Not getting the flavour you expect from your juice..?
You’re not alone. It happens sometimes, even with the finest of eliquid (ahem..!). Getting the best out of your juice can be affected by more factors than you’d imagine. Here are a few that have affected me (and if you know of other reasons flavour perception can be affected, please do comment below – the more knowledge we share the better the collective vape is)
#Fresh coils / Old coils / Wicking
It’s common enough to hear or read of ‘breaking in’ a coil or ‘running a tank through’ your new coil to get decent flavour from it. Whether it’s a pod device, a tank or if you’ve wicked and coiled your own device, the ‘cotton’ flavour takes a little while to subside.
The first few inhales from a fresh coil will most likely have a little of the flavour of the coil/wick. That goes away quickly, but the best flavour doesn’t usually come through immediately. The second and third tank are most commonly the truest to flavour vape
The coil in your tank / pod / RDA / etc, works by heating up and turning your eliquid into a vapour. If you’ve ever dry burned a coil you’ll notice that it works an awful lot like the element in a toaster.
Eliquid is made up of PG / VG / flavourings / nic (if you add it), and repeatedly heating those to tempertatures capable of turning into a vapour will leave some residue on the coil. Over a long enough period of time, that build up on the coil will condense and concentrate (a lot like when you overcook something on a frying pan and it sticks) and your juice will most likely taste burnt. Change the coil / wick
Wicking / Coil placement:
If you wrap and wick your own coils, no doubt you’ll have been through a number of assorted drippers or RTAs. Some work better than others, but even the best need treated the right way.
Over tight wicking will lead to burnt / muted flavour. Over stuffing of wick material will lead to burnt / muted flavour. Coil placement not in alignment with the air flow in certain tanks / drippers will lead to burnt / muted flavour as the air flow to assist the capillary action of how the juice should flow to the wick doesn’t happen.
#What’s your wattage / airflow?
Wattage is how much power is going through your coils to vapourise the liquid – too little and you may struggle to get much flavour / vapour, too much and you risk burning out your coil prematurely. It’s worth starting low and working your way up until you find your sweet spot.
Your airflow control determines how tight or loose your draw it – too tight and you’ll struggle to get much of a drag from your vape, too loose and the capillary action that draws your juice up into the coil with the inhale may not be strong enough, leading to lack of flavour or potentially burnt hits
#Vaper’s Tongue / ‘Flavour fatigue’
When you walk into a friend or family member’s home, you’ll immediately smell the distinctive smell of their home and be able to pick out odours that are particular to them. You won’t get that when you come home after visiting the Co-op for your shopping, but you might after you’ve been away from home for two weeks and you recognise that smell as ‘home’.
Vaping strong flavours for a long time can lead to your sense of smell being dulled to the point of not being able to pick out even familiar scents (see ‘Olfactory Fatigue’ for a longer description of why this happens). It’s a common phenomenon with wine tasters as well as vapers, and both schools have their own remedies.
These may or may not work for you, but if you suspect olfactory fatigue hopefully one or more might help get that flavour back:
- vaping something light (in particular menthol to clear the sinuses)
- changing flavour profiles frequently
- neti pot (to clear your sinuses – also great for histamine based allergies)
- tongue scraper (to remove the build up of residue on the back of your tongue that affects your perception of taste – think the colour of your tongue after you drink coffee)
- deeply inhaling coffee grounds
- ensuring you are properly hydrated (more on this below)
#How’s your health
I think everyone knows that taste is based 90% on smell, so if you have a head cold or swollen sinuses, you won’t taste much full stop. That doesn’t mean that you won’t taste anything at all, but your olfactories will be limited. What was a rich Lemon Meringue Pie may taste like something with a hint of lemon, but not much more. If you can’t smell properly, you can’t taste.
Anecdotally I have a story about this – for a 3 week period I couldn’t taste any juice I vaped. I tried switching between juices (both my own and other vendors) and still couldn’t taste anything. I tried different tanks and coils and wicking methods. I even tried new mods, even though that makes no difference. I was really frustrated until I drank a beer while I was vaping (about 3 weeks from when I stopped tasting) and it all came back – for 5 minutes I was in flavour town – then I realised I was severely dehydrated due to a restrictive diet I was on at the time. The diet didn’t make me slimmer but I did manage to ruin every vape I had for about a month by not connecting the two and realising I needed to drink more water
On a similar note, COVID19 has a similar side effect on smell and taste. I hope no one has to suffer such a (thankfully temporary) fate, but it is a factor to consider now in 2021 sadly
#What have you eaten
If you’ve ever brushed your teeth with minty fresh toothpaste then drank some orange juice, you’ll know how two rights don’t make another right. They are not enjoyable together, and that’s why I keep my hot sauce and my ice-cream in different cupboards.
If you’ve just had a sugary cup of tea and a Hob-Nob, a eucalyptus blueberry mint will most likely not complement the flavour you already have in your mouth. Similarly, if you’re halfway through a tub of Mango Sorbet, a Rich Caramel Tobacco probably won’t be so delicious along side that. If you can choose a vape juice that in food form would be tasty along with whatever you’re eating/drinking, chances are it’ll be delicious
Have you any other potential reasons and remedies for getting the best out of your eliquid not already mentioned here? We’d love to here them in the comments below. I hope you’re well and I really hope this helps you get the most out of your juice if you’re not already