Use Your Imagination & Push the Rules by Painting with Tea and Coffee

Last Updated on November 11, 2022 by Dee

If you are like me and enjoy exploring and experimenting with unusual materials and mediums to make art painting with tea and coffee is something you really must try! You can create beautiful monochromatic illustrations and paintings with the combination of tea and coffee as a medium.

Can You Paint with Coffee?

Absolutely yes! Painting with coffee is a very satisfying medium to work in.

You can use filter coffee, coffee grounds or even instant coffee in the same way you would use watercolor paint.

In fact, you can even use the same wash and layering techniques you would use with your watercolor paints.

In order to deepen your dark shadow areas, paint a layer of coffee or tea and then allow it to dry. Once it is dry you can paint another layer of coffee mixture over it. Keep doing this until you have reached your desired effect.

Read Painting with Coffee with more specific details on the coffee painting process.

Drawing with Tea

Drawing with tea is also very similar to watercolor painting in that the watery tea is a flowing, translucent medium. In fact, painting with tea and coffee are very similar processes.

To draw with tea, you allow your tea bag of choice to steep in hot water for a while – at least until you have the desired rich tea color. It’s a good idea to test out various kinds of tea, some are more golden brown, and others have less pigment.

Use a paintbrush, a twig, or even a glass or bamboo dip pen to sketch out your image or painting. You can also use permanent black fine liners to add another element to your artwork.

Don’t forget about the tea bags! You can also use the ready used tea bags to create an interesting textured background, or pattern on your paper by dabbing, dragging or sponging the tea bags.

Artists like, Jan Heath from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, paint beautiful tiny works of art onto dried, used tea bags.

Mixed Media Painting with Tea and Coffee

You can combine tea and coffee in your paintings to create very slight color variations. You can also add other media to your tea your tea and coffee mix.

Add coffee or tea to white paint like gesso, acrylic or gouache paint to create a lovely warm sepia color.

Collage Newspaper or pages from an old book onto your page and then page over it in washes of tea and coffee.

Draw over your tea and coffee stains with black and white charcoal.

Draw with Faber Castell Pitt pens or other permanent markers and then paint washes of tea or coffee on top of your drawing.

[Gouache vs Acrylic Paint | What’s the best paint for you? ]

Work with pastel over your coffee and tea painting.

Sprinkle your instant coffee or coffee grounds onto your tea.

Paint washes of coffee and tea over your background and then sprinkle coarse salt over the wet surface to create an interesting sparkly textured.

Painting flowers in tea and coffee by Dee

How do you seal a coffee painting?

You can either place your coffee painting behind a glass surface to protect it, or you can use a spray varnish to permanently seal the water-soluble surface. A spray varnish will give a nice even finish to the surface of your tea and coffee painting.

What tools and materials do you need for painting with tea and coffee?

  • Coffee (Instant, filter or coffee grounds)
  • Tea (tea leaves or tea bags)
  • Soft bristle paintbrush
  • Dipping Pen
  • Graphite 2B Pencil
  • Eraser
  • 300gsm Cold-Press Watercolor Paper
  • Faber Castell Pitt Pens

Here are some beautiful examples of Coffee Art and Tea Art


Painting with tea and coffee is an unusual and exciting medium to be working in. I hope this article gives you some tips and inspiration to make your own coffee and tea art! It is great to try new ways of making art and let go. I look forward to seeing what you come up with?

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