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Fellow is a brand that we've grown to really respect in the last few years. They burst onto the scene with a number of brewing tools and accessories not too long ago, but since then, everyone in the specialty coffee world has paid attention to what they have produced. They're not only great at designing and manufacturing products; they also have a track record of true innovation. That track record definitely continues with the release of the Fellow Ode Brew Grinder.
About the Fellow Ode Brew Grinder
To understand the Fellow Ode, you have to understand what it was that Fellow set out to do with it. Rather than create a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of grinder, they wanted to make a compact grinder specifically aimed at the rapidly growing market for manual brewing at home. This grinder is not built to grind for espresso; in fact, it's not even capable of getting close to those kind of fine grinds. Instead, it's optimised to give you incredibly consistent grinds at the coarser end of the spectrum for applications such as pour-over, French press, filter, cold brew and AeroPress.
The Fellow Ode achieves this level of consistency thanks to its 64mm burr set. This is a larger burr set than we've ever seen in a home grinder, and commercial grinders with burrs of this size usually go for more than twice the price. Getting your hands on burrs like these for use in your kitchen without venturing deep into the zone of five figures (ZAR) is quite something, and that's one of the main reasons you might consider buying a Fellow Ode.
Of course the Ode is more than just a burr set. It really is cleverly and attractively designed. It features a grounds knocker like a commercial shop grinder - something you wouldn't ever see in most home grinders. It has a beautiful, easy to use oversized adjustment dial with more than 30 settings. The grounds bin slides perfectly into place thanks to a magnetic catch. It even shuts itself off once all the beans are ground.
Who is the Fellow Ode for?
Perhaps we should start with who the Fellow Ode isn't for. It definitely is not for anyone wanting to do espresso or espresso-like coffees (including moka pots, Nanopressos or anything of that sort); it doesn't grind fine enough. It's also not for higher volume commercial applications. Finally, it's probably overkill for your casual home brewer.
Having said all that, the Fellow Ode is perfect for the true pour-over aficionado: the guy or gal who has all the accessories including a scale (more on that later) and is constantly trying to optimise those pour-over extractions. You won't find a more consistent grind at this price point. It's also a great choice for applications like cupping, immersion brews and definitely for batch brew at home or in the office.
We also reckon that, while it's not intended for commercial use, this could be a great choice for cafes that do a small volume of pour-overs or batch brew. Very often, the espresso grinder in the cafe doesn't serve this requirement well, but it's not worth buying a very expensive shop grinder just for a few cups per day. The Ode could fill that requirement nicely; it is almost like a shop grinder for small volumes and doses (PSA: do not try to grind entire bags of beans through it though!).
What do you need to get the most out of the Ode?
To take advantage of the Ode's capabilities, one of the things you definitely need is a good coffee scale. You should be using one anyway, but one of the trade-offs that comes with any big burr set is some grind retention. That means that you need to weigh your coffee dose on the way out of the grinder to make sure it's the right amount for your recipe. This isn't an issue, as the Ode really is designed to be a single-dose grinder. You can only load up to 80g of beans in the hopper at a time.
To really enjoy the Ode, we also think you need to have a cafe-style orientation to cleanup - you need to be ready to do it every day. You are going to get a certain amount of chaff and coffee grounds on the counter, and the best way to deal with this is to do what cafes have done with their shop grinders for time immemorial: sweep up after each use with something like a Pallo GrindMinder (the Ode also comes with its own small cleaning brush).
If this already sounds like you, and you are deep down the rabbit-hole of filter style brewing, the Ode may well be your new favourite coffee grinder.
A note on grind settings
The Fellow Ode does come with a handy guide for grind settings, but we would encourage you to ignore it and experiment. The Ode operates at quite a coarse range, and because the grind is so consistent, you'll actually find your pour-overs running quite fast. The beauty of the Ode is that you can just go finer and enjoy all the flavour and complexity that pour-overs at a consistent and fine grind can offer. With this consistent of a grind, you may find that your coffee's roast level and freshness will have a bigger impact on flow rate than you're used to. The guidelines included may work for your coffees, but they may also not.
Fellow Ode Brew Grinder feature summary
- Beautiful contemporary design
- 31 grind settings
- Easy to use oversized adjustment dial
- Highly consistent grind due to large 64mm burr set
- Fast operation
- Automatic stop
- Smart speed PID motor
- Designed for single dosing
- Built-in grinds knocker
- Magnetically aligned catch for ground bin
- The best product video you've ever seen (see above)
- Winner of SCA coffee award - best new product 2021
Fellow Ode Brew Grinder specifications
- Dimensions: 239 mm x 105 mm x 241.5 mm
- Burr size: 64mm (flat, vertical, interlocking)
- Weight: 4.5 kg
- Hopper Capacity: 80 g
- Power: 140 W
- Materials: Stainless steel burrs, aluminium body, plastic load bin and base
- Voltage: 220V
- HZ: 60 HZ