Why Does a Coffee Stain have a ring?

Why Does a Coffee Stain have a ring?

I have always loved the way a coffee stain creates a beautiful gradation of color from the light out to the sharp dark edge. Check out how it looks on the right side of Coffee Art 046 “Mug Ring” piece:

Coffee 046-watermark


Well, the Science Behind Coffee Rings is revealed!!!!

Now I have an even deeper understanding – Coffee particles are round and they roll to the edge during the evaporation process, then stay there when the water is gone. Other substances (like Wine) have tube-like particles, and they clump for an even distribution across a stain. That is why a coffee stain has a beautiful transition of color, and a Wine stain is uniform across the stain.


Coffee Round Particles


Near and dear to my heart is the movement of Coffee across a surface. It all started when I was teaching an art class to kids, and very focused on shading from light to a black line or edge. I saw a Coffee stain and loved the way the color transitioned so beautifully from the light to the hard dark outer line. I started experimenting  about 10 years ago, and have been playing with this chemistry in my Coffee Art series ever since.

Here is the video:

More Coffee Art examples of how evaporation and the round particles look:

Coffee Art 043 “Spiral” – the coffee moves to the inner line and creates a hard edge.

.coffee 043-watermark


Coffee Art 022 “Burst” / “Coffee Flower” – The coffee flows in different directions, creating beautiful lines and balancing darks and lights.

Coffee 022 - watermark


If you are interested having a Coffee Art piece of your own, visit my shop: http://www.mikelanni.com/shop/

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