Last week I shared with you the humble beginnings of our little juice company. Mick and I had developed Black Rice, Kernow Tales and Tatin Anglaise but we were still some way off being finished and had long since passed my initial target date of launching by May 2015.
We started to work on Sweet Salt: a flavour which, I was often told, would never really work.
There are other vendors out there offering salted caramel flavoured e-liquid, some better than others, but none offer the truly salty, balance of savoury and sweet of Sweet Salt.
I'll let you into a known secret amongst mixologists: you cannot atomise salt in an ecig. As a result, we needed to find other ways of evoking a salt like sensation and taste, without actually using salt. Using straight salt would simply clog up coils and gunk up your device over time. It simply wasn't an option.
The first element of Sweet Salt we developed in the early samples was the waffle cone flavour. Starting with a cookie style e-liquid, we worked it until it was less dough like and more biscuity. Next, we added the caramel, though it took several different versions until we were happy we had the right one.
After that, a nice, faint vanilla ice cream was added, balancing the other elements, as well as a few
secret ingredients to make the juice cool and salty on the tongue.Several early batches tasted delicious, but disaster had struck right at the last minute! Many were burning out my coils after just a few tokes! We had to rework the liquid, taking steps back to eliminate the offending chemical causing wicks to gunk up and burn.
Sweet Salt, it turns out, was our last developed flavour; just as were about to order our first batches it required one last change to make it perfect.
Samic Berry was similar to Sweet Salt, in that, you cannot (and probably also should not!) vape vinegar, balsamic or otherwise! Trust me, it tastes awful. Instead, we needed to evoke the savoury,
tart yet sweet effect of Modena balsamic vinegar. We'd found, what we felt was an incredible natural strawberry early on from Kernow Tales, although in Samic Berry it's less sweet and slightly more pronounced. Mixing the combination of tart, sweet strawberry with yet more sourness in thick natural yoghurt gave the balsamic tartness even more work to do at the end.
Samic Berry only gets better with age, becoming more acidic and sweet as it steeps. I really do believe, this juice tastes of balsamic vinegar at the end of the exhale. If you have never tried the
combination of a little balsamic vinegar and strawberry, I urge you give it a try. It seems so unusual at first, but they just work beautifully together.
By August 2015 we had finally produced five flavours which we felt were unique and special within the vaping world. I had 500 bottles and tubes, which we hand inked here at Tokenvape HQ as a
special thank you to early adopters of our e-liquid. I'd also ordered enough labels and extras for everything needed to start production, using small UK based businesses, where possible. It's important, we feel, for the little guys to try and help each other out and this is the ethos for Tokenvape moving forward.I set aside a number of units for reviewers. As a tiny, unknown vendor in a busy marketplace, it was vital we could get Tokenvape's name out there to the public. Our first review was by Martyn Parker, a reviewer whom I respected and had briefly met at Vapefest 2015. I nervously awaited his review. Martyn has a similar flavour profile to myself, but even so, I believed he would be a man that would be difficult to please given the sheer number of e-liquids he must get for review.
Then the review broke on YouTube and my wife and I sat back and watched together. Martyn was utterly blown away by our e-liquids. We were blown away by his enthusiasm. Whilst he liked all
five, there were three he referred to as "some of the best e-liquids he had ever tasted." On Sweet Salt he even suggested it might have been 'the best e-liquid he'd ever tasted'.
Martyn's review continues to humble us. The praise and excitement from a reviewer of his calibre and experience truly cemented the idea that, after 9 months of perfecting these flavours, it had
been worth it. We invite you to watch Martyn's detailed review for yourself and see if you agree!