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Fellow Ode Grinder Review: Is It Worth It?

For years I’ve wanted a sleek, durable, and super high-quality coffee grinder.

Fellow recently delivered.

After working in the industry for a few years, I’ve become very particular about my grinders.

In this Fellow Ode Coffee Grinder review, I’ll break down all of the features.

I’ll tell you what I like and don’t like about this grinder.

Let’s get started!

Fellow Ode Coffee Grinder Review: A Quick Overview

Fellow Ode Brew Grinder - Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
  • Design & Build Quality 4/5
  • Burrs 5/5
  • Motor 5/5
  • Settings 4/5
  • Grind Quality 5/5
  • Ease Of Use 4/5
  • Cleaning & Maintenance 3/5
  • Value for Money 3/5

Fellow is a coffee gear company that has been around since a Kickstarter campaign in 2013.

They’ve kept up with their Kickstarter roots throughout their existence. And Fellow Ode Brew Grinder was no different. Most of the funding needed to mass produce the Ode Grinder came from another Kickstarter campaign.

The Ode Brew Grinder is the first foray into grinders for Fellow, and in all honesty, it’s a great product.

You get to choose between two types of burrs for your grinder, either stainless steel or titanium aluminum-coated steel burrs. With either choice, you’re getting professional-grade components.

The Ode also has 31 grind settings from fine to coarse. That’s enough range to brew anything from pour-over to French Press or cold brew. 

The only kind of grind it can’t do is a fine grind for espresso.

It also features a single-dose loading compartment for adding just enough beans for one brew at a time. At the bottom, there is even a grinds knocker lever to tap out the grinds that get caught in the burrs.

Fellow Ode Brew Grinder is an incredible product for the dedicated home brewer. I’d recommend this as an upgrade from your first burr grinder.

Pros

  • The single-dose loading allows you to grind one cup worth of coffee at a time
  • The auto-stop function means you never have to worry about the grinder running without any beans
  • The choice of burrs means you can tailor your grinder to how much you’ll use it and how long it will last (but either choice is a great one)
  • The 31 grind size settings are more than enough for anything from pour-overs to French Press

Cons

  • Even though it has many grind size settings, it can’t grind for espresso
  • The price point is really high for a grinder of this performance

Fellow Ode Grinder Review: Features Rundown

Now that you have a basic idea of what the Ode Grinder is all about, let’s dive into the specific features.

I’ll give you a deeper dive into each feature and explain what I like and don’t like about each one.

How are the design and build quality?

fellow ode grinder design
Source: shopify.com

Fellow is known in the coffee world for producing beautiful products. They prioritize sharp lines and gentle curves to match matte finishes. And the Ode Grinder continues this trend.

It’s hard to say anything bad about the design of the Fellow Ode Brew Grinder. After all, they did away with the hopper look entirely and replaced it with in-house single-dose loading.

What that means is that this grinder is much shorter than other grinders in its class.

The small footprint makes it a great option for smaller or cramped kitchens.

The grind selector is huge and right in the middle of the design. It’s not my favorite place for the grind selector, especially considering it makes the power button hard to find, but it’s not a deal breaker. It still offers an easy grind adjustment.

BOTTOM LINE
It’s a gorgeous and small grinder. Doing away with the hopper in favor of in-house single-dose loading is revolutionary. The selector knob is huge but not a deal breaker. Very sleek and professional.

What kind of burrs does it use?

First things first, the Fellow Ode Grinder uses flat burrs instead of conical ones. 

Now, flat burrs aren’t any better or worse than conical burrs, they’re just different.

Personally, I’ve used both and have found no difference in taste or brew quality.

When you purchase an Ode Brew Grinder, you get to choose between two sets of burrs.

The first is the standard stainless steel 64 mm flat burr. These are industry-standard and professional grade flat burrs. Most prosumer grinders have burrs of similar quality.

The second is an upgrade (and comes with a higher price). They are still 64 mm flat burrs, but they are SSP Red Speed burrs. They are Titanium Aluminum Carbon Nitride coated burrs that give you more consistency and a wider range in your grind sizes.

Is it worth it?

In my opinion, not really. You’re most likely better off getting the standard burrs. The only reason it might be a good idea to upgrade is if you’re deep into brewing science and have every single other variable dialed in.

BOTTOM LINE
The standard stainless steel flat burrs are the best option for almost everybody. They will last a long time and will give you a very consistent grind.

Is the motor any good?

woman using fellow ode grinder
Source: shopify.com

When it comes to the motor in the Ode Grinder, there are really three things to look at: 

  • the PID speed control
  • the auto stop
  • the noise reduction

Let’s start with the last one. Fellow decided to do away with a gearbox altogether and instead stuck with a digital motor. The digital motor is much quieter than traditional grinders and won’t run the risk of waking up your roommates.

But going digital also means that the PID speed control in the Ode Grinder has smart speed adjustments. That keeps the burrs spinning with the same force and at the same speed for the duration of the grind.

What that does is keep your grind consistent. And consistency in your grind is a huge step in brewing a delicious cup of coffee.

The last thing to note is the auto-stop function. The grinder senses when the last bean goes through the burrs and stops the grinder. There’s no need to press the power button to turn things off.

The auto stop is maybe my favorite feature of the machine. It means you can set the grind and do other things to prepare your brew without worrying about turning the grinder off.

BOTTOM LINE
The Ode Grinder is almost worth buying simply for the advancements in the motor. It’s super quiet, has an auto-stop function, and has a PID smart speed control.

What settings does it have?

The Fellow Ode Grinder only does one thing: grind coffee beans. But that’s what it’s meant to do. And in all fairness, it grinds really well.

But there aren’t any other settings or functions. But the simplicity is actually a big selling point for me.

However, there are 31 different grind size settings.

The Ode Grinder goes from coarse enough for French Press to fine enough for pour-overs.

The numbers on the grind size selector don’t really mean much, they’re just a guide. You should instead use trial and error to find the correct grind size for your preferred brew and coffee.

The only thing to note about this grinder is that it is not an espresso grinder. You can’t grind fine enough to even pretend to brew coffee in an espresso machine.

BOTTOM LINE
There are 31 different grind size settings, so you can brew from French Press to pour-overs. There aren’t any special functions or other settings beyond grinding. And you should note that this is not an espresso grinder.

How is the grind quality?

coffee beans in fellow ode grinder
Source: shopify.com

For a machine that only does one thing, you would expect it to do that thing really well, right?

Yeah, me too.

And luckily for us, the Fellow Ode Grinder is maybe the best grind on the market.

It’s one of, if not the most consistent grinder in its class. That’s mostly because of the quality of the burrs and the digital PID speed control.

The consistent speed and quality of the grinders mean you get the same results every time.

The other nice feature in terms of grind quality is the grinds knocker at the base of the burrs. It’s a lever that you press down and release to give the burrs a gentle tap. The tap knocks any ground coffee that gets stuck to the burrs.

With a grinds knocker, you get a more consistent grind in terms of weight. 

It minimizes retention in the burrs themselves and actually helps keep the machine clean.

The grinds knocker is a pretty unique feature in consumer grinders. And while it might seem like a frivolous feature, I am legitimately excited that consumer grinders might get this feature in the future.

Back when I worked in cafes, we would always make sure to knock the grinds off to ensure a better and more consistent grind.

BOTTOM LINE
The grind quality is unmatched in its class. Plus, the grinds knocker lever is a unique and great addition to a consumer grinder. This is a big upside for me.

Is it easy to use?

A simple grinder like this should be really easy to use, and it is.

Seriously, all you do is:

  1. Fill the in-house single-dose hopper
  2. Select your grind size
  3. Press the power button

One thing to note is that the ground collector is magnetically aligned to the bottom plate. That means you don’t have to be super accurate when placing the collector in the machine. 

Plus, the auto-stop function means that you don’t even have to turn the grinder off when it’s finished grinding. It turns off for you.

The auto-stop function makes using this grinder even easier than it would be otherwise.

So the ease of use is one of the big upsides of this grinder.

BOTTOM LINE
It’s incredibly easy to use. All you do is fill the hopper, select a grind, and press the power button. You don’t even have to turn it off because of the auto-stop function.

Are cleaning and maintenance easy?

fellow ode grinder
Source: shopify.com

With a grinder of this size and technology, I always wonder how easy they are to clean. Mostly I wonder that because there’s such a range in grinders of how easy they are to clean.

There’s no sugarcoating it with the Ode Grinder: it takes some dedication to give it a proper clean.

It’s not like a coffee pot where you can just run a few batches of water through and call it a day.

Fellow recommends that if your grinder is used daily, you should give it a deep clean at least every three months.

It involves taking apart the front of your machine, unscrewing the burrs, and using different brushes. And yes, it really takes that many steps.

The truth is that most grinders require some dedication to get pretty clean. So this isn’t out of the ordinary. 

Fellow is known for simplicity and attention to design. So, I’m a little disappointed that the burrs aren’t a little more accessible and easier to clean.

BOTTOM LINE
It takes some dedication to give the machine a proper clean, as is recommended every three months. However, that isn’t uncommon for a grinder like this and shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. Hopefully, the next generation will make it a little easier.

Is it worth the money?

Now the question I know you’re wondering: is it worth the money?

Sort of.

I know that’s unsatisfying, so let me explain myself.

When I think of a target market for a coffee appliance, I consider its usability, niche, and alternatives.

Usability is who is most likely to get the most out of the appliance. In the case of AeroPress, for example, almost anyone can get great results. I would call that a highly usable machine.

The niche is what purpose the appliance fills. The AeroPress fills a convenient, portable, and forgiving coffee niche. And the success of AeroPress speaks for itself.

Are there any comparable and cheaper alternatives to AeroPress? Nope. So it’s a great choice.

The Ode Grinder is highly usable. Anyone can get great results because it’s so easy to use. 

But it fills a niche that is already crowded. High-quality, high-end consumer coffee grinders have been a thing for a long time. The Ode Grinder doesn’t revolutionize the niche the way AeroPress did, for example.

In addition to a crowded niche, the Ode Grinder is expensive. There’s no way around that. For that reason, I don’t think it’s a great value for your money unless you are a super dedicated home barista.

BOTTOM LINE
The Ode Grinder is more expensive than most other grinders in its class. For that reason, I would recommend going for something cheaper. That is, unless you either like the design, are a highly dedicated home barista, or have your brews so dialed, you worry about grind consistency.

My Verdict

The Fellow Ode Coffee Grinder is a relative newcomer to the prosumer grinder world.

And it’s a pretty awesome machine. 

The burrs are industry-standard, with a possible upgrade if you want it. The motor is quiet, digitally controlled, and consistent.

The grind quality is unmatched. And you get 31 different grind size options.

But best of all, it looks incredible and deserves to be displayed on your counter. 

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Craig Carey
Craig spent a year as a barista in Denver's specialty coffee world. He spends his days rock climbing, cycling, drinking espresso, and hanging around the Rocky Mountains. He still lives in Colorado.