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Coffee Soap Adventure

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kikajess

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Jessica's Coffee Soap Adventure: Overcoming Snaffus

Maybe a month ago or longer, I measured out three different types of liquid oils and infused them with freshly ground coffee. My caffeine anhydrous and coffee FO had arrived, so I strained the oils with the purpose of making coffee soap. I set the frozen coffee in the fridge to thaw a bit. I was good to go!

Snaffu #1: I no longer liked the recipe I had formulated a month ago. The cleansing number was 17. I've learned that's too high for me. Keeping the liquid oils the same, I tweaked the hard oils a bit to make a less cleansing, more conditioning recipe. Much better. I had to sacrifice some hardness so I figured I would add some SL. During mixing, I forgot all about the SL, so I dunno if I will like a bar with a hardness of 38. I shall find out in four weeks.

Snaffu #2: The coffee FO I ordered smelled pretty bad oob. I like the vanilla FO I have so I thought if I mix the two together at a 2:1 (coffee:vanilla) ratio, all would be well. All was worse. All smelled like some kind of burnt alcoholic drink with fumes that would dissolve your eyebrows. I tossed that mixture. I had a little over half an ounce of the vanilla left. That's what went into my 2-lb batch of soap. Post pouring, couldn't smell it at all. The loaf didn't smell bad, but it didn't smell good, either. The next day, it smelled more vanilla-y. Whew!

Snaffu #3: I had to use 8 TBL boiling water to dissolve the caffeine powder. Removing 8 TBL of mostly frozen coffee was iffy. I dunno how evenly I did with that task. Not all the lye dissolved. I put back in some of the frozen coffee. There was still a chunk of lye floating around. I just took it out of the lye coffee. The lye coffee smelled pretty gross, but not unbearable.

Snaffu #4: The caffeine powder dissolved nicely into some boiling water, but after sitting out a while, began to coagulate. Ack! I added more boiling water to dissolve it again. That worked, but I really have no idea what my water amount was. I waited three days to unmold this loaf, just for good measure.

Snaffu #5: I mixed the oils and lye coffee together. Then I thought, "Wasn't I supposed to put some pko in this batch?" I checked the recipe. Yep! I was supposed to, but I hadn't. Agh! I quickly measured some out, nuked it, and mixed it in. All good!

Snaffu #6: The caffeine powder dissolved clear, but when I added it to the soap at emulsification, it instantly showed up as tiny white powdery specks in the soap. See the powder in there? Ick! Luckily the stick blender fixed that.
coffee-powder.jpg

Snaffu #7: I had imagined this soap with a light cream-colored layer on top. But, because I used coffee instead of water, all the soap was brown! D'oh!

Snaffu #8: Tiny lumps of cocoa landed on my cocoa powder pencil line layer. This was my first time trying a pencil line, and that annoyed me. I tried to lift them off, but instead only managed to poke holes in the cocoa crust. I decided to leave the rest of the lumps where they were.
coffee-cocoa.jpg

The Top: The top turned out lovely. I wanted to mimic the latte florets made by talented baristas. I drizzled a cocoa/oil mixture on top and did that thing when you drag a toothpick through the drizzles to get this look.
coffee-top.jpg

Snaffu #9: Three days after pouring, it was still reluctant to come out of the mold. I really wanted to see it cut, so I used a knife along all the sides. It came out fairly easily after that, but it was still quite soft on the bottom half. I let it sit out of the mold for a few more hours. I marveled at the good suspension of espresso grounds in the bottom layer.
side.jpg

FINALLY, I CUT IT!
It's my thirteenth batch of soap, and I think it's my best looking so far.
cut2.jpg
cut1.jpg

I wish it smelled like coffee instead of vanilla, but that is the only sad part of this WONDERFUL adventure. Now it is time for another Adventure! In! Soapmaking!
 

My Mountain Soaps

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thats really pretty, the middle layer color looks like steam coming off the bottom layer! good job :) you can call it vanilla latte :)
 

Derpina Bubbles

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That was an excellent soaping adventure, thanks so much for sharing that. Following the process was cool. They look just magic. I want one. I want several. The top is incredible and I wish I understood wth you did to get that lol. The very bottom layer looks like choc mud cake *drooling*
 

MoonBath

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Oh, my gosh. Those are BEAUTIFUL.

I've been journalling about my soaping adventures as well. Seems like no matter how carefully I plan, some stuff just doesn't go the way I thought it was going to. :lolno:
 

Lion Of Judah

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you did good kikajess. all those snafus have now become your learning points , that is the beauty of soap, it can be trails and tribulation as well as forgiving . lovely looking soap bars
 

MoonBath

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I'd like to learn that swirl technique. It's lovely. I've seen it somewhere, but I've spent so much time on soap sites I'm not sure where it was.
 

CaraBou

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Adventure indeed! I felt fidgety on my couch, like I've not done enough today. Thanks for motivating me!
 

djk17

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Beautiful soap. I really like how your layers turned out.
 

kikajess

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That was an excellent soaping adventure, thanks so much for sharing that. Following the process was cool. They look just magic. I want one. I want several. The top is incredible and I wish I understood wth you did to get that lol. The very bottom layer looks like choc mud cake *drooling*
Thank you!

On the top, I drizzled stripes across the width of the soap, then dragged a toothpick lengthwise through the stripes, first one way then back in the opposite direction.

Here is a youtube video of the technique, just uses lots of colors, and she continues on with even more complicated stuff than what I did. Skip to about 2:55 in to skip all the pouring of the stripes. It turns out reeeeally pretty!
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pjVb7phZnM[/ame]
 

seven

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I love it, jessica!
The color gradation looks nice, and i chuckled reading your snaffus :D
 

Derpina Bubbles

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Sweet! Thanks for posting that vid, looks like my next challenge. I love the version you did better without the s swirls, so will try it that way.
 

honeysuds

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Oh gosh, all those "snafu's" but the final product is beautiful! Congrats!
 

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