When I met Agnieszka and Konrad, the founders of KWZ Ink first time during London’s Writing Instrument Show few weeks ago, I spent quite a lot of time on their stand trying systematically most of the inks they brought with them from Poland. I tried ink after ink, pen after pen to get an idea what their inks are all about. The colour palette KWZ offers is huge…maybe even too wide. Because is so broad is almost overwhelming. Making a decision about which ink to pick, may cause a headache. This is like being a kid who was left in the candy shop or in the toy’s shop, really. They are both trained chemists they have a lot of fun doing inks on their own and I do not think they will ever stop experimenting with new colours, dyes and other important ingredients. This is probably a good thing.
Because I have a soft spot for beautiful red inks and especially orange-red ones I almost naturally started with this palette. Among all this pretty reddish inks two inks brought my attention: absolutely stunning Thief’s Red which I reviewed few weeks ago and Grapefruit, which I will present now.
KWZ – Grapefruit ink belongs to the family of red-orange inks, but the colour somehow stands out. Is bright and vivid. Fairly saturated. Wet, on the paper looks almost fluorescent. It reminds me a little the Diamine Pumpkin ink, however KWZ Grapefruit is darker, richer and the red component is apparent there. To me, it really reminds the colour of the ripe red grapefruit (the flesh) especially once it dries on the white paper. Well done KWZ, I must say. On yellow or ivory toned paper it looks more like deep orange. To some it may reminds the colour of the sky around the sun during sunset captured thousands of times by painters and photographers. However, it has nothing to do with the famous Noodler’s Apache Sunset ink which represents rather the colour of the setting sun itself (not sky in particular).
KWZ Grapefruit gives some shading which is much more noticeable on smoother paper than on absorbing one. The colour variation goes from very rich almost red towards orange tones on lighter strokes. The writing experience is very pleasant. Ink flows nicely and I haven’t noticed any issues with that. It performs well on most paper types not showing any bleeding through or feathering (except very poor and absorbing paper which is useless for fountain pens anyway). On thin paper KWZ Grapefruit may be ghosting a little bit.
As many other KWZ inks, drying time is actually fast, at least with standard medium or fine nibs. Obviously, with flexible wet nibs it takes significantly longer, but the good news it that KWZ Grapefruit does not smudge once is completely dry.
This is water based ink and as expected is not water proof at all. Few passes of water washes away most of the ink off the page.
I must say, I really like KWZ Grapefruit ink. It has this ‘something’ which makes it attractive, and I would recommend it if you fancy bright orange-red inks. However, if you do not, who knows it may be a good time to try it out.
If you feel that Private Reserve Orange Crush is too dark for you or Diamine Pumpkin to light than KWZ Grapefruit would be a perfect choice.
Unfortunately, it does not smell like grapefruit ( it smells like most KWZ inks, I afraid), but if it does I would surely buy a litre.
It can be ordered directly from KWZ Ink in Poland. In the UK, KWZ inks are available @ BureauDirect,UK. In the USA and Canada you may get it from the Vanness Incorporated or at Knight’s Writing Company respectively. In Netherlands check the Appelboom‘s shop. There maybe few more shops having it in the stock as well. Simple and easy to use bottle contains 60 ml of ink and costs around £13.0 , Eur 10.0 or $13.0, which I think is a fair price for 60 ml of good ink.
(*) Disclaimer/ I have no affiliation with the all brands and companies mentioned above and this short review reflects only my personal views and findings about the product.