seasoning I added 3 Boveda Butlers to the humidor. One on the top shelve, one in the middle, and one at the bottom. The CC-300H also comes with a small clear container which you can use to add beads, sponge, or simple distilled water to humidify the air. I went with distilled water for this experiment. I usually use beads or even an electric humidifier but I decided to use the included components for an honest review. One thing to note here is that there is not electrical outlet in the humidor. If you decide to use an electric humidifier you will need to find a battery operated one or rely on a slim ribbon cable running through the door which I personally hate as it can easily allow moisture to creep out of the humidor. I set my temperature on the humidor to 68 degrees, closed up shop and let the humidor sit while I monitor it’s performance from my phone.
The seasoning period only lasted about 48 hours. The humidity started at 76%, and leveled off to about 69% after 24 hours. After 48 the top hygrometer read 67% while both the middle and bottle ready 69%. Reviewing the history in the Boveda app I could see that those numbers only fluctuated by about 1% over the last 12 hours so I figured it was go time and popped my cigars in the humidor. Suprisingly this humidor holds humidity extremely well. I opened the humidor about once per day and seldom did the average humidity drop below 68%. Even when it did, it was only for about an hour or two before climbing back up. An additional note here is on the temperature gauge. All three of my Boveda Butlers read 70 degrees while the temperature gauge on the humidor read 68.
After more than a week of use I have to say, I am very impressed with the performance of the CC-300H. First of all the humidity is more consistent than any cigar humidor I have ever owned. I live in the desert. It’s dry as hell, all the time. Yesterday was 107 degrees. This also means my A/C in my home runs just about all day which also really dries out the air surrounding the humidor yet, this beast only fluctuated between 67% and 68% the entire time I have used it. That immediately overcomes my largest hurdle with owning cigars in my geographical area. I also haven’t yet had to worry about that wonky little cup of distilled water. The humidor holds humidity so well that it does its job. At least for now. During the colder months I’d imagine a 2-way system would work much better as the humidity inside the humidor is bound to rise as the dry air goes away. Unfortunately that doesn’t go without it’s quirks. One being that temperature gauge. While the humidor itself does an excellent job at keeping the temperature consistently at 68 degrees the temperature gauge varies anywhere between 1 to 3 degrees off at times. Not a deal breaker, but given the attention on how well this humidor handles temperature its worth mentioning. All in all the maintenance required to keep my cigars optimal is minimal to none. Which is exactly what you want in a humidor.
Overall I am deeply impressed with the NewAir CC-300H. First of all the shipping and setup were an absolutely breeze. Secondly the quality and aesthetics of the humidor are incredible. The big selling point here is how brilliantly the humidor maintains humidity in pretty much some of the worst conditions you can ask for. As far as the temperature goes it does very well during the summer which is expected but I am very curious to see what heating the internal compartment does to the humidity during those colder winter months. That being said there are a few gripes I have with the humidor, albeit very minor gripes but they are worth mentioning. First of all the main selling point on the CC-300H is the OptiTemp system. While it does a fantastic job keeping the temperature where needed, the temperature gauge varying a much as it does is concerning. Easy fix there though, just make sure whatever digital hygrometer system you use also contains a temperature gauge and you’re set. Secondly, I wish the LED light did more. It’s nice to have but its so small and since its located above the top shelf it really only allows light to extend to the second shelf. And lastly what would really make this an exceptional humidor is the addition of a sealed electric port allowing me to use an electric humidor within the system.