I like to keep a record of the various coffee beans I buy, and write down whether I enjoyed them or not. For the last 3 years or so, I’ve been doing just that, using the 33 Cups of Coffee book. But I thought it was about time for a change and try a different notebook for my coffee journaling. The 33 Cups of Coffee felt a bit too structured and advanced for me, anyway. I am no coffee expert, so I always get stumped on filling the tasting wheel on each page. Maybe someday I’ll reach that level, where I can identify different kinds of flavor notes, i.e. stone fruit flavor vs. berry fruit flavor. But for now, I’m keeping my coffee habit pretty simple. (If you are a more thorough, serious coffee aficionado, I would definitely recommend the 33 Cups of Coffee. It is just slightly shorter than a Field Notes book!)
Here is my new coffee journal! This notebook is made by Hütte Paper Works from Japan, and I have to say, I really like it. I picked it up at my local Maido store some time ago, lured by the polka dot pattern and kraft color body paper. It’s slightly wider and taller than Field Notes. I believe it also came in bigger sizes, in different colors, like black and white. I love that the polka dots are debossed and are not too loud, with the texture of the paper showing through beautifully.
I try to keep it pretty simple for each bag of beans I try. I make coffee using only one method anyway, using the Faro single-cup dripper. The most important thing I write is whether I liked it or not. For fun, I also give it a “star” rating, using little drawings of beans as stars. It’s definitely been a perfect excuse to use my brown pens, some washi masking tapes, and the Muji checklist rubber stamp. And I love how the white Posca marker pops on the kraft paper.
Obviously, I’m using this notebook for only ocassional use, more as a scrapbook, and not for any long-form daily writing. So I don’t claim this as a full-on review. But I tested it with various pens I own, and found the body paper surprisingly good. It is not the smoothest out there but compared to other kraft papers I’ve experienced in the past, I find it smooth enough, despite its fiber-ish appearance. But I was a bit disappointed by how some of my felt-tip graphic liners performed, especially Rotring Tikky Graphic Liner. And I noticed feathering with wetter markers, like Pilot Fude Futayaku pen. But my fountain pens performed surprisingly well, with minimal feathering and almost no show-through. Gel pens were a breeze.
It’s really too bad Hütte Paper Works isn’t well known, or widely distributed for that matter (even in Japan, it seems), because I would definitely try more of their products. This particular notebook may not be suitable for my daily writing (it’s blank), but for special projects like this, or for sketching, I would definitely consider buying another one. It feels great, looks great, especially for coffee journaling in this brown color. My local Maido’s stock is unpredictable and inconsistent, so my chances of building a series of coffee journals with this particular notebook are unfortunately slim. If you've seen Hütte Paper Works around, let me know where. :)
Do you do any coffee journaling?