Fellow

  • Clearing Space: Where To Put It All?

    It's a constant struggle as a coffee fan, where do you put all of your supplies? How do you manage a machine, grinder, accessories, cups, the coffee itself... Sometimes it feels like too much! Here are some ideas for ways to keep down the clutter and manage your coffee making space, from grinders, to drip brewers, to espresso.

    General Tips

    The first thing we recommend is creating a dedicated space. This isn't possible for everyone, but whether it's a kitchen island, a space next to the sink, or the top of a shelf, it helps. Carving out a specific space for your coffee equipment helps cut down on mess and clutter. You also wont have to worry about finding your gear when it's time to get brewing. The biggest consideration in picking your space is access to power and water. This is especially important for an espresso brewer, where you'll need to provide both in steady supply.

    We also recommend dedicating some organizational space to your brewing space as well. This could be a drawer under the counter, a cabinet, or dedicated shelf space below your brewing area. Having a place to carefully and generally store your accessories next to, but without cluttering your brewing space is important.

    Finally, there's storing the coffee beans themselves. We recommend a solution like an Airscape or a Fellow Atmos. These canisters  vacuum seal your coffee, keeping it fresher for longer. It's also easier to scoop coffee from a canister than it is from a bag.

    Espresso

    For espresso setups, having a clear workflow from machine, to grinder, to tamp, to machine is key. You'll want a mat like a this one from Rocket Espresso, and to store your portafilter in your machine. Another tip is to keep a catch tray under your grinder. This way you'll be able to easily clean up any excess grounds and cut down on mess.

    Another big thing to keep in mind is your circuit. You'll want to make sure that running your grinder and espresso machine at once won't trip anything, otherwise you might be in for a longer wait for your morning coffee.

    Otherwise, keeping your grinder, portafilter, and machine close to each other and near needed power, water, and milk will be a huge help!

    Drip Brewing

    For drip brewing a lot of the same principals apply, but you'll also want to be able to carefully weigh out your grounds before brewing. If you're a fan of measuring volume instead of weight, you may want to keep a second storage container handy for excess ground coffee. Otherwise, you might miss your grind amounts and throw coffee out.

    Handy storage options for drip and pourover brewing include this filter holder, it's designed for V60 dripper filters, but can fit other filters as well.

    Keeping a grinder, whole and ground canisters, and filters close at hand should lead to an excellent cup of drip.

    There are other organization tips out there, but all of the above should get you started on curating a space for your brewing. This will help you to enjoy your morning cup with less prep and less cleanup, giving you more time to focus on the coffee!

  • Holiday Purchase guide: Presses and Other Alternative Brew Methods!

    We’ve talked about various drip and espresso brew methods this season, but there’s a simple, delicious alternative that exists as well: The press! The French Press is a consistent, inexpensive brew method that makes stronger, full bodied coffee. It can be easy to get lost in the weeds of these simple machines, but we’re here to help. We’ll also look at a couple of other interesting methods that don’t fall into traditional categories!

    The Aeropress

    The Aeropress coffee maker makes delicious press cofffee using a simple, easy to pack brewing system. Instead of needing to bring a full sized press on a camping trip, the Aeropress folds and packs into itself, while still brewing excellent coffee. This is achieved through small paper filters that filter out grounds to provide a grit free cup of press coffee. Some people love this brewer so much that they use it at home!

    For a more classic press design, check out the Bodum Brazil French Press. This 8 cup shatterproof press is simple, affordable, and makes a classic cup of pressed coffee.

    A Wide World of Weird Brewers

    For a solution your gift recipient may be surprised by, take a look at the Fellow Duo. The Duo is an awesome little brewer that provides the full tasting cup of coffee of a press and less acidity, like you’d get from pourover. It also does it all easily and in just about 5 minutes. Simply add medium-coarse ground coffee and hot water to the steeping chamber and stir. Then, let the coffee steep for 4 minutes. Finally, twist the top of the brewer, and fresh, delicious coffee will fill the lower half. This brewer’s coffee tastes great and is grit free!

    Another weird coffee option that makes a great cup is the Bodum Santos Stovetop Vacuum Coffee Maker. This brewer sits on the stove and uses pressure from the hot water to brew your coffee. It’s easy to use, fun to watch, and delicious! Check it out for the curious coffee drinker on your gift list.

    Check back soon for more holiday gifting tips!

  • Holiday Buying Guide: Pourover!

    Drip brewers and espresso machines are great tools for producing a great cup of coffee, but today we’re looking at a slower alternative that might thrill someone on your guest list. For those that enjoy a carefully crafted cup of coffee, look no further than some pourover gear!

     

    The Perfect Pour

    There are three key components to any pourover set: Kettle, dripper, and scale. You need something to serve it in, but in a pinch any coffee cup will do as a thing to brew into. Lets start with drippers!

    There are a few things to consider when picking out a dripper. First, material is very important. While you can get a cheaper plastic dripper that may taste fine to some, it’s important to remember that you’re pouring water that’s quite hot through it. Plastic drippers are safe to use, but can impart flavors that will cause your coffee to taste off. Stainless Steel drippers look nicer and last longer, but some can taste the steel flavor in them. Plenty prefer this type of dripper, so it’s worth trying to find out if the person you’re buying for likes drip coffee from a glass or stainless carafe. Finally, there’s ceramic drippers. These are prone to breaking, but don’t impart any flavor and are easy to clean. Once you’ve settled on material, it’s down to style. The two styles we prefer are the Hario V60 and Kalita Wave. Both look nice on the shelf and are great at evenly distributing grounds and water. Just make sure you get the right filters!

    Kettles and Scales

    Next up is the kettle. Kettles range from under $50 to well into the triple digits. The most important thing when choosing a kettle is flow control. You’ll want to stick with kettles that feature gooseneck style spouts have solid build quality. We recommend options like the Bonavita Elective Pourover Kettle or the OXO On if you’re trying to stay under $100. If you’re looking to splurge, the Fellow Stagg EKG+ is an excellent kettle with some awesome app integration with Acaia scales (more on that in a minute).

    Finally, having the right scale will really up your pourover game. The Hario V60 is a great option under $100, it’s reliable, fast, and accurate. For a scale that will really blow the recipient away, check out the Acaia Pearl. This scale not only features several modes, extreme accuracy, and water resistance, but also interconnected app features. Acaia’s Brewbar app pairs with these scales (and the EKG+, mentioned above) to help you dial in and perfect your pourover brewing.

    Of course, if your gift recipient doesn’t have one already, they’ll need a grinder. For that, we love the Baratza Encore. Oh, and don’t forget the filters!

  • Gear of the Month: Fellow Stagg EKG+

     

    Welcome to Gear of the month, our monthly series on coffee hardware. These are pieces of coffee tech that we really love, that we've used a lot in the past month. While not always new, they’re great, and we want to show them to you!

     

    This month’s gear of the month is the Stagg EKG+, from Fellow.

    The EKG+ is the new update to the existing EKG, and it may never leave our pourover counter. Winner of the 2018 Red Dot Design Award, The Stagg EKG+ is a phenomenal new electric kettle from Fellow. It offers an iOS app, Acaia integration, and frankly stunning ergonomics and aesthetics. Overall this kettle is about as loaded with features as is possible for a simple piece of hardware. Though for $200, it better be.

    Look and feel

    Before we dive into the connected features of this device, is it good at it’s most important function?

    Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Definitely yes.

    The design of the Stagg EKG+ is about more than just looks. You may scoff at the idea of a nuanced kettle, but we think this one may change your mind. The EKG+’s design ergonomically distributes weight where you want it, and the handles makes flow control from the spout very easy. Even the shakiest of hands should be able to get the perfect pour rate out of this kettle, whether it’s full or nearly empty. 

    Fellow Stagg EKG+ App

     

    Beyond solid control, it just feels great in your hand. If we have any complaints about the build at all we would say that the lid could be a touch easier to remove. That said, it’s not something we'd knock the kettle for in the end, and it's comparable to other models.

    Maybe even more impressive than the usability of the EKG+ is how elegantly Fellow managed to pair ergonomics with aesthetics. This kettle is a thing of beauty, in fact, we feel like we need an entire kitchen renovation to do it justice. The Bold lines of the pot married to a striking handle design and satisfying curve to the spout leave a serious impression. That’s saying something for a piece of hardware that is normally quite utilitarian.

     

    Connectivity Covered

    But the aesthetics and feel of the EKG+ are virtually identical to it’s older brother, the EKG. Minor differences in texture and coloring are present, but that alone wouldn’t be enough for us to be excited about a $200 kettle. The plus adds connected features that really make it worth the extra price if you don’t already own an EKG. The first of these features is the Fellow EKG+ App, which allows you to set temp and control on/off functions remotely. The app also tells you if the kettle is off of the base. This is a basic but awesome feature for those prone to misplacing gear (like we can be sometimes). It’s simple, but we enjoyed being able to control and monitor temperature from our desks. The downside is that this app is only currently available on iOS, and there's no timeline on and Android release.

     

     

    Even more exciting is the way that the EKG+ integrates with Acaia’s Brewbar app.

    We’ll do a more in depth feature on Brewbar down the road, but if you’re already using it, the EKG+’s integration might be the most exciting thing about it. Brewbar allows you to save every single parameter that goes into your pourover recipes. Things like temp, grind, weight, and flow rate. The app can store your temp data and set those parameters on the kettle with a touch of a button. It’s a very useful feature if you brew a lot of pourover, because it easily automates a prep step. Again, the rub here is that the app is only available on iPad. We're not aware of any plans for it to hit other devices.

    Acaia Brewbar App

    The Verdict

    At the end of the day, we feel the tweaks to the EKG+’s appearance and added connected features justify the increase in price. With that said, $200 is a lot for a kettle, and existing EKG owners may find the upgrade cost to be a tough pill to swallow. If Brewbar is intriguing to you and you’re already working with Acaia products, we think it’s a much easier sell.

    If you're interested in purchasing the EKG+, check it out here!

    Thanks, and remember to make coffee you love!

     

  • Crew Review: Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle

    How Does It Compare?

    Grabbing the Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle to brew is like sipping that first cup of coffee. With the gooseneck spout and weighted handle, we have total control over the flow and direction of our pour—a feature the coffee connoisseur in all of us relish. The Stagg’s overall design is fresh, exciting...and there’s more to it than meets the eye. Similar kettles include the Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle, which features a similar gooseneck spout; however the Stagg has an integrated thermometer to make it easier to accurately read the temperature. Coffee enthusiasts know that precision and accuracy are important to the brew! Find out what makes the Stagg one of our favorite kettles.

    The Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle features an ergonomic design that balance when you pour. The Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle features an ergonomic design that balance when you pour.

    Brew

    The Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle includes a built-in thermometer in the lid—we’ll never guess the temperature again! If you’ve ever grabbed your kitchen thermometer and awkwardly reached inside the top of your kettle, this feature is a lifesaver. The thermometer features a red zone for optimal coffee brewing temperature—between 194 and 205 degrees—and can read up to 230 degrees for other beverages like tea. The Stagg holds a liter of water just below the kettle’s handle—that's enough for nearly seven five-ounce cups of coffee!

    Brains

    Designed with a precision-pour spout, coffee aficionados are able to perfect their pour over technique. The thin, curved spout includes more edges than we’ve seen in a goose-neck and this design helps reduce the flow. With this sort of accuracy, we’re able to carefully wet the edges of our Kalita Wave without spilling off the sides!

    The Stagg features a built-in thermometer in the lid. The Stagg features a built-in thermometer in the lid.

    Balance also plays a role in the accuracy of the pour. Fellow created a weighted handle that balances the mass of the kettle towards your hand—making pouring effortless. Your hands adjust comfortably to the smooth, forked design that adds additional stability when you pour—rest your thumb against Fellow’s logo for extra comfort!

    Beauty

    The elegant symmetry from spout to handle adds fashion and function to the Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle. Crafted with 18/8 grade stainless steel, the material only enhances the high-quality design. Home baristas and renters, rejoice—the Stagg is compatible with electric, gas and induction stoves! The Stagg comes in polished stainless steel or matte black—the Crew’s favorite—but after using it on the stove, we noticed some wear. The mirrored silver attracts fingerprints like our favorite kitchen appliance—we’re looking at you, fridge—while the black can scratch and reveal the steel underneath. Extensively using any appliance is bound to have some wear and fortunately, we’ve mostly seen it at the bottom of the kettle.

    The Stagg's gooseneck spouts creates even control for perfect pour over extraction. The Stagg's gooseneck spouts creates even control for perfect pour over extraction.

    Lastly, we don’t always talk about packaging but we couldn’t resist this time! The Stagg’s packaging features a “Pour-Over Perfected” guide that details coffee to water ratios and how to properly brew pour over. For budding baristas, this quick how-to gets them started the moment they open their Stagg Kettle—you’ll even be tempted to keep the box. Didn’t we say grabbing the Stagg is as enjoyable as your first sip of coffee?

    Conclusion

    The Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle features an ergonomic design, quality materials and style that will make any home barista excited each time they brew. And, you’ll have something to look forward to—Fellow recently released an updated version featuring a metal lid and more accurate goose-neck spout! Stay tuned for an updated review.

  • Crew Review: Fellow Duo Coffee Steeper

    A new twist on immersion brewing has found its way into SCG’s coffee collection—meet the Fellow Duo Coffee Steeper. How do you make coffee from this tall, handsome brewer? Simply fill, twist and watch it pour! OK, so there’s a little more to it than that, like letting it steep for four minutes—sound familiar?

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