six, almost seven years ago i was given a recipe for caffenol c film developer by a friend whitey. i met whitey over on apug.org, one of the 3 or so photo places i hang around. whitey is an artist and teacher and a friend of a friend who i went to college with. he is the person who started me down a path that at first wasn’t sure where it was going to lead me, and now i couldn’t see myself doing anything else. he emailed me the recipe for caffenol c and the recipe went like this:
8 oz. water
4 slightly rounded tsp. instant coffee
2 tsp. washing soda (buy it at Shaws as well)
1000 mg Vitamin C (1/4 tsp powder)
like a good science student, i got a spoon and the right ingredients and a beaker to mix them in, and i processed a roll of film. after the first development i got tired of mixing 8oz at a time and started to make 1L at a time and just eyeballing the measurements. i processed my film in an old leaky unicolor processor and it worked well, until it didn’t. for whatever reason a few rolls came out completely blank with nothing on them, and i swore off the coffee developer. i went back to ansco 130 for my films, and sprint film developer too. i eventually got bored and began to use the coffee again, and this time i added a little bit of ansco 130 in it to see what would happen. it turned out to be the best film developer i could imagine. time went by and i started to wonder what would happen if i used coffee beans instead of instant coffee. i hunted down some green beans a local roaster had and wasn’t using. i did a test roast and process and he was as happy to sell me the beans as i was to use them. there is another post in this blog that details my coffee roasting and processing …
over the years i have run into people who were also coffee enthusiasts. some invited me to flickr.com where i met up with other like minded, people. it is a diverse crowd over there, experimenters, scientists and people who really enjoy having fun with a camera and film. i also met up with a someone who asked me if i would be interested in joining into a group and making a book all about caffenol. knowing my style isn’t for everyone … i like imperfection, i like not measuring, i like adding a little bit of print developer into my strange brew, i wasn’t sure if i should join in or not. well, it has been a long time in the making and it is finally done.
the caffenol cookbook and bible is here: http://www.caffenol-cookbook.com/
HUGE thanks to bo for putting this together, it is an honor to be associated with such a great and diverse group of coffee fanatics.