Please introduce yourself
“Hi, I’m Barry Caine and I am the Managing Director at The Alchemists Cupboard Ltd...”
Where in the world are you?
We are based in the beautiful county that is Norfolk. Away from the turnip fields and not a tractor in sight, we are situated in the traditional and historic city of Norwich, which boasts a beautiful Cathedral.
How did you get into the vaping game?
The company was set up by my father Keven Caine. He gave up smoking and started vaping in 2010 and although he believed the sensation was satisfying, he was somewhat disappointed by the taste of the products. He started to research the basics and as things became clearer, he decided he was going to make his own liquid. With a determined and very creative nature, he started to develop complex and unique recipes, which he himself was very happy with. Being a member of a few forums, he sent some bottles off to some friends and vice versa. The feedback he received was unrivalled and his fellow DIY mixers were suddenly requesting to purchase the flavours he had produced. This is when he realised maybe he was The Alchemist.
The company was born in September 2012 with a range of 7 E-liquids. Things progressed rapidly and within a month it was evident due to how successfully it had started, that more manpower was needed. This is when I joined the partnership with my Dad. Things again progressed very quickly, we introduced Capella concentrates to the UK and quickly followed on by being able to supply the DIY necessities. Along with the ongoing development of our liquids we now offer over 80 juices, 130 Capella Concentrates, 50 natural/organic concentrates, Pharmaceutical Grade Nicotine to ’empty bottles’, and everything in-between.
What sets The Alchemist’s Cupboard out from the crowd?
First and foremost, it is the quality of product, in both what we supply to the customer and ingredients we use to make our liquids. Barring the Capella concentrates, everything we use is UK manufactured. Secondly, we emphasise the ‘Proudly Made in the UK’ motto. We feel it is important to stress this, as it gives customers confidence in the quality of our UK product, opposed to the generic mass-produced liquids that flood our convenience stores.
Our Nicotine is UK Pharmaceutical Grade, making us one of only a handful of vendors that use and supply UK manufactured Nicotine. The same grade used in Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT). There really is no comparison, it meets standards above and beyond any current requirement and comes with full Manufacturing Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). The PG, VG, AG, Pure Lab Water are all UK manufactured to Pharmaceutical Grade. It is batch recorded, and we pass all of this information over to the customer, allowing them to have the knowledge and confidence in our products.
Then there are our liquids, all are made to complex unique recipes, delivering true replication in flavour, boasting quality in abundance, and a tantalising defined taste. We feel they will take you back to times gone by or have you salivate so much, that you immediately re-order at a lower strength, so you can vape a little more haha.
Each flavour is created to its highest potential. For example, our recently released ‘The Alchemists Custard’ took us over 18 months to create. We tested over 80 custards as stand-alone flavours. It was some 10 months later that we then took our favourite 6 and made in excess of 100 combinations of these, at various PG/VG ratios, flavour percentages, and again percentages of those 6 custards. Another 5 months passed and we had developed The Alchemists Custard as it can be purchased today. Testing approved, we held the release back for 3 months due to the abundance of custards on the market by our main competitors. In only its second month it was the months most popular flavour, selling over 50 litres! This is replicated throughout the range, as quality prevails every time.
What hardware are you buzzing about, currently?
Hardware isn’t really our bag. We have a range of devices and tanks in our office for extensive testing but outside of work, my preferred device for the ease of carrying around, performance, and charging for emergencies in the car, has to be the Eleaf 30w. Coupled with my Rose V2-S, filled to the brim with 8 month steeped Rhubarb and Custard Crumble running at around 12w. It’s simply divine!
What future regulations do you envisage there being set upon the vaping industry?
This is a tricky one, we feel more informed regarding E-liquids rather than the Hardware/Mod’ side of regulations. With this in mind, I imagine there is going to be a lot of give and take. Vaping is too big to be pushed underground in my eyes, as there are many possible benefits that the government and scientists need to look into more, before they eradicate any sections of the industry. Regulations regarding quality of product is a must, and everything should be batch recorded and have the correct information visible on the bottle. Reputable vendors already apply these methods, as do we.
In regard to the various regulatory clauses in Article 20, ‘flavourless’ will never be enforced. It is impossible to presume that adults do not like ‘sweet-shop’ type flavours and ridiculous to accuse manufacturers of targeting children in the design of these liquids. Food flavouring cannot be banned. I can see a 20mg strength Nicotine cap being enforced on an E-liquid and possibly the 10ml maximum per bottle. This of course is not very eco-friendly, but would mean people could still buy 50ml, it would just be supplied in 5 x 10ml bottles, opposed to 1 x 50ml.
12 months from now, where will you be?
We will still be here doing what we are doing now. We love designing and producing fantastic juices and take much satisfaction in supplying our customers the highest quality, standard, and service. We have some very exciting plans to unveil as the year progresses, some big plans that have been in excess of 12 months in the making, alongside general maintenance of our website to make the overall customer experience of shopping with us as smooth as possible.
The bigger plans include the release of our E-liquids range in concentrate form. This is going to be huge as we have been inundated for requests to do this over the last 3 years, and finally we are going to oblige! For our customers to be able to make Coconut Caramel with Hazelnut Honey, Rosy Apple or Mentally Menthol at their preferred ratio and strength is going to be very well received.
If Dr B’ was sadly and tragically hit by a bus tomorrow, which of your juices should he try before the reaper taketh him?
It would almost certainly have to be the divine Coconut Caramel Hazelnut Honey which is our most popular liquid to date. It was one of the very first we produced and still one of our best sellers. A flavour that describes our complexity and uniqueness whilst leaving a taste to savour. I would highly recommend Dr B’ trying the concentrate; Sweet Tangerine by Capella, the next time he’s in ‘mix-mode’. I love this on its own, as a background flavour, or simply a couple of drops in my custard.
Vaping top tip?
Have a bottle of menthol liquid in your collection at all times. As well as being very preferential, taste is subject to change at any moment. This can be caused by the simplest of things such as a hot drink, or something you have eaten, and sometimes can be due to vaping the same flavour for too long. Simply ensure you have a tank at home loaded with some menthol and have a good vape on this. When you return to your preferred juice, your palate and taste will be heightened again.
For any people into DIY mixing, have a bottle of Ethyl Maltol in your collection. The flavours you use may often have the taste you associate with the real thing, but not necessarily the sweetness. Ethyl Maltol is highly concentrated and is used for sweetening any mix naturally. For instance, for a fruit based recipe, add 1-3 drops per 10ml mix. For a non-fruit/less natural type taste, simply add 3–6 drops. However, be warned, it is very sweet but really does finish the job off nicely.
Anything we forgot?
Be sure to come and say Hi to us all at Vapefest this year. Just look for the Union Jack flag. We will also be at Vape Expo (UK and Europe) but here you will find me wandering about or at the Bar! One last thing, a review we like to show people, which I must stress, we had no hand in and has nothing to do with us haha, is a review for some CRAB! flavoured juice. A chap in America made this liquid up and sent it out on the condition that the ‘experience’ was recorded.
Note from Dr B’: YouTube regarded the stench of said Crab juice to be so abhorrent that they have chucked it back in the sea. Here’s an early P Busardo vid’ getting ‘crabby’ instead vappsters 🙂
More ‘experiences’ can be found on the same theme, but we have considered doing a Bacon one for a bit of fun. Dr B’ would have to be the first to review this! Thanks Dr B’…VAPE ON!