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Jake

Barista Hustle x Fellow Tamper

Barista Hustle x Fellow | A New Partnership

By | Coffee

If you made it this far, then you must have seen a social media post announcing a Barista Hustle and Fellow partnership. What? Huh? We’re here to explain.

Fellow is now at the helm of Barista Hustle Tools, an offshoot of Matt Perger’s Barista Hustle brand. Fellow is not Barista Hustle nor is Barista Hustle Fellow. Fellow is now leading the charge of Barista Hustle Tools, or BHT, as we’ll often refer to it by. Still confused? Stick with us for a few more paragraphs.

Barista Hustle has been a strong voice in the coffee industry since its launch in 2015 by world champion brewer Matt Perger. Starting first as an education platform, Matt quickly realized great tools were missing from his teaching arsenal. Barista Hustle proceeded to launch three coffee tools that could stand up to the rigor of professional use and elevate technical precision without unnecessary complexity.

Barista Hustle x Fellow Partnership

As of today, the reigns of Barista Hustle’s product line has been handed over to Fellow under the name of Barista Hustle Tools. Where Barista Hustle is the brainchild of a coffee prodigy, Fellow is the brainchild of a product design fanatic. This partnership will enable Barista Hustle Tools to produce even more durable, precise, and fairly priced tools for baristas, coffee professionals, and enthusiasts around the world.

“We reached out to Fellow to expand the line of our tools because their knowledge of product design and manufacturing is first class,” said Matt Perger. “One of my goals with Barista Hustle has always been to solve barista pain points and expand accessibility. I’m confident Fellow, under the Barista Hustle Tools name, has the know-how and talent to make this happen.”

While Matt and Barista Hustle will still be heavily involved from the ideation side, Fellow is taking over engineering, manufacturing, distribution, and sales. The current product offerings– the BH Tamper, BH Pitcher, and BH Cupping Bowls –are now available to purchase from the just-launched Barista Hustle Tools website (BaristaHustleTools.com), as well as through Fellow’s wholesale team and San Francisco retail store.

“We’re excited to work with Matt on a regular basis to collaborate and push on new product ideas. His depth of coffee knowledge is staggering,” said Jake Miller, Fellow’s founder. “2019 is set to be a big year for new products under the Barista Hustle Tools name.”

Barista Hustle Tools x Fellow Product Line

How will this impact the flow at Fellow? A short but honest answer…it won’t. Business as usual will proceed on the Fellow side of things, and all Barista Hustle Tools news will take place over on Barista Hustle’s Instagram feed. Fellow production and distribution timelines will not impact Barista Hustle Tools’ production and distribution and vice versa. If you have any remaining questions, please send us a note at hello@fellowproducts.com.

We couldn’t be more excited to take over the ship of Barista Hustle Tools’ today while continuing to work with Matt and the BH team on developing innovative products for 2019. Head to the sparkling new website to see the current offering of gear!

Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister for Coffee

A Q&A with the Inventor of Atmos Vacuum Canister

By | Coffee, Design

Fellow’s latest product, Atmos Vacuum Canister, launched in September with the important mission to keep coffee fresher for longer. The minimalist canister looks simple, but the science and engineering inside is no joke. Drew Cosgarea, Fellow’s Product Development Engineer, invented Atmos during his junior year of college at Stanford and spent the next four years working hard to bringing it to market. To celebrate our newest engineer on the Fellow team, we had Drew dig up old photos from his college days and then sit in the hot seat to answer all things Atmos and dive deeper into what’s exactly happening inside the most effective coffee canister out there.

What’s the origin story of Atmos?
During the last quarter of my junior year (spring of 2014), I was in a class called ME203 at Stanford. This is a popular design and manufacturing class where you have ten weeks to come up with a physical product idea, make multiple prototypes, and then present a “finished” version at the end of the quarter.

And how did you land on coffee storage?
My class project corresponded to a time where I had just recently started drinking coffee. I’d buy a bag on the weekend and use it all week, but by Friday, the bag tasted off. I realized that a good product could be something to keep my bag of coffee fresher for longer.

What was the first prototype like?
I made the first version of Atmos in that class, except that it had a hand pump. At the end of the class, we presented at an expo in the d.school where about a couple hundred people came and looked at all the products. Someone came up to my table and said he’d actually use this but didn’t like the separate pump. So I went to the professor of the class, David Beach, and told him I can make the vacuum canister a lot better. I asked him if he’d be willing to mentor me to turn Atmos into a real product.

He said it would be a really hard thing to do, but if I committed the time, we can do an independent study the fall of my senior year. I knew I wanted to put a pump into the lid and power it with a twisting motion, which as far as I know, has never been done before. During the study, we iterated through a series of prototypes starting with literally just cutting components of a fish tank pump. But by the end of the independent study, we had a functional, machined proof of concept. No fish tank pumps required!

Atmos Vacuum Canister Drew Cosgarea

Atmos Vacuum Canister by FellowWhat happened after graduation?
Well, I moved to Arizona for a year to train full time for the 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials. I got extremely bored during that time, so I continued working on the project while training. I worked on the CAD and eventually raised $25,000 from a couple different investors, basically friends and family, to help me get the patent on this. I eventually got the patent for a vacuum sealable container with an internal pump mechanism. This is the only internal curved vacuum pump. There were no designs for curved pumps that could be integrated into a lid.

Where does Fellow come into this whole story?
So by now, it’s 2017 and Atmos had been an idea of mine for three years. I spent the last of the money on the patent application, and I was running out of steam. I was about ready to give up on the project when I had a conversation with Professor Perry Klebahn from Stanford. He encouraged me to not walk away, but instead, chat with Jake at Fellow who was in his launchpad class in the d.school a few years back. So I headed to Fellow’s old office in the Dogpatch and met with Jake for the first time. Coincidentally, Fellow had been wanting to make a coffee storage vehicle for the past few years and Jake was excited to add my technology to Fellow’s portfolio of products.

How did Fellow help bring Atmos to market?
Fellow officially took on the Atmos project January of 2018. A side note, I had always referred to this product as Hypo (comes from “hypobaric” which means low pressure and the name Atmos didn’t come along until July of this year). The final naming process took about a month, but I’m so glad it ended up the way it did. Anyways, Fellow and Branch Creative worked for months to create the beautiful design ID and iron out kinks. Then in June, I actually joined the Fellow team officially. This was not the intention when I passed off Atmos, but something kept drawing me back to Fellow and I was excited to design new products with them.

My first day at Fellow was a flight to Taiwan for factory visits. I got to see the mold tooling for the curved pumped piece. This curved pump is the foundation of my invention and a huge headache, so it was pretty rad to see this in real life. Ever since getting back from the trip, I’ve been improving on the design and guiding production ramp up through launch at the end of September.

Atmos Vacuum Canister Protoype

Why is Atmos better than what’s on the market currently?
At the time of invention, there were no vacuum canisters that didn’t require an extra pump. There are also some other non-vacuum coffee containers out there, but they’re total gimmicks. Here’s why. When you roast coffee, a bunch of compounds form that make it smell and taste good. Oxygen comes in and steals electrons from these compounds, which makes them smell and taste bad. This is called an oxidation, and it’s the reason coffee goes stale. How quickly oxidation happens depends on the pressure of the oxygen. Again, pressure. It’s a fundamental principle of chemistry. If you’re not storing in a vacuum, you’re not slowing oxidation. Frankly, non-vacuum containers are no different than leaving your beans in the coffee bag and folding the tabs down. Not to mention, Atmos is beautifully designed and minimalist. The whole idea is you can’t tell there’s a pump inside.

Fellow Atmos Vacuum CanisterDid you have any big hiccups while making Atmos?
I would say there were at least four times that I wanted to totally ditch the project. There were times when the only thing that kept me going was knowing that I borrowed money from my friends and family. I didn’t want to let them down.

How do you feel now that your baby is finally out in the world?
It’s super satisfying. To be able to see the entire process from the original idea to the industrial design to the marketing campaign to fulfillment, it’s pretty magical. I never imagined it was actually possible.

How many Atmos’ did your mom buy on launch day?
Sheila Cosgarea bought six. A set of the clear glass and a set of the matte black stainless steel.

What are you going to store in Atmos?
I’m definitely going to put full bags of coffee in the 1.2 liter glass size. I like to see the label and remember the tasting notes that I’m drinking. Also, specialty bags are so well designed, why would you cover them? Also, when you put a bag of coffee inside, the bag also gets vacuumed sealed!

What’s next in your product inventing pipeline?
From Atmos’ idea conception until the product shipped, it took me four years. I would say now, my goal is to cut that down to eight months for the next Fellow product. That’s why I’m here. They have the resources and mentorship to learn how to do this along with an incredible brand that I’m excited to design for. (Note: We did not pay him to say this. Although, he is on our payroll…)


Thank you, Drew! If you didn’t already know, Atmos is a pre-order product shipping in mid-November. Right now, we have special pre-order launch deal – buy two, get one of equal or lesser value for free!

SHOP ATMOS VACUUM CANISTER

Fellow x Fire Road Andrew Perkins

Fire Road x Fellow | A San Francisco Collaboration

By | Bay Area, Design

Below Andrew Perkins’ rural home in the Santa Cruz mountains spans a network of fire roads. Meant for fire containment, Andrew hopped on his bike as a kid and used the dirt roads as a jumping off point to blaze a new path into the woods. He’d veer off when he saw an adventure waiting to happen and then find his way back on the road to get home in time for dinner. These fire roads were his first gateway to nature.

In 2015, Andrew started San Francisco design brand, Fire Road. The Santa Cruz mountains not only inspired the name, but also his love for designing and building. At 12-years-old, Andrew constructed his first project, a tricked out Home Alone-style treehouse. Booby traps, pulley system for transporting food and water, a tripwire that sent a shoe on a string flying toward your face. You name it, this treehouse had it.

While Andrew’s design aesthetics evolved beyond booby traps (although this writer would argue that booby traps should be incorporated into more things), he still puts the same passion and detail into every single one of his creations. Fire Road is focused on creating iconic home goods with unique material combinations, minimalist design, and excellent function. Every product is made in the USA, combining advanced production with superior craftsmanship to create innovative and inviting accessories for the home. Andrew values permanence, quality, and sustainability in everything he does.

Since the beginning, beautifully functional has been the foundation of Fellow’s design principles. Every element of a product must equally push forward both functionality and aesthetics. To celebrate brands who share in our same approach when making and creating, we’re launching a new collaboration platform, Fellow Partnerships. We’re honored to work with Andrew Perkins and Fire Road for our first official partnership.

Fellow x Fire Road Serving Set Collection

Fellow x Fire Road Serving Tray ClampsEveryday objects meet high-design for a collection centered around the art of entertaining for the Fire Road x Fellow Collection. Carrara marble contrasted with powder coated aluminum in Fellow’s signature matte black fuse together for a timeless yet modern serving set that includes a serving tray, bar tray, and bottle opener.

“While designing Fire Road x Fellow, I was inspired by opposing materials coming together to create a beautiful relationship. The Carrara marble is the natural element, while the matte black aluminum leans industrial,” said Andrew. “Each individual piece has a little bit of the other pieces in their design. They are a stunning complementary set, but each piece looks effortless standing alone.”

Fellow x Fire Road Cocktail Serving Tray

Fellow x Fire Road Marble Bottle Opene

Fire Road x Fellow is a limited-run collection. Shop each piece separately or snag the entire set to save $28. 

 

SHOP THE COLLECTION

Corvo EKG Electric Tea Kettle

What’s The Point of A PID Controller In An Electric Kettle?

By | Coffee, Design

Minimal and modern with a single button and a sleek LCD screen, Stagg EKG and Corvo EKG’s base is hiding something very powerful inside: a PID controller. A proportional-integral-derivative controller is a control loop feedback mechanism widely used in industrial control systems. The PID controller continuously calculates an error value as the difference between a desired setpoint and a measured process variable and applies a correction based on proportional, integral, and derivative terms which give the controller its name.1  Or in much simpler terms, EKG’s PID controller is basically a mathlete with a TI-84 calculator constantly running equations to determine the most efficient way to reach your goal temperature.

“An everyday example is the cruise control on a road vehicle; where external influences such as gradients would cause speed changes, and the driver has the ability to alter the desired set speed. The PID algorithm restores the actual speed to the desired speed in the optimum way, without delay or overshoot, by controlling the power output of the vehicle’s engine.”2 Well before cruise control, the original application of PID controllers was for the automatic steering systems for ships in the early 1920s. So if you ever want to drop an impressive factoid while brewing up a pour-over, you can say your Stagg EKG or Corvo EKG has the same technology as ocean liners.

If your electric kettle has a traditional thermostat, it heats up by overshooting the goal temperature, and then it drops below the goal temperature to cool off. All kettles (that we’re aware of) have a simple on/off controller. So, the power is either at 100% or 0%. Again it overshoots, undershoots, overshoots, and undershoots until it gets close to the goal temperature. Charted on a graph, it would look like spiking zig zag lines or the stock market crashing and rebounding day after day. This is not efficient and in reality, your “hold” is just holding at a degree or two below and above, flipping back and forth.

Now onto the EKG family and the two reasons EKG outperforms everything else on the market. First, Stagg EKG and Corvo EKG use a PID controller (much like your fancy $20,000 espresso machines), so the zig zags are less drastic and resemble a curve leveling off at your goal temperature. This lends itself to a more accurate output. In addition, those other kettles just have on/off mechanical relays (remember from above, either 100% or 0% power). Fellow’s EKG line is able to do a little something called “Pulse Width Modulation” using a non-mechanical approach. PWM uses series of on/off pulses to vary the duty cycle, the fraction of time that the output voltage is “on” compared to when it is “off.” This PWM action allows us to maintain temp much more accurate compared to a standard mechanical relay that is clicking on and off around the set point. Oh, and that also means Stagg EKG doesn’t have that annoying mechanical on/off click that drives baristas crazy.

Okay okay… so what does this mean in terms of actual performance? After running countless tests, we can say with confidence that the EKG family’s PID controller heats and maintains water temperature to +/- .3 degrees Celsius. This is three to four times more accurate than the leading electric pour-over kettle available on the market today. In one series of tests, we compared Stagg EKG to the leading variable temp pour-over kettle (to be nice, we won’t name names).

The test: 600 ml of water set to hold at 200°F.

Although both kettles have an average temperature of essentially 200°F over the course of testing duration (averages can be misleading), the standard deviations tell a very different story. Stagg EKG has a standard deviation of 0.27°F while the leading pour-over kettle comes in at 1.06°F.

As you can see from the plot, Stagg EKG is bouncing between about 199.5°F and 200.5°F (blue line), while the leading pour-over kettle ranges from a low of below 198°F and a high of over 201.5°F (red line). The competitor kettle turns on (100%) overshoots the set point, then shuts off (0%). The water cools down to 198°F and then the kettle clicks back on (100%). The result is relatively drastic swings in temperature even though you’re technically in hold mold. Stagg EKG, through PID and PWM is able to do micro adjustments that make it hold temp three times more accurate in this experiment.

Stagg EKG vs. Leading Variable Temp Pour-Over KettleWhy should the inner-workings of an electric kettle matter to you? The fourth wave of coffee has been forecasted as “the science of coffee.” As we learn more about coffee, users seek more resolution on their brewing parameters as seen in many third wave shops employing techniques such as Total Dissolved Solids, brewing by weight, and using coffee brewing smart technology. Stagg EKG and Corvo EKG provide users the ability to manipulate temperatures with to-the-degree precision to easily control the brewing temperature. This empowers users to experiment and explore all the varying degrees of extraction for coffee and tea. Both Stagg EKG and now our latest product, Corvo EKG, have a brew range of 104°F to 212°F (40°C-100°), can hold the set temperature for 60 minutes, and most importantly, are the most accurate variable temperature electric kettles on the market.

Corvo EKG Electric Tea KettleStagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Master Brew Class with Dylan Siemens US Brewers Cup Champion

Master Brew Class With Dylan Siemens | Onyx X Fellow

By | Bay Area, Coffee

The Fellow Playground had the honor of hosting Dylan Siemens, the 2017 US Brewers Cup Champion, for our #OnyxXFellow Brew Master Class Weekend. Not only does Dylan bust out incredible cups of coffee, he couldn’t be a nicer human being. The Fellow team didn’t want our new Arkansas friends to leave. While the weekend was jam-packed with activities, by far the best part was watching Dylan in action teach brew classes. The level of his knowledge is mindblowing, and we were like kids in a coffee-infused candy listening to his tidbits and sipping on his brews.

For Dylan’s Master Brew Classes in the Playground, he came up with three different recipes using the Stagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle, Stagg [X] Dripper, and Stagg Double Wall Carafe. Follow along with his method below, and then let us know how your brews turn out! Read More

Stagg EKG+ Production Update: It’s Go Time!

By | Design

Be honest. You’ve seen seen Stagg EKG on Instagram feeds for the past three months, shaken a fist at the screen, and said, “Grrrr…Fellow, where’s my EKG+?” Trust us, the EKG+ delay stung— we wanted to ship it out just as badly as you wanted to receive it. Unfortunately, the last checkboxes to be checked came down to safety regulations, and they were out of our control. Sometimes we wanted to shake our fist at the screen and say, “Grrr…safety, who needs you?” But alas, we drank a cup of coffee, calmed down, and realized safety is very much needed.

We spent the holidays away from home and our families in China and Taiwan to ensure we were making progress every single day. I was there for 10 days at the end of December while our other engineer, Neil, spent seven days in the factory in early December. The first hold-up we were working through was a product modification for the EKG+ to pass the safety certification. This was the addition of an “enable/disable” feature for Bluetooth as required for ETL product certification by Intertek (the governing body for electronic product safety). We’re happy to say this feature was recently completed (thankfully achieved through a menu in software and not as an additional switch), and EKG+ was re-submitted for ETL certification. Read More

WHY DOUBLE WALL INSULATION?

By | Coffee, Design


Here at Fellow, we obsess over temperature and understand how important it is for brewing coffee. That’s why we created two pour-over drippers, Stagg [X] and Stagg [XF] with vacuum insulated double wall stainless steel to help reduce temperature loss during your brew. Obsessive? Yes. Excessive? No.

The thinking: the more control you have over temperature, the more control you have over your extraction.

But how does our double wall insulated stainless steel dripper actually stack up to competing drippers? We’ve run a series of tests comparing Stagg [XF] Dripper to other popular coffee drippers. For the sake of consistency and accuracy, we focused on testing Stagg [XF] versus flat bottom single wall stainless steel drippers. Here’s what we found:

Read More

How To Dial-In Your Prismo To Pull The Best “Shot”

By | Coffee

Just like a real espresso machine, Prismo needs a bit of “dialing in” to pull a great shot. When done correctly, Prismo makes an incredibly flavorful, dense, and tasty espresso-style brew. When done wrong, like with an espresso machine, you can produce sub-optimal results like sour taste notes and a grainy texture. It takes a few brews to settle into your favorite routine, but once you find that sweet spot, Prismo can pull tasty espresso-style coffee shot after shot.

Wondering how to make the best possible shot with Prismo? Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned from product testing and from our friends in the coffee world…

Read More

EKG+ Production Update

By | Coffee, Design

 

Hello Fellow pre-order supporters!

As you’ve likely seen, we have started to ship Stagg EKG units (the non-BlueTooth version) to Kickstarter Backers. As you know, the EKG+ units were not in the same container. Although we did expect about a month difference between the two units, we didn’t forecast many of the challenges we’re currently facing.

Read More

Prismo: Superpowers for your AeroPress®

By | Coffee, Design

 


Meet Prismo, an AeroPress® attachment that unlocks espresso-style coffee without an espresso machine.

We here at Fellow love espresso, but sometimes we don’t have access to a good espresso machine, and the team is left to walk to the nearest coffee shop. Since we’re a coffee product company (and that coffee shop is over a mile away), we figured we should probably solve this problem. Read More