Home Coffee product This Kopi-inspired ink created by a PJ Pen enthusiast really smells like coffee!

This Kopi-inspired ink created by a PJ Pen enthusiast really smells like coffee!


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And, no, you can’t lick the ink. This is not the medieval century. Although it would be a great invention at the time with the pen. You imagine an old man writing on parchment paper while licking the tip of his coffee-flavored quill, huh?

However, the ink smells of coffee! Kopi O Kaw, specifically. As that is literally the name of the ink. the Diamine Kopi O Kaw ink is created to honor the institution of copitiams (coffee shops in Malaysia and Singapore) and its most popular beverage, Kopi O Kaw. Now imagine cold kopitiams with green floral porcelain cups and the coffee itself. Then take that scene and put it in a pen! Tada! Coffee ink pen!

The ink sample for Kopi O Kaw.

Meet the creator behind this stunning ink, Mr. Lai Kim Hoong. What goes through his mind and what made him invent an ink like this? We spoke to him to find out more.

As the owner of PenGallery (a boutique that sells luxury pens) and a passionate about pens and inks, Mr. Lai has long had a passion for bringing the community of pen enthusiasts together and creating a product that tastes from home, Malaysia.

While appearing almost black in the bottle, when written, the ink leaches a brown tint onto the paper. However, when dry, you can see green highlights on the letters. The concept is similar to black coffee and the actual color of fresh coffee beans before they are roasted. And if you really smell it, you can smell the subtle scent of freshly brewed Kopi O Kaw. Being a water-based scented coffee ink for fountain pens, the ink is sold in an 80ml bottle for RM62.

It looks black but it’s brown. And if you tilt the paper or show it under a light, it will give off the green tint.

The purpose behind creating this ink is that I made it almost black but it’s actually brown so people can use it for official work.

It’s actually the same concept with the Kopi O Kaw drink. It looks black but it’s actually brown.

Mr. Lai Kim Hoong, owner of PenGallery and creator of Diamine Kopi O Kaw ink shade

Taking about a year to develop the ink with back-and-forth adjustments, Mr. Lai collaborated with a British (Liverpool-based) ink manufacturer called Diamine and gave them the concept he had of the ink. coffee ink.

The location of Mr. Lai’s shop (left) and the collection of inks he sells (right).

As he has worked with them on previous Malaysian-inspired products, the international company has turned his concept into reality and produced a number of bottles that can only be purchased from its online and physical store at SS 2, Petaling Jaya, called PenGallery. From different types of pens (affordable and luxurious) to around 1350 unique inks and an abundance of books, it has them all there.

It is really good. I like the blackness of Kopi O Kaw ink because it can also pass for black. I can sign documents with it and it can also be a daily carry.

He really knows how to do his business and he has the best prices for them.

Nigel, fountain pen enthusiast

This is his third invention for Diamine ink tints. Previously he worked with them on an ink called Jalur Gemilang (blue with red highlights) and also Manggis (purple with green highlights). He loves working with Diamine because it’s a forward-thinking company and this creation doesn’t just benefit him, it benefits them so other people can co-create their own shade of ink.

The ink samples for its Malaysian collection of Diamine ink swatches.
Jalur Gemilang (the first creation) ink is blue in color with a red sheen.
Manggis ink (the second creation) has a purple color with green highlights.

Besides the ink, Mr. Lai also created a limited edition fountain pen called Durian Musang King with a 21-karat gold nib. Look at this creativity! Thank goodness it’s not scented or flavored, otherwise…

The Durian Musang King pen.

This hobby started 26 years ago when he worked at Pelikan, a German high-quality stationery company.

From there, I developed the passion for fountain pens and their inks and started talking about them online with people who share the same passion as me.

When they said it was hard to find a good fountain pen in their respective countries, I saw a need for this product and took the opportunity. And the rest is history.

Mr. Lai Kim Hoong, owner of PenGallery and creator of Diamine Kopi O Kaw ink shade

For him, writing is as old as humanity and is still practiced today. Many people are falling short of writing as the digital age progresses. With fountain pens you can play with many exciting colors and also have the opportunity to create something worthwhile.

More importantly, this passion has formed an incredible bond in the community between people from different backgrounds, all because of their love for fountain pens. Did you know they have a festival in October called Inktober? This is where many fountain pen enthusiasts gather at Mr. Lai’s store to exchange bottles of unfinished inks. And they also have World Fountain Pen Day on the first Friday of November every year, where they come together and once again share their adoration for pens.

Mr. Lai (owner, right) showing off his new Kopi O Kaw ink with Mr. Nigel (fountain pen enthusiast, left), holding a German-made fountain pen he bought there.

Fountain pens are making a comeback in this digital age. Let’s not lose it. After all, a pen is mightier than a sword.

Mr. Lai Kim Hoong, owner of PenGallery and creator of Diamine Kopi O Kaw ink shade

All of his inks are only available at his store, so if you’re wondering what the ink looks like, drop by his store or check it out here. [Warning: We know it’ll smell tempting but do not drink the ink!]

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