Buku Vapor Talks With the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team
SPINFUEL: Welcome to the pages of Spinfuel VAPE. We’ve been looking forward to talking to you. Would you like to introduce yourselves to our readers?
DANIEL: Hi, I’m Daniel Borel from BukuVapor.
KEVIN: And I’m Kevin Robinson, also from BukuVapor.
SPINFUEL: What position(s) do you hold in the company?
KEVIN: We are both co-owners at Buku.
SPINFUEL: Who or what inspired you to get into the e-juice business? When was that?
DANIEL: Well I tried to quit smoking several times over the years without success. Then my grandfather passed in November of 2012 from lung cancer. That was a big moment for me, but I still was not able put them down.
A few months later a friend let me try his ego setup. I was impressed! I bought one immediately. I’m a pretty DIY kind of guy so it was only a month or 2 before I had a little flavor lab set up in my dining room, just making personal juice and some for a few friends. Kevin seemed to show just as much interest in it as I did so we teamed up. Everything just fell into place from there.
SPINFUEL: When did you officially launch Buku Vapor?
KEVIN: We opened the doors on November 11th of 2013.
SPINFUEL: Where are you located?
DANIEL: Our B&M is located in Shreveport, Louisiana.
SPINFUEL: How many eliquid ‘flavors’ do you have today? How many did you launch with?
DANIEL: We have over a hundred flavors to choose from now. When we opened we only had 36 or so.
KEVIN: We consider all our flavors to be premium, but we are concentrating on 7-10 of our most popular flavor to release as a gourmet line.
SPINFUEL: So you have a specific demographic in mind for your eLiquids?
DANIEL: Anyone 18 and over. Some of our flavors have a slight southern influence, but they should appeal to anyone’s tastebuds.
SPINFUEL: Do you have a favorite Buku Vapor eliquid? If so, which one is it, and why?
KEVIN: It’s toss up between Me So Honey and King Cake.
DANIEL: Mine would probably be either Fightin Tiger, Fruit Scroll Up, or I dunno. I switch up quite a bit. I love several of them!
KEVIN: I tend to go for flavors that hold up as an all day vape. I like the flavor to stay consistent for long periods of time.
SPINFUEL: Are your eliquids available in any other retail vape shops, other than your own of course? If so, how many shops carry your line?
DANIEL: Well, yes, it’s available in our store of course. You can also, pick up a bottle at Bayou Vapors Plus, and Southern Vapes II. Those are two other B&M shops we wholesale juice to at the moment.
KEVIN: We are always open to adding more wholesale accounts though.
SPINFUEL: How do you beta test your flavors? Is it done in-house or do you invite customers to try flavors under development?
KEVIN: We test them in-house first. We make sure the flavors taste good in several different setups. We also, make sure there the flavors aren’t cracking plastic tanks. If they do we pull them. After that we give a few bottles to customers to try. If all goes well they are released.
DANIEL: That process for Buku Vapor usually takes a month or 2 per flavor. Usually. A few have been awesome right of the bat.
SPINFUEL: Do you use a standard PG/VG ratio or does it change according to each specific blend?
KEVIN: We use a 50/50 house blend, but we adjust that according to what each customer prefers.
SPINFUEL: When you launched Buku Vapor how did you decide on your initial flavors?
DANIEL: Over the few months of us playing around at home we had several unique flavors to start, but there were a lot of basic flavors too.
KEVIN: Once we got the doors open and some cash flowing it was much easier to work on new, complex flavors.
SPINFUEL: What would your “signature” flavor profile be? Do you lean more toward strong flavors or strong vapor production?
KEVIN: We like flavor and vapor. That’s why we went with a 50/50 blend.
DANIEL: If I had to choose one it would be flavor personally. I do like to see some vapor too though.
SPINFUEL: Let’s talk about Buku Vapor packaging. How are your eLiquids packaged?
KEVIN: Right now we use black child-proof LDPE bottles. Our gourmet line will be in glass bottles though. Not quite sure what color glass yet.
SPINFUEL: What information do you include on your labels?
DANIEL: Logo, flavor name, nic level, PG/VG blend, manufactured date, ingredients, nicotine warning, and some nutrition facts. All the above info is printed directly on the label.
SPINFUEL: There is a lot of concern these days about how and where e-Liquids are being made. Could you describe your Buku Vapor ‘mixing’ facility?
KEVIN: We are very particular about the cleanliness and organization of our store overall, especially the juice lab. We have regular maintenance schedules for floors, counters, syringes, bottles, storage containers, etc. Everything is kept clean everyday, all day.
SPINFUEL: How do you make sure your mixing tools and containers are kept clean and sterile?
KEVIN: Syringes are replaced regularly. All glass bottles are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized. Storage containers are cleaned regularly as well. Flavor concentrates are kept in a dedicated closed cabinet until needed.
SPINFUEL: What methods do you use to prevent contamination or tampering, or other factors that can harm your product?
DANIEL: Our juice lab is a completely separate room from the front retail area. This prevents a lot of airborne particles. We also never refill or reuse bottles. Every juice made starts with a fresh new food grade sterilized bottle and all utensils used are sterile as well.
SPINFUEL: Are your Buku Vapor e-Liquids steeped at your facility or should customers home steep them for a week or so?
KEVIN: Most of our flavors are good to go right off the bat, but can benefit from a little steeping.
SPINFUEL: What is the shelf life of your eLiquids?
KEVIN: We tell customers that a bottle is good for around a year after the manufacture date. Some flavors can get pretty potent if kept that long though. We also stress the importance of keeping bottles away from heat and sunlight.
SPINFUEL: Your black plastic bottles certainly do keep out the light, does this help extend the shelf life?
DANIEL: We went with black bottles for a couple reasons. It does help protect from sunlight some, but it’s definitely not opaque so keeping them away from sunlight is still suggested. Mainly, they just look cool!
SPINFUEL: Does your crew wear any type of special clothing when they are mixing Buku Vapor?
KEVIN: I wear a hairnet, lab coat, particulate respirator, safety goggles, and some really slick looking black latex gloves.
SPINFUEL: Do you mix everyday? Do you do any custom mixing for customers?
DANIEL: Every bottle is made fresh to order. We print a label and a bottle gets made right then.
KEVIN: I have an extra long spreadsheet with custom blends that customers have created. Some of them are really pretty good.
SPINFUEL: What types of hardware do you use when testing your liquids? Is there any specific hardware that provides the best ‘vape’ for your eLiquids?
KEVIN: We usually start with a small RDA. If it’s worth it then it moves onto an Aspire tank or a Vivi Nova where customers can taste it.
SPINFUEL: Which eliquid in your line up is the most popular right now?
DANIEL: It was King Cake for a long time, but lately Fruit Scroll Up has been a clear frontrunner.
SPINFUEL: In your opinion, what makes a good all-day-vape eLiquid?
KEVIN: Like I said earlier, a flavor for Buku Vapor that holds a consistent flavor all day long. Some flavors taste good in the morning, but by the end of the day your taste buds are worn out on that particular flavor. An all day vape still tastes good to me when I’m ready to go to bed.
DANIEL: I agree completely. Although I usually keep a couple flavors going throughout each day if I were going on a road trip and could only take one flavor, I’m taking one of my regular all-day-vapes for sure.
SPINFUEL: Which eLiquid in your lineup would you describe as all-day-vapes?
KEVIN: Taste is so subjective it’s tough to say. A lot of our flavors have become all-day-vapes for a lot of our customers though. There are some that I like, but wouldn’t necessarily consider an all-day-vape for myself. The next guy would probably disagree though.
DANIEL: If we have to only pick a few let’s go with King Cake, Fruit Scroll Up, Fightin Tiger, Dat Breeze, Me So Honey, Gimme Samoa, Honey Blu Blu and I could keep going but I’ll stop there.
SPINFUEL: How quickly will you introduce additional eliquids to your lineup?
KEVIN: We are always working on new Buku Vapor flavors. Whenever one seems to stand out we release it. There is not set schedule. It’s a matter of trial and error.
DANIEL: We promise there will always be something to look forward to though.
SPINFUEL: Can you tell us anything about the next flavor to launch?
KEVIN: I don’t want to say anything for certain because it is still in the works, but the gourmet line is the next big project we have in line right now.
SPINFUEL: Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers while you have their complete attention?
DANIEL: We really hope people give Buku Vapor a shot. We think they will be impressed. We work hard at what we do. This isn’t just a business to us. We put a lot of pride into everything we do from flavors to innovative products.
KEVIN: I’d just like to say thanks for taking the time to read this interview. We are BukuVapor. Look us up. You won’t be disappointed.
SPINFUEL: I can’t thank you enough for talking with us today.
DANIEL: Thank you for the opportunity! Looking forward to reading the reviews.