Fellow Ode Gen 2 disappointments


New member
Aug 21, 2023
I'm not a golden-tongued coffee connoisseur, but for a number of years, I've been a drinker of well-made specialty coffee. My middle son worked for a while as a barista and introduced me to the world of specialty coffee through Michaele Weissman's book God in a Cup and by giving my taste buds an exposure to really good coffee. I've never gone back to commodity coffee.

For many years, my grinder was the Baratza Encore, and except for the noise level, I was very pleased with it. But I'd read about the joys of flat-burr grinders, and when Fellow came out with its second-generation Ode grinder, after reading glowing reviews about its quietness and about how great the coffee tasted, I plunked down the money for it and gave my Baratza Encore to a relative.

After living with it for several months, though, I have to say that I'm really disappointed in it, because of the taste of the coffee. I brew, variously, using a Hario v60, a Hario Mugen, an Aeropress, and the SCA-approved OXO 8-Cup Coffee Maker. I have tried multiple grind settings for all of these brew methods...

And I just haven't been able to get the sweet-ish, flavorful taste that I've come to identify with good coffee. To my admittedly not-so-golden tongue, the distinctive flavors I used to be able to discern from the various beans I use have been obliterated, or maybe blended together and homogenized out of distinctiveness into a bland, black, unexciting drink. And in one direction of the Ode dial, the coffees have too much bitterness. In the other direction, they're sour. At no point on the dial have I experienced any of the sweetness and distinctiveness-of-flavor that I used to enjoy from coffee ground with my Baratza Encore. My go-to coffee from my local specialty roaster is a natural-process Ethiopian Sidamo-Ardi with a very fruit-forward, strawberryish flavor profile...at least it was when ground with my Encore. With the Ode Gen 2, I get none of that. I just get dark and bland and bitter.

I feel a little like the kid in the emperor's-new-clothes story...since all these golden tongues are talking about how awesome the Ode Gen 2 is and how great the coffee tastes, can I possibly be wrong? I love the aesthetics and the quietness of the Ode Gen 2...but I sure miss my Encore. I just don't enjoy my morning coffee any more. Subsequently, I've read the broad characterization that flat-burr grinders produce coffee that accents the bitter notes and that conical-burr grinders accent the sweetness...I wish I'd read that before I bought the Ode. Maybe my tongue is just excessively sensitive to bitterness.
Comments? Thoughts? Am I doing something wrong? Am I missing out on some brewing technique that would restore what used to taste that I've now lost? Does anybody else taste what I'm tasting, or am I just completely nuts?
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Well-known member
Aug 15, 2005
Central North Carolina
There is a ridiculous amount of B.S. marketing/FOMO these days and clearly it's good to stick with tried/true instead of chasing that magical dragon. Personally haven't used the grinder in question, but I will never buy into the burr fad/craze going on these days either.

I will point out that you shouldn't be too surprised if you notice some changes throughout the year when using the same coffee as seasonal changes can't be avoided and a roaster has to figure a way to offset that and maintain quality. Your sense of taste/smell can change now and then as well... OTOH if you used the same bag of coffee in both grinders and noticed distinct differences then yeah no doubt there's something to it as far as a grinder being the culprit.


New member
May 11, 2023
Los Angeles
Hi, thank you for sharing your thoughts, I feel your frustration. As an ode lover myself, I hope I could help a little bit :)

I have used both grinders and love the gen 2. I personally think that different coffees prefer different burrs -- some prefer flat burrs, which provides more consistency and clarity; some prefer conical burrs, which provides a range of particle size with more fines to add layers and depths.
Based on my personal experience, under the same circumstances, I've noticed that some dense coffees behave better with conical burrs. Of course, it will change based on different water temp, pour structure, agitation, etc.

Since Fellow ode gen 2 is flat burr, baratza has a conical burr, gen 2 will grind more precise and consistent than baratza, and offer a finer(wider) range. I would suggest increase middle pours (based on how many pours you are doing, like #2, #3), and eliminate/avoid agitation as much as possible while doing the last pour (composed steady pours), to extract more sweetness and acidity while not too much bitter, with a V60.
Or compare the grind size side by side, try to cup both, and see if you have new findings.
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