One color that is absolutely essential in every fountain pen collector’s ink collection is brown. Brown may not be everyone’s favorite color in the world, but it can easily be used in a professional setting, while not being the boring old blue or black ink. Additionally, a brown ink can always be used to complement other colors on a page or can be used as the center of attention. In short, brown inks are highly versatile, making them a must in any ink collection. One stunning brown fountain pen ink that is on the market today is made by the Australian inkmaker, Robert Oster. It’s a lovely, creamy brown that has enormous amounts of shading. Have you guessed what it is yet? This is my review of Robert Oster Caffe Crema!
For many of us, fountain pen collecting can become quite expensive, posing a problem for our personal financial situations. That is exactly the reason why many fountain pen geeks turn to collecting inks more often than actual pens, since inks are often far less expensive than pens, and fountain pen inks are just as collectible as the pens themselves. However, a lot of ink collectors seem to want to collect the most colorful of colors, neglecting the browns, greys, dark blues, and any other less popular colors. I was guilty of neglecting these various “boring” colors until I caved and bought myself a bottle of the fantastic Robert Oster Caffe Crema. And gosh, was I late to the party!
Robert Oster Caffe Crema is the perfect embodiment of its namesake. The color variation that its shading properties give it reminds the user of a hot, swirling cup of espresso, with the cream still integrating itself into the espresso. Where the ink pools, dark brown, almost black lines show up. Those pools of ink give way to areas that show up faint and creamy, giving any writing unforgettable character. With such dramatic shading, some might begin to wonder if Caffe Crema would be difficult to read. In fact, it is just the opposite. Despite the shading, Caffe Crema is a bold color that can easily be read on any paper, making it the perfect everyday ink for when you’re in the mood for a nice brown.
When it comes to writing something in the real world, where fountain pens can be highly inconvenient, the behavior of an ink is equally as important as the color. Luckily, Robert Oster Caffe Crema is extremely well-behaved. It’s a little on the dry side, but that can come in handy when you are forced to use non-fountain pen friendly paper. As a student, I am given all types of atrocious paper, which can make using my pens a hassle and a pain. But I have never had any issues with Caffe Crema during school. As of yet, I have not been able to see any bleeding, feathering, or ghosting while using this ink. I find that to be one of the best characteristics that this ink has. As someone with a very busy schedule, hassle-free writing experience is always appreciated.
After having used Robert Oster Caffe Crema for a long while, I am now under the impression that brown inks are far less appreciated than they should be in our community. I love this ink to no end, since it is both capable of behaving in the real world and of giving my terrible cursive some semblance of beauty. This is one of those inks that I will buy over and over again, as the years go on, because of how awe-struck I am by it every time I use it. Robert Oster Caffe Crema is truly essential to any serious ink collector’s collection of inks!
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Written by Arlo Palmer,
of @palmerspens on Instagram