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Several important factors make the Eterra Flash Vaporizer system unique and superior to other vapor systems.

Eterra is like an espresso machine using dry heat rather than steam to squeeze out plant quintessence.

* Reverse Convection

Eterra has pioneered the use of an efficient miniature heat exchange system that employs "reverse convection". The unique heat conserving geometry delivers heat in two ways:

First incoming air is rapidly pre-heated by a miniature heat exchanger.

Second, with insertion of the stem containing herbs, contact is made with the Eterra's "hot boot" . Instantly heat is conducted from the hot boot to the brass tip containing the herbal material. Inhalation draws preheated air through the herbal material or "charge" contained in the now pre-heated tip or "charge chamber". Heated plant material in the charge chamber liberates vapors that can be "sipped" for flavor or inhaled.

The entrainment of heat in the two ways described above supplies the instant energy needed to flash vaporize volatile plant compounds in under 5 seconds. The heat is adjusted by the human sense of taste and temperature. The combination of residence time in the hot boot and the duration of inhalation characterize the heat profile for each extraction.

As herb green once said, "its like learning to play a musical instrument".

Materials with higher moisture content need slightly more time to attain the heat level required for vaporization of desired plant compounds. Dry material heats sooner and liberates volatiles accordingly.

Espresso Grind

* Particle size , the grind.

Greater efficiency is attained with particle uniformity. The preparation process below yields good results with the Eterra system.

Before putting smoking material in the tip of the stem, grind it so that air can percolate through it. A good way to grind it is by "straining" it through a corse kitchen strainer -- one having wires spaced about 10 per inch (about 3 per centimeter, prepare extra material in advance and store in an air tight container). It is important that the smoking blend or tobacco be in small particles so that the heated air can filter through it with minimal obstruction to flow. Good air flow through the tobacco is important to getting high efficiency heat transfer and vaporization. But remember do not over grind the material, a particle size smaller than the size we specify can cause clogging problems. To avoid clogging, small particle size material can be accommodated on a bedding of a material the size we specify.

With Tobacco or herbal material its best to keep it fresh as possible. Herbs are best stored in an air and light tight container and keep away from heat. Remember refrigerating tobacco or herbs results in desiccation if your containment is not air tight. Many people use the small plastic film canisters to store tobacco or herbs. Its best to thoroughly scrub out such a container well before use.

Some people have been known to not grind herb(s) and employ the "wad approach". The routine below can be used with a stem that has no screen or the Glass Stem we offer:
Glass Stem Instructions

One must place a small un-screened piece of plant material into the stem first as a plug. Be sure the plug is loose enough to let air slowly seep through. Next place more material as desired into the barrel. Do not compact the material or let it project outside the containment area of the stem. Next place one finger over the end of the tube then use a narrow probe ( bamboo) inserted through the mouthpiece to gently push the material to the end covered by your finger. For best results twist the probe (using the sharp end) to create a opening through the middle of the material lodged in the tip of the stem. Insert the stem into the Eterra and preheat one to two seconds (or as desired). Inhale VERY VERY SLOWLY. If you inhale too fast the material will slip along the stem to the crimp or be inhaled. 3 to 4 seconds should do it (timing will vary due to variable moisture content) Remove the stem from the Eterra and continue to slowly inhale. Careful the tip of the glass stem remains hot longer than the brass stem tip.

Heat control: get in and get out

The hot dry air produced in the Eterra is harnessed to extract aromatic and sweet plant compounds.

Conventional smoking vaporizes plant compounds as the material burns, the heat of combustion liberates plant compounds just ahead of the burning portion sometimes referred to as the "cherry". Smoking or "burning" creates temperatures around 600º F and above. At temperatures above 400ºF tars, resins, benzene and other undesirable compounds are more readily released into the air stream. Other combustion by-products associated with ordinary smoking include carbon monoxide, which deactivates healthy red blood cells; and nitrogen oxides, which are potent irritants of the tissues in the throat and lungs. Dioxins also come from combustion, and so does benzo-a-pyrene, one of several thousand compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, many of which have been linked with genetic mutation and cancer. Lung-clogging particulate matter also comes from combustion. Toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, which some living plants take from the soil, get evaporated by the high temperatures of combustion and inhaled in ordinary smoking. The low-temperature evaporation process used in the Eterra™ and Eterra Tulip™ Air Heaters does not produce heavy-metal vapors or combustion by-products because no combustion takes place -- in fact, plant material that has been depleted of its volatile constituents by the Eterra DOES NOT EVEN LOOK BURNED -- because it isn't burned!

A well designed vaporizer delivers "precision heating" under 400ºF to liberate desirable compounds and thus avoid undesirables. Our system is tuned to deliver "precision heat" at about of 180ºC or 360ºF.

Plant moisture and volatile essences become available as a result of the conversion of dry heat energy into relatively cool vapor. The process of producing vapor from heat is called Latent Heat Of Vaporization.

With the Eterra its important to stop inhaling at the point that 1st heat is detected. Remove the stem from the heat source and continue to inhale and pull off vapors. One can always reinsert under cooked or "sticky" material for another round or two. The important point is not to dry out the throat by being over ambitious. One best employ a method where the stem is inserted and let sit for one or two seconds before inhalation. Inhalation best be slow steady, short and sweet, another few seconds only. Always keep "sipping" after removing the stem from the hot boot, this can be the most flavorful and satisfying time. Also drink water and keep everything lubricated... Upon exhalation note a smoke like vapor. Since the material just heated does not appear burnt, Its not smoke. What you see is water vapor mixed with volatile plant compounds in an aerosol mist. Seeing this mist is an indication that the heat energy was successfully converted into an aerosol of "plant flavors". If you do not see mist it means that its either too soon and the material is not heated sufficiently or that you have extracted all you should and its time to stop.

Other systems employ temperature control switches or dials. Our system is tuned to Flash vaporize most desirable plant compounds instantly. The Eterra system when used properly will enable selection of desired plant essences while not liberating or at least greatly reducing tars, resins and undesirable products produced in conventional smoking scenarios. You control the residence time and the size of inhalation and thus the quality or "personality" of the heat extraction process. Although our heat control "management" requires a brief learning curve. we feel our approach offers finer control and flexibility than any other system.

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