review: sailor jentle rikyu-cha - ink between the teeth

Nov 6, 2017

review: sailor jentle rikyu-cha

Because I am, if nothing else, a fool, I left my review notebook and my scans in my family home, which means the next part of this Toronto Ink Sample Spectacular won't go up until December. I'm sorry about that, but I've got some other stuff lined up in case you're gnawing on your fingernails!

Let's delve right in for this next one, shall we?

I own Yama-dori and Tokiwa-matsu, both really lovely inks. Sailor Jentle inks come in these cute little squat bottles, which would make you think that they're terrible to fill from, but they also have this plastic, cone-shaped insert inside. You invert the bottle (with it sealed shut!) and the insert fills with ink, then you can fill from it rather easily. It's a very appreciated addition to the bottle.

Sailor makes tons of inks, many of them for other brands, and those exclusive inks tend to be rather expensive. The Jentle line varies in price depending on the sub-line (it's very confusing, I know) but all can be had for under $20.

Sailor Jentle is a green-brown, with hints of gold to it. It's a really interesting color, and not one that I can describe particularly well; I don't think there's anything quite like it out there.
For information on how I do my reviews, please visit my policy page.

While writing with this ink, I noticed something super interesting: it goes down a forest green, but dries to this particularly interesting shade that has tinges of gold to it. "Cha" is the English spelling of tea, and it does remind me of steeping black tea leaves. It certainly isn't like any green ink that I've tried.

The ink takes a bit to dry, though I'm quite certain you won't mind if you get caught up in the fascinating color-changing properties.

This ink definitely isn't waterproof, though you'll see that it does leave behind a very faint mark if you get water on it. It's right on the verge of what I would call "somewhat waterproof"—you'll have to squint, and it might take a lot of time, but you'll likely be able to salvage most of your writing if you're caught in an unexpected rainstorm (or, more likely, the victim of a spilled glass).

I compared it to some other inks that I thought would be somewhat similar, but nothing I've got in my collection comes close. I neglected to add Tokiwa-matsu, but the best I can say is that they're both green: you'd be fine having both in your collection.

For about $15 a bottle, I definitely think Sailor Jentle has some great things going on. Some of the colors are particularly unique, and I would highly recommend them. If I had the money I'd definitely splurge on a bottle of Rikyu-cha.

I purchased a sample of this ink from Wonder Pens during my trip to Toronto in September. It cost CAD$2.25 for 2ml of ink. Goulet Pens does not carry Sailor, but you can find the brand at other retailers.

Bruno Taut, the author of the blog Crónicas Estilográficas, posted just in time for the publication of this post that Sailor will be raising prices on all of their Four Seasons inks, not just the new releases. Jentle inks, not including their pigmented inks, will now be in smaller bottles for the same price. This is, of course, an entirely confusing move by Sailor. I'm not sure if this change will affect the U.S. and other Western importers, or when. Better safe than sorry, if you're a big fan of Jentle and don't want to pay premium prices, to stock up now.

Sailor's releases of their Jentle inks has been spotty and confusing at best. Bruno Taut's posts have been really helpful with regards to announcing re-releases and new inks; I would definitely suggest a follow if you want to stay in the know on Sailor's strange business moves.


  1. Thanks for the citation and for the nice words.

    Sailor's policy re inks seems quite erratic right now, and little can we do save following them closely.



    1. Hi Bruno, no problem at all! Thanks so much for keeping a close eye on Sailor and their strange tactics for the rest of us; it'd be as close a thing to impossible without you.