Caffenol : black and white developer with home ingredients

As a kid I played with a chemistry set (made for kids : In Italy it was a popoular game called "Il Piccolo chimico") When I read that it was possible to develop films and black and white papers with homemade ingredients, I had to try it. You will need: soluble coffee, caustic soda (not bicarbonate, but sodium carbonate), ascorbic acid (perhaps lemon juice would work equally), water.

  • 1000ml (1l) Water
  • 24g caustic soda
  • 20g Ascorbic Acid
  • 45g Instant coffee

mix everything slowly, in hot water, leet it cool down and is ready for development (about 10 minutes for a 100asa film) Fantastic! 

  • Too bad that the smell of the compound is really nauseous
  • this blob has a very limited duration when mixed
  • It is a non-reusable developer
  • The results are good but not exceptional
  • In fact, it costs much more than a traditional developer, such as the  kodak xtol or some of the rodinal clones: soluble coffee (in italy) is expensive. Ascorbic acid - Vitamin C, also.
  • at home I drink cofee made with moka,  I use instant coffee only to make this kind of experiments

So, a really fun experiment, but as far as I'm concerned, the thing ends here. Do I recommend it? In special cases: you are a fan of DIY, or if you are in some remote locations, and want to develop at any cost without having a traditional developer available. You must then see if in a remote location you will find all the necessary ingredients ... NB: in some countries instant coffee is very popoular, and You can buy medical chemistry everywhere, so, the whole process might be way cheaper than in Italy. Here a sample with some pictures developed with caffenol