Something fruity this way comes – Steepd e-liquid

  • 0

Something fruity this way comes – Steepd e-liquid

I get lazy when it comes to e-liquid. I usually mix my own, and it’s easy to just knock up a couple of big bottles of my all-day vape – Inawera’s Vanilla for Pipe, in case anyone cares – and stick with that. I do like to try new flavours though, so it’s always very welcome when somebody sends me a few to try.

A couple of weeks ago, thanks to the nice people at Electronic Cigarette Co I became the lucky owner of some Steepd liquids. I’ve been happily vaping them since then, because while they’re different to what I usually use – and a lot fruitier – they’re very tasty indeed.

Steepd liquids are produced by UFA Vape, a Liverpool-based company,

I do have to start this review with a bit of a gripe. Like a lot of premium liquids now, Steepd is only available as a low-nicotine option. The strongest you can get is just 6mg/ml, which is well below what I prefer. I can get around that by using a dripper but frankly I’d rather not have to. Companies who only offer weak liquids are cutting their potential market by at least half, and this is one trend that I’d really like to see going into reverse.

Anyway, on to more positive things. The liquid arrived in standard 30ml glass dripper bottles, with distinctive light blue caps and subtle, attractive labels. The branding is simple and clearly adult-oriented – no tacky cartoon characters here. In short the bottles looked good, so the next step was to see how they tasted.

Electronic Cigarette Co sent me the entire Steepd range to try, consisting of five flavours. These are all max VG liquids – the mix is 80/20 – which makes them ideal for drippers or sub-ohm tanks, so I rebuilt my usual setup for low nicotine juices. That’s a Wotofo Ice3 sitting on top of a Wismec RX200, coiled to around 0.4Ω with Clapton wire and wicked with some generic cotton. I started off at around 50 watts (which was bumped up to around 70 by the time I’d finished). Then I started dripping, and here’s what I found.

Walter White Xtra

Diving in at the deep end, I went with Walter White Xtra because it’s a real sweet shop flavour. According to Steepd it’s a blend of blue raspberry bubblegum and aniseed, with “a cold, fresh kick”. So menthol, then.

But before you get to the menthol there’s a glorious inhale loaded with sweet, synthetic fruitiness, and a subtle undertone of aniseed that adds loads of depth to the experience. It has all the guilty fun of a chewy thing with too many E numbers in it, but without the sticky aftertaste; as you exhale a chill starts to creep in round the edges as the menthol makes its presence felt. This prevents sweetness overload, so you’ll never find yourself thinking you’ve had enough.

Coaster

Coaster is a citrus liquid – a sweetened blend of lemon and lime. According to Steepd it’s a frozen ice cream vape, but I didn’t really pick up much of that. On the other hand it’s a very good citrus – tangy, but without an unpleasant degree of bite, and just sweet enough to balance the tartness.

One of the first things I noticed about Coaster is that as well as being citrus it’s also green. It isn’t a very vivid green, but there’s definitely a verdant aspect to it. I don’t know if this is an effect of the flavourings they use, or if some colouring has been added. I suspect – and hope – it’s the former; adding colouring to liquid is not something that should be happening. Coaster tastes great; it doesn’t need any gimmicks.

Forest Mist

This is a very interesting vape. The base is “red berries” and black grapes, with a few little tweaks thrown in to create a pretty unique taste. The inhale is very cool and fruity; the red berries – they taste like raspberries to me – add a touch of tartness to the smooth, sweet grapes, and there’s a bracing hit of Eucalyptus. Not enough to make it taste like those old Tunes cough sweets (can you still get those, I wonder?) but just the right amount to add some bite.

What lifts this above the other fruit liquids out there are the extra elements Steepd have added; as well as the eucalyptus there are also subtle notes of aniseed and menthol. The end result is a distinctly fruity vape that also manages to be extremely refreshing. My bottle will be long gone by the time summer arrives, so I’ll be buying more – I think this is going to be a warm-weather favourite.

Sparkle

Sparkle is a classic lemonade, made with plenty of sweet lemons and enhanced with a bold, fresh raspberry. This is a very refreshing vape, and like the Forest Mist I think it would be a fantastic option for summer. Sparkle is probably the simplest of the Steepd liquids, but it’s one of my favourites. It’s been mixed to perfection, with just the right balance of the two flavour elements.

Pink Fizz

And finally there’s Pink Fizz. This sounds like it should be another lemonade, but in fact it’s another candy liquid. It’s a bit more traditional than the Walter White Extra, though. The flavour is obviously inspired by something like Fruit Pastilles – Steepd just say “chewy sweets” – and it has a mix of fruits in it. I think I can pick out strawberries and blackcurrant, but it’s not easy to be sure exactly what they are.

This certainly isn’t a complaint, because they all blend into an extremely pleasant wave of fruitiness. As a finishing touch there’s a hint of sugary fizz. The overall effect is both tasty and nostalgic, like buying a bag of retro sweets from a classy sweet shop then scoffing the lot. Along with Sparkle this is probably the one I like the most.

 

So, what’s the verdict? In my opinion, pretty good. Any of the Steepd liquids should be a winner for anybody who likes sweet vapes. If I’m honest I’m not usually that keen on them, but I was very pleasantly surprised by these and I suspect I’ll be keeping at least one bottle in my vaping armoury from now on.

Again, I’d like to thank Electronic Cigarette Co for sending me these liquids. I’d recommend you check out the rest of their range – especially if you’re a fan of Vapemate juices. I live in Germany and they’re not that easy to get here, but Electronic Cigarette Co have a fast and reliable delivery service, so that’s another problem solved!

 


  • 6
Stupid vaping products sold by stupid vendors

Let’s call time on stupid vendors

A few weeks ago I expressed some annoyance at vendors who were, in my opinion, being stupid. In this particular case it was a rash of morons selling “Pokéjuice”, a trademark-busting product that’s also an absolute gift to those who claim the industry is targeting children. I made some comments on Facebook and reported a couple of vendors to Trading Standards, but mostly what I did was annoy stupid people. I’m not exactly a stranger to annoying people, and it’s not like upsetting the stupid ones troubles my conscience, but it is pretty frustrating to raise problems like this and be met with a wall of baffled, stupid annoyance.

I don’t believe for a minute that any of the mainstream vapour product makers, or even the dreaded tobacco companies, are “marketing to children”, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to say the same about some of the more stupid independents. By all means make ice cream flavoured e-liquid. In fact I’m trying out a very nice strawberry vanilla ripple as I write this. Adults like ice cream too. But seriously, what the fuck is the justification for this?

icecream

Whether the industry is targeting children or not, people who want it shut down are claiming that it is. This is reality. Ignoring reality is not brave or clever; it’s stupid. When people accuse you of making products that appeal to children there is nothing smart about disguising your fairly pedestrian-looking small glass dripper bottle as a tub of ice cream. You are not being edgy, witty or ironic. You are being a dick.

Here’s something else about disguising your products as food: It’s against the law. If you’re tempted to sell something that’s packaged to look like a Cornetto, you might want to read this first. You’ve read it and you don’t agree with the law? Well, that’s just tough. Brexit has given the UK vaping industry a potential lifeline. If we play this the clever way we could get the EU’s idiotic TPD removed, and replaced with a set of sensible laws that ensure safety without banning whole categories of products. But if we want sensible laws the industry has to demonstrate that it can obey the law. If you don’t act like adults you won’t be treated like adults. You’ll get spanked – and frankly, if you’re selling Pokéjuice or the products pictured in this post, you deserve it.

A story about stupid vendors selling stupid products is now on BBC News. That’s a global news outlet. Do we really need negative stories, that seem to confirm everything the public health lobby has been saying, on global news right now? No, we do not. In a few weeks the WHO’s COP 7 conference will be taking place in New Delhi, and the prohibitionist maniacs who run that will be looking for any excuse to clamp down on vaping. Five stupid vape shop owners on Merseyside just handed them another one.

If you make products like the ones featured here, you are stupid. If you sell those products, you are stupid. If you continue to buy from a vape shop that sells those products, you are stupid. There are powerful people out there who want to shut down every vape shop and force you to buy medicalised cigalikes from a pharmacy. Guess what? They’re going to get their way, unless the people making, selling and buying this fucking rubbish stop being stupid.