Fellow are a brand that have developed a pretty solid rep for themselves over the last 3 years, with their Stagg and EKG kettles and more recently, their sleek looking Atmos air tight containers proving very popular.
Their ODE Filter coffee grinder has been continuously rumoured over the last 12 months, generating much excitement amongst the coffee & design crowds. Well, now it's finally landed, is it as good as everyone had hoped? Read on to find out more...
What exactly is it?
Fellow are a US based coffee equipment company focused on producing beautiful coffee making equipment that is driven by their passion for coffee, innovative design and easy of use. The ODE is their much anticipated domestic electric grinder geared for filter coffee grinding. It is not capable of grinding for espresso - only filter.
How does it look?
The ODE is a grinder that looks very (very) pretty. It is produced in a minimalist Scandi design, with a sleek layout. It's small in size and aesthetically very pleasing. It does not disappoint.
The beans go in the top of the unit, via a mini hopper cover, which holds around 150g at a time, which is easy to access and pour into. It's very nicely fitted, with the lid sliding into a nice groove - no clips or holders, just a snug fit.
Inside the hopper lid there is a neat little grinding guide that gives you a visual of the suggested settings for styles from Aeropress (fine) through to Cold Brew (Super Course).
The adjustment dial:
The adjustment dial is probably one of the most the most slick design points. It's a large dial located on the front face of the unit, and can be moved easily with a finger and thumb. It has 44 pre-defined steps that click nice and cleanly from one to the next.
We tested the adjustment across a range of settings to suit the likes of a Moccamaster, Chemex, V60 and Aeropress, and we were pretty impressed by the results. Our only comment would be that the settings seem more suited to slight darker (Maybe due to it being from the US?), than the lighter styles that we are used too in the UK.
With most domestic grinders, the courser you go, the more boulders (larger particles) appear in the grind. The ODE does suffer a little from this, but less so due to it's large 65mm burr set. I would stress that this is less than many other grinders at this price point, so we do not consider this to be a negative.
Powering it on:
The unit comes with a standard UK 3-pin plug. The power button is located on the bottom right of the grinder. This is the only power control on the whole unit, so no 'modes' or other random (pointless) buttons for no reason (Less is more!). Pressing this button simply powers the motor on, so long as the grind bin is in the correct place. It only grinds for as long as it has coffee in the burrs, and then stops automatically, which is a really nice safety (and power saving) feature.
One of the biggest features of the ODE is that it comes with 65mm burrs installed, which gives you very fast and precise grinding. To put this in context, this size of coffee burrs is usually found in entry level commercial grinders in cafes. The burr set is easily accessed by removing the front dial, then removing the 4 screws behind it. Once inside, you can clean out or replace as required.
After grinding, you will find that there is a larger than normal level of grind retention in the shute of around 3 grams. This is not a huge issue and fairly common in other grinds of this standard such as the Wilfa Uniform.
The grinds bin:
The grounds bin that the coffee falls into is metal with a snugly fitted rubber lid. The bin sits on a magnet, so is held neatly and clicks into place. There is a small metal lever on the right hand side of the unit that you can click to remove the final bit of grinds retained in the shute.
The whole unit is less than 24cm in height, 23cm deep and 11cm wide, so can fit neatly under most kitchen cabinets or tight spaces. We really like the fact it's not a large imposing unit and can fit into mini spaces. This is much smaller than many other domestic grinds, which we think is a very nice feature.
How does it compare?
We are always interested in knowing how new grinders compare with what we already offer. Other grinders in this price point are models like the Wilfa Uniform (£270) or Wilfa Uniform Plus (£315). Then there's the Baratza Virtuoso (£250), the Baratza Vario (£395) or Baratza Sette 270 (£379).
All these grinders are geared to produce both espresso and filter, but in truth, they are all mainly used for filter only. Other than the Vario & Sette the others grind into small bins / containers and are not designed to grind into portafilters like most on-demand espresso grinders.
The Fellow ODE grinder is a total joy to use. It's slick, simple and produces a very good quality grind. Simple features like the magnetised grinds bin holder and the auto stop function once grinding is completed make it a total no hassle and minimal mess grinder.
We love the fact that the ODE does not have loads of electrics that more often than not, go wrong and cause loads of headaches.
At £299 it's arguably not the cheapest grinder on the market for this type of use (Filter only), but you are buying not just a great quality grinder, but also a beautiful piece of design at the same time.
We are holding stock of the Fellow ODE, with free UK Mainland next day shipping using he code FREESHIP50. You can view the Fellow ODE HERE