Dark Roast Watercolors™ - Backgrounds (a little History)

Some Back Grounds

Coffee GrinderHow did I choose to try painting with coffee?

My Father-in-law, Audra Rogers,  came to stay with us in the summer of 2007, an incredible man, who at 93 has lived through "the Great Depression" worked in the CCC's and even had a moonshine still in the heart of Kentucky.  On weekends my wife and I would brew large quantities of coffee to serve at church on Sunday mornings.  Many times however, we would bring home 3/4 of a pot or so as extra.  Now, one of Dad Rogers's particular chosen duties is to make the family coffee in the morning (he is usually up way before us and likes the opportunity to do something)  We showed him how to use our drip coffee maker, and all was well for a few weeks. However, after about 2 or 3 weeks we began to notice that Monday morning the coffee, well, just didn't taste quite the same. It was on one of these mornings that Dad asked how we felt the coffee tasted?... He went on to say that he has never wanted to waste anything and that he had been using a small amount of fresh grounds and filter but putting the left over coffee from Sunday back through as water...

Now, I don't consider myself a connoisseur, but I do like my coffee, so I suggested that If I could come up with a way to utilize the left overs (so that it would not be wasted), would he would agree to NOT run it back through the coffee maker....

I have painted in traditional watercolors for years, a thought that since coffee could stain a shirt, why not reduce it down and try painting with it.

So, I pour the left over coffee into a sauce pan and place on a low heat:

Boiling down the coffee

Then after a few hours the coffee has reduced to a "resin", a thick almost syrup consistency.

Coffee Resin

At this point I pour it carefully into a coffee mug or espresso cup and allow to dry.
When it's dry it is ready to use for the darker tones within the paintings, as I mix it with whatever dark roast blend I am drinking.