Fellow Products

Coffee Questions: Great Coffee at Home by Caleb Savage

Home Brewing

“What’s the easiest way to improve my home brewing setup?”

Making coffee at home can be a lot of fun, but with recipes, brew methods, and brewing variables, making great coffee can be frustrating or feel like more work than it’s worth. We think coffee brewing should match your interest, time, budget, and taste. If it feels like making coffee at home is too complicated, too time intensive, or too costly, chances are, we can find a better way for you to make coffee!

Fellow Kettle Chemex and Acaia Scale.jpg

Interest

Is the idea of making a perfect cup of coffee overwhelming? Does the thought of breaking out a calculator to make coffee seem outrageous? Finding easy-to-use recipes from companies like KLLR Coffee or brewing methods like the Stagg XF and it’s “Fill-up” Method might be your solution!

Time

How much time do you want to invest in making a cup of coffee? Do you take your time in the mornings or do you base setting your alarm on the number of minutes it takes to get out of your house? If you’re short on time, immersion brewing methods like a French Press, Aeropress, or Clever Dripper may work best. Investing in an electric kettle like the Stagg EKG can hold a temperature for up to an hour, allowing you to heat up your kettle in advance!

Fellow Stagg XF and Kettle.jpg

Budget

It’s easy to spend a lot of money on coffee equipment, but it doesn’t mean you have to. Some items like scales have a pretty large range in price, but it’s possible to find a quality scale that can the job done under $30. That being said, coffee grinders have a higher baseline for one that will grind your coffee consistently enough to be effective. We think the Baratza Encore gets you the most bang for your buck, but if you only use one brew method or go through a bag of coffee within a month, a Fellow Atmos might be a good alternative! Check out our last Coffee Questions post on freshness and using the Fellow Atmos Canister to keep it fresh.

Taste

If you prefer your coffee to taste clean with a sweet, bright acidity, you’re going to have difficulty being content with a French Press. If you enjoy the taste of espresso or americanos but aren’t interested in making espresso at home, an aeropress might be your best bet!

Using these four categories, we can help you take the next step with home brewing! Chat with a team member next time you’re in the shop and let us know what you’re most interested in and we can help!

Drop us a line and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed!

Why Coffee Freshness Matters by Caleb Savage

Coffee is a fruit

Coffee beans are the seeds of a flowering fruit tree. Because coffee beans are the seed of a plant, the seeds serve as incubators for future plants filled with all the sugars, acids, and cell structures necessary to supply a new plant. When roasted, these compounds can be tasted as the sweetness, acidity, and bitterness we love in a great cup of coffee! Without these compounds, a great coffee can taste flat or dull.

Coffee Plant.jpg

What kills freshness?

  • Sunlight

  • Heat

  • Oxygen

  • Moisture

  • Time

How long does coffee stay fresh?

Using resealable, valved bags like the ones our friends at KLLR Coffee use, coffee is best in the first two weeks after the coffee is roasted. The further you get away from the roast date after the first two weeks, the more the acids and sugars present in the coffee will degrade. What do you do with three-week-old coffee? Drink it! When we talk about freshness, we’re talking about coffee in it’s most ideal form, not that it’s bad, dangerous or should be discarded after it’s no longer fresh, just that it’s no longer the most ideal!

Meet: The Atmos

Atmos Canister.jpg

We love Fellow. From their XF Brewers to their kettles, Fellow consistently makes quality coffee equipment that looks great too! With the Atmos, you can combat the effects of sunlight and oxygen and extend the life of your coffee without introducing changes in temperature or risking exposure to moisture.

The Atmos Vacuum Coffee Canister removes oxygen from the canister (and your coffee) by twisting the lid back & forth, meaning don’t have to worry about batteries or having to keep weird tools on hand every time you go to make a cup of coffee!

By removing oxygen from the environment, the process of sublimation or the loss of coffee flavors through oxygen, can be slowed and the coffee itself will retain its bright, sweet flavors longer!

Our Stagg [XF] Dripper Recipe by Steve Willingham


XF Set Up.jpg

This is how we suggest making a pour over on the new Stagg [XF] Dripper.

What you will need:
Stagg [XF] Dripper
Carafe (or Mug)
Kettle
Filtered Water
Stagg [XF] Paper Filter
Freshly Roasted Coffee
Grinder
Gram Scale
Timer

Find many of these items on the shop page.


XF Filter.jpg

Before You Brew

Start with fresh filtered water just off boil. We suggest 204 degrees if you're using a Fellow Stagg EKG kettle.

Set your paper filter inside the dripper.

Pour a generous amount of water through your paper filter, completely wetting the entire filter, to rinse paper dust and preheat your insulated dripper and carafe, then dump the water from the carafe. Set your dripper back onto the carafe. Alternatively, you can set the dripper onto a mug and brew directly into it.

XF Water.jpg

Grind & Bloom Coffee 

Grind 20g of fresh roasted coffee on a medium setting (about a 13 on a Baratza Encore) and add it to your filter. Give the dripper a gentle shake to flatten the bed of coffee.

Pour 40g of water over the coffee while starting a timer. Note: 1g of water = 1ml of water.

Let the coffee sit. You should see the coffee bed start to rise. This is called the bloom.

XF Brew.jpg

Concentric Circles

When your timer reads 40 seconds, pour water in slow circles of varying sizes, concentric around center of the coffee bed. Keep the pour steady, but try to hit 320g of water at the same time your timer reads 1:45.

XF Brewing Wide.jpg

The Draw Down

Allow the coffee to draw down through the filter. When liquid is no longer visible on your bed of coffee, pull the dripper off of your carafe and set it in the drip cup, gather the filter at the edges and throw the coffee grounds and filter in the compost or trash. You're ready to serve your coffee. The entire process should take about two and a half minutes.

XF Draw Down.jpg

Our Chemex recipe can be found here, and more brew guides can be found here.

We also recommend Fellow's fill up method

New Things from Fellow! by Steve Willingham

Last week, Caleb wrote a blog post about one of our favorite coffee innovators, Fellow Products.

We've been selling their Stagg Kettle since the beginning, but starting today, we have a few new items from them.

The Stagg EKG

Fellow Stagg EKG.jpg

The Stagg Kettle is not only beautiful, but perfectly balanced and easy to use. The EKG combines everything we love about the original Stagg with an electronic heating element controlled by a PID, the same technology on our equipment here at the shop.

It comes with a simple LED screen, an intuitive knob, an easy switch for Fahrenheit or Celsius, and a stopwatch, so you can keep track of your brew time.

They also produce an EKG+ model that you can connect to your Acaia App and scales. We have decided not to carry this model, but they are available on Fellow's online shop.

The Stagg Double Wall Glass Carafe

This handblown glass carafe is simple, elegant, and practical.

Fellow Stagg Carafe.jpg

We've always considered the Chemex the most beautiful way to serve a coffee, but Fellow is making that competition a tight race. The simple aesthetic, especially when paired with their other items, make it feel like a modern classic.

Its double wall is designed for heat retention, but also protects your hands, so you don't need anything that might obstruct the view of brewing coffee. Its inner wall traces the outer wall rather than running straight down, preventing wasted space, and improving on the look of double walled carafes we've seen in the past.

The Stagg [XF] Dripper

I was saving the most exciting news for last. Starting today, we have started using the Stagg [XF] Dripper for all our pour overs at the shop.

Don't get me wrong. We're still in love with Chemex, and we always will be.

Modbar Stagg XF.jpg

The Stagg [XF] is a step forward in pour over innovation. By creating a vacuum insulated stainless steel dripper, Fellow has made progress in one of hand-brewed coffee's haunting flaws: slurry temperature.

Slurry refers to the coffee and water mixture that sits in the filter during the brewing process, and its temperature is paramount. The hotter the water, the faster the coffee solubles are extracted. If the temperature of your water is inconsistent, your extraction will be inconsistent.

By drawing water directly from our water boiler using the ModBar, we felt we made great strides in temperature stability, and we've always been proud of the coffee we serve. But now, by insulating the dripper, we are ensuring that the heat isn't leaking out of the sides of the device, protecting the slurry from inconsistency during the brew process.

This is just the next step in our pursuit of the perfect cup.

So come by and try out a cup of KLLR's finest from our new Stagg [XF] Drippers, check out the online shop if you're interested in having one of your own, and circle back around to the blog on Thursday to check out our brew recipe!