I’ve managed to complain my way through multiple coffee flavor reviews in a row. Easy targets, really. It’s coffee flavoring. Coffee vapes are a better tool for diagnosing psychopathy than any set of set of ink blots, no matter how erotic, terrifying, or some combination thereof. A realistic coffee note is probably never going to be all that pleasant to vape. But what if there is a better way?
There is a lot going on in this concentrate, and while it’s a solid vape overall, it’s a bit hard to pin down. While wholly pleasant, I feel like this is shifting around a whole lot based on how moist the wicks are and just minute to minute.
There is, emphatically, some kind of coffee to it. It does feel quite a bit like the “coffee” from a coffee liqueur. I know Kahlua theoretically uses actual coffee beans in their production process somewhere, but it’s always just tasted like an artificial coffee note to me. Like a candy coffee instead of the brewed drink. This one doesn’t just feel like another permutation of VT Arabica. It’s mostly just a very dark sweetness with a couple of lingering bitter notes. So authentic to the source material, if not actual coffee beans.
The other accurate to the product and not actual coffee thing going on is a pretty heavy chocolate note. It bounces around from clarion clear to a supporting player, but it’s definitely hanging out somewhere in the mix. It bleeds into that fake coffee flavor quite a bit. The actual chocolate reminds a lot of TPA Double Chocolate (Clear), that fairly artificial almost boozy chocolate note. I do pick up some distinct vanilla and maybe a light coconut, but all of that fits in the coffee liqueur profile.
Granted, coffee liqueurs are mostly just blindingly sweet and generally downplay the actual alcohol… but I’m not really getting a distinct booze note out of this. Vape Train, in general, does booziness pretty well so that’s kind of a bummer. There may be just the slightest hint, but that may very well be flavor association from the taste of something like Kahlua.
So, is the key to a coffee vape leaving out as much as that realistic coffee note as possible? I’m guessing probably. You can make any argument you want for accuracy, but that skunky realistic coffee note just isn’t that fun to vape. This presents an alternative. I’ve done some preliminary mixing with the idea it could get across coffee without a lot of the traditional drawbacks. Mixing this with creams, it’s pleasant but it pops the chocolate out quite a bit. I don’t necessarily think it’s unrealistic for this breed of artificial coffee flavor, but it muddies up the profile considerably. I’ve also used this with tobacco, and again it seems to amp up the chocolate flavor substantially. The net effect is tasty, but it does sort of lose the plot in terms of profile coherence.
Another side effect of not having that skunkier coffee note, the percentage on here is pretty flexible. I’d go so far as to say you can really crank this up as a primary or solo flavor. I don’t think 5-6% is unreasonable here. Lower than that, I feel like it isn’t a particularly full flavor and I think Im getting some raw vg on the bottom end.
Setup: Recoil w/ flavor barrel, Dual 12 wrap 24g 3.5mm SS316 @.32 ohms. 60w power, 450F temp limit. Full Cotton Wicks.
Testing: Vape Train Coffee Liqueur , 1 and 4%, 60/40 VG/PG base, Steeped 30 days.
Profile: Sweet artificial coffee with some darker, more authentic accents. So right on profile.
Off-Flavors: Whole lot of TPA Double Chocolate (Clear) style chocolate notes. Especially when mixed.
Throat Hit: Light. It’s there, but not unduly harsh or unpleasant.
Percentage Recommendation: 5-6% for a full primary flavor. 2-3% as an artificial coffee accent with some chocolate tones.
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This concentrate was provided to me by the manufacturer with no additional compensation. There was no editorial influence. I have no ongoing business relationships with Vape Train or its employees.