For reasons we’ve never been able to fully tease apart, the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform has seen an enormous number of coffee-related projects, mostly on the hardware side. It seems there’s an endless supply of entrepreneurially-minded engineers who think the “perfect cup” of coffee is just one gizmo away. As though maybe the French press just needs one small tweak or that the next commercial-grade espresso machine can be cobbled together by a couple guys in a garage for one tenth the cost of the real thing. There’s a lot of reason to have a buyer beware attitude toward the gear you see pop up on crowdfunding sites, skepticism that it will deliver on its promises — or even deliver anything at all.
But the upcoming Ode Brew Grinder from one our favorite coffee gear companies, Fellow, is different. This isn’t a sponsored article, but if the folks at Fellow wanted to send us some toys, we certainly wouldn’t object. Fellow is responsible for our favorite electric pouring kettle, the sleek and sophisticated Stagg, which manages to look like it belongs in a place of pride on a kitchen counter rather than just another appliance you want to stow away in a cabinet between uses.
A good burr grinder remains second only to top quality fresh roasted beans as the essential tool in the home coffee arsenal — everything else is a just-add-water formality. But there are still only a handful of grinders on the market worthy of praise and their price points can often prove to be painful. We continue to recommend Baratza’s Encore model as the best all-around bang for the buck for those looking to master home coffee, but the Fellow Ode looks like it will quickly become our top upgrade pick. Here’s some of what excites us:
- Big ass burrs. At 64mm, these grinding burrs are commercial size. What that big surface area means for you is that the Ode grinds faster, cooler, and more consistently.
- Easy stepped adjustments, well-calibrated to home coffee brewing.
- A small hopper that holds only your current dose of beans, lopping off some of the unnecessary height from typical grinder design.
- Auto stop. When the last of your beans are ground, the motor shuts itself off.
- Low grind retention and low static. Even the best grinders seem to retain some grounds around the burrs and in the chute. If the Ode has solved this, kudos.
- Low noise. Ode claims it wont wake up the other people in your house — a godsend to us early risers. Take my money!
If you preorder on Kickstarter the Ode runs $239, a discount from its eventual $299 retail price. Even if you’re not in the market for a new cutting edge burr grinder, we suggest checking out the Kickstarter page for the incredibly well produced and funny video Fellow created to introduce it. Hopefully this heralds a new wave in increasing the coffee world’s focus on the home consumer. At Yes Plz we still maintain that the best cup of coffee you ever drink should be one you made yourself in your own kitchen.