I keep hearing a lot about NET (Naturally Extracted Tobacco) and figured it was time to investigate. A few NET eliquids have made their way to my door lately. As I researched the stuff, I realised that there was a lot more to it than meets the eye.
* There are affiliate links in this review. Please see the Honesty Policy at the bottom of this post for more details.
The first thing I’ll say about NET — Natural Extracted Tobacco — is that it tends to be more expensive than other, ‘regular’ eliquids. For example, one brand that I’m in the middle of reviewing (Black Note from Vapour UK) sells a 10 ml bottle for £7.99 a pop. Bloody staggering if you ask me. You can get them cheaper when you buy in bulk, which worked out to about £23 for 30 ml if I remember rightly. That’s still over £7 per bottle though. It doesn’t help if you just want to try one bottle for taste-testing.
(It is really nice packaging though … ?)
Another NET range that I’m giving a run for their money is Drake’s Eliquid. They work out to about £5.99 per 10 ml. As a general rule, I would expect to pay around a fiver for a 10 ml bottle of eliquid (when I’m not making my own with ‘short fills’, etc.), so this one wasn’t such a shock.
I thought it was wise to get the important price-factor out the way nice and early. Price is a big factor for many vapers when making eliquid and device purchases.
Now for the rest of the information.
You can get NET in both MTL (mouth-to-lung) and sub-ohm (high-VG) eliquid.
?The Black Note NET eliquids I tried were 50/50 VG/PG, and a mix of 0.3% (3mg) and 0.6% (6mg) nicotine strength.
?The Drakes Eliquid NET eliquid I tried included a menthol tobacco flavour, and a variety of strengths and mixes: MTL – 50/50 VG/PG in 12mg (1.2%) and 18mg (1.8%), and sub-ohm – 70/30 VG/PG in 3mg (0.3%).
Naturally Extracted Tobacco doesn’t use artificial flavourings. The flavours are extracted from the leaves of the tobacco plant. The name ‘naturally extracted tobacco’ gives it away a little bit, I guess.
Because of the natural-extraction business, you’re going to have less of the bad stuff in your eliquid. This, in turn, means less of the bad stuff in your body. The healthier your vaping habit is, the better, right? We’re all paying a little more attention to what we’re filling our tanks with, and if we’re not, we should be. One brand [Black Note] of NET eliquid (worth £8 a bottle) doesn’t contain any of the ‘crappy’ [translation: to be avoided] ingredients, including:
- Acetyl Propionyl
- Ethylene Glycol
- Diethylene Glycol
From what I can work out, this is the case for all NET eliquids, from all brands/manufacturers. The two brands I had were also free from chemical additives, sweeteners, artificial colours, and artificial flavours. Many of the listed ingredients above are byproducts of sweeteners and other artificial stuff. When you take out the root of the problem, you won’t have the rest of the ‘crappy’ ingredients to worry about. Or the problems that come with them.
NET eliquids are said to be more coil-friendly, healthier, and more natural. When there are fewer synthetic ingredients in your eliquid, you’re eliminating any ingredients that could add to the clog-factor. If eliquid is pure and thin, coils won’t get clogged up quickly. When eliquid is thick, gloopy, and filled with all sorts of things it doesn’t need, it’s going to clog up your coils much faster.
In theory, coils should last longer when you use eliquid that doesn’t contain the bad stuff, such as NET eliquid. Sweeteners, for example, add extra thickness to eliquid, so by vaping with an eliquid that contains them, you know you’re running the risk of burning through coils at a faster rate. If you avoid sweeteners, using NET eliquids, for example, you’ll go through coils more slowly. That’s the theory anyway. I’ll let you know if it’s the case in the reviews, coming soon.
The more synthetic the eliquid you vape with, the less friendly it will be to your coil. That’s the moral of the story.
£8 a bottle …
Would you pay that? Don’t forget about the all-natural benefits. I’ve been vaping with the £8 treat, and the 10 ml bottle lasted me two days. It’s still half the price of your average £10-a-day smoking habit, and I’m a chain-puffer. I vape a lot when I’m working away on my laptop. Plus, all of those additional benefits, they don’t come for nothing. There’s a process involved. Quite a lengthy one, by all accounts.
The NET Process
I think this is different for different NET brands but speaking for the Black Note £8 bottle, the process is L-O-N-G.
The tobacco is first grown and then harvested. The leaves are cured in various places, and the place all depends on the ‘finish’ of the individual tobacco flavours. Some will be cured in a flue, others in the sun, some use air, others use cold temperatures, some use fire. You would need to check out individual manufacturer websites to find out how each of them makes theirs.
Going back to the Naturally Extracted Tobacco process for Black Note, after curing comes moistening. Yep, the leaves are dried out, moistened again (carefully, because the leaves are now very fragile), and then they’re aged for a set length of time to deepen the taste. For a mixed tobacco flavour, different parts of leaves and the tobacco plant are blended together.
Extraction comes after that; natural, just as the name suggests. This takes a long time too, usually with a prolonged steeping process. The £8 Black Note bottle steeps for between 6 and 8 weeks, just in case you were wondering. The Drake’s Eliquid NET stuff uses a similar process, taking between 5 and 9 weeks.
After extraction comes the filtering process. I read on the Drake’s Eliquid website that their filtering process happens over 8 stages. EIGHT. That’s more than vodka and you’re drinking that stuff. That’s when the eliquid is ready to go, once all traces of anything leafy or impure is removed. Poured into bottles and packaged, it’s ready to be sold. The packaging is pretty cute, especially with Black Note. Not that packaging is important, of course.
Black Note and Drake’s Eliquid use the same method, called ‘Cold Maceration’. I had to Google the crap out of that and I still don’t quite understand properly. Another method of extracting from the tobacco leaf is to use heat. This comes with its fair share of pitfalls, including allowing the eliquid to become less-pure as a result of the heating-up. On almost every website I’ve come across, cold methods seem to be the better of the two, offering up a purer and more natural tobacco essence, to create purer and more natural eliquids.
That’s quite the process, whichever way you look at it. From a process perspective, you can understand why Naturally Extracted Tobacco eliquids come with a slightly higher cost, usually £1 or £2 more expensive than the regular stuff. You’re not just paying out for a ‘healthier’ eliquid, containing fewer additives that *could* be harmful, but you’re paying for a long and complex process, designed to give you the best flavour along with a natural and smooth vaping experience.
Naturally Extracted Tobacco – My Thoughts
I’m starting to pay a lot more attention to the ingredients in my eliquid, and I think it’s only smart to do that. I’ve read a lot of stuff on the internet over recent months, most of which contradicts itself, and trying to work out the rights and wrongs — ingredients you would want to avoid — is a bloody hard task.
I *don’t* like every eliquid that I have been sent from the two ranges – Drake’s Eliquid and Black Note. I *do* agree that they vape really well though. Also: I *do* agree that they are some of the best-tasting, smoothest, and most true-to-taste tobacco eliquids that I’ve vaped with too. These are eliquids that I *would* buy for myself again. Well, some of them. They taste very similar to tobacco, with a range of ‘twists’ to make them lighter, heartier, gruffer, or with a hint of a different flavour. I think there would be something there to suit everyone, in each of the ranges.
Are they worth the price? Tough question. I don’t think that a consumer should have to pay more for a safer and more natural eliquid. That should come as standard, but I guess that’s a pretty big thing to ask. (Sarcasm.) I would and have paid slightly more for good-tasting tobacco MTL eliquids anyway because I find a lot of them are really not to my taste at all. There’s not much difference between that and paying a bit extra for a premium, more-natural product.
I *would* pay £7/8 for these 10 ml bottles, but I’d certainly wish they were a bit cheaper. (There’s the incentive to buy in bulk …)
What do you think? Would you pay a slightly higher price to get a better tobacco eliquid? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Don’t forget to leave your comments in the box below, or feel free to get in touch via social media. Let’s chat 🙂
Black Note Forte (UK) at Vapour UK
Black Note (US) and on:
You will find Drake’s Eliquid HERE and on:
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*Prices & information correct at the time of writing.
HONESTY POLICY: The Black Note products were sent to me by Vapour UK. The Drake’s Eliquid products were sent to me by Drake’s Eliquid. I did not pay for these products. I will not be paid for my HONEST review. All opinions are mine and in no way influenced by the brand/manufacturer.
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