How to paint with coffee & tea

koffiepaint1Coffee & Tea: great non toxic paint

There was a time in my life when I tested and tasted coffee with prospects all day long. Our work was to visit their restaurants and prepare different blends with our idea of perfect grinds and compare our Manuel blends with the brand they served at that time.

Every espresso had to have the perfect grind and to be sure of that, we had to prepare numerous espressos. The challenge is every time to make use of the machine and grinder(s) that they work with and still give your signature.

In those days it didn’t came in mind one moment to use coffee for other purposes other than as a beverage.
When I got more time to fill my hours with my hobby art journaling I realized that I am allergic to certain types of acrylic and other toxic kind of art media. So I had to find some way to continue painting without any breathing problems. As a coffee importer myself it is a very logical action for me to try coffee as a medium to paint.

Who would have thought that you could paint with coffee or tea? But you can and I was very astonished by the effects it created.

What you need:
1) coffee
2) tea

Coffee & Tea
The most common medium used in art creations world wide has to be paint. But now I am going to show you that coffee and tea is as much as respectable as any other medium.

Coffee
For the coffee you can use all kinds of coffee:

A. Grinded coffee
B. Espresso coffee
C. Instant coffee
D. Coffee pads
E. Coffee capsules

Tea
For the tea you can use:

A. English tea
B. Infusion tea
C. Herbal tea

draft_lens21064617module167688056photo_1369125720How to use the coffee
Ok, it is coffee and tea time now and don’t be tempted to drink the coffee!
Of course it is very handy to recycle your coffee residue after brewing, but it is as easy as using instant coffee or the grinded coffee. You have to experiment yourself what works best for you.

In our house we almost don’t drink any coffee at all; are you surprised, I bet you expected to hear something else from two veteran coffee importers. My husband sometimes drinks the coffee in his office and when he has to test some blends he drinks together with our prospects.
What about me? I have been testing coffee with our clients from 1989 until 2007 when I got very ill and had to go to the hospital. Suddenly I had became allergic to coffee and since then I have not drank it anymore.

draft_lens21064617module167688057photo_1369123876aaaHow to prepare your “coffee paint”
Well coming to the point on how to prepare your coffee for your artwork. There are several ways to treat the coffee to make it suitable for painting.

1) Brewing and straining
2) Instant
3) À la espresso
4) Boiling down

draft_lens21064617module167688064photo_1369123759a1 Brewing coffee
To brew coffee you will need some grinded coffee and your coffee filter device. You use a filter machine, or a Senseo or Keurig machine, where you can put your coffee pads or capsules in.
You can either open up the coffee pads and capsules and put hot water on it or let the machine do the job for you. When you use the grinded coffee you have to strain it after brewing.
Make sure you use quite hot water when “brewing” yourself.

2 Instant
Taking a little bit of instant coffee and instant coffee is probably the quickest and most convenient way to prepare your natural art paint. It is easy, fast and you can start painting right away.

3 À la espresso
When you make your coffee à la espresso, the coffee substance is going to be darker than usual. Espresso means that the water comes out with high pressure. When you make a “real” Italian espresso you are going to make only a tiny little bit of coffee in your cup. When you should drink this; it only takes you one sip to consume. Therefore this type of coffee will be darker than a normal brewing; also because you took a lot of coffee to make this espresso.

4 Boiling down
To make a thicker kind of substance for your dye or if you want to make the dye darker, you can boil the coffee down. It reduces the moisture in the coffee and thickens in like a syrup. You can decide yourself how thick you want it to be if you have to use a more opaque layer for your artwork.
Painting with arabica or robusta
If you really got some time and if you are interested in coffee, you can compare some coffee.
Arabica coffee is something else than robusta coffee. Since robusta beans are relatively small, they will be roasted darker compared to the larger arabica beans. Therefore the painting color should also be darker. Arabica beans are less dark roasted, so the painting color should come out lighter brown.
Tea and brushes
mix all tea colors for unique paintings

Tea Time
How to prepare the tea

You can use:
1) loose tea and straining
2) whole tea leaves
3) tea bags

Different teas
Throw yourself in the world of tea and find out which kind of different colors you can make with it.
Herbal and fruit teas have lots of diverse colors; from brown to red, yellow to purple, and all shades in between. A world of colors with unlimited variations. The ‘black’ teas also provide all kind of colors. Just take some different teas and discover the great variaty of dyes.

No matter which type of tea you use: loose tea, bags or leaves; always take hot water to mold over the tea. Hot water brings the dry tea ‘alive’ and gives an extra push on the tea to give more color. For example: when you want your black tea to be more orange; you will have to put hotter tea over it. If you vary with the amount of water, you also get different results. In general: use relatively little water to get stronger colors.

draft_lens21064617module167688059photo_1369123928Painting with coffee or tea
So now it is time for the ‘paint with coffee and tea adventure’. Just take your brush and stick it in the coffee and tea cup; first try the color en thickness of the liquid on another piece of paper before you are actually gonna paint.
With each beverage type you can try to get different orange, red, brown, purple and even black hues.
It all depends on how much water you use, how much coffee or tea you use, which tea and always remind: the hotter the water, the darker the color will be. When you want light hues you take more water and vice versa.

When you use coffee to paint, the coffee will always appear very light on paper. Don’t let the darkness or thickness of your prepared coffee fool you: it will come out lighter on paper anyway.
So that means you have to paint different layers to get to the end result; let the first layer dry and than go on with the next layer of coffee until you have the value color you desire.

When you have a fresh or residue coffee pad; you can even try to paint with the pad as being your brush or dab it on to you paper. This also applies for a tea bag; it is big fun to use your fresh or used beverage residues as brushes and paint with it.
You can also try to use the little sponges that you normally would use at pan pastel paintings. They are too very ideal.

Using tea as your dye is a real good method to make all of your pages look ancient. Because of the very “aged” color of the tea your paper will look very authentic.
Journal page made with coffee and tea

This is a journal page I did with coffee and tea processed in it.

draft_lens21064617module167688142photo_1369124961aCoffee paint artist
As usual being an artist, you have to experiment with all kind of different of color hues. Maybe from now on you become a real coffee paint artist; you can make realistic paintings as well. Though you have to have a lot of patience to get the perfect results.

I use the coffee and tea instead of paint sometimes, because I am allergic to toxics of dyes and to give my journal page an “old” look. For me it works great and hopefully it will for you too.

All images on this page are my own
Copyright Celesta / MagicalFuture
Article info
This article is written by me (Celesta / MagicalFuture) and first posted on Squidoo date 20 of may 2013 than deleted from Squidoo and reposted here on my own website.

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