Many thanks to Lisa and Mike at Vanness Pens for providing me with some more samples of excellent Robert Oster Inks to test out! The two I'm reviewing today are Melon Tea, a brownish green (or greenish brown, depending on how you look at it), and this year's new hotness, Fire and Ice, which as you might expect from the name is a teal blue with a red sheen. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these inks, and look forward to picking up a bottle of Fire and Ice soon. (I already bought a full bottle of Melon Tea at the Baltimore Pen Show.)
I'm a big fan of green ink, especially darker shades of green-black or "racing green" inks. Robert Oster Melon Tea undergoes a bit of a color shift as it dries. When I was writing with this ink, I found that it appeared more green when wet, but as it dried the ink darkened and the brown shades became much more apparent. This ink was well-behaved and gave me no trouble whatsoever. It flowed well in the pen, dried quickly, and I didn't experience any smearing or bleed-through on any paper, other than the cheapest of recycled office garbage.
Fire and Ice
One thing that I love about Robert Oster inks is the fact that the company has been able to achieve such vibrant colors without oversaturating the inks with dye, which typically leads to problems with smearing, slow dry times, bleedthrough, etc. I'd ordinarily be hesitant to try a "crazy" color like Fire and Ice, but this ink received such rave reviews that I had to go ahead and try it for myself.
Fire and Ice is usually described as a dark teal or turquoise that is famous for its red "sheen," which in fountain pen ink terms refers to a layer of color (usually red) that appears on top of an ink as it dries. Other famously "sheen-y" inks include the legendary Parker Penman Sapphire, J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor, and Diamine Majestic Blue (at least in the old formulation). Robert Oster Fire and Ice doesn't disappoint, and is one of those rare hyped inks that functions perfectly well as a daily writer, in addition to having a little something extra to keep things interesting. Like Melon Tea, this ink dries very quickly and doesn't smear at all. I was somewhat shocked at how low-maintenance this ink was.
Where to Buy
You can purchase both Melon Tea and Fire and Ice, along with many other colors of Robert Oster inks, from Vanness Pens. Robert Oster Inks are reasonably priced at $16 for 50ml, which is a bargain for ink of this quality. As I mentioned earlier, I love the form factor of the Robert Oster bottles, which are tall and skinny and make for easy storage in a drawer. They even include a label and color swatch on top of the cap!
If you missed my previous review of some other Robert Oster colors, check them out here!
Disclaimer: Thanks to Vanness Pens for providing me with the inks featured in this review. I was not otherwise compensated for this post in any way.