Caffenol (What is it?) is a ‘brew’ or ‘soup’ that can be made for developing film and or paper in. The ingredients are vitamine C powder, washing soda and instant coffee, hence the name Caffenol. I’ve been using Caffenol for some years now and have gotten some great results, to my liking anyways!

The recipe I started from is the Delta STD which I found on I tweaked it slightly and so this is what I do for a single roll of 35mm in a Paterson system tank.

-Pre soak the film (while in the developing tank) in room temperature tap water while doing the following.
-Boil some water to about 35-40˙C
-Pour the water into two different measuring cups. 150ml and 200ml
-In the 150 ml water I add 6 heaping tablespoons of coffee (cheapest instant caffeinated) and 1 of vit-C powder. Stir well because there is always some residue. Sometimes I leave it to sit and settle because it bubbles up a little bit.
-In the 200 ml water I add 10 tablespoons of washing soda. But….
a) The original DeltaSTD recipe says 6 tablespoons but I do ten of the washing soda because it is not the powder but bicarbonate (i.e. crystals) and I read somewhere that it is 2.7 times the washing powder. So I use 10 tablespoons of the washing soda.
b) while mixing washing soda in the 35-40˙C water it brings the temp down right away to about 20˙C. So when I mix the 150ml (coffee+vit.C) and 200ml (washing soda) together the final temperature is usually around 25 degrees.

-For developing. First minute agitations, and then the rest of the 9 minutes with a few stirs/agitations every minute.

-After 9 minutes, all the caffenol goes down the drain. I rinse film in cold water until the water doesn’t have a trace of the coffee colour. I suppose you could use a stop bath but I don’t.

-Then fix for at least 6 minutes (I use the Ilford stuff)

My best and or favourite results so far have been using Kentmere 400, also useable for darkroom printing I also do use old expired colour films as well and the negs from these are pretty dense and hard to darkroom print with but are fine to scan.

Here are some pictures using this recipe Tagged Caffenol