Many mixers shy away from coffees, either due to the inability of finding a suitable representation, or perhaps their dislike of coffee. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, there are numerous uses for this flavour.
Introduction to Coffee Concentrates
Those that have smoked and love coffee would have to agree that it was a match made in heaven. As with smoking, vaping and coffee flavours make perfect companions, and for my tastes, often with a little nicotine and a milder tobacco.
However, there are numerous flavours that are compatible with coffee concentrates, and some even share similar characteristics. Examples are chocolate, red wine or various booze flavours, as well as fruits and nuts.
Even though we’re missing the caffeine, and much of the aroma and flavours from combustion, there’s just something about the marriage of coffee, with or without compatible flavours, that can provide a satisfying vape. And the more you think about why, the clearer it becomes.
You don’t need flavours such as tobacco or booze to enjoy a good coffee vape, but given that they share certain characteristics, one can enhance or add character to another, so, 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.
The charts below can be useful for developing recipes, as they offer a spectrum of complementary and contrasting flavours. The charts also reveal some similarities between coffee, chocolate and tobacco.
Non-tobacco lovers please note
There are numerous tobaccos that won’t impart a noticeable tobacco flavour, especially when utilised in lower percentages. Jungle Flavors RY4 Double comes to mind, as does Juice Factory’s 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 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 more tobaccos and they all seem to complement. I tend to use coffee as either a subtle accent-additive or as a 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. Eggnog.
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.
Mixing with Coffee Flavours
Below are some of the most commonly used flavour concentrates I mix with coffee, whether as an additive or an additional layer. I recommend experimenting with percentages.
Additive or subtle layer: As a guide, start with 0.25 and work up to 0.50%
Blending Coffees: So far, the best blend I’ve come up with, is mixing FA’s Dark Bean with Juice Factory’s Espresso. However, keep FA’s percentage low, no more than 0.5-1%. Juice factory should be at least 1.5-2%
Purilum Caramel Coffee with Sweet Milk: If one is looking for a slightly sweet, richer, more creamy type coffee, add this concentrate starting at around 0.5%. Don’t go overboard as it gets pretty overpowering at higher percentages, making it too sweet.
Nuts: Even if you dislike nuts, just like tobacco’s, they too can add a subtle nuance that can easily enhance a decent coffee recipe. Flavour West Hazelnut is superb, adding the obvious, plus some bakery element that really shines with most coffees. I also like using and or blending FA’s Mixed Nuts.
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, FA 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.
Capella’s Cereal 27: I’ve heard this flavour is an alternative to AP, doing much of the same thing, some feel it does a better job too. I’ll investigate and report back.
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.
How I Test Flavour Concentrates
Flavours are mixed in a 50-50 blend of PG & VG.
Zero nicotine and generally steeped for 2 weeks.
Three vape devices are used including an RDA.
How I Test Flavours
Flavours are mixed in a 50-50 blend of PG & VG. Zero nicotine and generally steeped for 2 weeks. Three vape devices are used including an RDA.