Zodist charges more than most other subscription services. There’s no getting around that point. The question is, do you want to pay as little as possible and get a half-assed selection of juices put together by an algorithm, or are you willing to pay a bit more for genuine hand-picked curation, with obviously experienced vapers personally selecting flavors – from an awesome selection, no less – to suit your preferences?
The quality of the service Zodist offer is undeniable: they give you exactly what you’re looking for from an e-liquid subscription service. And as much as I hate claims like “the best flavor curation process on the market,” I’ve got to admit that – based on the six services I personally tried for the Battle of the Boxes – I wholeheartedly agree.
E-liquid subscription services aim to find you new juices that you love. They take all the work out of looking for a new e-liquid company to try out, putting together a personalized selection of juices for you based on your preferences and shipping them out to you, for less than the retail cost of the juices. They’re perfect for vapers looking to expand their e-liquid horizons a little, but there’s quite a lot of competition for your monthly payment.
Texas-based service Zodist is one of those competitors, having gotten started in 2014 and quickly gaining a lot of support from vapers and overwhelmingly positive reviews of their subscription service. They might charge a little more than other services, but their focus on customer satisfaction – offering to replace any e-liquid if you don’t love it for free – and their bold claims of the most accurate curation process out of all of the subscription service makes them pretty appealing.
But are they really the best e-liquid subscription service? Is there flavor curation process really as good as they say it is? We put the service through its paces in our Zodist review to find out.
How Zodist Works
Zodist works in the same basic way as all subscription services: you choose the subscription you want, tell them about your flavor preferences and they send a selection of e-liquid out to you.
There are five choices of subscription through Zodist: two bottles (30 ml), three bottles (45 ml), three or four bottles (60 ml), five or six bottles (90 ml) and six to eight bottles (120 ml), with prices ranging from $23.99 to $79.99 per month, including free shipping anywhere in the US (and international shipping available to anywhere allowed by law). We tried out their most popular subscription level – 60 ml of e-liquid for $39.99.
The flavor profiling process for Zodist is pretty straightforward. First you choose the flavors you love – with a choice of mint and menthol, coffee, fruits, creamy, candy, drinks, dessert and tobacco – list any flavors you absolutely want to avoid (with an open field so you can write in whatever you like), a field for special requests (including any brand preferences you have) and then choose from three available nicotine levels – nicotine free, 6 mg/ml or 12 mg/ml.
They bill you on the same date each month, and the juices are shipped out within a week of you placing your order, as well as the same time each month afterwards. You can cancel anytime.
Zodist carries some fantastic brands, including Jimmy the Juice Man, Teleos, Space Jam, Beard Vape Co., the Mad Alchemists, Ripe Vapes, Beantown Vapor, Halcyon Vapors, Cosmic Fog, Adam Bomb, Coval Vapes and many more.
The Box: What You Get
The boxes from Zodist have a straightforward but effective design, with the black box adorned with some basic branding and the Zodist logo, being well-designed without going overboard. Inside, you’re greeted with a personalized card from your curator, some wick and wire, stickers for some of the included juice brands and your juices buried in a bed of shredded brown paper and individually-wrapped in bubble wrap.
The effect is pretty good, despite being fairly straightforward in execution. It feels professional and understated, but admittedly the most important thing is the juices themselves.
The Flavors – How Was the Curation?
The most important thing about the service is the flavor selection process, especially since Zodist makes the bold claim that they’re the best on the market in this respect.
I went through their questions, identifying coffee, fruits, creams, desserts and candies as flavors I love, teas, aniseed and cucumber as things to avoid, and pointing out that I’d love a great banana nut bread flavor and that I’d love to try Space Jam, because (sacrilegiously) I haven’t yet.
The simplicity of the process and the fact it didn’t involve huge lists or convoluted ranking systems is a good thing, but it left me wondering whether there would be enough information to put together some solid, personalized recommendations. Many other services ask for a lot more. But was there enough info? How did Zodist do on the flavor selection front?
Here’s what I got:
- Last Call by Blue Ribbon: This is a cinnamon cookie e-liquid, immediately ticking a lot of boxes for me the flavor selection. The juice delivers, too, with a soft, sugary sweetness throughout and pleasingly gentle touches of cinnamon making it a very homey, comforting flavor. It’s definitely an all day vape for me, and a really good pick for my tastes from Zodist.
- Dummies by Broken Bottle Vape Co.: This liquid is inspired by Smarties, promising a candy-style fruit flavor with tart elements. It’s an interesting choice, and definitely well-tailored to my preferences. The juice itself sets out what it intends to, with a fairly light, fruity sweetness throughout and a notably tart exhale – vape-able Smarties is pretty accurate. Another great pick from Zodist.
- Café Con Leche by Boardwalk Elixir: This is a sweet Argentinean coffee blend, with cream and a “light drizzle” of caramel, and hitting two of the selections from the “flavors you love” list I gave Zodist. The pretentious description here is justified: it’s a full-bodied, perfectly captured coffee e-liquid with a definite creamy undercurrent and a touch of rich sweetness to top it off. It’s definitely one of the best coffee e-liquids I’ve tried, and yet another fantastic choice from Zodist.
- Banana Nut Bread by Fresh Baked (Natur Vapor Liquid): I mentioned that I love banana nut bread juices whenever I got the opportunity for the Battle of the Boxes post, and Zodist was the only company that sent one. The flavor is well-captured, too, with realistic banana on the inhale, just the right amount of nuttiness on the exhale and the warm, bready undertones that pull the whole thing together throughout. It’s an all day vape for me, without question.
- Extras: As a bonus, Zodist sent over a sheet of Japanese cotton and a little bit of kanthal. The cotton is obviously high-quality, but this was more of a nice extra touch than anything else. Do I already have wick and wire? Yes. Am I still happy they sent me some? Definitely.
I enjoyed every single flavor I received from Zodist. I’d even struggle to pick a favorite. I gave them some information about my flavor preferences, and a real person looked at it, thought about what juices would work well for me, packed them up – with a personalized card sent along with it – and shipped them to my door, half way across the world. As far as I’m concerned, that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a subscription service.
This card sums up why Zodist does the “personal touch” element of these services better than any of the others I tried:
It's clear that when they talk up their curation, they aren't making transparent, empty claims: you know you’re not getting the output from some flavor preferences algorithm or just a box of whatever juices they have too many of based on the quality of the flavor choices alone. Everything is personally chosen for you, and it really shows.
The other key point is that they sent a banana nut bread juice, and they were the only service that did. Perhaps it’s vape-heresy to have not tasted Space Jam, but I’m 100 percent confident that they’d have sent me a bottle if they’d had it in stock. Simply put: Zodist goes the extra mile.