I'll admit that I've been putting off writing a Fellow Ode review for quite some time. Maybe it's because the buzz surrounding this coffee grinder was so intense. Anyway, I guess I was just waiting for the dust to settle.
I’ll admit that I’ve been putting off writing a Fellow Ode review for quite some time. Maybe it’s because the buzz surrounding this coffee grinder was so intense. Anyway, I guess I was just waiting for the dust to settle.
However, now that the manufacturer has released a new and improved Gen 2 model, I can’t wait any longer. Besides, seeing as I talked up the Ode in my burr coffee grinder guide 2023, I figured on taking a closer look.
So, can the Fellow Ode Grinder live up to all the hype? Well, I ordered one to test out for you, and I’ll share my thoughts a little later. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what the Ode Gen 2 is all about!
ideal for pour-over
An amazing grinder for manual brewing
Quiet in operation
Not suitable for espresso
Fellow Ode Review Overview
You may already know that the Ode Brew grinder started out as a Kickstarter campaign in 2020. What’s more, the manufacturer reached its $200,000 goal in about an hour and a half. So, yeah – that buzz I talked about earlier? It was pretty deafening.
So, was this eagerly anticipated flat burr grinder a dream-come-true for coffee lovers? Well, not quite. Sure, the Fellow Ode was as sleek and well-conceived as the manufacturer’s other offerings. There’s little doubt that the Fellow design department excels at producing drool-worthy coffee gear that ticks all the style boxes.
However, as the feedback started trickling in it became clear the Fellow Ode Brew grinder didn’t quite deliver in terms of performance. Users complained that the Ode just wasn’t able to grind fine enough for many preparation methods. Plus, there were other gripes that made it clear this coffee grinder needed improvements.
In today’s Fellow Ode review I’ll be looking at the new Gen 2 model. The manufacturer has obviously paid attention to what folks were saying, and the Gen 2 is a definite upgrade. I’ll get into all the details later, suffice to say for $345.00, I should hope that the Gen 2 Ode grinder is the real deal!
Incidentally, before I go any further I should mention that the Ode promises incredible precision grind quality for manual brewing methods like pour over and French press. The manufacturer makes it very clear that this isn’t an espresso grinder. I have to say it’s not often a company is so honest about its grinder’s capabilities, so props to Fellow for being so up-front!
Fellow Ode Coffee Grinder Features
Let’s continue this Fellow Ode review by taking a closer look at what we’re dealing with. Oh, and don’t be fooled by this coffee grinder’s minimalist design; there are a ton of awesome features to talk about.
Design and Size
As I mentioned earlier in my Fellow Ode review, the San Francisco-based manufacturer has it dialed in terms of aesthetics. I mean, just look at the Fellow Stagg EKG kettle and the Fellow Clara French press. Who wouldn’t want those two beauties hanging out in their kitchen?
The Fellow Ode is no exception, and looks like no other grinder I’ve seen. Part of that has to do with the absence of a large bean hopper. I’ll get to that in a minute. Anyway, the Ode’s distinctive, streamlined aesthetic design will enhance any corner of your kitchen.
Oh, and thanks to its compact dimensions, the Ode won’t take up too much space either. Let’s call that a double win situation shall we!
In a nod to in-the-know coffee purists, Fellow has done away with the idea of a large bean hopper. Instead, the Ode coffee grinder is equipped with a 100 gram single-dose hopper. What’s more, the tightly fitting hopper lid has a cool grind size chart for a variety of brewing methods.
Not only does this legitimize the Ode as being “the real deal,” it also just plain makes sense. For starters, if your coffee beans are hanging out in a large hopper they’re just going to go stale. What’s more, a single-dose hopper means you’ll be able to experiment with different beans whenever you want.
By the way, if you’re looking for a way to keep your coffee beans fresh, check out my guide to the best coffee storage containers.
Stainless Steel Flat Burrs
All too often, coffee grinders are marketed as being suitable for every preparation method under the sun. Needless to say, finding a grinder that’ll work with both an espresso machine and a cold brew coffee maker is like searching for hen’s teeth.
That’s why it’s so refreshing that the Fellow Ode is promoted as a grinder for manual brew methods and drip coffee makers. The Gen 2 Ode is equipped with a brand new set of 64 millimeter interlocking flat burrs. This welcome upgrade means the Fellow Ode now has a wider grind range, making it suitable for everything from AeroPress to French press.
There are 31 grind settings to choose from, accessed via the prominent stepped dial on the front of the machine. From what I can gather, the burrs feature a two-stage grinding geometry, resulting in a super consistent particle size. What’s more, there’s a PID controlled motor on board.
I’ll talk more later about the uniformity of the coffee grounds produced by the Fellow Ode. For now though, I’ll say Chemex freaks are going to lose their minds over the cup clarity they’ll be able to achieve!
Take one look at the Fellow Ode and you’ll notice an absence of bells and whistles. There’s no digital screen to talk about here, just a visually appealing grind adjustment dial and a start button.
By the way, you’ll notice I didn’t say “start/stop” button just then. That’s because the Ode Brew grinder has a nifty auto-stop feature. That’s just another example of Fellow’s dedication to producing the most precise home coffee grinder. All you need to do is weigh your beans, pop them in the hopper and press the start button.
Static buildup is a curse affecting most coffee grinders to a greater or lesser degree. Along with its limited grinding capabilities, a major complaint about the original Ode grinder was how messy it was. Even the thoughtful addition of a grinds knocker didn’t eliminate the static problems that plagued the first Fellow Ode.
Fortunately, the manufacturer has addressed this issue with the Gen 2 model. Thanks to its cleverly redesigned grounds chute, the Fellow Ode has almost completely eliminated grind retention and static buildup.
During my testing I was very impressed by the improved anti-static technology. In fact, I noticed practically no chute retention issues whatsoever. With that said, it’s always a good idea to use the grinds knocker after each use.
Again, I find it reassuring that Fellow has paid attention to what folks were complaining about and fixed the issues.
Before testing the Gen 2 Ode, I’d heard the manufacturer had completely redesigned the catch cup. However, aside from being slightly larger, the new cup still has the pesky fins that most users of the original hated.
The metal fins are meant to help guide coffee grounds as you pour them out. However, in practice they just make things more difficult, and coffee grounds get stuck underneath. I guess it just goes to show that even the best design team can overthink things once in a while.
Fortunately, Fellow has kept the magnet on the bottom of the catch cup. I love this feature, which helps guide the cup into place and keep it there.
Fellow is known for producing super high-quality gear, so it’s unlikely your Ode grinder will be defective. Still, things do go wrong from time to time, so it’s good to have a safety net.
The manufacturer offers a one-year limited warranty, which covers any unforeseen defects. That’s not too bad, so make sure you keep your sales receipt handy. Alternatively, you can find your proof of purchase in your Amazon purchase history.
How to Use the Fellow Ode
Thanks to its straightforward, no-frills design, the Fellow Ode grinder is incredibly easy to use. Before you get going, make sure to give the catch bin and its lid a rinse under warm water. Oh, and you should let them dry fully before using them.
To use the grinder, start by turning the adjustment dial to set your desired grind. And don’t forget that handy grind size guide on the inside of the hopper lid that’ll help you dial in for your preferred preparation method.
The manufacturer recommends avoiding the very finest grind setting until the grinder has been used for a while. This will give the burrs time to settle in and separate slightly.
Next, weigh out your beans using a coffee scale, then put them into the bean hopper. Make sure the catch cup is empty then place it under the chute. You can press the start button and the Ode will stop when all the beans have passed through the grinder.
Alternatively, you can press and hold the button. In this case the Ode will grind until you release the button.
Don’t forget to give the grinds knocker a good thwack once the Ode has finished grinding. That’ll take care of any residual grinds left in the chute.
Upon unboxing the Fellow Ode, the first thing that struck me was the weight of the thing. Let’s just say this burr grinder is compact but meaty! It’s not hard to lift or anything, but its 10 pounds (4.6 kilograms) remind you of the high-quality materials and components involved.
I tested the Fellow Ode for AeroPress, French press and Chemex and was pleased with the particle uniformity across the grind size spectrum. However, I spent most of my time brewing with a Hario V60 pour-over coffee maker during my Fellow Ode review.
I’d been looking forward to brewing up a few batches of my favorite fully washed Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. This complex, light roast coffee displays notes of jasmine flower, candied lemon peel and peach, and I wanted to experience the potential benefits of using the Gen 2 burrs.
Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed. Fellow has really delivered something special here – the Gen 2 Ode ground quickly and evenly. What’s more, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such clarity and depth of flavor from this Ethiopian coffee.
Best of all, I experimented with a couple of different grind sizes within the recommended pour-over zone and experienced notable differences from cup to cup. I made sure to use the same recipe each time, grinding 20 grams of beans and brewing with 300 grams of water. And I was astonished by the differences in texture, sweetness and body.
Essentially, the Fellow Ode has proven to me that it’s an exceptional tool for experimenting with single origin coffee beans. Let’s just say this grinder will be a permanent fixture in the Coffeeness kitchen!
How Loud Is the Fellow Ode?
I didn’t name the Fellow Ode Brew grinder “best quiet electric grinder” for nothing in my coffee grinder guide. One thing I can tell you is that the Ode is pretty darn low-key when it’s in operation.
That’ll be great news for those of you who need to grind coffee beans in the morning without waking the baby. It’s also great for the rest of us – too many grinders claiming to be quiet often produce niggling high-pitched whining noises.
During my testing, the Gen 2 Ode registered around 80 decibels on my phone’s app. That’s about normal for a home grinder. However, it’s the quality of the noise that sets this grinder apart. Seriously, the Fellow Ode’s muted purring is almost soothing!
Besides, seeing as this machine grinds so quickly and efficiently, you’ll only have to listen to it for a few seconds!
How to Clean the Fellow Ode Grinder
I know some of you dread the cleaning and descaling sections in my super automatic espresso machine reviews. Well, you can rest easy during this Fellow Ode grinder review – you don’t need to do much to keep the thing in tip top condition.
With that said, I’m well aware that coffee grinders are often overlooked on cleaning and maintenance day. So, allow me to remind you that caring for a grinder isn’t just straightforward, it’s also very important!
You can keep the Ode burr grinder looking its classy best by wiping down the exterior with a damp cloth. As for the catch cup, give it a good rinse every once in a while.
The main thing to take care of is cleaning the burrs, which I’d recommend doing once every couple of weeks. The user manual has detailed instructions for removing the burrs, which should be brushed thoroughly then replaced. Oh, and don’t ever clean the burrs with water!
Once every three months or so, you can give the burrs a deeper cleaning by running an automatic cleaning cycle. This will take care of any stubborn residue and coffee oils that have built up over time. You’ll want to use grinder cleaning tablets like Urnex Grindz for this.
Fellow Ode Specifications
|Fellow Gen 2 Ode Grinder|
|Name||Gen 2 Ode Brew Grinder|
|Type||Electric coffee grinder|
|Grinder||64 mm stainless steel flat burrs|
|Weight||10.1 lb / 4.6 kg|
|Dimensions||9.4 x 9.5 x 5.7 in / 24.8 x 24.0 x 10.5 cm|
|Suitable for||Pour-over, Chemex, drip machines, French press, cold brew|
|Accessories||User manual, catch cup, cleaning brush|
|Current price on Amazon||$345.00|
Fellow Ode vs Other Grinders
During my Fellow Ode review it quickly became apparent that this is a unique grinder. To be honest, it’s been difficult finding suitable grinders to compare it with. Still, let’s take a quick look at how the Ode Brew grinder measures up to a couple of my favorite home coffee grinders.
Fellow Ode vs Baratza Encore
While the Baratza Encore might not have the Fellow Ode’s hipster credentials, it’s still one of my favorite grinders of all time. Plus, you can’t argue with its $149.95 price tag. As it happens, both grinders share quite a lot in common.
Like the Ode, the Baratza Encore is a stripped-down machine with 40 adjustment levels and a simple start/stop button. It’s also unsuitable for espresso. However, the Encore really shines when it comes to grinding for manual preparation methods, and produces really consistent results.
See Also: Baratza Encore Review 2023
Fellow Ode vs Fellow Opus
One thing’s for certain – you can’t accuse the folks at Fellow of resting on their laurels. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to find myself reviewing the Fellow Opus Conical Burr Grinder earlier this year.
This particular grinder had been eagerly anticipated by Fellow enthusiasts, seeing as the manufacturer promised it was suitable for all preparation methods. And yes that means espresso, too.
So, did Fellow deliver on its promise? Most definitely! Is the Opus the best espresso grinder ever? Absolutely not.
That said, the Fellow Opus has a lot going for it, not least of which is the incredibly reasonable $195.00 asking price.
Ultimately, if you’re a pour-over freak, I’d stick with the Gen 2 Ode. However, if you want to save money and be able to prepare espresso along with pour-over, the Opus is an excellent choice.
See Also: Fellow Opus Review 2023
Fellow Ode vs Others Comparison Chart
|Fellow Gen 2 Ode Grinder||Baratza Encore||Fellow Opus Grinder|
|Name||Gen 2 Ode Brew Grinder||Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder||Opus Conical Burr Grinder|
|Type||Electric coffee grinder||Electric coffee grinder||Electric coffee grinder|
|Grinder||64 mm stainless steel flat burrs||Stainless steel conical burrs||40 mm stainless steel conical burrs|
|Power||140 watt||220 watt||140 watt|
|Voltage||120 volt||110 volt||120 volt|
|Weight||10.1 lb / 4.6 kg||6.8 lb / 3.1 kg||4.0 lb / 1.8 kg|
|Dimensions||9.4 x 9.5 x 5.7 in / 24.8 x 24.0 x 10.5 cm||13.8 x 4.7 x 6.3 in / 35.1 x 12.0 x 16.0 cm||10.6 x 5.1 x 8.3 in / 27.0 x 13.0 x 21.0 cm|
|Suitable for||Pour-over, Chemex, drip machines, French press, cold brew||Moka pot, AeroPress, pour over, drip machines, French press, cold brew||All preparation methods|
|Accessories||User manual, catch cup, cleaning brush||User manual, grounds container, cleaning brush||User manual, catch cup, cleaning brush, portafilter dosing funnel|
|Current price on Amazon||$345.00||$149.95||$195.00|
Verdict: Fellow Ode Brew Grinder
Having almost reached the end of my Fellow Ode review, the question remains: does this thing live up to the hype? To be honest, I’d say the original Ode brew grinder was a slight disappointment. However, it’s clear that the Gen 2 Ode most certainly delivers.
The manufacturer has paid attention to its critics and come back swinging. Ultimately, the Gen 2 Ode grinder is about as good as it gets for manual preparation methods. I mean, you usually only see 64 millimeter flat burrs on commercial grinders! Plus, there’s no denying that the Fellow Ode is a thing of beauty that’ll enhance your kitchen’s aesthetics.
Whether or not you’ll be able to resist buying the manufacturer’s gooseneck kettle, French press and storage container to go with it is another matter.
I had a lot of fun writing this Fellow Ode review. What’s your experience with this buzz-worthy grinder? I look forward to your comments!
Fellow Ode Grinder Review FAQ
The Gen 2 Ode grinder features an improved burr set as well as much more efficient anti-static technology.
The Fellow Ode grinder isn’t suitable for espresso preparation. However, the Fellow Opus is suitable for all brewing methods, including espresso
The Opus has a lower price point than the Ode due to the fact that it’s equipped with conical burrs and features more plastic in its construction.