Before getting into the review of the particular ink, there are a few things I need to iron out. I will first be discussing retailers and then particular pens and how they react with this ink. Rather lengthy, but if this is the first review of the four posts that you’re reading, I recommend reading it. The first part is more ‘for me’, but the second part could save you a pen!
This review is the final KWZ review as part of the United Inkdom meta review. Ink samples have been sent to members of the United Inkdom (myself included). These were supplied by Pure Pens. I have, however, bought KWZ inks in the past from Bureau Direct. I want to include this disclaimer because I do not want to continue with a review if I do not highlight where the source of the ink in the review is from for this series. Grapefruit and Cappuccino (this review) are full bottles from Bureau that I have bought myself, while Honey and Menthol Green are samples I was sent specifically for review purposes courtesy of Pure Pens.
Finally – KWZ inks have an infamous reputation of reacting with TWSBI pens – specifically the Eco. I have encountered this problem personally, with Grapefruit in my Eco. I know that Honey has been known to stain the pen barrel and Menthol Green apparently stains converters (we shall see in my review if this is the case with me). I am not sure if this is the same case with other TWSBI models (540, 580, Vac 700(R) or (Vac)Mini) – I am not brave enough to try as I do love my TWSBI pens. The barrel gets scratched and it’s very difficult to move the piston – it is thought that the ink reacts with the silicone grease but I am not sure if this is 100% the reason. It is my understanding that KWZ have been working on changing this, but again, I am not brave enough to try and you never know how old the bottle of ink is that you’ve bought (i.e. before or after any reformulation). I have a Pilot 823 that was shipped to me after the original owner used KWZ ink and there’s no damage to the piston arm or any scratching/clouding on the barrel. I haven’t tested it myself though. I have also been told by other users that the Pelikan piston became slightly harder to use (only slightly so) and after reapplying grease it was find again. Use at your own risk.
Jump to another KWZ ink review (they will be updated with hyperlinks as the reviews are published and all links open in a new window):
Brown is an interesting ink colour. I feel that a brown ink will either be loved or hated. They are Marmite inks (rather ironically, as Marmite is kinda brown).
Even though you might not consider it to be a diverse family, I find brown inks can actually be rather varied. Some might be a dried mud/earthy brown like Caran d’Ache Organic Brown or an orange/brick red brown such as the ever beautiful ink, Ancient Copper, by Diamine.
However, browns can also be a dark, almost chocolate brown. The sort of brown you see in the Lindt chocolate adverts where the “master chocolatier” (I wish I was compensated by Lindt to throw that phrase in. I was not) picks the melted chocolate up by the whisk and let’s it crawl back down to the bowl. You know the one. Inks such as Diamine Chocolate Brown, Kaweco Caramel Brown and Montblanc Toffee Brown come to mind. Hungry yet?
Then you may need to wash that food down with a drink. KWZ Cappuccino will hit the spot.
Cappuccino is a brown ink (spoiler) that has the dark and chocolatey look, but with a hint of organic/coil colour (still hungry?)
However, that’s what makes this ink so fun and beautiful. The mix gives to some fantastic shading that could be similar to the colours in a coffee (or think of Pelikan’s Cafe Creme, which I will own one day……..). For that reason, I think that the name Cappuccino is better than Latte because of the chocolate colours and the fantastic blend of coffee and organic browns.
One of the things that I love about the colour brown is how fantastic it looks with blues and this is a brown ink that goes well. It isn’t too dark but not too light and I think that gives a lovely contrast, especially with vibrant blues.
KWZ Cappuccino is, as expected, well flowing and wet. But the ink has a different smell to the normal vanilla/thyme smell. It smells somewhat medicinal. Cough medicine comes to mind, or Call (which was the absolute greatest thing about being ill as a child).
On cheaper paper the ink becomes flatter and veers away from the ‘chocolate’ brown and focuses more on the organic side of the ink.
Brown inks aren’t everyone’s go to colour, but the variation in lines and how it looks with blues means that this ink will be in my rotation quite often. Maybe even knocking out reds for annotations whenever I’m using a blue.
This particular bottle was purchased with my own funds from Bureau Direct at a price of £12.95. KWZ’s Iron Gall inks can be purchased for £16.95.