Introduction to Coffee and Concentrates
Those that have smoked and love coffee would have to agree that it’s a match made in heaven. As with smoking, vaping and coffee flavours make perfect companions, and for my tastes, especially with a little nicotine and tobacco.
Even though we’re missing the caffeine, as well as some of the flavours and aroma of combustion, there’s just something about the marriage of coffee and tobacco. And the more you think about why the clearer it becomes.
You don’t need tobacco to enjoy a good coffee vape, but given that they share certain characteristics, it’s a recipe well worth exploring.
Although I’ve tested quite a few coffees, there are only 3 that I’d recommend so far. Most are either too bitter, harsh or completely miss the mark of an authentic representation. Another issue is that many have a chemical and or plastic taste, so obviously they were cut from the list too.
The charts below can be useful for developing recipes, as they offer a spectrum of complementary and contrasting flavours. The charts also reveal the similarities between tobacco and coffee.
Non-tobacco lovers please note
There are numerous tobaccos that actually won’t impart a noticeable tobacco flavour, especially when utilised in lower percentages. Jungle Flavors RY4 Double comes to mind, as does Juice Factories Black and Mild. Also, mixing in flavours such as creams, vanillas and caramels help to soften or disguise any trace of milder tobaccos. What tobacco can do, is to enhance, complement or combine more earthy, robust and compatible profiles, making for a richer coffee with greater characteristics.
When it comes to vaping and coffee recipes, one’s imagination is the only limitation. Below, I’ve listed some pairing ideas that compliment or elevate coffee flavours, albeit that most are fairly traditional. Many can be combined, and some better suit straight coffees or espressos.
Obviously, alcohols are a natural pairing for coffee, especially Bourbons, Rums and Kahlua. I currently have around 30 or so tobaccos and they all seem to complement. I use coffee as both a subtle accent-additive or as a blended, equal layered flavour.
All of these examples are available as flavour concentrates.
Dairy and Dessert
Milk. Creams. Ice Cream. Chocolate. Caramel. Butterscotch. Custard. Vanilla. Tiramisu. Cheesecake. Cake. Cookies. Meringue. Marshmallow. Marzipan.
Rum. Bourbon. Whiskey. Kahlua. Amaretto. Irish Cream. Brandy.
Banana. Apple. Orange. Mango. Guava. Cherry. Blackberry. Strawberry. Blueberry. Plums. Prunes. Raisins. Nuts.
Cinnamon. Clove. Nutmeg. Cardamon. Peppercorn. Star Anise. Ginger. Allspice.
Finding something that suits is trial and error, but here are the best coffees I’ve found so far. I’ve offered an insight into these flavours, along with flavour notes, uses and pairings.
I’m currently testing and revisiting TFA’s Caramel Cappuccino, and I’ll post it soon.
Tips On Mixing With Coffee
Above are some of my favourite flavours to add to coffee, whether as an additive or an additional layer. I recommend experimenting with percentages. All but tobacco will add some sweetness too.
Creams, Custards, Caramel, Marshmallow, Marzipan, Tiramisu (Booster by FA), Cookies and Tobacco.
Additive or subtle layer: As a guide, start with 0.25 and work up to 0.50%
Steeping: Although one may get away without steeping a strong plain coffee recipe, be aware that any additional layer of flavour will most likely make steeping necessary.
Sweeteners: I dislike using traditional sweeteners, and prefer to get sweetness from other concentrates. If your mix with this flavour is not sufficiently sweet, look at supporting flavours such as creams-sweet creams or ice creams. Flavorah’s caramel is an excellent alternative, offering a solid brown sugar base. Juice Factory Maple is nice at around 3-4%. Also, FlavourArts marzipan can work very well.
Marshmallow: Although not a sweetener, it’s often used as one. TFA or Purilum’s version is your best bet here but keep percentages low as marshmallow can and will mute flavours when using over 1%.
Acetyl Pyrazine (AP) This is a great additive for bakery or dessert coffee mixes. It can add a nice bakery, buttery, creamy taste with a little sweetness. Start at 0.5% up to 1.5%. Juice factory’s espresso has it already but many other coffees don’t.