With the increasing popularity of vaping as a substitute for regular cigarettes, it seems that more and more e-liquid vendors are advertising their products as premium and organic, together with the claim that they are offering the best organic e-liquid you can find on the market. Some of them charge crazy money per ml of vape juice and explain the price with the fact that quality costs.
What exactly are you paying for, though? Is there really such a vast difference between regular and premium vape juice to justify a difference of two to three times the price we are accustomed to seeing in shops?
What’s In The Mix?
Let’s break down an e-liquid into its components. Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerine and Nicotine (if any) are found in every tank of vaping liquid and comprise 90 to 95% of what’s in there. Read about it at http://www.wired.co.uk/article/whats-inside-vape-juice. Since neither of these can be regular or premium, as there is no such thing as premium or regular Propylene Glycol, up to 95% of all vape liquids are virtually identical. So what’s in the other 5% and how does it make a difference?
The remaining 5 to 10% are occupied by flavouring and that is where quality might vary enormously. Some flavourings are of US origin, others imported from Europe, and more specifically Italy, and there is also the cheap Chinese variety which often is of very poor quality.
Imported vs Custom Flavouring
Imported flavours (apart from the Chinese ones) naturally tend to be more expensive but no two companies can be exactly the same. There could be both cheap and expensive flavours made either at home or overseas, so premium ingredients do exist. The trouble, however, comes from the fact that most vendors keep their sources a secret and often refuse to disclose the origin of their ingredients, despite the fact that they claim to be selling a premium product.
There is also the kind of vendors who create their own custom flavourings in order to provide a unique taste profile of the vape liquid they sell. Needless to say, this kind of e-liquid often has a very high price tag, since the product can’t be found elsewhere. Such e-liquids also tend to have the best flavour, even though taste is quite a subjective characteristic and one man’s meat is another man’s poison.
A Word On Containers and Storage
E-juice storage bottles play a role, both on the long-term quality of the product, and the price. Glass is several times more expensive than plastic and there are also manufacturers who refuse to use plastic, since it can affect quality and taste for some e-liquids.
The process of steeping and curing in order to get a homogeneous mixture of base and aroma is also faster and more convenient in a glass bottle.
It’s The Package That Sells The Product
As silly as it may sound, premium-looking e-juice will always sell, even though its quality might not be as premium as the packaging. Yet it will take consumers at least one purchase until they find that out.
Of course there are the high-end, custom e-liquids with premium packaging which are easy to recognize. Just keep in mind that expensive appearance does not guarantee quality.
It’s All About The Taste
What ultimately separates premium from non-premium juice is taste. Even though taste is strictly personal and subjective, a premium vaping juice will target a very broad audience and usually appeal to most people. (If you are curious about the main types of vaping tastes and flavours, check out this article.)
More often than not, premium vape liquids will taste much better than cheap ones. They are also good to use right out of the box because the process of curing has taken place prior to shipping to the end consumer. They will also taste better with each passing week, due to the fact that the more the e-liquid sits, the more homogeneous it becomes.