In the six-plus years since the release of the original Duo Steeper, Fellow has slowly been building an inventory of chic, aesthetically show-stopping pieces of coffee equipment created with the home user in mind. Along with the Stagg and Stagg EKG variable temperature kettle, Fellow has released the Stagg Pour-Over Dripper, Atmos Vacuum Canister, and Carter Everywhere Mug, all as focused on usability as they are design.
But there has always been one rather large hurdle in the way of Fellow’s goal of taking the home user from bean to cup: the grinder. But that all ends today with the brand new Ode Brew Grinder, announced exclusively here on Sprudge.
Now live on Kickstarter, the Ode Brew Grinder has been a tightly-kept secret for the past two years the brand has been developing it. And as you’d expect from Fellow, the Ode is eye-catching, keeping with their stunning minimalist design and trademark matte black finish; it really ties the coffee nook together, does it not.
But the Ode isn’t just looks, it boasts some pretty serious functionality that has yet to be seen on the home-user market at this price point. Along with 64mm stainless steal flat burrs, the brewed coffee-focused grinder touts a “Smart Speed PID Motor,” which Fellow founder Jake Miller tells Sprudge helps “expose every bean to the same force and burr speed to improve particle consistency.” Miller explains, “Ode uses a sensor to monitor the RPM of the drive shaft and then software with a PID loop to try to keep that RPM as consistent as possible once grinding starts (and the load increases).” RPM-monitoring PIDs are common in commercial grinders, but the Ode marks the technology’s first appearance in the home market.
Other features include 31-step adjustable grind settings, single dose loading (with an 80g max; no more oversized hoppers), auto-stop functionality, a magnetically-aligned grinds catcher, and an electrically grounded chute and grinds chamber for a lowered grind retention.
Miller states that the grinder has been the “missing link” in Fellow's portfolio (hence the Bigfoot/conspiracy theory-laden viral marketing that has been going around social media the past few weeks), and it is something that customers have been asking them to make for a while now. “We are big believers in human-centered design and we do whatever we can to have open lines of communications to our customers,” Miller states. “After hundreds of emails and Instagram DMs asking for a Fellow grinder over the years, we can't ignore what the people are asking for from us.”
For Miller, the Ode is the realization of Fellow's bean-to-cup goal.
It's hard to believe, but we're even more excited about the launch of Ode than we were about the launch of Stagg EKG three years ago. I believe Ode has the potential to have an even bigger impact on brewed coffee than Stagg EKG did in 2018… Hopefully, Ode will be as comfortable on your countertop as it will be in a Brewers Cup Championship someday. Fellow has offered everything else you need to make coffee, except for the grinder. Now, with Ode, you could hypothetically go from a bean to a brewed cup of coffee using only Fellow products. For our small team that started on Kickstarter six years ago, that's a pretty special thought and meaningful accomplishment.
Or rather, it will be if the Kickstarter reaches its $200,000 goal. Clocking in at a $299 MSRP, Fellow is offering pretty deep discounts on the Ode for potential backers. 750 “Super Early Believers” can nab Fellow's latest offering for $219, over 25% off the retail price. Assuming the project meets its funding goal—and let's be honest it definitely will—expected delivery on all rewards is scheduled for July 2020, which Miller strongly believes the company will meet. “We're well past the ‘design' stage most products are at when they go live on Kickstarter. Our final design is complete and the fully functional prototype has been tested, and loved, by some of the biggest names in coffee.”