Jun 16, 2023

First Look At The New Fellow Opus Grinder

After the success of their Sprudgie Award-winning pour-over-centric grinder, the Ode, Fellow has returned with a second grinder option, this one with a more multi-functional use in mind. Introducing the Opus, a pan-grinding option for the home user looking for a single piece of gear to handle anything from espresso to cold brew. Clocking in at a very friendly sub-$200 price point, the Opus is a stylish new addition to the introductory grinder market, and it's on pre-sale now.

Announced at CES 2023 back in January, the Opus is three years in the making and is a bit of a departure from the Ode, all while keeping some of its key features and Fellow's modern aesthetic intact. While the Ode focused on a narrower grinding range, the Opus attempts to stick the landing on the all-in-one. To this end, Fellow has moved away from the flat burr setup of their previous grinder and instead opted for a 40mm conical burr.

"The wider grind range appeals to all different types and tastes of coffee and drinks while the ease of use might inspire coffee beginners to explore a whole new world of coffee," Fellow CEO Jake Miller tells Sprudge. "We want more people excited about specialty coffee and Opus, and an approachable price, hopefully gets more people to get excited about the industry we all love."

The 41-step grinder ranges from super-fine espresso all the way to coarse cold brew while keeping key functionality from the Ode, including the magnetically aligned dosing cup and automatic timed grinding.

Ahead of its February 21st launch, we got a chance to take the Opus for a test drive, and it performed admirably, especially for the price point. There's a lot of love about this grinder. While the Opus can do it all, it shines most brightly as an espresso grinder. Dosing was a breeze thanks to the espresso-specific lid attachment for the dosing cup, designed for a 58mm portafilter to fit snugly onto. And even on my notoriously fickle and near impossible-to-choke Rancilio Silvia, I had shots running into the 40-second range, with clicks to spare if I needed to go finer for some reason; there was an impressive amount of headroom on the finer side, and once dialed in, shots were impressively sweet.

For pour-over, the whisper-quiet Opus again worked quite well for the price point. Grind size was generally consistent and the coffee it produced was quite good, but due to the switch to a conical burr, it did lag a bit when compared to the output of the Ode (which is perhaps an unfair comparison, given the price and conceit of the two).

Of course, there will be a few trade-offs in terms of performance. The Opus does take a bit longer to grind, around 40 seconds for 50g of coffee. The unit I tested did have a bit of static build-up, which made for a bit of a mess at times as well as a dosing variance of a few tenths of a gram, give or take. That said, none of these issues really felt like deal breakers for what I was getting out of a sub-$200 grinder. I can spare the extra few seconds to let it grind all the coffee, and I found that if you grind the coffee a minute or two before you want to use it, most of the static will dissipate by then, and a few good knocks to the side of the grinder clears the chute quite well.

Overall, the Opus punches well above its weight as an introductory, all-in-one grinder. While I would perhaps suggest anyone who only makes pour-over coffee to consider splurging on the Ode instead, the Opus is a great option for those on a budget that like to dabble in filter brewing and espresso. Or if you’re looking for a dedicated espresso grinder but don't want to shell out a cool $1,000, the Opus may be just what you are looking for.

The Opus will be available for purchase Tuesday, February 21st for $195 from Fellow. For more information or to sign up to receive alerts about the opus, visit Fellow's official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

All images via Fellow