Straight to the Level
The Fellow Ode Brew Grinder Gen 2 espresso grinder affords precision grinding, anti-static expertise, and many user-friendly particulars (like a grind chart underneath the lid). It’s a wonderful grinder that is an enormous enchancment over the earlier model and is now one of our top coffee grinder picks.
When Fellow introduced the Ode Espresso Grinder on Kickstarter, it raised $1.2 million in funding and broke the platform’s information for the variety of orders in in the future. After it was launched, nevertheless, there have been two major points individuals discovered: the Ode Gen 1 had poorly designed burrs and main static issues. Former World Barista Champion and Espresso Vlogger James Hoffmann particulars each of those in his video here, and we didn’t notably like that grinder either. With that suggestions in hand, Fellow started working on the Ode Gen 2.
The Gen 2 makes use of an ionizer (like what you’d discover in a hairdryer) as an anti-static measure, in addition to re-designed burrs meant to grind a lot finer (although to not espresso vary) and extract espresso extra effectively than its predecessor. Add on a bigger hopper and grounds bin, and the brand new machine was marketed as a significant improve. However does it execute on its up to date guarantees? We put the grinder into day by day use to seek out out.
- Grind Screening Take a look at: We floor 30 grams of espresso at a normal drip setting and ran it by a Kruve sifter with screens at 500 and 1400 microns to measure what share of espresso particles fell into the best vary between the 2.
- Extraction Checks: We measured brewed espresso samples with a espresso refractometer to guage the extent of complete dissolved solids (TDS) as a measure of grind high quality.
- Style Checks: We used the Ode Gen 2 each day for 4 months to evaluate taste high quality throughout a number of brew strategies and completely different espresso types.
- Usability and Cleanup Checks: We examined out user-friendly options just like the magnetic grind cup, quantity markings, auto-shut off, and anti-static properties. We additionally cleaned the grinder and disassembled and reassembled the burr chamber.
What We Discovered
It Delivered a Very Exact Grind
As a way to measure grind consistency, we used a Kruve sifter with screens set at 500 and 1400 microns to filter out any fines or boulders—mainly, particles which are too small and large to extract taste evenly. After dialing within the grind to a good-tasting drip setting, we screened 30 grams of espresso and located that the Ode Gen 2 delivered a way more constant particle measurement than the Baratza Virtuoso+, our other top pick, with greater than 65% of the particles falling between the 2 display sizes in comparison with the Baratza’s 45%.
That precision probably comes from the Fellow’s huge, vertically-aligned flat burrs. These burrs are extremely favored in industrial grinders as a result of the espresso feeds extra naturally by the burr set by way of gravity, and the 2 huge, flat grinding burrs can create a extra exact hole between them, higher controlling the particle measurement of the espresso they’re grinding. House grinders typically use a conical burr set, the place a flat ring burr is adjusted nearer and additional away from a spinning conical burr within the heart. It’s simpler to align conical burrs, however you typically get a wider particle distribution than a flat burr grinder.
Nevertheless, grind precision doesn’t at all times translate to better-tasting espresso, because the Ode Gen 2 and Virtuoso+ have been neck-and-neck in side-by-side style assessments for sweetness and steadiness. Nevertheless, we did discover one distinction within the cup: taste readability.
Grind Precision Impacted Taste Readability
With a extra exact grind, we seen that espresso floor within the Ode Gen 2 produced extra pronounced flavors in brewed espresso, particularly with lighter-roasted beans. For instance, if a espresso featured “raspberry” as a tasting observe, we seen that espresso from the Ode Gen 2 produced a clearer “raspberry” taste.
Espresso extraction science is at all times a little bit of a guessing sport: we are able to use a spectrum refractometer to take a median studying of TDS in brewed espresso to evaluate brew high quality, however that quantity is simply a median. Finer particles will extract extra whereas coarser particles extract much less, so two espresso samples from two completely different grinders that each learn 1.33% TDS on a espresso refractometer brewed with the extract identical recipe could have the identical focus of extracted espresso taste solids, however not the precise identical actual taste solids.
It may be somewhat complicated to parse espresso extraction concept, however in abstract: a espresso brewed from a Virtuoso+ and an Ode Gen 2 may look the identical by way of scientific measurement, however nonetheless style completely different. Each grinders produced candy and balanced coffees, however followers of lighter-roasted beans may respect the Ode Gen 2’s taste readability extra.
The Lively Anti-Static Expertise Labored
Static generally is a important challenge for dwelling grinders: as espresso passes by the burrs, it builds a number of static cost that causes chaff (the papery tan flecks extra prevalent with gentle roasts) and grounds to finish up on counter tops—and might really maintain espresso again within the grinding chute. The Ode Gen 2 incorporates energetic anti-static expertise by adding an ionizer (like what hairdryers use), and, by golly, it actually works. Whereas the Gen 1 was infamous for as much as a gram of espresso being caught within the grind chute and counters dusted with chaff and grounds, the Gen 2 sees espresso drop into the grind cup neatly each time.
Different grinders may use an anti-static plastic of their grind cup that slowly and passively dissipates any cost after round 40 seconds. The energetic anti-static measures within the Ode Gen 2 use the ionizer to actively dissipate static whereas the espresso is floor, which is exclusive for a house grinder. Identical to the vertically-aligned flat burrs, energetic anti-static measures are often reserved for industrial grinders. Over time we seen that it’s price brushing out the grind chute to maintain the anti-static system working cleanly, but it surely additionally took three months earlier than this was essential.
Person-Pleasant Particulars Elevated the Grinder
Among the Ode Gen 2’s greatest options have been the small, user-friendly design particulars, together with an auto-shutoff operate. Whereas most dwelling grinders depend on a handbook toggle swap or timer, the Ode Gen 2 routinely shuts off a couple of seconds after the burrs end grinding espresso. It’s a small, however useful, element.
We additionally actually appreciated how clear the grind-size icons have been on the adjustment dial, exhibiting which route is finer and coarser with small or giant dots. There’s additionally a grind-size chart printed on the underside of the lid that offers you a beginning vary for quite a lot of particular brew strategies, together with Aeropress, pourover, and automatic drip coffee makers. These may look like small particulars, however most grinders require a guessing sport if you set them up for the primary time. Proper out the field, even with out studying the directions, the workflow of this grinder felt seamless.
Lastly, the grind cup includes a robust magnet to verify it’s correctly centered underneath the chute. Whereas the lid of the grind cup could be finicky to tug on and off, the magnetic pull is actually satisfying and it really works to heart the cup completely—till it doesn’t. Some individuals have reported the magnet falling off of the cup, which renders this technique ineffective, and in our testing we even had a difficulty the place the cup was got rid of heart after aligning it, inflicting grounds to overlook the cup and find yourself pushing in opposition to the lid. This precipitated espresso to again up into the grinder, which required disassembling the burrs to be able to clear the jam.
Any light-roast espresso fanatic on the lookout for a slight increase in taste efficiency and does not thoughts the additional value would respect the Ode Gen 2. It’s additionally a compact and enticing grinder and can be an awesome addition to any aesthete’s counter. The Fellow Ode Gen 2 delivers glorious grind consistency and taste readability. It’s straightforward to make use of, and appears nice, as well. It’s a well-designed grinder with a lot of superb user-friendly particulars, and it has a compact physique that’s straightforward to suit on any counter.
Properly, it’s costly. The Ode Gen 2 is the highest-priced non-espresso grinder for dwelling use in the marketplace. In comparison with our different favourite fashions from Baratza and OXO, it affords extra usability and aesthetic upgrades than efficiency variations. Additionally, it’s susceptible to jamming if the grind cup isn’t aligned correctly. If the lid blocks off the grind chute, the espresso can again up all the way in which into the grind chamber, which then must be disassembled to totally clear. It solely occurred to us as soon as in 4 months of on a regular basis utilization, however clearing the jam required eradicating the faceplate with a screwdriver, emptying the espresso, re-aligning the burrs, and re-attaching every thing.
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 4 x 9.8 inches
- Weight: 10 kilos
- Burr kind: Chrome steel flat burrs
- Variety of grind settings: 30
- Guarantee: 2-year, or 3-year with registration
- Worth at time of publish: $345
Is the Fellow Ode Gen 2 price it?
The Fellow Ode Gen 2 affords a significant enchancment in grind consistency and anti-static measures over the Gen 1, but it surely comes at a price. Whereas the Ode Gen 1’s authentic listing value of $300 was already dear, the $345 price ticket on the Gen 2 makes it the costliest dwelling grinder designed for brewed espresso. In 4 months of day by day testing, we discovered that the Ode Gen 2 delivered high-quality grinding with nice usability options (like a grind chart printed underneath the lid), however its excessive value level won’t work for everybody. In our testing, we additionally discovered comparable grinders that have been inexpensive.
What are the variations between the Ode Gen 1 and Gen 2?
The Fellow Ode Gen 2 options an upgraded burr set that delivers way more grind consistency and a finer vary than the Gen 1 model. It additionally has energetic anti-static expertise that reduces the quantity of chaff and grounds that may make counters messy, and an even bigger hopper and grind cup.
Can the Ode Gen 2 grind for espresso?
Whereas the up to date burr set within the Fellow Ode Gen 2 can grind a lot finer than the Gen 1 model, it nonetheless is just not designed for espresso use. Espresso requires a a lot finer grind vary, and extra grind settings to be able to correctly dial in an espresso shot.