Flavour fantastic: how to recognise a modern premium e-liquid
Fair dos; the word ‘premium’ when applied to e-liquids does tend to get bandied about a lot. So, does it actually mean anything? What genuinely constitutes a high-quality, premium e-juice…?
It all starts with the ingredients
Making high-quality e-juices all starts with the ingredients. Just as with top-of-the-range chefs at premium restaurants, premium e-liquid companies want to be know they’re using the best quality ingredients. So, they tend to strive for 99.9% purity (in terms of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and nicotine) as this yields the superior products.
Premium e-juice brands should also avoid any known additives as they can produce negative effects, including the notorious chemical that’s diacetyl; it can crop up in low-quality butter flavours and is the cause of the dreaded ‘popcorn lung’.
Flavour and mixology
A mixologist’s who’s produced a premium e juice has should have become intimate with its flavourings, understand their nuances and be able to perfectly capture the flavour profile they’re striving for. It takes time, skill and patience to strike the right balance flavours; often involving using ratios of different flavourings.
That said, flavour’s subjective; it evokes positivity and negativity in different people. Some like it more natural, others more artificial; some prefer complexity, others subtlety. To wit, craftsmanship to generate an accurate and consistent flavour profile is critical. For instance, layering a recipe requires a combination of different flavourings to produce the texture – such as that you receive from a custard flavour – thus, the thinking behind it and the knowledge of and familiarity with ingredients can only be found in an expert chemist skilled in advanced techniques.
Now, it stands to reason; high-quality ingredients and a skilled chef on their own won’t result in premium food unless the environment they’re placed is of a standard that’s recognised as high-quality. So, just like premium chefs, premium ingredients in premium restaurants then, premium e-juice companies require laboratory-grade equipment and protocols to make sure clean, safe, and sanitary environments are maintained for their mixologists.
This means then that premium e-juices should be produced in ISO-certified labs; ISO being the internationally recognised standard that for recognised, respectable quality management. It will also see the routine auditing of a facility by an outside party to ensure its e-juice manufacturer is only responsibly generating ultra-clean and totally safe e-juices. The result being then that any customers can be assured an e-fluid produced by the company in question has been manufactured in an environment that’s contaminate-free at any every point in the manufacturing process.
What price has to do with it
So, what does it actually have to do with it? Well, sure; marketing undeniably plays a role in how a brand’s perceived by many customers. A fabulous new range of e-liquids may have been produced and are available in the marketplace, but unless there’s any marketing behind them, very few customers will learn of their existence – let alone why they might be premium e-juices. In this respect marketing can be used to reassure customers that an e-liquid’s price is a sign of its quality; the reality is, of course, that this doesn’t always follow, but in the case of premium e-liquids it almost always does.