BLACK NOTE E-LIQUID INTERVIEW
SPINFUEL: Welcome to the pages of Spinfuel. We’ve been looking forward to talking to you. Would you like to introduce yourselves to our readers?
ETHAN: I’m Ethan Parsa.
SPINFUEL: What position(s) do you hold in the company?
ETHAN: I am the Marketing Director for Black Note.
SPINFUEL: Getting down to business; who or what inspired you to get into the e-liquid business? When was that?
ETHAN: We noticed that vaping & ecigs originally started as a solution, an alternative to smoking. Somewhere along the way, the original intention of helping people find an alternative to smoking was gradually derailed. I can think of two reasons why this happened:
- One: For so long, there really weren’t any great ‘tobacco eliquid’ resembling the experience of smoking. Since they were not satisfying enough, people would go back to smoking.
- Second reason: The industry has been unregulated since its inception, so there are many artificial flavors with all kinds of questionable ingredients. There are many brands that seem to have designed their product to appeal to a younger audience and possibly even non-smokers.
That is exactly why we decided to create a line of eliquid that is specifically tailored for adult cigarette, cigar smokers, and vapers. We started research and development more than three years ago, and we opened our online store in late February of 2015.
SPINFUEL: Where are you located? What’s the local and state level situation there with respect to electronic cigarettes? What’s the “attitude” of the people there about eCigarettes?
ETHAN: We are located in Irvine, California.
I think similar to the rest of the country, some cities and localities are trying to limit vaping in different shapes and forms by passing legislations, etc.
I think the public attitude toward vaping is somewhat negative, but again it is mostly due to the nature of the eliquid labeling and marketing associated with most brands.
SPINFUEL: When you launched your company, how did you decide on your first flavor or “set” of flavors?
ETHAN: For us, the decision was very simple. We noticed that there were many tobacco flavored e-liquid on the market, but in our opinion, none of them were really good enough. We think what ended up happening was a lot of ex-smokers could not find a tobacco e-liquid that was satisfactory, and they would go back to smoking cigarettes again.
That is why we made it our mission to create the most authentic and enjoyable alternative to smoking, a product line to appeal to adult smokers and vapers. Therefore, we create a Tobacco-Only Liquid Lineup, extracted from eight distinct blends of real tobacco leaves.
SPINFUEL: It seems that no matter how many eLiquid vendors we review, they all have their own “signature” recipes. Each brand is different, which I find remarkable, and exciting. With just a handful of ingredients each company is able to create their own specific traits. How would you describe your signature?
ETHAN: I think there is only one thing that separates Black Note from every other eliquid line, and that is EVERYTHING:
- As I mentioned before, we offer a Tobacco-Only Liquid Lineup, appealing to adult smokers and vapers, and no one else.
- From start to finish, it takes between 2 to 3 years to have the final product ready.
- Our flavors are Naturally Extracted from real tobacco leaves. They are not synthetically created tobacco flavors.
- We don’t compromise quality for quantity, and that is why we extract the essence of tobacco leaves using ‘cold maceration’, a much longer and costlier process. If one were to heat up the leaves, it would get a much quicker extract, but it would be harsher, and will lose some of signature flavor notes associated with each tobacco blend.
- Our liquids do not contain any Artificial Flavors, Colors, Sweeteners, or Chemical Additives.
- Our liquids do not contain Diacetyl, Acetyl Propionyl, Acrolein, Acetoin, Ethylene Glycol, Diethylene Glycol, or Acetone. And we are the first and only Naturally Extracted Tobacco Eliquid Company to back up this claim by providing a lab report. And it’s publicly available on our website.
- Our liquids are ‘Coil Friendly’, meaning they do not degrade replaceable coils as quickly as synthetic e-liquid products on the market.
SPINFUEL: We steep all the eLiquids we receive for review purposes, even if we’re told there is no need to do so. Do you steep your eLiquids before they are shipped to customers? If so, how long do they sit before you ship them out? If you do not, do you suggest that customers ‘home steep’ them before vaping?
ETHAN: Since our tobacco flavors are naturally extracted, steeping is not required whatsoever.
SPINFUEL: Let’s talk about packaging. How are your eLiquids packaged?
ETHAN: I think we have the best of both worlds here, since we have two teams of people with two different set of skills that work together to bring you Black Note.
- The Italian culture has been long hailed for amazing design, fine wine, and great food. So our team members in Italy consist of real farmers, true tobacco connoisseurs and craftsman. Our liquids are crafted there.
- Americans have more expertise in branding and marketing, and technology. So American team members are mostly in charge of the intangibles: Design, Branding, Marketing, and Website Management.
SPINFUEL: There is a lot of concern these days about how and where eLiquids are being made. Could you describe your ‘mixing’ area? Where do you do your mixing, bottling, and shipping?
ETHAN: Farming, Extraction, Filtration, and Final Product are crafted in Italy, following EU’s strict guidelines when it comes to farming and manufacturing. Bottling and packaging is done in the United States.
SPINFUEL: Safety is also a huge factor today. What kind of measures do you take to make sure that your eLiquid is safe to consume? What methods do you use to prevent contamination or other factors that can harm your product?
ETHAN: We intentionally stayed away from a host of chemicals known to be harmful when inhaled, such as Diacetyl, Acetyl Propionyl, Ethylene Glycol, etc. Again, we back up this claim by offering a lab analysis of our liquids, completed by a U.S. independent lab. Its available on our website for people to view or download.
SPINFUEL: Do you have a specific audience in mind for your eLiquids? In other words, are your eLiquids best used with cartomizers, tanks, and clearomizers? Are they blended for dripping, or subohm coils?
- Any mod/battery combo would work. But we don’t suggest sub-ohming as it does affect the flavor in a negative way.
- But we suggested using between 1-2 ohms, between 13-17 watts, and between 4 to 4.5 volts.
- We recommend the new kanthal coils. We suggest using “kanthal wire” designed for mouth to lungs hits.
SPINFUEL: What types of hardware do you use when testing your eLiquids? Is there any specific hardware that provides the best ‘vape’ for your eLiquids?
ETHAN: In our opinion, best hardware to use is a rebuildable tank, such as a Kayfun Or Expromizer. If you are going to be using a regular tank, then we think Aspire mini Natillus or Triton, or even Joyteck will work just fine.
SPINFUEL: What is your suggested, or “house blend” for PG/VG ratio for your eLiquid?
ETHAN: All of our blends come in a 50/50 PG/VG ratio.
SPINFUEL: Something that as always had me wondering; How does a professional eLiquid artist make sure that their flavors taste the same no matter what the PG/VG ratio?
ETHAN: Well, I am afraid I can’t discuss that since it is a family secret.
SPINFUEL: Does nicotine levels affect the flavor of your eliquids?
ETHAN: No. It does not change the flavor, but it does impact the inhalation. I think this is common knowledge in the industry that as you increase nicotine level, the vapor gets harsher.
SPINFUEL: Were you a smoker before you switched to vaping? If so, what made you decide to quit smoking?
ETHAN: I have had plenty of smokers and vapers around me, but I personally have never smoked or vaped before.
SPINFUEL: Do you have a “favorite” flavor? What is your favorite category of eLiquids for your personal vaping? Fruity, tobacco-based, sweet, and so forth?
ETHAN: For us, this is probably the hardest question to answer for several reasons: One is that taste is subjective. And two, all of our blends are tobacco blends, and based on feedback, each one of them is quite literally the very best tobacco eliquid of its kind. If we had to pick a blend, it would be ‘Prelude’.
SPINFUEL: Where do you think the ecigarette industry is headed? Do you have any predictions on the upcoming FDA regulations?
ETHAN: I think my prediction is as good as anyone. We will just have to wait and see what the final verdict will be.
SPINFUEL: Why should our readers buy their eLiquid from you?
ETHAN: I think anyone who is looking for the most authentic and enjoyable alternative to smoking tobacco should give us a try.
SPINFUEL: Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers while you have their complete attention?
ETHAN: I think readers should keep in mind that we offer:
- Free Expedited Shipping
- 60-Day Money Back Guarantee
- Free Returns
- Free 30ml bottle for those who participate in our recycling program
- Generous Rewards Points that could be redeemed for Free Products
- And Free Customized Label with every order.
SPINFUEL: I can’t thank you enough for talking with us today!
Dori Odosso for the Spinfuel e-Liquid Review Team One