I’ve been reviewing and sampling coffee-centric products for years, so it’s hard to find completely new and innovative items to check out. I contacted the ladies at Barista Bath and Body following a recent mention in a coffee industry journal. B3 Products, as it is also known, “was envisioned and launched by three successful businesswomen: a mother, daughter and niece who have worked together for many years,” according to their website. “The women behind barista bath and body were inspired by coffee and determined to bring performance-driven natural beauty products to the marketplace.” That’s right, coffee enhanced bath and beauty products.
Christine Willett, the CEO, was very kind and quick to respond for a short interview…
What is your favorite coffee? I prefer origins (e.g. Huehuetenango, Sumatra, Kenya, Java, and Ethiopian) due to their rich, bold flavors.
Where do you get your coffee? For brewing at home, I prefer Diedrich, Coffee People or Gloria Jeans whole bean origins
Are there any differences between various types or geographical species of coffee for bath and beauty use? Coffee Arabica has more anti-oxidant properties than Coffee Robusta. Coffee Arabica has more acidity (closer to the human body) and, when roasted properly, the anti-oxidant properties increase greatly.
I usually ask this of coffee drinkers only, but with your unique B3 take, how would you define an “authentic coffee experience”? An “authentic coffee experience” is a very personal one. For me the aroma not only wakens the senses but elicits familiar memories of home and family. Taking a sip of coffee not only warms the body but the soul as well. It is invigorating and its richness permeates and lingers. A good cup of coffee, like fine wine, has a depth of flavor and a fine finish that stimulates the palate.
What should we look forward to next from B3? We have several new and very interesting products currently in development which we plan to launch early next year.
They sent me a package of product samples to review as well. Being a man who is gifted with a head shaped perfectly for a clean shave, I wasn’t able to use the shampoo and conditioner. Since I couldn’t use all of the products I enlisted the aid of local model and beauty products expert Ashley Sillsbury. Most of her work is with the Bomber Pin Up Girls and local photographer Cindi Broome. I’ve seen Ashley’s work both in front of the camera and doing hair and make up for other models, and I thought she would be perfect as a guest reviewer.
For her part, I thought I’d let her do most of the talking…
“I enjoyed sampling the products you dropped off to me and here are my opinions on them. The one lump or two coffee and sea salt body scrub was my favorite. I used it on a client for a pedicure, and she absolutely loved the way it made her feet feel. She said “they were silky soft and felt like new.” After using that I tried the room for cream exotic origin body crème, and she was very pleased with the results. She stated that “she would most definitely buy it in the store!” Those two were a huge hit with me and a few others that I sampled it on. It worked wonders for dry skin and wasn’t oily like most lotions I’ve used. I didn’t notice the extra oils you find in most lotions. Certainly worth purchasing!”
“The soothe those jitters moisturizing conditioner is one of my favorites. The scent isn’t strong or overwhelming, and it leaves the hair feeling silky and soft. I also enjoyed the perk it up energizing shampoo. The scent isn’t one of my favorites, but it cleaned my hair and left it bouncy and full. The triple shot coffee shower gel was really nice also, but it also has a strong scent. Just smelling it out of the bottle it’s very strong, but not as much once used. It left me feeling clean, refreshed, and my skin felt softer.”
“The froth indulgent lip balm was also another great product, as winter is here, and I am notorious for getting chapped lips in the winter months. I have been using the lip balm daily, and I have not had one problem with dry or cracked lips. They have been very well hydrated without the excessive oily feel present in most lip balms. A great product.”
“On a scale of 1-10 I would most definitely rate these products a ten. I absolutely loved them. When I first heard “coffee products”, I wasn’t too sure how or what you could do to make coffee smell good enough to shower with, use as a body cream, etc. I was really pleased with the results. Although some of the scents are very strong on the spicy side, you have to use them to really appreciate them.”
Although Ashley sampled most of the products I kept the make mine black moisturizing coffee soap for myself. It’s a lotion based soap that worked very well for me, from washing my hands after playing sports to a long day grinding coffee. The coffee grounds in the soap worked great as a rough scrub for my skin, but didn’t leave my hands dry like most exfoliating soaps that are on the market. The coffee scent was just right, with just a hint left after washing.
The ladies at B3 have created a wonderful niche market in the bath and beauty industry. It was refreshing to see an innovative new coffee product and have the opportunity to review it. Because of the nature of the ingredients, many of the scents are spicy and can be strong. Many people like this. I personally enjoy spicy scents in my cologne. If this is your style, I highly recommend that you try out any of the products from Barista Bath and Body. You can order them direct from their website at http://www.b3products.com or from select outlets where they are sold. If you’re not sure about the scents, they have several excellent gift packages available that you could try or purchase for the coffee lover in your life.
…Originally published in print for Parent News magazine, January 2010.