Painting with coffee grinds

Avi Roth is possessed by coffee. Not just the need to consume it, but what he can create with it. He’s converted his studio in Pasadena into an art gallery to showcase work he’s been making for six years now: Lithographs from coffee. Or as he calls them, coffeegraphs.

Aquatic Maiden

I toured the gallery last week, where over 40 pieces are expertly lit and hung. (And where Roth made me a delicious espresso, although he won’t divulge the source of the beans.) He told me, “Everything that you see here was made out of the precious liquid that you drink every morning.” Then he corrected himself: “It wasn’t really made. It’s a cooperation between nature and myself.”

The works are mixed-media: grounds, liquid, foam, layered, sometimes over a period of days. Never, Roth says, does he use a brush.  After he’s content with the work, he photographs it through a microscope. Occasionally he adds color, as with the Aquatic Maiden pictured here.


Roth says the idea of making art with coffee came to him when he stared at a sink filled with dirty coffee cups six years ago–and in the grounds, an image appeared: “I do believe that the spirit of these images existed prior. I just happened to remove the veil and expose them.” He’s hoping art patrons are similarly consumed by his work.  Coming soon to the walls of your favorite neighborhood espresso bar, perhaps? Roth won’t mind. He’s a businessman as well as an artist. Hear more below:



  1. Solar Panel
    Sep 10, 2013, 1:22 pm

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  2. paid to write
    Aug 30, 2013, 2:47 pm

    Loved your take on Painting with coffee grinds | Which Way L.A.?! I'm just now getting into it myself.

  • Saguaro

    Very interesting indeed! The images are provocative and beautiful. Clearly, art can be found anywhere if we only are aware and open to a good, old fashioned mystical moment captured in time.

  • Great to be here. I will share with others about this. Thanks.

  • Forsythe

    Amazing. I am impressed with the ingenuity of the materials used for the equally amazing canvas. perth painters could use this as inspiration.

  • Charles

    Being possessed by coffee is an understatement. I would never have thought of using what I got from the coffee beans suppliers from perth on a canvass.

  • maryaehenry

    At first sight, no one would think that that portrait was made from coffee grinds. It's amazing! He's an ingenuous artist and he deserves to be recognized for this unique artwork. I'll try to buy coffee beans online and see for myself if I could also paint using coffee grinds.

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  • grinds? isn't it coffee GROUNDS?

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  • Hey I'm not a coffee drinker, but I'm an art lover. Your work is fun and inspiring! I once used coffee to color some fancy paper I made that I turned into wedding invitations. Your work is even more creative! You used many aspects of coffee!

  • Loved your take on Painting with coffee grinds | Which Way L.A.?! I’m just now getting into it myself.

  • thank for for listening