The Vanilla Chai Tea Fantasy
After enjoying weeks vaping Mountain Oak Vapors Chai Tea Latte followed by a couple of weeks of Ginger’s eJuice Gingerbread Chai I finally accepted that I was in thrall of the whole Chai flavor in a vapor form. This unique flavor had some kind of control over me, in that nothing else was as satisfying as either one of these Chai vapes, and I didn’t understand why. Was it the Chai Tea or was it just a Chai Tea flavor concentrate?
This Chai Tea wasn’t the first flavor to gain some of control over my vaping habits. For the longest time it seemed like I couldn’t enjoy anything other than FanceeJuice’s MeeseTracks. Just this year alone I’ve had what you might consider an affair with several flavors… and every time I would ultimately find something new, exciting, and begging to be vaped and I would make the switch to a new flavor without a second thought.
Each of these eLiquid flavors were “brand” specific. For instance, a White Peach period would consist of only Ginger’s eJuice White Peach, or my period with Caramela from Mountain Oak Vapors, and Hurricane Vapor’s Papaya Milkshake. Now, I was convinced that with Chai Tea, it was a real flavor I was dealing with here, not just the brand. Chai Tea Latte had as big of a grip on me as Gingerbread Chai. Strange, isn’t it?
Real Chai Tea
Chai Tea doesn’t even sound appealing when its described by what it’s made with. Chai tea is an Indian drink that is much different than the Chai Tea flavors we consume in the West. Authentic Chai spices typically consist of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, fennel, cloves and peppercorns, and Indian Chai Tea lacks the milk and sugar we use to cut the spices and make them more palatable. Chai Tea latte, as a drink and as an eLiquid, is sweetened with cream and sugar to create a much different flavor combination than straight up Chai Tea, a much better flavor. Vaping a Chai Tea eLiquid is as close as ‘taste-nirvana’ as I have been able to get.
Not a DIY Guy
I had pretty much given up hope on ever being able to create my own e-Liquids. It’s not difficult to mix the ingredients together, or follow a recipe. But when it comes to creating something really good, something from the likes of Mountain Oak, Ginger’s, Pink Spot, Hurricane Vapor, and others I knew I could never create an eLiquid that could hold muster compared to their levels of flavor. I’m no eLiquid artist, of that I am sure. I’d given up on DIY eJuice for several weeks now. My goal to create something wonderful wasn’t a goal I was capable of delivering. I even threw away the remaining base ingredients I had in half-full bottles of PG, VG, AVG, and nicotine that were just collecting dust. Oh, and left-over flavor concentrates too.
Still, my inability to mix delicious eJuice doesn’t mean I can’t customize eJuice to my own palate, right?
I think I’m the only Vaper I know who has never mixed one brand’s e-Liquid with another brand’s eLiquid. The idea did cross my mind on occasion, but the truth is I thought it would be an insult to the brand and the owners of the brand if I took as much a 5ML and mixed it together with another 5ML of another brand’s eLiquid. You can come up with a new taste yes, but it would be an “unsanctioned” flavor. I know how crazy that sounds, but I think I would kind of feel that way if developing new eLiquid flavors was my job.
Yet, being able to enjoy Chai Tea Latte and Gingerbread Chai equally meant I was enjoying the taste of Chai Tea, (Non-Indian style of course) so mixing eLiquids to find an even better tasting Chai Tea wasn’t, in my mind at least, any sort of disappointment with either brand. In fact, I’ve come to think of it as an homage of sorts. So I began to think about what it was with those two eLiquids that I enjoyed the most, besides the Chai Tea spices.
Flashback: Dunkin Donuts
One morning I was running errands around town and like I’ve done a million times before I pulled into the Dunkin Donuts at the corner to order a cup of coffee and a couple of glazed donuts. Up north I could drive threw and just ask for “my usual” and they women behind the counter would always know what that was, but not here, not in Florida. In fact it seemed that no matter how many times I drove up to the window I would always see a new face standing there, taking my money, and recalling my order out loud while passing it to me. Anyway, it gives me time to look over the menu one last time, like I could change my order because, let’s face it, it wouldn’t matter.
As I read the large Plexiglas menu filled with various combinations of coffee, donuts, bagels, croissants, and other sweet goodies I saw what could only be described as ‘inspiration’…Vanilla Chai Tea. I thought to myself, “That’s it!” so I forewent the coffee and instead ordered a Vanilla Chai Tea to see if it tasted as good as it sounded.
Dunkin Donuts Vanilla Chai Tea is, to me, a heavenly concoction of chai tea spices drowned in sugar, cream, and calories. Despite all the fattening additions, the essential flavor of the two eLiquids I was looking to ‘enhance’, the chai tea spices, showed themselves easily. I understood right then and there that this flavor, the very soul of a Chai Tea anything, has a distinct taste, a flavor of the Gods, and it would show itself in a common homogenized hot drink at a donut shop the same way it would in the vapor of two premium eLiquid brands. I was right; it was chai tea that has me by the throat.
In a few respects the Vanilla Chai at Dunkin Donuts is better than either eLiquid. First, it’s a physical fluid, not vapor… if worse came to worse I could stay alive a lot longer if I was stranded with Dunkin Donuts Chai Tea Latte than I could with any eLiquid and vapor. But there was something else too, and its name is Vanilla.
Not having seen the recipes for either eLiquid I’m pretty sure there are various amounts of vanilla flavoring in both but not nearly as much as the actual hot drink. Dunkin Donuts Chai Tea was saturated with the velvety creamy flavor of vanilla, and the combination of the Chai spices and the silkiness of the vanilla blended together so well that I knew what my customized version had to be; a Chai Tea Vanilla Latte.
I began by making a couple of decisions on how I wanted to proceed. I insisted that I act slow and deliberate, record each recipe I create (recipe simply means the ratio of vanilla and chai tea latter in each), so that if I happened across the perfect blend I would know how to recreate it consistently.
I also insisted, or decided, that for now I would keep each flavor I used in-house. By that I mean that I would blend Mountain Oak Vapors Chai Tea Latte with Mountain Oaks Vanilla Dreams and Ginger’s eJuice Gingerbread Chai Tea with Ginger’s eJuice Vanilla Sunrise. If I could arrive at the perfect tasting blend of vanilla and Chai Tea spices then I would venture out to another brand, Johnson Creek. The JC Vanda is one of the purest vanilla eLiquids I’ve ever vaped before and it is a truly luscious vanilla. I can only imagine what Johnson Creek could do with a Chai Tea flavor.
I began by mixing a 50/50 blend of each pair of eLiquids. 50% Chai, 50% vanilla, each in their respective brands, and then adjusted from there. I’d like nothing more than to tell you I slaved for days or weeks carefully making adjustments up and down until I found the perfect blend of each, but it didn’t happen. The 50/50 blend was okay, but I lost too much Chai Tea spiciness, and was overwhelmed by vanilla. If I increased the Chai Tea and decreased the vanilla it became even more disturbing. Vaping a 50/50 blend was merely okay, but I wasn’t going for okay. None of the recipes I tried came close to the original Chai eLiquids or vanilla eLiquids.
The solution lies elsewhere. The solution is starting at the very beginning. To mix, one more time, my own ingredients in one last attempt at creating an eLiquid that was tailored to my palate, with just the right amount of Chai spices and the right amount of vanilla sweetness.
What company makes the very best Chai Tea concentrate for eLiquids? Which one makes the very best vanilla concentrate? These are things I have to look for. Which brand of PG is the best, most pure, regardless of cost? What about VG, which one is the best? And lets not forget nicotine; which nicotine solution should I use? Which one is the best, regardless of cost? (My new mantra?)
I have decided to do all this “fun with concentrates” thing one more time. I want to use the very best ingredients and go through the process of creating an eLiquid that any premium eLiquid artist would feel great about vaping.
I want to make the ultimate Vanilla Chai Tea Latte. I’m going to do it for every Vaper out there that has wanted to create that one, special eLiquid. We all have one, don’t we? That one “vape” that we would know the instant we took the first drag. If I can do it, maybe they can too.
I’ll keep you posted on how my journey progresses.