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J. Herbin Café Des Iles


desertsquid
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This is a review of J. Herbin Café des Iles ('Island Coffee'), a free-flowing brown ink with a gorgeous balance between saturation and shading. I've uploaded a scan of my review on white Clairefontaine Triomphe writing paper and a scan of the same ink on ivory-coloured Vergé de France paper. Here it is on the Triomphe:

 

post-28429-127533507843.jpg

 

And here it is on ivory Vergé de France:

 

post-28429-127533508837.jpg

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It's funny - I always wanted Café des Îles but when I actually got it I was a little disappointed by its lack of saturation. I may have to give it another shot in a different pen.

 

Lie de Thé, on the other hand, I love.

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Vancouver Pen Club

 

Currently inked:

 

Montegrappa NeroUno Linea - J. Herbin Poussière de Lune //. Aurora Optima Demonstrator - Aurora Black // Varuna Rajan - Kaweco Green // TWSBI Vac 700R - Visconti Purple

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It looks a little darker in your scans compared to my samples. I do prefer it's color to Lie de The though, which has too much yellow/green in it. That said, I use Lie de The more because it is more saturated :)

 

Good to see its water resistance.

Edited by gillyohan

Inked:

Pelikan m205 black 0.9ci/F Italifine (Diamine Damson);

Aurora 88 nikargenta (Iroshizuku Kon-Peki);

Pelikan 140 Steno (J Herbin Lie de Thé)

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I looked at the reviews of Lie de Thé on FPN when I was deciding which brown inks to evaluate. It looked a little too green for my tastes. I wonder if the darkness and saturation I'm seeing from Café des Iles are side-effects of my rather wet-writing pens.

 

By the way, I've also reviewed this ink as part of my comparison of four brown inks on four different papers.

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I know what you mean about the comparison between Lie de Thé and Café des Îles....my wife thinks that Lie de Thé looks like baby poop....and we have a 4-month old so we see plenty of it, haha!

 

An exellent review, and you're darn right about the swab not looking anything like the actual color. J. Herbin inks in general are not very saturated, which contributes a great deal to their wonderful shading, great flow, and ease of cleaning. Scans online rarely do any fountain pen ink color justice, but looking at my monitor it looks like you have it pretty spot on. Good job!

Brian Goulet</br><a href='http://www.gouletpens.com' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>www.GouletPens.com</a></br><a href='http://twitter.com/GouletPens' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>GouletPens on Twitter</a></br><a href='http://blog.gouletpens.com' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>Goulet Pens blog</a>

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Nice review!

 

To echo Brian, on my monitor the color in the scans looks just about right. I looooove Cafe des Isles specifically for its low saturation and high shading.

seize the dave - a little bit about a lot of stuff: ink reviews, poetry, short fiction, and more
my ink reviews
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I went and bought some based on this review. I already loved Lie de Thé (whatever any other parents say about its resemblance to whatever!) and love Café des Îles now, too!

Thanks for a nice review!

Mars

"fortibus es in ero"

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Thanks for posting your review. Café des Iles is a lovely brown and one of my favorites. J. Herbin does a great job with subtle, shaded browns. Hard to go wrong with any of them.

A certified Inkophile

inkophile on tumblr,theinkophile on instagram,inkophile on twitter

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  • 4 weeks later...

Great review. Has anyone posted any comparisons of Cafe Des Iles with PR Chocolat and Noodler's Walnut? Interested in diverse, nuanced shadings of brown.

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Very nice ink! Looks very close to Diamine Chocolate Brown.

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.

FPN%252520banner.jpg

Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

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I've been looking for a reasonably dark brown without red tones that has good water resistance. Based on your review, this may be it. Thanks for posting this!

I've been on a quest to see if I could commit all Seven Deadly Sins in a single day. Finally, it dawned on me I shouldn't try for the One Day Wonder Prize for all seven in one day. It's simply out of any question as you can't commit decent sloth while busily ticking the other six off your crowded "to do" list. -- ViolinWriter

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This ink is included in my next order. Yum. :) I can't wait to try it out!

my pen collection: Dollar 717i Demonstrator x3, fake Hero 616, Lamy Safari EF, Manuscript Dodec, Pilot 78g x2, Platinum Preppy F x7, Reform 1745 x2, Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen, Unidentified Wearever

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nice review squid man!

 

 

Very nice ink! Looks very close to Diamine Chocolate Brown.

hi 777! i find diamine chocolate way darker. see for your self.

 

cafe de ile: http://www.thewritingdesk.co.uk/ink_cat/herbin_cafe.jpg

 

 

diamine chocolate: http://www.thewritingdesk.co.uk/ink_cat/di_choco.jpg

 

http://www.thewritingdesk.co.uk/showproduct.php?brand=&cat=ink&subr=brown

 

take care!

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I have been using this in my Brown/Root Beer Esterbrook SJ for a couple of months now. I really do love it for a brown and don't have any real complaints. Great review.

http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/5642/postcardde9.png

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nice review squid man!

 

 

Very nice ink! Looks very close to Diamine Chocolate Brown.

hi 777! i find diamine chocolate way darker. see for your self.

 

cafe de ile: http://www.thewritingdesk.co.uk/ink_cat/herbin_cafe.jpg

 

 

diamine chocolate: http://www.thewritingdesk.co.uk/ink_cat/di_choco.jpg

 

http://www.thewritin...=ink&subr=brown

 

take care!

 

 

Indeed you are right! Both are wonderful colors though! Must have been the glare on my monitor. I am sitting with a window behind me glare.gif ...

 

 

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.

FPN%252520banner.jpg

Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

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The ink came! My first impression: gorgeous box and bottle. O_o Elegant and somehow fancy looking. Nice, nice. I hope, when I get to filling a pen with this ink, that it'll shade as much on cheap paper as it does on your fancy Clairfontaine paper...

my pen collection: Dollar 717i Demonstrator x3, fake Hero 616, Lamy Safari EF, Manuscript Dodec, Pilot 78g x2, Platinum Preppy F x7, Reform 1745 x2, Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen, Unidentified Wearever

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I think you will see good shading. I've also used Café des Iles on cheap copier paper and the shading was good. Please let us all know how it goes for you!

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i've tried on cheaper inkjet 22lb paper and the shading is minimal. works better on Rodhia or similar. :embarrassed_smile:

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It seems to shade better with a dip pen for some reason, not so much in my Preppy. Then in my Reform it doesn't really flow at all unless I apply pressure to the pen. Then again, that could very well just be the pen. I cleaned it out some more, flushing with warm soapy water and if it is indeed the pen's fault, I hope I can foresee using the ink in my Reform in the future now that I've cleaned it out some more as it would be a lovely combination, I think. It's a nice colour though, warm and inviting.

my pen collection: Dollar 717i Demonstrator x3, fake Hero 616, Lamy Safari EF, Manuscript Dodec, Pilot 78g x2, Platinum Preppy F x7, Reform 1745 x2, Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen, Unidentified Wearever

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  • 1 month later...

Water resistant??? Washed totally off the page of my Rhodia tablet. Got a sample from Brian at Goulet pens after this review but find it's just like the other Herbin inks with no water resistance whatsoever. But then again, I'm using only Rhodia so maybe some other paper will behave better with this ink

 

A few hours after the post on the above paragraph, tried it on my Triomphe sheets and same results. BUT, the Pousierre de Lune worked wonderfully, even under running water for about 30 seconds. The Cafe went away, but the Pousierre stayed legible.

Edited by tnmike1

Knoxville TN & Palm Coast FL

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