As we begin to leave winter behind, gray inks may not be what you’re looking for, but they definitely help the spring colors stand out. And, who doesn’t love a good cup of earl grey tea? With Earl Grey, Diamine have created a beautiful gray ink that is delightful to use, even when spring is in the air.
When I first received this ink and looked at the name, I naturally associated it with the color of tea. I was a bit surprised when I got out a sample to swap and saw a beautiful gray swim across the page. While earl grey tea is certainly brown, this ink is certainly not. Gray inks tend to fascinate me at certain times due to the number of colors hidden beneath the surface that make gray what it is. Is it on the blue side? More green or brown? Or maybe it’s an off-black? These subtle characteristics in hue grab my eye and make the color endlessly enjoyable.
Like almost every other Diamine ink I’ve used, this is a well-behaved, predictable ink that flows well, washes out easily, and has nice characteristics. As an added bonus, it also dries really quickly. In my tests with a 1.1mm stub nib, it often dries in under ten seconds, and certainly by fifteen. In the pen, the flow is smooth and well-lubricated, there are no unexpected starting problems or other oddities. It performs well, just as I’d expect from a Diamine ink.
When I look at this ink on the page, I see more of a blue or green tint in the light. Compared with Iroshizuku fuyu syogun, which is more of a purple tint, it has a warm and inviting tone that works well in business or office settings, but really shines when paired with a wide nib. It’s on the medium to dark side, but the shading adds some lighter variations that are pleasant.
What really makes this color pop for me is the wide range of shading it exhibits. This is also the same reason that I love the fuyu syogun ink so much. I really enjoy shading in gray inks, and there’s plenty of it with Earl Grey. On top of that, I’ve noticed a slight amount of sheen on top of the dried ink in certain light. It’s not a stand-out feature, but you can see it if you’re looking for it.
Overall, I’ve been really pleased with this ink. It’s a lovely color that shades nicely and behaves well in my pens. Add on the bonus of a fast dry time, and you’ve got a nearly unbeatable combination provided you enjoy the color. Diamine offer this in two sizes: 30ml or 80ml bottles for around $8 and $16, respectively. It’s a great value, and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in the color.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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