My Quick Review of the Fellow Ode 2 Coffee Grinder
A couple of weeks back, in my column on Fioney, I somewhat lamented a recent splurge purchase — not because I was necessarily upset with what I bought but what the process of doing so said about some of my personal finance failings. The item in question was the Fellow Ode 2 coffee grinder. Since writing that, my grinder has arrived and I’ve had a chance to try it out for a bit. So, since I specifically mentioned it as something I bothered to research and spend a non-insignificant amount of money on, I figured I should double dip and get more content out of it by sharing a review.
Since I am not a coffee expert, however, I’ll keep things fairly brief. Instead of getting into the technical, scientific, or comparative side of things, I’ll simply share three things I’ve enjoyed about the product. But first, some background.
What we paid
On Fellow’s site, the Ode 2 currently retails for $345. However, scrolling down, I noticed the “Next Level Kit” was $329. This pack included the Ode 2 as well as an Atmos Vacuum Canister and a 12 oz. bag of coffee. Funny enough, the roastery featured at the time was Duck-Rabbit — a Cleveland coffee shop I’ve actually been to since 1) it’s a half hour from my wife’s childhood home and 2) my brother-in-law has become quite the coffee snob.
After tax, the $329 became $344 but shipping was free. Also, Fellow is on Rakuten and was offering 2.5% back at the time. So, be sure to check that first if you do plan on buying.
A word on the Atmos Vacuum Canister
While I’ll leave the rest of this brief review focused on the grinder itself, I did at least want to mention the Atmos. From what I can tell, this is a pretty cool and nifty device meant to keep your beans fresh longer. Drinking my new roasts right away is something I’m bad at so I’m happy to have this. It’s also really easy to use as you simply put your beans in (it holds 12 oz.), twist the ring on the lid until you get the signal, and then you’re done. When it’s time to access your roasts, pressing the button on the center of the lid lets out a satisfying release of air, suggesting that something was indeed done. Having not run side-by-side tests or anything, I can’t speak to how well this actually works, but I appreciate the concept at least.
Now on to…
3 Things I Love About the Ode 2
Lack of mess
Whenever we’d make coffee with our old grinder, no matter what I did, we’d end up getting grounds everywhere in the process. It turns out that this is largely due to static. And while small tricks, such as spritzing the beans with a bit of water before grinding, could help reduce this effect some it was still a battle. Additionally, we’d often have to smack the crap out of our previous grinder to make sure we retrieved all of our recent grounds.
This is where the Ode 2 has been a welcomed improvement. Apparently, the machine has “anti-static technology” — which, while I don’t know exactly what that is, it seems to be working. There’s also a little knocker on the side of the machine so I don’t have to be as violent with it to get all of the ground out. Between these two features, I’ve had a much easier time retrieving all of my coffee with each grind while refraining from spreading grounds all over my kitchen. Furthermore, the cup is much easier to wipe out and use again whereas the old one would need a thorough wash and dry before it was ready for another round.
Honestly, even considering some other benefits we’ll talk about, I think I’d rank this experience above anything else for why I’ve enjoyed using the Ode 2 so far.
Any coffee grinder you get is going to have to make a considerable amount of noise. After all, it has a hard job to do! Nevertheless, as I’ve learned, there are ways to reduce some of that noise — or at least make it a bit more pleasant.
While our older grinder sounded more like a high-pitched vacuum, the Ode 2 sounds (for lack of a better term) more… grindy. Hey, I warned you that I’m not an expert, here. That means you end up with adjectives like “grindy.”
I personally appreciate this lowered decibel and tone as I’m sure my neighbor on the other side of my kitchen wall does as well. All in all, it really just adds to the pleasantry of the coffee-making experience.
Finally, I have to confirm that, yes, the Ode 2 does seem to be an effective grinder. This doesn’t just mean that it literally gets the job done but that it results in evenly ground beans — which, in turn, means a better taste. As I said at the top, I didn’t do any side-by-side comparisons but, anecdotally, I do feel as though I get a bit more sweetness and flavor from my coffees versus my previous grinder. Could this be placebo? Sure. But I do believe there’s at least something to it.
Despite being frustrated with myself for buying (or how I went about buying) the Fellow Ode 2, now that it’s here, I have seen some benefits. First, it makes the process of making coffee at home more enjoyable by reducing the noise and mess I associate with preparing a pour-over. Second, it helps us get the most out of the specialty coffees we buy now that we not only have a way to store them better but can also grind them in a way that will bring out their potential.
So, while I didn’t need the Fellow Ode 2 in my life, I have enjoyed having it. Does that justify me buying it in the first place? Probably not. But, there are surely worse things I could have spent $340 on — and at least this one helps make great-tasting coffee, keeping me home instead of at the cafe.