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We have been big fans of Fellow for a long time. Our favorite stove-top kettle has been their matte black Stagg Kettle for many years, and we aren’t about the change that anytime soon. Fellow has since then launched their own line of products that allow for an all-Fellow pour-over set-up. The pour-over set includes Fellow-specific filters, a grinder, coffee containers, and even drinking vessels. They’ve also upped their kettle kettle game to an electric version that is efficient in heating water. Luckily, our friends have the entire Fellow line-up and I wanted to share what the experience was like in this honest review.
Electric Stagg Kettle
One of the biggest upgrades Fellow has made is to provide an electric option for its famous Stagg Kettle. A benefit of an electric kettle is the quick temperature increase as well as accurate temperature setting. This is imperative for coffee lovers everywhere as the temperature of the water affects the quality of the cup of coffee. I am here to attest that the electric version heats up way quicker than the stove-top, taking less than half the time! There is also an option to hold the temperature consistently for up to 60 minutes. You want the water to be consistently at the same temperature during the entire pour-process. And for the more technical coffee drinkers, there is also a stopwatch that allows one to time the pour, which is another important factor for creating the optimal cup of Joe. Nerdier than that? The EKG+ also has Bluetooth connectivity to the Acaia Brewbar Tablet App! Lastly, the electric version is easier to maintain in top-notch condition, as the bottom isn’t exposed to constant scraping against the grates of a stove. Our traditional Stagg kettle has been well-loved and its daily use has resulted in the peeling of the black film on the bottom, exposing the metal silver color. It still works well, but the aesthetics isn’t so great. When the time comes for us to retire Ole Faithful, we may opt for the electric version.
Ode Brew Grinder
In addition to the electric Stagg, Fellow has released its own grinder called the Ode Brew Grinder. The grinder works well for a pour-over, but it isn’t the ideal grinder if you also own an espresso machine. It has a limited range of coarseness when it comes to grinding and it’s finest setting isn’t really that fine. Typically, pour-overs have a coarser setting than an espresso machine and unfortunately, Fellow has created a grinder specifically for pour-overs. However, if you are strictly a drip coffee kind of person, then the Fellow machine delivers! It gets bonus points for it’s matte-black, minimalist aesthetic and simple-to-use dial. One must note that it cannot hold more than a pour’s worth of beans. Unlike other grinders which allow you to dump an entire bag of whole beans into its funnel, Fellow has eliminated the large hopper, likely for improved aesthetics and reduced wasted space. Sadly, their hopper only holds about 40 grams of coffee beans. The grinder also comes with a magnetically aligned catch that would be perfect if not for the rim, which actually causes a good amount of fly-away coffee grinds. At least the built-in knocker reduces coffee retention. A positive note for parents out there: the grinder does display significant noise reduction and is much quieter than the coffee grinder we own.
Fellow has created a pour over set to compete with companies such as Chemex, Kalita Wave, and Hario’s V-60. Let’s start with the dripper itself. Just by looking at it, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of quality to be honest – but I was pleasantly surprised! The dripper has a flat bottom like the Kalita Wave and a very tall column-like shape. I thought that this structure would affect the taste of the pour-over since a majority of the coffee would be sitting at the bottom of the dripper and the column-like shape would keep the grounds stagnant. However, I was amazed at the brightness of the cups of coffee this pour over set made! It may be due to the holes at the bottom of the dripper, which are many and angled at different directions. The dripper works very quickly, moving the water through the coffee and into the glass carafe in half the time that a Chemex would. Perhaps this reduced contact with the coffee and the aeration resulting from the quickly moving, angled drip is what causes the coffee to taste bright. It’s actually a great dripper for novices who aren’t much into the intricacies of creating the perfect cup. This allows for easier, faster brewing with less effort. A great design for the masses! Plus it comes in two sizes. I favor the taller size, so that I could make coffee for all my friends, too!
I am also in love with the 20-ounce double-wall, hand blown, borosilicate glass carafe. It retains heat very well, and there is no condensation at all in the glass. The carafe is cool on the outside and comfortable to hold. Additionally, the lip makes pouring the coffee from carafe to mug quite enjoyable! There is no handle, but the neck is slim enough for my tiny hands. And if you like to sip your coffee, there is a silicone lid included which keeps your “pot” of coffee hot while you enjoy portions throughout the day! It is truly a well-crafted piece.
The only thing I do not like about the pour-over system is their highly specific filters. Since the dripper looks nothing like the other drippers on the market, you essentially have to buy Fellow coffee filters to use this pour-over set. The filters have wide folds, which means when water is poured in a circular motion, some water may be poured outside of the filter. My recommendation is to pour in a zig zag motion, since the circular motion is less relevant with a column-shaped dripper. The set pack includes 30 filters. It may also concern frugalists that the pour-over set is at a higher price point, costing $99.
Overall, I would recommend Fellow’s entire line-ups for novice coffee drinkers who primarily drink drip coffee, value aesthetics and can afford the higher price point. It really does make for a beautiful set up in a minimalist kitchen, and you can feel the quality of each product. I can see Fellow’s products lasting and they have a timeless look about them, too. If you’d like to drink great tasting coffee effortlessly, I would recommend starting with this Social Kit, which includes the electric kettle and the pour-over set with the larger sized dripper. Since I do not love the grinder, I am grateful that this set does not include it. You can always buy the Fellow grinder if you want it to match the Social Kit, but I would recommend going with a different one if you have an espresso machine at home. Speaking of espressos, Fellow has wonderful drinking vessels. These stackable Monty Milk Art Cups are so sleek in black and come in three variable sizes for all your favorite espresso-based drinks.