I purchased a bottle of J. Herbin Lie de Thé from Jetpens.com. This time around, I opted for the 10 ml bottle; I have too many inks in my collection that looked great to me online, but now rarely get any use, and I wanted to actually try the ink before committing to a full-sized bottle.
Lie de Thé is the perfect shade of golden brown for me–not too red like Diamine Rustic Brown (which can look maroon in drier pens) and not too yellow like Pelikan Brilliant Brown. There are definitely some hints of orange that I think give the ink a caramel undertone. It’s moderately saturated and has phenomenal shading qualities. This is an ink that definitely looks better in wetter pens or in medium/broad nibs. Reminds me of a cappuccino (or tea).
Another, often undervalued, characteristic that I love in this ink is it’s “readability.” Some inks are so vibrant that it’s a bit uncomfortable on the eyes to read for long periods, particularly when using bright white paper. Lie de Thé has an understated, vintage-y, quality to it that makes it really easy to read. I particularly enjoy using it on ivory/cream colored paper.
Overall, Lie de Thé performs fantastically in many of my pens. However, I wouldn’t use this in fine nibs. As you can see in the photos, my Pilot Kakuno barely shows up on the page and definitely lacks the shading that you can see in the broad (though maybe it’s just that particular pen. It might end up looking great in a wetter fine nib).
Overall Score (9/10):
This is my favorite brown ink in my collection so far. Overall, it’s a solid, low-maintenance ink that shades well and looks great on the page. Will definitely be snagging the 100 ml bottle after I finish up these 10 mls!
*Photos shot and edited on iPhone 6