Saturday, February 25, 2012

Coffee Soap with Cinnamon & Sugar Yum!!

Here is my latest soap.  It is a Coffee soap with natural coffee grounds.  This soap is not scented with any coffee fragrance oil when it comes to the coffee scent. I used fresh coffee grinds and the smell held very nice.  I also added some of the thick coffee oil I made when I made the coffee butter.  So this is the only coffee scent it has which again is very natural.  The lighter middle part is scented with Cinnamon Sugar fragrance oil.  This is a cold process soap and I kind of wish it wasn't as dark as it is.  It doesn't look too appealing to me.  But it smells amazing.  I am going to make a note of this and try another coffee soap and try and make the coloring differently.  I also added some coffee butter in the topping of the soap.  And whole coffee beans on top.
This is a exfolating bar of soap. 

Below is just some photos I took as you can see it's not very colorful.  I tired many ways to get a good photo and today is a nice sunny day outside.  So I wonder why it still looks drab.  Maybe I am being too harsh on myself.  They do look better in natural daylight, which I obviously did not get on film. 

Just wanted to make a quick post and put the soap up on my blog.  They weigh over 4 oz each.  Which when they dry and cure might be right at 4 oz.  I need to clean them up a little around the edges and get them up to the curing rack.
Until next time.........

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Three Sisters

Well here we are.  The three of us.  Ages 3, 4, 5, and one of my most favorite photo's of the three of us.  I think one of the hardest things was trying to come up with a set logo for our soaps.  No one I've seen is using an actual photo, maybe I am taking this approach differently.  But I like it.  It does say three sisters.  This was taken in 1965.

We will be incorporating our photo into our products, which hasn't happened yet.  I've got an idea about using other photo's too that will make some great soap labels. 

I am re-evaluating the soap line as I write this.  My first endevor with making soap goes back to around 1995.  I mentioned in another blog how I got so involved with herbal soaps and homemade bath products.  I won't go into such detail here, but I would like to have the best of both worlds.  Meaning a fun side with soap like I am producing now, and a more serious side with going back to doing more herbal soaps.  I love essential oils and using infused botanicals and herbs.  So I may send a mixed message with what our soap line is all about.  I think it can work.

I am more interested in making things for mature skin.  Of course I fall into this category.  I think many women run to the drug store to buy face creams and such as my mother does.  She could spend an hour in the beauty section.  And I don't mean this disrepectfully either.  She will be 80 years old this year and she does have nice skin, some wrinkles but she has been combating them for years so I think it paid off for her.  I want a natural face cream without harsh ingredients and she will be my first tester.  She would know if it works or not trust me.

Then I am leaning towards people who suffer with skin aliments such as dermatitis or eczema, and even really dry skin.  I am not one with perfect skin by no means, so this will be a labor of love and some research, even though I already know what path I will be going in.  I have some oils I am infusing now to make a natural soap using only herbs for the skin.  I will be making up some formulas for essential oils too.  I just feel that my Gemini side of me wants to do both.  So I am pulled in many directions at the moment.  I own too many fragrance oils at the moment to just go to herbal products.  I have to try to get the fragrance oils used up.  Once that is accomplished who knows.

I will be taking some photos of my old soaps I made back years ago.  I couldn't believe I still had some.  I had put them in a cabinet in the bathroom and forgot all about them.  Found them not too long ago and thought I am just going to throw these away.  But my Gemini side reared it's head and said don't do it.  So I saved them.  I will make another post and show them, and then I can toss them.  After all these years and with all the soap I now own, I don't want to go back in time and try and use them.  This will be interesting to share to say the least. 

Until next time....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to make Coffee Butter

                        I am going to attempt to show you in a tutorial how to make Coffee Butter.

I went online to do some research not on how to make coffee butter,  but to see just how much some
companies are charging for this.  I can on conclude that this a very very expensive.  There are all
kinds of prices out there so if you want to buy it, then I can only say do your research.  I will
not recommend any one company.  Since the price is too steep for me to swallow.

I sat myself down and thought about the process I wanted do.  I should say my first attempt making a butter was with tangerine rinds.  That turned out to be such a success,  so this is why I wanted to try my hand with coffee butter.  I love coffee, I drink it throughout the day, everyday.  I hate when people ask me during the summer months when the heat is unbearable, how can you drink that hot coffee.  My coffee habit does not show favors during specific times of the year.  I am hopelessly dedicated to this drink and have no plans to quit now.  I was once in a coffee club, well I am still in it, but not actively receiving the shipments,  I am sure everyone has heard of them,  the company is called Gevalia.  I had way too many shipments coming that I had to stop it for awhile.  So I had a build up of coffee.  I just selected which one was going to be my first victim.

                     Gevalia Kaffe Select Varietal Ground Coffee  Peruvian Organic 8oz

                                Part 1

I took a jar and I poured the coffe grounds in it.  I have to say I do not use used grinds from making coffee.  I use only fresh grinds to capture the caffeine and the strong natural scent of the coffee.

So here is my jar.  I used Sunflower oil for two reasons.  First this is a light oil and almost clear. I wanted a oil that would be light so that I could see the progress of the coffee infusing in the oil.  I filled this jar to about 1/2 inch from the top with oil.  I placed the jar out of the way in my kitchen but still close enough to shake and inspect it each day.  I let the coffee and oil steep roughly two weeks.  The second reason I used Sunflower oil is all the benefits this oil can bring to you.  Again this is my own personal opinion, and anyone can use their favorite oil as they see fit.  I guess in a nut shell this is my experiment,  and what I do may not be exactly what you would like to do,  or use to make your butterI would recommend that you research an oil that you feel would be fitting.  You will be adding more oils in due time this is just your steeping or infusing oil. 

This is a real thick mixture.  I didn't know how much of a mess this can be as I stumbled through it.
Well between the tangerine butter and this coffee butter yeah this is much messier to work with.  You will need a large strainer and a fine strainer.  Start with the smaller strainer as shown below:
This is just your first straining.  Several more to go.

Start by pouring some of the coffee infused oil right into the strainer.  This is a real small strainer so it took a little time to get through it.  Use your spoon to stir around to keep the oil moving into your
container. Once the oil is done draining from your strainer, take the grinds that you strained and place in another container shown below.

Save the grinds we are not through yet.  Keep doing this until you get through your jar of infused coffee oil.  Let your strained oil sit about 24 hours, cover the container.  What is happening is the lighter coffee oil will float to the top and the heavier oil will stay on the bottom.  The bottom oil becomes a very thick rich coffee oil, not an infused oil, but a real dark pungent coffee oil.  See photo below:

This would probably be considered as strong as an expresso pure liquid coffee.  This is the oil that will sit on the bottom of your container.  This is why you need to let it sit for at least 24 hours.  If you don't see a good separation meaning the very dark coffee collected at the bottom let it sit longer.  It will happen.  Since I am using a lighter oil it seemed like 24 hours is all I needed.  This oil that I collected will be used in some bath and body products.  This is the real deal.  And I never expected it.  You can also go online and look up pure coffee oil, not essential oil, or fragrance oil, doing so will show you how much this costs.  EXPENSIVE.  And it is easily extracted when you make a coffee infused oil. 

In the photo above you can see a container in the upper left this is where I collected the strained oil.  The container on the upper right is the coffee grounds I sat aside. Hard to see but the coffee in the container on the right side is still saturated with the Sunflower oil.  This becomes your second straining.  You won't be able to get all the oil you need out by one straining alone.  It takes several tries.

I used cheesecloth and poured a little of the coffee grounds at a time in a bigger strainer and let it strain through.  Stirring as I go to help the oil strain out.  I used several pieces of cheesecloth because once I strained a few good spoonfuls I squeezed the grinds really good to release the excess oil.  I still saved the grinds, and placed them in another container.  Keep doing this until you get your grinds completely strained out.  

You can see a container on the right side this is the coffee oil.  How I got this oil was the container on the left the strained oil, it sat for 24 hours and after the darker coffee oil settled to the bottom of the container I was able to run this oil through another cheescloth lined strainer and collect the clean oil, the container on the right.  There should be no coffee grounds in this oil.

Just another view of my set up, I had a container ready to go to collect the grinds in, in the  bottom of the photo

You can see in the above photo there is four things going on.  The upper left corner in the white container this is the strained oil that I collected from the infused coffee grounds.  See how dark this is.  This white container is the one that sat for 24 hours to let the lighter oil float up and the real dark thick coffee oil will remain on the bottom.  The container on the upper right is the oil I got from the container on the left, I strained the white container into the metal container use cheesecloth you want to strain out any coffee grinds, no grinds should be in this oil.  The metal container on the upper right will be my infused coffee oil that I will make my coffee butter with. 

Closer look at the coffee oil I will make my Coffee Butter with.

                                 Part 2

Now that you have your oil strained, waited 24 hours to let the oil separate, restrained your oil you are now ready to start the process of making Coffee Butter.  Here we go......

In this photo I put Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and cosmetic grade Soy Wax Flakes.  The rule of thumb I used was whatever amount of the infused coffee oil I got,  I would add that same amount with hard oils.  I think I got like 6 ounces of infused coffee oil, so I used 6 ounces of other oils.  Just an idea you might like to add more depending on how thick you want it.  I feel this ratio was just perfect for me. 

This old pan came from a second hand store.  I use it a lot in soap making and it works great for making a double boiler method.  I sat the bowl I am holding right on top of the pan, and yes the pan is filled half way with water. 

Fits just perfect for what I need it for.

Above photo shows the oils melting.

Above photo is my infused and strained coffee oil.  You will combine your heated oils with your infused coffee oil.  Use a mixer and mix ingreidents together, just incorporate them.  Then place in the freezer for 20 minutes. 

In the above photo you can see light and dark oils.  This is what you want to see.  Now use your mixer again and whip it together.  Your just trying to get the oils to blend together.  You should get a mixture that looks like the photo below.  After mixing place the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes, you need it cold again for another round of whipping.  

In the photo below I decided to add some Vtamin E to my mixture.  You can either add this or some preservatives.  I used Vitamin E because it can be used as a preservative and I like having a extra boost of a Vitamin in my butter.   If you do add Vitamin E use your best guess as to how much you might need.  This mixture is maybe 12 or so ounces,  so I used about 8  capsules in my mixture.

In the next three photos below,  you will see the pure dark coffee oil and I am drizzling some over the coffee butter.  Even though the coffee butter had a very nice rich aroma I did so thinking it might help darken it up.  It did not darken up anymore.  In fact it was a real nice beige or tan color.  I did expect that to happen color wise. 

In the photo below I am just showing the mixing beaters.  You can see how thick the coffee butter is turning out to be.  Also to the left of the beaters is that dark, rich coffee oil that I drizzled on top of the coffee butter.  I have plans to make some really nice coffee products with this rich oil.

This was my last whipping and I am pretty sure I am done.  I had put the coffee butter in the freezer three times once at 20 minutes, then at 15 minutes and this last one was in 10 minutes.  You will cut your freezing time down as it starts to thicken up.  I scraped the sides and decided I would whipped it one more time after I scraped it down. 

As you can see this is the result of my last whipping of the coffee butter.  I have my clean jars ready to be filled. 

Here is my first jar of Coffee Butter.  It's a nice light color and thick.  It smells amazing.  I am very pleased at how this turned out.  And I am going to move on to other ideas of whipped butter.  I would say if you are interested in making this, once you get the hang of it you can move on and make other butters too. 

Here is my three jars of finished product.  I am infusing more coffee as we speak and will be doing this process again by next week.  I think I've found something I really love to make and will be a staple around here.
I used some of my coffee butter on my skin that same night.  I feel it is best to use it at night because this will go on oily, some say greasy, but in like 15 minutes it sinks right into your skin.  I could feel this amazing softness for 2 days on my skin.  I mean it sinks in and really moisturizes.  It would be a good application for betime.  Wear old P.J.'s and have a moisturizing experience. 

Just a quick note you can save the coffee grinds and use them to make a coffee scrub.  I did not throw mine away and did just that.  I kept saying in this tutorial to save the grinds and forgot to tell you why you need to save them.  The grinds are infused in the sunflower oil, and is already coated in oil and these grinds smell so good.  Nothing should be wasted from this recipe.