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10 Tips for Flavour-Chasing Vapers

Want to blow humongous clouds? Want your dense fog of vapour to block out the Sun?

Me neither.

There’s nothing wrong with cloud-chasing. Like most vapers, I enjoy putting out a satisfying amount of vapour. But you just won’t see me in a cloud competition sporting a bazillion-coil build and a brick-sized mod. The key factor that vapers like me are looking for is getting vivid, robust flavour from a setup. Huge clouds don’t really matter.

The problem is that cloud-chasing is the more fashionable goal. You’ll see tons of guides to creating obnoxious amounts of vapour, but far fewer on how to get the best taste out of your e-juice.

So how do you go about maximizing the flavour from your e-cig? What are the best tips for the flavour-chasers out there?
Flavour Chasing Content Wattage
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1 – Tweak Your Wattage and Temperature Settings

Adjusting your settings is the simplest way to improve the flavour you get from your e-liquid.

Different elements of juices come out at different settings. This is because specific flavourings vaporize at different temperatures, and your setting (in combination with your coil’s resistance) determines how hot your coil gets. For flavour-chasers, this is the major benefit of having a variable voltage/variable wattage device.

The best advice is to start at lower settings and work your way up until you hit the “sweet spot.” Each e-liquid has its own sweet spot, so you’ll need to experiment with each flavour. One juice may shine at 20 W while another comes into its own at 35 W.

But when you get right down to it, the temperature of your coil is the crucial factor. Temperature control devices limit your coil’s maximum temperature, which makes them perfect for flavour-chasing. The process of finding the right setting is the same – start low and adjust upwards as needed – but the result is a more consistently flavourful vape.
Flavour Chasing Content Airflow
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2 – Reduce Your Airflow

For cloud chasers, big airflow is an important factor. When you have a lot of air going through your coil, the vapour gets less dense but billows out to produce giant clouds. The downside to this is that this reduces flavour too.

For flavour chasers, closing off the airflow is the best approach. This produces a denser, warmer vape that carries a lot more flavour. Adjustable airflow systems on atomizers make this easy to achieve.

Getting the right balance is important, though. If your airflow is too closed off, you’ll have poor vapour production and the vapour may be too hot. Like with the power setting, start low and adjust to larger airflow settings until you hit the ideal balance for your tastes.

There is a little bit more to consider here, too. Closing off the airflow on an atomizer head with a wide bore (a large diameter) can make the resulting throat hit harsher, and the same is true for rebuildable atomizers with a large chamber. The best advice is to choose smaller bore coils and smaller chambers where possible to complement the restricted airflow.
Flavour Chasing Content Atomiser
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3 – Choose Your Atomizer Carefully

The type of atomizer you choose has a huge part to play in how much flavour you get from your e-cig. Personal preference has a big part to play, but some general rules can help you get the best flavour.

Firstly, top-coil clearomizers are becoming less popular for a reason. These have the atomizer head at the top of the central stem, and rely on the wick to soak the e-liquid up against gravity. As a result, they don’t wick efficiently, and the flavour you get from them is generally poor.

Bottom-coil clearomizers like the Aspire BDC offer significant improvements. These make gravity work for you, with the coil located at the bottom of the central stem so that the wicks don’t have to suck the e-liquid up to the coil.

The next step up in terms of overall performance is sub ohm tanks. These are tanks that support coils under one ohm in resistance, like the Aspire Atlantis or the AnyVape Fury. These notably boost vapour production and flavour in comparison to bottom coil clearomizers, and the flavour can be better in some cases too.

The crucial factor is the bore of the atomizer head. The trend towards larger bore coils leads to more airflow through the coil and can reduce the flavour as a result. So in most cases, it’s better to choose a sub-ohm tank with a smaller bore coil, if possible. These coils (and the tanks using them) are often advertised as supporting mouth-to-lung hits.

However, these aren’t always easy to find, so devices with smaller bore coils like the Nautilus – even though it isn’t sub-ohm – are still often better when it comes to flavour.

For many flavour-chasing vapers, though, rebuildable atomizers offer the ultimate experience. It’s a bit more hands-on, but if you’re comfortable with making your own coils, they’re definitely worth considering. They offer a level of customization over your vaping experience you can’t get with any other device.

If you want to get really technical, there are many specific coils you can try to maximise the flavour you get. It’s a deep rabbit hole, but for serious flavour-chasers it’s one you should consider delving into.
Flavour Chasing Content Cotton
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4 – Wicking and Coil Materials Matters

The material you use for your wick can have a big impact on the flavour you get. Silica wicks used to be the standard for e-cigarettes, but they mute the flavour of your e-liquid. That’s one of the reasons that cotton has now taken its spot as the wicking material of choice for vapers.

Organic cotton balls used to be the go-to option, but there are many more choices for cotton wicks these days. Japanese organic cotton is now the most widely-recommended. You can buy it in square sheets, and it comes as standard on many clearomizer coils. It gives you a very clean flavour from your juice, and has fantastic wicking capabilities too.

This isn’t for everyone, though. Other choices like cellucotton and “Cotton Bacon” have staunch supporters too. Additionally, ceramic wicks are making a comeback. As well as being resistant to heat (so they tend to last longer), they also produce great flavour that some vapers swear by. (ED: Do note that there are some concerns about the safety of ceramic coils.)

Explore the options, but generally speaking, any high-quality cotton or a modern ceramic wick will give you superior flavour.

As well as the wicking material, the other part of your atomizer that’s closely involved in the vaping process is your wire. Thankfully for flavour-chasing vapers, Kanthal is still the most widely-used coil material and it gives a clean, natural flavour from your juice.

The biggest change in recent years is the introduction of temperature control. This has brought new coil types with it, notably nickel (Ni200), stainless steel and titanium. Nickel performs as well as Kanthal in terms of flavour, but stainless steel and titanium can add a slightly metallic component to the taste.

The difference with other materials won’t be too severe, but if you notice your juice not quite shining as much when you switch to a temperature control device, your coil material could be to blame.
Flavour Chasing Content Juices
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5 – Try Higher PG Juices

Most vapers develop a preference for the PG/VG ratio of their juices over time. Cloud-chasers tend to prefer high-VG juices, because they produce thicker vapour and bigger clouds. However, if you’re looking to maximise your flavour, high VG juices don’t quite cut it.

The problem is that although VG is almost tasteless, it does have a slight touch of sweetness, and it doesn’t carry flavour as well as PG. That’s why concentrated flavourings come mixed in PG, not VG.

So choosing higher-PG juices will generally lead to better flavour. The downside is that PG produces throat hit, and choosing too high a ratio can easily make vaping too harsh on your throat.

A 50/50 ratio is ideal for most vapers. This still offers great flavour, with excellent vapour production and a manageable throat hit. But you can push it to 60 or 70 percent PG if you want even better flavour.
Flavour Chasing Content Airflow 2
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6 – Below-Coil Airflow Boosts Flavour

As well as the amount of airflow, the position of the airflow holes is also important. The airflow holes on most atomizers open up at the side of your coil, and although this can work well, there is a better layout.

When the airflow holes are underneath your coils, the direct path up to the mouthpiece improves the flavour. Many sub ohm tanks – like the AnyVape Fury – have this setup as standard, and it’s one of the reasons they can provide such great flavour.

The position of the airflow holes is an especially crucial consideration for flavour-chasers shopping for a dripping atomizer. Choose options with under-coil airflow holes over those with side airflow every time.

Flavour Chasing Content Drip-Tip
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7 – Choose a Narrower-Bore Drip Tip

You might not think the drip tip you use influences the flavour you get, but it does. The trend with modern tanks and atomizers is towards larger-bore (i.e. wider) drip tips. This produces an airier vape and is good for cool vapour and cloud production.

As with airflow settings, though, this isn’t ideal for flavour. If you get a tank or atomizer that comes with a wide-bore drip tip, try switching it for a narrower-bore one to boost your flavour.

There is some disagreement on this point, but in general – and based on first-hand testing – thinner drip tips do improve flavour. It won’t have as big an effect as your main airflow setting, but it does make a difference.

Flavour Chasing Content Coil
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8 – Keep Your Wicks, Coils and Tanks Clean

You wouldn’t use a plate for a curry and then eat your dessert off it afterwards (or at least I hope you wouldn’t). If you care about flavour, you should carry this ethos over to your wicks.

The simple fact is that fresh coils and clean wicks make for better flavour. The only problem with the plate analogy is that rinsing your wick or switching to a new coil after every change of flavour is a little excessive. But the core lesson is still valid: juices taste better from fresh wicks, coils and tanks.

So you don’t need to rinse your coil or change it after every flavour change, but after a day or two of use the taste will start to suffer. Occasionally rinsing pre-made atomizer heads extends their lifespan and improves the flavour.

There’s a detailed section on this in our ultimate guide to clearomizers, but the basic approach is simple. Just disassemble your clearomizer, rinse the components in hot water and give them plenty of time to dry. Leaving your atomizer heads until the wicks are completely dry is important (24 hours is usually enough), so it’s a good idea to have another head to use while it’s drying.

If you use rebuildable atomizers, you can change your wick easily, so doing it with every change of flavour is more feasible. Remove the old wick, fire your coil (without a wick inserted) to dry it out, wait for it to cool and then insert the new wick.
Flavour Chasing Content Tongue
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9 – Fight Vaper’s Tongue

Your setup is only part of your flavour experience. You are the other part of the equation, and the biggest problem you may face is “vaper’s tongue.” Many different things can cause this, but it’s easiest to understand as a kind of “flavour fatigue.” The flavour of your juice seems to lose its punch after extended use, and you might even struggle to enjoy other similar-tasting juices too.

There are many solutions to this problem, but the simplest is to change to a new flavour. You can also smell fresh coffee beans, drink water or even suck a lemon to reset your palate and beat vaper’s tongue.
Flavour Chasing Content Juice
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10 – Look After Your E-Juice

Finally, your e-juice itself may be to blame. Correctly storing your e-liquid is important, because the flavourings can degrade with poor storage. Keep your juices away from heat and light, and minimise their exposure to open air to keep them in excellent condition.

Some juices also benefit from “steeping.” This is like how wine ages with time and improves in flavour – allowing your juice to age can really bring out flavour notes. There are many approaches to steeping, but they all have two common elements. Most steeping involves leaving the juice in a cool, dark place and occasionally shaking the bottle. The other major theme is letting your juice “breathe” (for short periods) by opening the cap.

Steeping isn’t needed for every juice, though, and the results might not always be what you were expecting. However, if you want the best flavour, it’s something to try.

For more information see The Vaper’s Guide to Steeping. 
Flavour Chasing Content Summary
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Improving Flavour is Easy; Perfecting it is Hard

These tips should help you enjoy the flavour of your e-juices more, but there is a lot more to flavour chasing than this. There are tons of different approaches to try, heated debates about the merits of different coil arrangements, and a big helping of personal preference to deal with.

In short, this post will set you down the right path, but you’ll have to walk the remaining distance to your personal flavour-chasers nirvana on your own. Just follow your tastebuds, and don’t get lost in the clouds.

Thank you!

A big thanks to P Busardo of Taste Your Juice, Dimitris ‘The Vaping Greek‘, Julia of Spinfuel Magazine, Chris of Vaping 360 and Brian of Olympia Vapeworks for taking the time to read this post and make suggestions on improving it. Their suggestions have improved this post but any errors are our own.

Next: Check out the Vaper’s Guide to Steeping E-Liquid:

A vaper's guide to steeping e-liquid.

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10 thoughts on “10 Tips for Flavour-Chasing Vapers

  1. Dunno about anyone else, but I bought this new Kanger Subox Mini thing and I just cant get it right, get a burnt taste with the juice (no matter which one) cant get much vapour (no matter what setting I have it on)
    I cough like puffing billy when I try to take a decent lung full of it
    I have tried various juices, high, low, different flavours, different brands and makes
    Very disappointed with it (I dunno if I am doing something wrong with it)
    If I could either get plenty of vapour or even a decent taste of the juice, I’d be happy (or happier)
    At least when I used my old one, I never got much vapour but I knew which flavour I had

    1. That has the Subtank Mini doesn’t it? Honestly I haven’t really had issues with mine, but it sounds like you’re having wicking problems. Have you tried changing the coil? If you’re getting dry hits a lot you might have burnt the wick in the one you have installed.

      I had problems getting the RBA attachment to work without dry hits, but with the pre-built coils it’s been absolutely fine. Just let your juice soak in for a few minutes before you fire and start on lower settings then work your way up.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

      1. I just got it out the box, charged the battery, filled it with juice, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then gave it a try, bloody awful, the juice tasted like old socks, not the same taste as from my other E cig (Ego) tiny puff of vapour, so opened it up a little, no change, now its wide open, not much vapour, and still tastes of old socks (in the Ego, its tastes of black current or Ribena)
        I cough like merry hell, regardless of what ever wattage its on, been right through them in increments of 10, from the lowest to the highest
        I wouldn’t have thought changing the coil would help, its brand new
        Its sitting here now, charged up, got half a tank of juice and I just don’t want to use it, because I know I will start coughing my guts up
        Does it just take time to get used to this Kanger Subbox ?

        1. I have similar issues with most subohm tanks. I’m a mouth to lung vaper and I think you must be a direct to lung vaper to be able to enjoy the sub ohm tanks.

        2. When you say it’s wide open, do you mean the airflow ring is on the most open setting? Is the draw tight, like you’re trying to suck milkshake through a straw? If it is and you’re not getting much vapour even at higher wattages, it definitely sounds like there’s some sort of issue. It could be that something is blocking the airflow, either in the coil or in the tube leading from the coil to the mouthpiece.

          I had a similar problem with a different tank, and (strange as it sounds) there was a small metal plug stuck in the (brand new) coil!

          If you haven’t changed the coil, I’d at least give that a try. It could be that yours is faulty in some way and/or blocked.

          Honestly I wouldn’t have thought it would take time to get used to it – it sounds like you’ve just been really unfortunate. Hopefully it’s just the coil that’s the issue.

          1. I have had the airflow to its highest and lowest setting, same as the wattage, when it is open at the lowest setting, its like tryingto suck a golf ball through a garden hose,
            Nope haven’t changed the coil, but it came with a spare coil, so I’ll give it a try after reading this
            I have ordered a new tank (Nautilus mini, the wife has one of these, so its worth a try)
            I have tried hers, at least I can use it without coughing, but the juice she uses has no taste anyway
            Another thing with this Kanger tank, it leaks, juice seems to get every where, seems to leak from the airflow ring, I have checked everything is tight, but don’t want to over tighten anything

            There is lots of other bits in the Kanger box, I have no idea how to use them or what they are for (2 coils, writing is so small I cant read what they are) a cotton wad
            One of the coils is round, the other sort of square

            The booklet it came with has really small text, so its nigh impossible to read it

            1. I think changing the coil should sort out the problem – use the square one rather than the round one. The round one is for wrapping and wicking your own coils (with a bit of the cotton wad), and can be a bit of a pain to get set up right.

              If you still have problems, I’m sure you’ll have better luck with the Nautilus at least 🙂

              As for the leaking, I have the same issue! I think it’s a problem across a lot of devices – I wrote a post on it here: http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2015/11/clearomiser-leaking-fixes.html

              Hopefully that will help a bit! I tend to just keep a paper towel handy to deal with little bits of leaking though, it;s hard to stop it all.

    2. I was using. Nautilus mini. But found the flavor a bit hit n miss.sometimes really good other times not so.also I use a triton whith a .4 ohm coil in the evening.the flavor ( halo juce) is awesome. Raspberry crush. Is the best. The other day I decided to use the 1.8 ohm coil that comes whith the triton. It’s amazing the flavor is brilliant.it takes a while to get to grips whith .but is well worth it. So good I purchased a 2 nd triton from ecigarett direct. Co.uk.and it had 25% off happy days keep up the good work at ecigarett.

  2. I have a basic type of ecig (I think its ego type). I find that the vapour burns the back of my throat for the first half hour of the day. I am ‘upgrading’ to a eleaf istick 30W. Do I need different liquid? Will that stop the burn? What tank should I get? Is £40 loads of money for a battery (with charger and adapter for use with most tanks) cos it seems like it is? I can still return it so, if you have any ideas for an ecig that is the next step up without looking like a brick (the istick is a good size, I think) I would appreciate it very much. All I want is an ecig that gives me flavour, without burn, and fits easily in my pocket. Because it goes in my pocket it needs to be reasonably durable. Thanks.

  3. My buddy had the same complaint. You need to lower your nicotine level to 6mg. The coughing is because you are now using a sub ohm tank, more power and vapor than before, and you are getting way too much throat hit. Drop your nicotine level, and you will fall in love with your tank. As for the leaking, take everything apart and reassemble making sure you don’t have a pinched or missing oring, and that your coil is installed tight.

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