Team Two – A Spinfuel e Liquid Team Review – St Augustine Organic
In an effort to bring some standardization to the team reviews headed up by Julia we decided to choose one tank that we would all use to review e liquids that come in for a team review. That tank is the Joyetech eGo ONE Mega with the 0.5-ohm coil head. The tank holds 4+ mL of e juice, it fits every vaporizer we’ve ever used, and it produces wonderful flavor notes and excellent vapor when combined with a quality e liquid.
Hi, I’m Julia Hartley-Barnes, head writer for Spinfuel’s e Liquid Review Team, Team Two, and along with my lovely wife Keira Hartley-Barnes, and Jason Little, as well as the wonderful Tom McBride, we will be bringing you a 4-flavor review today.
The e liquid company is St Augustine Organic, a part of the Spectrum Vapor family. Each of the 4 flavors has been through 24 hours of testing and evaluation, and the opinions and observations of each team member are independent and unbiased. My job, in addition to forming my own impressions for these e liquids, is to corral the team’s notes, lead a group discussion, and build the narrative for the review below. Hold your questions till the end; we’re serving coffee and donuts in the main dining room directly after our presentation.
St Augustine Organic is a line of e liquid made with 100% VG and organic flavorings made in the country’s oldest town, St Augustine. I think the town has something to do with explorers looking for the Fountain of Youth… or something. Anyway, it is a lovely town on the east coast of Florida, just a few hours north of our publisher’s home and our main office.
The goal of St Augustine Organic (from here on out I’ll use SAO to stand in for the long name) is to make the safest, highest quality, and environmentally responsible e-liquid available anywhere.
Each bottle of SAO is crafted by vapers for vapers with high quality organic ingredients and vegetable glycerin. If there is one characteristic on which we all agreed it is this; SAO is the thickest e liquid we’ve ever vaped. Being the thickest e juice can present its own unique problems, including proper wicking, which we will touch on just briefly. If you drip your eliquid I highly recommend trying this brand if only for the tremendous amount of vapor produced by this 100% VG juice.
This is our first review with the standardized method of using the eGo ONE Mega tanks equipped with half-ohm coils, and in order to fully evaluate the e juice we had to allow for more than an hour of absorbing and saturating of the coils before they were capable of doing a good job, that’s how thick these e juices are. Looking back, SAO might not have been the right brand for the Mega Tank’s debut. Oh well.
About Organic Flavoring
I would love nothing more than to tell you that organic e liquid tastes no different than artificially flavored e liquid. But that isn’t true. Organic ingredients do taste different.
In this job as an e liquid reviewer you quickly learn that certain ingredients behave in certain ways. With organic flavoring there is always a distinct flavor note in play. It is recognizable to our team in an instant. For some that flavor note is welcome news, for others it is an adjustment. Organic flavoring tends to cause a flavor profile to change. For instance, an artificial flavoring for lime is much different than an organic flavoring of lime. That is neither good or bad, it’s just the way it is.
If you like organic flavors you will love SAO e liquid. If you do not care for organic flavors then this review won’t do much for you. But, if you’ve never had the pleasure of vaping a true organic flavor then you simply must try one. My suggestion to you would be to read about the four flavors here and choose one that fits closest to one of your favorite non-organic e liquids and give it a try. It might lead you down the path of even more glorious vaping opportunities.
About This Particular Review
Because we are about to reveal our thoughts and impressions on a 100% organic e liquid line we are going to play it as though you already are aware of the ‘organic’ flavor component. We chose to do it this way because we believe that vapers that already vape organic e liquids will read it, or that those vapers who never vaped an organic flavor can relate to our impressions as they would an artificially flavored e liquid. That is the only frame of reference available to a vaper who has never tasted an organic e liquid.
The Star System For Scoring
We use a similar star rating as the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team headed up by Dori Odosso. The higher the number the more the e liquid accurately fits the label’s description. We certainly will say whether we enjoyed the e liquid or not, but the score will not be influenced by it. We strongly believe that everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and to judge an e liquid on whether we liked it or not is not giving you anything of value.
A 5-Star e Liquid is one that perfectly matches the description given to it by the label, and the flavor and vapor production will create a wonderful vaping experience. A 1-Star e liquid is an e liquid that tastes nothing like it is described, and the chance of anyone enjoying it is nil.
As a 100% VG e liquid we will state here that all 4 flavors produced massive amounts of vapor. The real test for these e liquids is about flavor and how faithful the flavors are.
St Augustine Organic sent the team 4 flavors to vape. The nicotine level in each is 3mg. (SAO is available in 3, 6, and 12mg nicotine and of course, a zero-nic option.) The flavors are as follows:
- Dang Tasty – An eye rolling, mouth-watering combo of rich crème Brule custard, fresh mandarin zest and a spot of caramelized vanilla sugar. So dang tasty it’ll getcha every time.
- Big Catch – You wont have to tell tall tales about Big Catch. We loaded this one with creamy blueberries and just a hint of kiwi. So tasty we fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
- Pickem Up – Coming up with the perfect flavor can be a real workout. This perfect combo of cocoa, ladyfingers, and espresso reflects the literal meaning of Tiramisu, A real “Pick me up”.
- Courage – We can get pretty stubborn when it comes to finding just the right flavors. This classic Spanish horchata blend of sweet almond milk, spices and cinnamon is just what we were determined to find.
- Jumper – Going leaps and bounds is the name of the game here at SAO. This tangy cocktail of organic pineapples, key limes, mangoes and a dash of coconut cream will have you jumping for joy.
#1 – Jumper – A Spinfuel Choice Award Winner
Going leaps and bounds is the name of the game here at SAO. This tangy cocktail of organic pineapples, key limes, mangoes and a dash of coconut cream will have you jumping for joy.
Julia – 5 Stars – To develop a blend containing pineapples, lime, mangoes, and coconut successfully, and then to make it smooth enough to vape all day long is about the most difficult thing I can imagine for e liquid creators. I’ve enjoyed plenty of Pina Colada types before, and the ones I really liked were few and far between. For that reason I was not expecting a 100% Organic blend with the added ingredients of lime and mangoes to score 5 stars with me. But I’ll be damned if it didn’t. Jumper has a distinct pineapple flavor with a beautifully mixed lime flavor in equal measure. They are a perfect combination. What makes it an all day vape is the fine addition or a coconut creamy flavoring that ties it all together and puts a bow on it. I vaped my share so quickly that I asked the other team members if they had any left that I could take…sadly, they all seemed to agree with me, there wasn’t a drop left.
Keira – 5 Stars – The reason I gave Jumper the full 5 stars is that this is that rare lime+ eliquid that you can fire up in a sub-ohm tank somewhere around 50 watts or so and take the biggest lung hit you can, without the urge to cough. I love lime eliquids, but many of them can be so tangy that they are best vaped outside the sub-ohm range with mouth to lung vaping style. Jumper is so smooth, with the perfect lime notes with a flick of pineapple on the inhale, and a sweet coconut on the exhale, with a final note of sweet mango. What an amazing vape, and one I have added to my daily rotation. A fantastic mid-afternoon summer vape.
Jason – 5 Stars – This team’s fascination with lime eliquids began 3 years ago during a review of FanceeJuice. From that point on we loved to share great lime “finds” with each other. But finding a 5 star lime dominate eliquid in a 100% organic eliquid? Impossible… at least I thought so. During our group discussion I listened to the other three members of the team talk about a pineapple and lime combination with hints of coconut and mango, only I couldn’t taste anything but the lime. Then Keira mentioned the same problem but told us that unlike other eliquids that have maybe a 70:30 VG/PG ratio, Jumper could handle a lot more wattage because its 100% VG. So I tried it and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work. As soon as I increased my wattage on my Sigelei 150w TC and Starre Pro with Ni200 coils to 70w all those extra flavors came pouring out and they were delicious! It was still predominately lime, but a nice bit of pineapple, mango and a smooth sweet coconut at the exhale was just beautiful. All of the St Augustine flavors can handle more wattage than non-100% VG blends, but here it makes a huge difference between a 4 star flavor and a 5 star flavor.
Tom – 5 Stars – A spent a lot of time with Jumper. The reason why was the very first drag from my Grand Vapor Prometheus Tank with a 0.15 coil build and my Snowwolf 200w mod. I had just been vaping a DIY blend that a friend of mine is working on, a blend for very high wattage vapers and massive Dripper coils stuffed with huge amounts of cotton. So my wattage had been set to 100w on the Snowwolf and I forgot to lower it after changing out the cotton in the Prometheus. I soaked the cotton, gave it a good 3 minutes before hitting it, and then took a massive lung hit. The second I started to inhale I remembered that my vaporizer was set to 100w and my heart sank. I had no idea what to expect. I soldiered on, filled my lungs with warm vapor and then felt this intense rush of sweet/tangy lime and tangy pineapple. Once I began letting the dense vapor out this sweet mango and coconut began to mix with the lime and well, it was the best hit I’d taken all week. This is a great juice for high wattage, low ohm Vapers that want it all. Sweet, tangy, powerful and smooth, and utterly satisfying on every level, Jumper is one of my new all-time favorites. If you buy just one flavor, Jumper is it. If you enjoy the flavor of lime, you’re about to experience the best there is.
#2 – Dang Tasty – An eye rolling, mouth-watering combo of rich crème Brule custard, fresh mandarin zest and a spot of caramelized vanilla sugar. So dang tasty it’ll getcha every time.
Julia: 4 Stars – Every e liquid brand is obligated to use an enticing description for each labor of love they create. That said; we are not obligated. Words and phrases like “mouth-watering” will only be used if that is our experience.
I did not find Dang Tasty mouth-watering. However, the flavor notes in the description is all here. The crème Brule, the mandarin orange, and the caramelized vanilla sugar are presented in a base of thick organic vegetable glycerin. If a combination of flavors like the ones above entices you then you should try it, otherwise, save your money.
I found the flavor components in Dang Tasty to be sort of bland. Even the “zest” was less than zesty. Dang Tasty doesn’t do it for me, though they did deliver exactly what they wanted to deliver.
Keira: 5 Stars – If you don’t love Dang Tasty the only possible reason would be your aversion to organic flavoring. All the components are here, and they are wonderful. An exciting blend of crème Brule, vanilla sugar, and mandarin orange slice through the everyday mundane flavors found in many organic e liquids. I would vape this all day long. A must have for organic vapers wanting a flavorful dessert experience in vapor form.
Jason: 4 Stars – I agree that each and every flavor in the description is present in this recipe. However, the dominant flavor component, the crème Brule, overtakes everything else except for a sharp zing from the mandarin. I’m not sure the mandarin flavor belongs here, but otherwise this is a fine e liquid.
Tom: 4.5 Stars – Accurate flavor description, but a very heavy flavor as a result. I give it props for delivering the goods but as far as an enjoyable vape experience all I can say is you better like caramelized vanilla sugar because that is the flavor note that weighs it down. For some reason the organic flavor characteristic is very distinct in Dang Tasty. I did not like this e liquid because of the caramelized vanilla sugar and the mandarin, but then again I’ve never truly enjoyed a citrus flavor combined with non-citrus flavors.
#3 – Big Catch – You wont have to tell tall tales about Big Catch. We loaded this one with creamy blueberries and just a hint of kiwi. So tasty we fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
Julia: 3 Stars – Organic blueberry flavoring always seems to have a slight perfumy flavor note at first, and its something I just do not like. I also don’t like the flavor of Kiwi. But the 3 stars is not based on whether I like or not, it is based on one thing; “creamy blueberries”… Big Catch delivers blueberries, but it is not at all creamy. Organic fans know this characteristic of blueberry flavoring so that will not be a surprise, but the lacking creaminess warrants a wave off from this reviewer.
Keira: 3 Stars – I am in complete agreement with Julia on this one. An otherwise wonderful vaping experience, the missing creaminess from Big Catch is the reason I also award just 3 Stars. But, having said that, I really enjoyed Big Catch as a terrific organic blueberry e liquid. It’s not “I Love Donuts”, but it is a good organic blueberry e liquid.
Jason: 4.5 Stars – The complaints of the missing creaminess are valid, but there is a hidden layer of creamy goodness that will reveal itself at higher than normal wattage. Big Catch is a great e liquid when its warm vapor. An award worthy e liquid is great with or without warm vapor, so I give it 4.5 Stars for that. Warm this stuff up for an enjoyable blueberry experience, organically of course.
Tom: 5 Stars – First, the description is spot on. Second, vaping it at 45w with the 0.5-ohm coil in the eGo ONE Mega may seem a little high, but because the juice is so thick, and completely organic, it can take it. Vape this at 45-50w and be blown away by this wonderful blueberry concoction.
#4 – Pickem Up – Coming up with the perfect flavor can be a real workout. This perfect combo of cocoa, ladyfingers, and espresso reflects the literal meaning of Tiramisu, A real “Pick me up”.
Julia: 4 Stars – Once again SAO has no problem delivering the flavor notes in the description. You will actually taste the tiramisu, made up of the ladyfingers and the cocoa with a light espresso. The problem for me with this one is the cocoa. SAO chose wisely here by not calling it chocolate, this is an accurate flavor of dry cocoa powder, the type of cocoa you use in cooking, as in cooking up tiramisu…the real tiramisu dessert. Here’s the best way to tell you whether or not you will enjoy this e liquid; if you order tiramisu when you go out to your favorite Italian restaurant than you will love this e liquid. If you’ve tried tiramisu and you don’t like it, then you will not like this.
Keira: 5 Stars – I don’t think any e liquid company could produce an e liquid that tastes like real tiramisu better than SAO. All the flavors of a real tiramisu are here, the ladyfingers, the cocoa, and the espresso is all melded together to deliver an inspiring Italian dessert. A must try for vapers that enjoy a slice after a big Italian dinner.
Jason: 4 Stars – Describing the flavor of an e liquid is a must for any trustworthy e liquid company, and here SAO has done a marvelous job of doing just that. We’ve already told you that the vapor production is massive, the e liquid is as thick as anything we’ve seen before, so the only thing I can add here is that if you want to vape tiramisu this is the e liquid that will get you there. On the other hand, if you don’t like tiramisu I wouldn’t recommend this one.
Tom: 4 Stars – Whether I go out to eat at my local Italian restaurant or have it delivered, there is one item I always include… the tiramisu. I have to have it every time. The luscious ladyfinger cake, the dry cocoa powder, the espresso coffee sprinkled on top, presented in a big moist slice of cake is out of this world wonderful. To now be able to revisit that flavor in the form of vapor is too awesome! Just as though every restaurant has their own recipe for tiramisu, SAO has their own as well. Pickem Up is heavier on the cocoa powder than it is with the espresso flavor, but its still a damn good organic vape.
#5 – Courage – We can get pretty stubborn when it comes to finding just the right flavors. This classic Spanish horchata blend of sweet almond milk, spices and cinnamon is just what we were determined to find.
Julia: 4 Stars – Yep, the horchata is in here, presented as almond milk, spices, and cinnamon, but I have never liked horchata e liquid and I never will. That said, if you do like horchata e liquids then you will adore this authentic one. I think they got all the flavor notes right, and combined with a warm vape horchata fans will embrace Courage like never before.
Keira: 4.5 Stars – My first horchata e juice was way back during a ‘The Vapor Girl’ e liquid review of 3 years ago. I hated it. I still do, although the organic element calms the rough flavors down some. An excellent description of what this flavor profile is, and if horchata is something you enjoy, I recommend it.
Jason: 5 Stars – At one time I did not like the flavor of horchata at all. Then, over the years I became accustomed to the heavy flavors of spices, cinnamon and almond milk. I think it was Hurricane Vapor’s version of it that finally turned me around. As for this one, it is an excellent “organic” horchata, and as long as you know that the organic note is present and if you are also a fan of horchata this is an e liquid you should definitely try.
Tom: 4.5 Stars – The description of Courage is definitely light on the flowery language, and somehow that fits with the flavor profile of a good horchata e liquid. I think the only difference between a terrific horchata by a non-organic e liquid brand and the organic recipe of an SAO eliquid is the thick organic VG. For some reason the organic flavor note affects the flavor profile more with the horchata flavor than the others. Warm this one up to a toasty temperature and I think even non-organic fans will enjoy it. This is authentic Spanish horchata done as only a super thick, super warm vape can do.
The one component that kept coming up over the entire length of the review was how this thick e liquid would somehow “thicken” the flavors in the e liquid. They are all heavier, weighted down in a way that gives the flavor more depth, allowing more heat to liven up the profiles of each one. But, you have to remember that such a thick e juice will require a lot of time to be absorbed by any coil head you use, even in a dripper. Give it the time it needs and the result will be well worth the time.
As a team we have reviewed organic e liquids before, but never one that combined the organic flavoring with a thick vegetable glycerin. Each team member had to seek out a higher wattage to set the flavor alive. And that leads me to one point that has to be made absolutely clear; do not attempt to vape SAO with anything less than a vaporizer capable of higher wattage than a simple Spinner or eGo Twist. This brand is made for either dripping, or high wattage devices and good tanks. Best with a subohm coil, but it does perform with above 1.0-ohm coils provided you have the power. 3.7v won’t cut it, you need more.
The organic vapers in the vape community are loyal to their brands, and convincing them to try another organic label is not the easiest thing to do. Nonetheless, if you do vape organic and have yet to vape a truly thick, 100% Organic VG formula than you truly should try St Augustine Organic. You might hate it, but you also might love it.
Since St Augustine Organic uses a thick VG solution we can only recommend this line if used in wattage mode and can exceed 30w, preferably higher. The line performs exceedingly well with 0.5-subohm coils and 40-50w of power. We did experiment with a couple of other tanks, and some did better than others. Just expect the need to vape warm to get the best vape experience.
Until next time!
Julia, Keira, Jason and Tom…