When I was quite young, my parents would put a little coffee in my breakfast milk to let me think I was drinking coffee with them. Of course it was really just coffee-colored milk, but I didn’t know any better. When I got older, I graduated on to the real thing and I’ve been drinking it ever since. So it’s only natural that I would like a coffee flavored lip balm. With only three ingredients, this lip balm is a fun way to protect your lips.
One of the three ingredients takes a little preparation in advance. You see, the coffee flavor in this lip balm comes from coffee infused oil. To make that, I add equal parts ground coffee and coconut oil to a crock pot and heat it on low for a couple of hours. You can use other oils too, like olive or sweet almond, but coconut is my current favorite for this recipe. Be sure and use a good quality coffee, one that you like to drink, though it doesn’t need to be the most expensive coffee you can buy.
For instance, I used a medium roast Columbian decaf coffee for the batch in the above photo because that’s what I happened to have on hand, and it worked well. For a stronger flavor you can use a darker roast coffee, or else let it infuse for a longer period of time. I do not recommend using instant coffee, and I have never tried it in this recipe. After infusing, the oil needs to be strained to remove the coffee grounds, or else you will wind up with a very gritty lip balm. Click here for more info about the infusing and straining process. As you can see in the below photo, the coffee turns the coconut oil a medium dark shade of brown that looks lighter if the oil solidifies. Now that we have the coffee infused oil, it’s time to make some lip balm!
Along with the oil, you need beeswax and either cocoa butter or shea butter. Since we have a beehive here at Happy Acres, we use the beeswax that our hardworking honeybees make. It usually winds up in a big chunk or block after we melt it in our solar wax melter. But if you buy beeswax, you can get it in little round pieces called pastilles, which are much easier to melt than the big chunks. Cocoa butter or shea butter both work well in this recipe, but for a real treat try using raw cocoa butter. That makes for a heavenly flavor and aroma combo of coffee and chocolate – two of my favorite things for sure! The shea butter has a neutral smell if you don’t want to add the cocoa factor.
You need to melt the beeswax, cocoa or shea butter, and coconut oil in a double boiler type setup on the stove top. You can also use the microwave to do the melting. Either way, the ingredients need to be liquid and well combined. I used a small glass Pyrex measuring cup, set in a pan of gently boiling water. I stirred the ingredients with a bamboo skewer until melted (the beeswax will be the last thing to melt). I usually pour the finished product into twist-up lip balm tubes or little metal tins. Any clean, small container with a lid will do. Pour it while still liquid and then let cool thoroughly before using.
You can easily size the recipe to fit the container(s) you have. For example, the oval tubes I use each hold .15 oz/4.25g. I like to work in grams for the small amount I usually make, so if I want to fill 4 tubes then I need to make at least 17g of lip balm. I’ll round up to 20g, which means I need 4g of beeswax, 8g of cocoa butter and 8g of coffee infused oil. An electronic kitchen scale is just the ticket for a project like this, and ours gets used all the time. You can also make a little bigger batch and pour any extra into a glass jar for later use. When you need to refill your tubes or tins you can pop the glass jar into the microwave then melt and pour.
Various essential oils can be used in lip balms if they are food grade, but I think they would obscure the coffee flavor for this one. However, if a vanilla latte is your favorite drink, there are vanilla flavor oils available from several sources (including MMS and Bramble Berry) that can be added. I have also seen recipes that call for cocoa absolute, but that does not blend in fixed oils and therefore isn’t a good choice for a lip balm. Powdered stevia can be used to add a touch of sweetness. You could also add a drop or two of vitamin E if you have it, which will be good for your lips. And after all, this recipe is pretty much all about being good to your lips!