Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN.
They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. Within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao.
This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ tenth series. It is named after the cornflower (centaurea cyanus) which can be various shades of blue or lavender. Personally, I think this ink is too dark and too purple to match the flower, but it’s a nice purple nonetheless.
No. 116 is noticeably bluer than No. 95. It is very saturated (more so in person than in the photos) and has virtually no shading. This ink dries quickly and only shows a little feathering and bleed through with wet nibs. There is slight water resistance as well; the blue and purple components separate and leave a feint line.
This is the best performing ink of the four Penbbs inks I’ve reviewed and is the only one I’d be comfortable using regularly on average paper. Penbbs No. 116 is a nice, vibrant blue-leaning purple that behaves itself, but doesn’t stand out as particularly interesting or exciting to me.
Pens used (in order):
1. Pilot 78G Fine
2. Lamy Safari Broad
3. Pilot Plumix Italic
4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex
5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub
Paper Towel Drop
73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown)
70gms Deli Copy Paper
Note: The comparison shows the ink's color more accurately than the other photos. It really is this dark.
Here is Penbbs’ image of the bottle and label for reference: