Tons of hype accompanied the release of the Fellow Ode Brew grinder. It’s easy to understand why people were excited. Designers thought completely out of the box when they worked on creating this sophisticated darling of the grinding world.
It’s stylish and sleek. It’s quiet and easy to use. Made for non-espresso brewing at home, the Fellow Ode is unlike other burr grinders on the market and comes with a high price tag.
Too many grinders make claims they can’t live up to.
But what about the Fellow Ode Grinder? Does it live up to its promise as a precise home coffee grinder?
This Fellow Ode grinder review will answer your questions and cut through the hype.
Fellow Ode Overview
It’s not surprising that a company like Fellow would create an unusual, stylish, and gorgeous grinder.
After all, their brewing equipment makes people in the coffee industry spout poetry. The Stagg kettles are a design marvel. Their high-end Clara French Press is elegant, and their copper-bottom cups are the picture of sophistication.
Based in San Francisco, Fellow started in 2013 and has impacted the coffee industry with their matte-black minimalist designs to make your daily brewed coffee an art form.
This coffee equipment isn’t for stowing away in a kitchen cabinet. These objects are display items to be proud of. They create coffee art, with the accompanying price tag.
Related Read: Fellow Stagg EKG Kettle Review
Fellow Ode Coffee Grinder Review
When I first saw the Fellow Ode grinder, I was intrigued. Dressed all in black, it has an art chic look. It’s tiny, with a minute footprint and low clearance that fits in almost any kitchen, anywhere.
So we no longer have the excuse of not having enough counter space when contemplating buying a decent burr grinder.
The 64 mm flat stainless steel burrs are professional-grade and make fast work of grinding. When you admire the front of the grinder, you can’t help but notice the enormous step dial to dial in your grind.
It’s certainly not your typical design that leaves the dial along the neck of the hopper. Fellow moved it down and gave it center stage on the front of this grinder, and it gives you 31 settings.
- Gorgeous modern design
- Small size fits in any kitchen
- Quiet motor
- Excess static can make a mess
- Grind settings focus on coarse
If you want a showpiece to display on your kitchen counter, this model can’t be beaten.
It’s simple to use, minimalist, and fast. It’s easy to dial in with that enormous dial you can’t miss even before you’ve had your first cup of joe. Press just one button to start the action.
The stainless steel burrs are quieter than most grinders, so you won’t wake up the rest of the household.
And the auto stop feature makes it good for multitasking on busy mornings since it automatically shuts off like higher-end commercial grinders.
Not so great for
This is only for filter coffee.
Espresso lovers should look elsewhere since the Fellow Ode Brew grinder won’t get you a fine grind to pull shots.
Also, if you’re searching for a budget-friendly burr grinder that will be easy on the wallet, this isn’t the one for you.
Fellow always shines with design. The Ode’s carefully engineered features and high-quality materials make grinding coffee for home brewing a breeze.
This model was designed for pour-overs, and will not give you a fine grind. This isn’t a mistake; this was a design decision.
If you’re searching for a grinder to accompany your filter coffee, such as French Press, AeroPress, or pour-overs, you’re looking at the right one. If you’re looking for a model to go with your espresso machine, this isn’t it.
That said, the 64 mm steel flat burrs make grinding fast, although there is some grind retention. The fascinating dial adjustment on the front is not only easy to use and provides a good deal of flexibility; it also looks good.
Did you take a second glance and wonder where the hopper is? You’re not going crazy; it is one of the smallest coffee bean hoppers around.
It only holds 80 grams of coffee beans and was designed for a single dose. This is definitely not a commercial grinder or for anyone who brews large batches of beans.
One of the major complaints about coffee grinders is the noise level, especially when you’re brewing that first cup of the morning and others are asleep.
The noise reduction features on the Ode Brew grinder keeps the motor noise level to a quiet purr.
The magnetically aligned catch is nifty since you just slip the container onto the base until it snaps into place.
All the while, the grinder catch has easy pour fins that guide the coffee grinds out as you shake them into your brewing method.
Talking about durability is a challenge for a model that’s new on the market.
But Fellow’s reputation for producing coffee gear that stands the test of time is a shining star in the world of grinders. The burrs are durable, and you can open up the machine for repairs or replacements.
If you’re looking for other durable and dependable options, Baratza’s reputation for service and durability may win you over. Check out the Baratza Virtuoso+.
Ease of Use
The Fellow Ode Brew grinder is easy to use.
Press one button to turn the machine on or off. In fact, you don’t even have to shut it off yourself.
On those sleepy-eyed mornings, you can get your grinding done using the auto stop feature, which lets you walk away and let it shut off alone. Weigh your beans, pop them in the coffee grinder, press the button, and walk away.
With the Fellow Ode, you get easy grind adjustment with the dial grind setting.
The single-dose bean hopper is minute, which could be inconvenient if you want to keep more beans in the hopper and not have to dose them out each time.
On the other hand, you can maintain maximum bean freshness because the beans are not exposed to air.
On the side, there’s a metal grinds knocker to clear out the chute, though you could miss it if you don’t look carefully.
An unusual feature in a tiny grinder, the coffee grinds knocker is not all that effective, but it can help. You might find yourself looking for ways to shake the machine to get out the excess grinds.
Another option for ease of use is the Baratza Encore with conical burrs.
When we get to coffee grinding capability, we come to the two most significant issues with the Ode coffee grinder.
On the one hand, there is no true fine setting. On the other hand, we have an issue with static.
The Ode coffee grinder was designed to grind coarse. If you’re looking for a companion for your espresso machine, this isn’t it. If you want a fine grind size to brew a light roast pour-over, you won’t get it from the Ode.
If coarser grinds are ok for you, then the 64mm stainless steel flat burrs will give you a good quality grind consistency with a wide range of grind settings.
This is a stepped grinder, with adjustments that are small enough for most needs within its grinding capacity.
The Ode coffee grinder has what they call a Smart Speed PID motor. This PID feedback-controlled motor mechanism maintains consistent grind quality by keeping those flat burrs moving at the same speed, no matter what you throw at them.
Consistent RPM that doesn’t slow down or speed up excels at helping avoid inconsistent grind particle size, increasing grind particle consistency, and giving you precise particle size.
If you’re confused about what the numbers on the grind adjustment dial mean, there’s a guide chart on the underside of the hopper lid.
It walks you through the settings, including brewing methods like AeroPress, pour-over, a drip coffee maker, French Press (with a huge range), and cold brew.
But take this indication with a grain of salt.
Your idea of a perfect grind size for, say, an AeroPress might not be what’s on the dial. Try it out, but as with most things associated with coffee brewing methods, adjust the grind size accordingly.
As I mentioned, if you prefer to use finely ground coffee for brewing light roast specialty coffee in a pour-over brew method, you will be disappointed by how fine this model doesn’t go.
You might find your coffee filters too fast, with a final brew that’s under-extracted. It presents less of a problem if you use darker roasts.
Static is an issue with most burr grinders, especially at a lower price point. The Ode coffee grinder is no exception, and it can make for a messy grinding experience.
Albeit, these two alternatives don’t have the minimal eyecatching design you might drool over while grinding beans.
The Price Point
Frankly, the Fellow Ode is not the cheapest out there. But hype aside, is the Fellow Ode Grinder a good value?
If you love the style of it and the grind quality and the soft purring noise the motor makes, then it may be worth it to spend the extra money. The high price tag, though, might make you look elsewhere.
If you’re used to spending hundreds of dollars on coffee gear, a $300 price tag won’t make you bat an eye. But if you’re starting out in the world of expensive gadgets, don’t fret – there are cheaper options.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro burr grinder comes in at a much lower price point and is ideal for pour-overs, as is the Ode grinder, but it also does well with espresso grinds.
The Bodum Bistro is quite inexpensive, coming in at less than $100. You’ll get good grind consistency but won’t get the nearly silent motor. In fact, it’s rather loud, loud enough to sound like a set of commercial grinders and still makes a mess.
The Fellow Ode Brew Grinder Isn’t For You If…
You’re watching your budget
If you’re on a budget, look elsewhere. You can get a comparable grinder for much less – although without the stylish look of the Fellow Ode.
You’re a neat freak
The Fellow Ode creates a good amount of static, making it a messy grinder. But that shouldn’t be a problem for people who don’t mind a bit of chaff on their kitchen counter.
You need a consistent espresso grind
The Fellow Ode simply doesn’t go fine enough for espresso. If that’s what you need, look at other options. Also, consistency isn’t as high as it is with others at a lower price point.
Related Read: Best Burr Coffee Grinder
The Final Verdict: Filter Coffee King?
Too many grinders make statements they can’t live by.
You know that a perfect cup starts with a grinder you can count on for a great-tasting cup. The Ode Brew grinder is a stylish piece of art that fits anyone’s kitchen.
All in all, If you’re looking for a small, stylish grinder that fits under any kitchen cabinet, will impress guests, and you don’t mind the price, the Ode is a fantastic grinder that contributes to an enjoyable coffee-making experience.
But, the lack of versatility in grinding means you can’t use the Ode for brew methods like espresso or Moka Pot. Nonetheless, it will shine if your coffee grinding centers around filter coffee and cold brew.