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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!

How Vacuums Prevent Coffee Staleness

How Vacuums Prevent Coffee Staling

By | Coffee

Coffee storage and freshness are influenced by a confusing mix of variables that greatly affect how long your beans stay tasty. We’re a big fan of vacuums as a means of extending your coffee’s shelf life (if you couldn’t tell from our new Atmos Vacuum Canister). Here’s a handy guide on coffee freshness that explains why vacuum canisters are so effective at keeping your coffee fresher, longer.

Why is oxygen so bad for coffee beans?
Oxygen is bad for coffee, snacks, or pretty much any perishable item because it makes things stale through a process called oxidation. To set the stage, we define “staleness” as the loss of desirable flavors and aroma, and/or the creation of undesirable flavors and aroma. When oxygen comes in contact with a molecule, it removes an electron from the molecule. This is called oxidation. The molecule that loses an electron becomes unstable and reactive, which then results in the loss of flavor or creation of an undesirable flavor.

For coffee beans, oxygen negatively affects VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are chemical byproducts of roasting that evaporate quickly. They are generally considered good because they contribute to aroma.³ When oxygen comes in contact with VOCs, they become unstable and result in coffee losing its aroma.

Oxygen also affects lipids, which are the coffee oils in the bean. Oxidation turns lipids into peroxide which contributes to rancid taste notes.7

Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister for Coffee
What’s a vacuum container and how does it help with oxidation?
First off, let’s define what a vacuum is. A vacuum is a closed system in which pressure is less than atmospheric. In order for this to happen, you need a constant amount of space (i.e. a rigid container) where air particles are removed.

There’s a lot of airtight containers/bags out there that get rid of some air, but these aren’t necessarily a true vacuum. An easy way to tell if you don’t have a vacuum container is if your container shrinks (i.e. is it a bag or does it have a lid that collapses into the container). If your container shrinks, it is not a vacuum and will not decrease the pressure below atmospheric.

But why is pressure so important?
Oxidation speed (the rate of oxidation) depends on pressure.¹A reaction occurs when two molecules collide. If there are more molecules in a smaller area, the chances of collision increases and the reaction happens faster.

Air is a mixture of nitrogen, CO2, and oxygen. For the oxidation reaction, we care only about the pressure of oxygen – or the partial pressure. The partial pressure of oxygen is the fraction of oxygen in the air, times the total pressure of the air. The partial pressure of oxygen can be changed by changing the fraction of oxygen in air (i.e. nitrogen flushing) or changing the total pressure of the air (i.e. vacuum chamber).

Fraction of Oxygen in Air x Total Pressure Air = Partial Pressure of Oxygen

Here’s an example of this equation for calculating the partial pressure of oxygen:

—————-

What is the partial pressure of oxygen in a) atmosphere and b) a half vacuum?

Fraction of O2 in air = .2095

Total pressure of atmospheric air = 101.325kPa

Total pressure in half vacuum air = 50.66 kPa

Fraction O2 x Total Pressure = O2 partial pressure

.2095 O2 x 101.325 kPa = 21.23 kPa

.2095 O2 x 50.66 kPa = 10.61 kPa

Therefore, O2 partial pressure a) 21.23 kPa and b) 10.61kPa  

——————–

From calculating the partial pressure of oxygen in a half vacuum, we can conclude the oxidation rate at full pressure is twice as fast as the oxidation rate at half pressure, which is the environment Atmos creates. Although oxidation and freshness have a very strong correlation, because there are other factors at play like degassing, the relationship is not linear. If it was, we could say Atmos slows the oxidation rate by 2x, and therefore extends coffee’s shelf life by 100%.

We landed on the conclusion that Atmos extends coffee’s shelf life up to 50% due to the many variables that go into how fast a specific bean goes stale (origin, roast, how many times you open your canister, degassing, etc.)

What happens to the degassing rate of coffee in a vacuum?
If vacuum chambers affect gas on the molecular level, then it’s important to consider how vacuums affect coffee degassing. When coffee is roasted, gases form inside the bean. After roasting, gases (mostly carbon dioxide) start seeping out. When coffee is a few days old and very fresh, a bulk of the carbon dioxide formed leaves your beans. Because vacuums create a pressure gradient, CO2 degassing will occur quicker than at full atmospheric pressure. When we first started designing a vacuum canister, we wanted to make sure this didn’t harm the flavor profile of coffee or its ability to stay fresher longer.

Our conclusion was twofold. First, 40% of CO2 in coffee escapes within the first 24 hours. Most of the degassing happens very quickly in the first few days after roasting.² By the time you get your coffee, it has probably already done a bulk of its degassing so vacuum canister effects on CO2 are minimal.

If you do get your coffee extremely fresh (1-3 days off roast), a vacuum canister will degas coffee quicker, which in theory, is a negative outcome because degassing too quickly can also lead to the loss of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that create aroma. However, as we talked about earlier, it turns out those same VOCs, along with lipids, are the molecules most affected by oxidation. Oxidation is the primary reason for coffee staling.5 When assessing the impact of fast degassing versus oxidation, it is clear oxidation has such an overwhelming impact on coffee’s flavor that protecting your beans from oxidation is significantly more impactful than preventing a small increase in the degassing rate.

Since this is a sealed environment, will this mean there is a buildup of CO2?
We’ve received a few questions about CO2 buildup in Atmos compared to in a bag with a standard one-way valve. Commercial coffee bean bags with CO2 degassing valves are designed to relieve CO2 pressure buildup and prevent bag rupture, not to necessarily keep coffee fresher for longer. In a vacuum chamber, the pressure is low enough that CO2 buildup is not a concern. CO2 in the air around the beans is non-reactive and will not affect the flavor of the coffee. CO2 does, however, affect your coffee’s flavor once you start brewing, so make sure to bloom your bed of grounds before brewing!4

Can I put Atmos in the freezer to store coffee?

You can freeze Atmos but it’s not the best use of the product. Since coffee beans should be frozen in individual servings as to not refreeze and freeze beans continuously, Atmos doesn’t make the most sense. Atmos is intended to hold multiple servings, so it would be a waste of space in your freezer to put only one serving of beans inside. Placing Atmos in the freezer will also eventually reduce the life-span of the vacuum seal.

Atmos Vacuum Canister Coffee Storage
Additional questions?
We hope this answers your questions on vacuums, coffee freshness, and Atmos Vacuum Canister! As always, we will continue posting our research as we receive questions from customers and the coffee curious. If you have additional questions or comments reach out to hello@fellowproducts.com, so we can continue serving up the latest and greatest coffee information!


REFERENCES

1.) Cengel, Y. A., & Boles, M. A. (2012). Thermodynamics An Engineering Approach. McGraw-Hill Science Engineering.

2.) Illy, A., & Viani, R. (2005). Espresso coffee: The science of quality. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.

3.) Rao, S. (2014). The coffee roasters companion. Canada: Scott Rao.

4.) Raper, A. Is Your Coffee Too Fresh? Retrieved from https://clivecoffee.com/blogs/learn/is-your-coffee-too-fresh.

5.) Sage, E. (2017). What is the Shelf Life of Roasted Coffee? A Literature Review on Coffee Staling. Retrieved from http://www.scanews.coffee/2012/02/15/what-is-the-shelf-life-of-roasted-coffee-a-literature-review-on-coffee-staling.

6.) Schenker, S. (2000). Investigations on the hot air roasting of coffee beans. Zürich: ETH Zürich.

7.) Smith JP, Daifas DP, El-Khoury W, Koukoutsis J & El-Khoury A. (2004). Shelf Life and Safety Concerns of Bakery Products: A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 44(1):19-55.

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 September Featured Roasters L

Coffee With A Cause | September Featured Roasters

By | Coffee, Featured Roaster

Running a quality coffee roastery these days is no small feat! There’s the cost, of course, trying to keep prices reasonable and still pay for inventory, rent, employees, maintenance, and taxes. There’s the quality control and skill development required to actually deliver a good final product. There’s the pressure to stay relevant and make sure you are making a good brand for yourself (not to mention all the Instagramming). There’s the setbacks that come naturally with owning a business.

Now take all this, and throw giving back to the community in the mix? That’s truly impressive, to say the least! This month we are celebrating some of our favorite coffee roasters who have worked making the world a better place into the very fiber of their business models. From going completely solar, to fighting human trafficking, to giving ex-inmates a chance at a new start, to empowering the farming communities that grow the very coffee they use, these five businesses have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Come join us in our appreciation for these real-life superheroes who not only provide us with delicious coffees but also think outside of the mug and truly make a difference in the world!

EQUATOR COFFEE & TEAS
A shining example of accountable, transparent, sustainable business practices

Fellow Featured Roasters EquatorHomebase: San Rafael, California
Founders: Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell in 1995
Coffee/Origin: Ethiopia
Variety: Heirloom
Process: Washed
Notes: Peach Nectar, Ginger, Candied Lemon

Cause: “Equator’s philosophy on coffee is built from a question: how do we create value from our perch in the coffee supply chain, standing at the intersection between local and distant coffee communities?

This question that continues to frame our narrative as we strive to grow a business that values the stakeholders in both communities with respect for the people, the process, and the product. Equator believes that quality underlies economic and environmental sustainability, and this is the pillar of our approach. We support environmentally sound certifications, as well as practices that produce the highest quality coffee while securing a dignified life for those who produce it.

In 2011, we formalized our commitment to sustainability by becoming a certified B Corporation, making Equator the first California coffee roaster to do so.”

Shop this coffee / Follow @equatorcoffees


KICKAPOO COFFEE ROASTERS
Harnessing the power of the sun to give back to their community, near and far

Fellow Featured Roasters KickapooHomebase: Viroqua, Wisconsin
Founders: Caleb Nicholes and TJ Semanchin in 2005
Coffee/Origin: Kenya Mbeguka
Variety: SL-28, Ruiru 11
Process: Washed
Notes: Persimmon, Kumquat, Sucanat

Cause: “Every year we donate five percent of our profits to initiatives that strengthen rural communities. Our roastery is located in a tiny town in Wisconsin. It’s where we live and work and raise our families. Our coffee farmers are located in some of the most remote places on the planet, small villages in the highlands of Central and South America and in Africa.  They’re our community, too.

In summer 2015, Kickapoo became one of the first coffee roasters in the world to take its power from an on-site solar array. With the exception of our vintage Probat G30 gas-powered roaster and winter heating, our entire roastery, offices and production floor are powered by an 80 panel, 25-Kilowatt solar array. Switching to solar power fits with our overall strategy and commitment to reduce our carbon footprint as well as our mission to be a farmer-focused company. Our producers are already feeling the impact of climate change. In addition to fluctuations in weather patterns and growing seasons, climate change exacerbates the spread of plant diseases like la Roya, a fungus that has become endemic in every coffee growing region in the world and threatens to change how and where coffee is produced.”

Shop this coffee / Follow @kickapoocoffee


3-19 COFFEE
Creating space for creative people in their community

Fellow Featured Roasters 3-19Homebase: San Francisco, California
Founders: Chris Dollries and Mike Weaver in 2016
Coffee/Origin: Santiago Lopez, Honduras
Variety: Bourbon, Catuai
Process: Washed
Notes: Orange, Melon, Chocolate

Cause: “We believe in a creative and approachable coffee experience. 3-19 Coffee Roasters seeks out relationships that will build upon our three passions – Coffee, Art, and Community. Before we sold a single bag of coffee – we spent a week in a rural coffee community in Honduras drawing, dancing and painting a wall mural celebrating culture and life. We’ve taken this concept of creating opportunities in art and building community through coffee to our home communities as well. Check out Lilac Alley in the Mission for a mural of a Guatemalan Quetzal drinking coffee – a result of supporting local SF-area artists!

Our goal is be the glue and the window to the coffee supply chain, with a unique twist on celebrating individuality and art. For us, this means we have strong relationships with coffee farmers, coffee drinkers and those communities. By valuing what is important to each, 3-19 hopes to build a strong community that encourages expression and doing good by others.”

Shop this coffee / Follow @319coffee


BIG HOUSE BEANS
Giving second chances

Fellow Featured Roasters Big House BeansHomebase: Brentwood, California
Founders: John and LeeAnn Krause in 2014
Coffee/Origin: Guatemala Cubulco
Variety: Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon
Process: Washed
Notes: Chocolate, Almond Butter, Raisin

Cause: “We believe everyone has second chances. Big House Beans Specialty Coffee Roasters not only sources and roasts the best coffees out there, but seeks to provide opportunities to anyone who has a vision for their future and a heart to work hard. We are a small business focused on true, equal opportunities. We hire, mentor and teach skills to the “least desirable” yet hard working women and men because why not?

Every person is different, but we all have a purpose. We believe in birthing potential through highlighting diversity. We source unique coffees to keep the spectrum wide, allowing each one to flourish in its own way. We believe that of people as well. That is why the main goal of Big House Beans is to empower individuals through unconditional love and opportunities. To caffeinate and embrace our community through every bag of coffee. From the bloom to the last sip.”

Shop this coffee / Follow @bighousebeans


ST. CLARE COFFEE
Helping to protect and empower the humans who need it most

Fellow Featured Roasters St ClareHomebase: San Francisco, California
Founder: Kevin Bohlin in 2016
Coffee/Origin: “Sister Moon” Bolivia / Honduras
Process: Washed
Notes: Rich, Chocolate, Nutty

Cause: “St. Clare Coffee is a sister venture from Saint Frank Coffee in San Francisco and our mission is simple: pursue joy and quality of life through relationships in coffee.  St. Clare fulfills this vision by engaging and empowering the potential of disconnected communities through coffee.

We diligently source and develop delicious coffees from remote and isolated communities from the Yungas of Bolivia to the Northern Highlands of Thailand. We work alongside the Not for Sale Campaign, a San Francisco-based non-profit that focuses on battling human trafficking and sex slavery in developing countries to not only provide financial support but to help provide survivors of sex trafficking a route to learning barista skills and becoming a functioning part of society. Moreover, we partner with global and local Bay Area groups for restoration and building opportunities. Choosing traceable and sustainable specialty coffee, St. Clare makes the world a better place, yet we can do more. It just starts with a cup of coffee, enjoy!”

Shop this coffee / Follow @stclarecoffee


 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee Processes Augustt Featured Roasters Line-Up Fellow

The Process | August Featured Roasters

By | Coffee, Featured Roaster

Like wine, spirits, and many commodities, after it is harvested coffee undergoes varying degrees of process and management before it gets roasted and ends up in our hands. In a culture where cost and convenience have risen to the top of the priority pile, it is easy to overlook this crucial component of the brew we buy.

However these days, thanks to roasteries and businesses which tend to work more directly with coffee farms, value transparency, and champion the craft of production, we now have more understanding in what’s in our cup.

This month, we are excited to highlight the exciting and dynamic world of coffee processing! From fully-washed beans (common) to beans which have been left to dry on the tree (rare), we are offering a spectrum of delicious coffees which have been processed in a variety of ways, to give us the chance to see all the things this special bean can do. We hope you enjoy this delicious and unusual line-up as much as we do!

TIM WENDELBOE | WASHED PROCESS
Oslo, Norway | Founded in 2007 by Tim Wendelboe

Tim Wendelboe Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoastersCoffee/Origin: Kenya Kapsokisio
Variety: K7, SL-28, SL-34
Notes: Green Apples, Cooked Fruit, Raspberries

“This coffee is grown and hand-picked by the cooperative members that are all smallholder farmers. After picking the coffee with their family members and neighbors they deliver and sell the coffee cherries to the wet mill where the good coffee cherries are separated from the inferior ones by hand sorting before the coffee gets processed. Then the cherries are de-pulped by using a 4 disc Aagard disc pulper. The parchment coffee is dry fermented for 24 to 48 hours and rinsed with clean water midway through fermentation. Then the parchment is washed and graded before it gets soaked for up to 24 hours before drying. The clean coffee is dried on African elevated drying tables, partly covered with shade nets.” – Tim Wendelboe (@timwendelboe)

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KLATCH COFFEE | WET HULLED PROCESS
Rancho Cucamonga, CA | Founded 1993 by Mike and Cindy Perry
Klatch Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoasterCoffee/Origin: Sumatra Mutu Batak
Variety: Ateng, Jember, Garundang
Notes: Cacao, Cedar, Bell Peppers

“The Sumatra Lintong Mutu Batak comes from selected producers surrounding the town of Lintongnihuta in the Provinsi Sumatera Utara (Northern Sumatra Province). This specific area is located on the southern shores of Lake Toba, which is the largest volcanic lake in the world. The soil around the southern part of the lake is volcanic which leads to exceptional terrain for growing coffee. The town of Lintong Nihuta sits on a plateau that ranges from 1000 meters with a few farms to around 1300 meters.

The producers of this coffee are small farmers who have been recognized by our staff to produce exceptional raw material. These selected farmers run small two to four-hectare plantations with each hectare consists of approximately 1,000 coffee trees. The farmer grows, harvests, and de-pulps the coffee on the farm. After de-pulping he stores the coffee overnight, allowing it to ferment and washes the following day. After washing the farmer will briefly dry the coffee to remove the moisture from the exterior of the parchment and delivers the coffee to the production facility.

After the coffee is dried to 12 to 13% moisture content in the greenhouses, the coffee will be delivered to the warehouse in Medan. It is inspected and graded again upon arrival to ensure no errors were made during processing. The coffee is then warehoused for 2 months. Then it goes through the final grading, hand sorted, bagged and ready for export. This coffee scored an impressive 94 points from Coffee Review.” – Klatch Coffee (@klatchroasting)

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LITTLE AMPS COFFEE ROASTERS | RED HONEY PROCESS
Harrisburg, PA | Founded 2011 by Aaron Carlson

Little Amps Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoastersCoffee/Origin: Costa Rica Finca El Chilemate
Variety: Bourbon
Notes: Chocolate, Grapefruit, Lemongrass

“Las Lajas began producing honey coffees in 2008 by necessity, after an earthquake temporarily cut off their access to water.  The Chacons knew of natural processing techniques used in other countries and figured it was worth a shot to try in Costa Rica to avoid losing a bulk of their farm’s harvest.

Aside from being leaders in their field, the Chacons are very environmentally minded and are one of the only certified-organic mills in their area.  Their preference to honey processing also enables them to cut back on water usage while processing coffees, as they don’t have to soak the beans as long as a fully washed coffee would require.” – Little Amps Coffee Roasters (@littleampscoffee)

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CHROMATIC COFFEE CO. | TREE DRIED PROCESS
San Jose, CA | Founded 2012 by Hiver von Geenhoven, Wendy Warren, and James Warren

Chromatic Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoastersCoffee/Origin: Brazil Boia
Variety: Bourbon
Notes: Fresh Fruit, Nougat, Chocolate

“We have been so happy working with Ronaldo, Natalia, her Father, Jose Maria and the lovely folks of the Santa Luzia Farm. In this wild dried-on-the-tree lot, we are greeted with very fresh fruit, followed by sweet flavors of toffee-nougat, and a lovely chocolate note that rounds out really nicely with dried fruit qualities in the finish.” – Chromatic Coffee Co. (@chromaticcoffee)

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BLACK & WHITE COFFEE ROASTERS | NATURAL PROCESS
Wake Forest, NC | Founded 2017 by Kyle Rampage and Lem ButlerBlack and White Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured RoastersCoffee/Origin: Burundi Mutana Lot 39
Variety: Bourbon
Notes: Strawberry, Tropical, Passionfruit

“The Long Miles Coffee Project started in 2013, when Ben and Kristy built their first washing station, called Bukeye, at the base of Gaharo hill and is home to 921 plantations and 104,747 trees. This station processes coffee from four “hills” in the area: Gaharo, Ninga, Munuinya and Rugoma, keeping each unique lot separated. It also washes coffee from other surrounding hills including the Mutana Hill area. We are excited to offer Lot 39 from Long Miles Coffee Project, featuring their natural process. Mutana Hill has rich sweetness of tropical fruits balanced with light acidity and silky body.” – Black & White Coffee Roasters (@blackwhiteroasters)

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What’s your favorite process? Stop by the Playground all month long to brew up one of each and quiz our Fellow Brew Guides on the different processing methods!

Fellow Prismo Affogato Recipe How-To

Prismo “Affauxgato” Recipe

By | Coffee

An affogato is the perfect summer pick-me-up or a delicious way to impress dinner party guests with minimal effort. Usually, a traditional affogato takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream drowned in a hot shot of espresso. But if you’re not the proud owner of an expensive espresso machine, how are you going to pick yourself up in the summer or make a fancy dessert for your great aunt?

Have no fear. Prismo is here! Swooping in with another one of his superpowers to save the day, our mighty AeroPress® Coffee Maker attachment is an affogato-making superstar. Well, we like to call it an “affauxgato” since Prismo technically makes espresso-style shots.

Our sales manager Jake Mix invented this recipe one afternoon in the Playground, and the team has been hooked ever since. Classic vanilla ice cream is the go-to, but our dairy-free Fellows used Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Chunky Monkey from the corner store and the results were off the charts.

But enough chit-chat, time to check out the how-to for Jake’s famous Prismo “Affauxgato” recipe!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Prismo
AeroPress® Coffee Maker
Vanilla ice cream or gelato
20 grams of finely ground coffee
50 grams of 212°F water

STEP-BY-STEP RECIPE:

1. Dose out 20 grams of whole bean coffee. If you happen to own a Stagg Pour-Over Dripper, you can also load the beans to the “single dot” measurement inside of its ratio aid instead. No scale required!
Fellow Prismo Affogato Recipe How-To
2. Heat water in your pour-over kettle to 212°F and grind beans on a very fine setting. We did ours at 1.5 on the EK43.

Fellow Prismo Affogato Recipe How-To3. Twist Prismo onto the bottom of your AeroPress® Coffee Maker and dump in the grinds.
Fellow Prismo Affogato Recipe How-To

4. Add 50 grams of the 212°F water into your AeroPress® Coffee Maker and stir vigorously for 15 seconds. Let sit for one minute.
Fellow Prismo Affogato Recipe How-To5. During the one minute brew time, add one heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream to your cup or mug.

Fellow Prismo Affogato Recipe How-To7. After one minute of brew time, plunge the AeroPress® Coffee Maker over the ice cream.
Fellow Prismo Affogato Recipe How-To8. And enjoy!
Fellow Prismo Affogato Recipe How-To

Do you have any go-to Prismo recipes? Send us a message via Instagram or Twitter. We love seeing your Prismo creations!

Wade Preston’s Winning US Brewers Cup Qualifier Prismo Recipe

By | Coffee

Wade Preston of Prevail Coffee Roasters walked away with the first place prize at this year’s New Orleans Brewers Cup Qualifier. He went on to compete at the 2018 US Brewers Cup Championships in April. Here’s the kicker…he used Prismo as his coffee brewing apparatus of choice. This is the first time Prismo has been used in competition, and we couldn’t be more excited that our little AeroPress® Coffee Maker attachment is making waves on a national stage.

Wade Preston Coffee Champs Prismo RecipeWade shared his winning Prismo recipe with the Fellow team a few weeks ago, and we’ve tested it out in the Playground many times since. What’s our verdict? Yeah, it’s really stinking good!

Give it a try for yourself and let us know what you think!

WADE’S PRISMO RECIPE

  1. Place an AeroPress® Coffee Maker paper filter on top of the Prismo metal filter.
    Grind 18 grams of coffee very coarse. Bottoming out an EK grinder with stock burr spacing is probably about right.
  2. Sift grinds with a 600 micron screen like the Kruve.
  3. Load your grinds into the AeroPress® Coffee Maker.
  4. Pour a 50 gram pre-infusion with 145°F water. (Yes, you read that right!)
  5. Stir gently to ensure all grinds are saturated.
  6. Let pre-infusion immerse for 3 minutes. (Yep, three minutes as in 180 seconds!)
  7. Fill to 205 grams with 208°F water.
  8. Stir 5 revolutions with AeroPress® Coffee Maker paddle.
  9. Let immerse for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
  10. Stir 5 revolutions and plunge, steadily for 30 seconds until you hear the vacuum seal break.

It will create a cup that will need to “settle.” If you taste it right away, it’ll be good, but the body won’t be there. After it has set for about 1-2 minutes, the body will ramp up. At about 130°F, it is a huge, creamy, and almost chewy. The cup will also be crazy sweet.

Wade Preston Brewers Cup Prismo Recipe

WADE’S THEORY
At the particle level of coffee extraction there are two types of solubles: surface solubles and inner cell solubles.  Surface solubles extract very easily. They also give coffee its sweetness. Think of how sweet and syrupy cold brew is…that’s because it is pretty much 100% surface erosion extraction. Heat and turbulence are required for inner cell extraction which creates coffee’s complexity (bitterness, acidity, etc). The idea with the above recipe is that you can isolate the surface erosion extraction by doing the low temp pre-infusion. This will delicately extract the surface solubles. Then, you can safely extract the inner cell solubles without fear of over-extracting the surface solubles. That’s the gist of it anyways!

Follow Wade on Instagram for more great coffee content: @wadepreston


Prismo is a pressure actuated valve designed to be used with the AeroPress® Coffee Maker. This attachment allows for a buildup of pressure to create espresso-style coffee and creates a no-drip seal for a full immersion brew. The reusable 70-micron etched filter stops sludge in its tracks and eliminates the need for paper filters.  The valve’s small aperture also fits directly over an espresso shot glass.

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Bon Voyage | May Featured Roasters

By | Coffee, Featured Roaster

We all feel it. The days are getting longer, sleeves are getting shorter, and before we know it, dreams of summer travels have begun to materialize in our minds…

Hey, we’re right there with you! And to satiate our wanderlust we at Fellow have deemed May’s store theme: Bon Voyage! All this month you can visit us and enjoy a selection of coffees from roasters located in some of our favorite summer travel destinations. Come in and get swept away with brews from:

Buna Coffee Roasters in Mexico City, Mexico

Parlor Coffee Roasters in Brooklyn, New York

Onibus Coffee in Tokyo, Japan

L’Alchimiste in Bordeaux, France

Proud Mary Coffee Roasters in Melbourne, Australia (and also recently in Portland, Oregon!)

Can’t make it into the store? Tune into our Instagram feed to get in on some great opportunities to flex your jetsetter muscles and maybe even win some Fellow gear.

Safe travels, fellow coffee lovers!

Bon Voyage Fellow Featured RoastersBUNA
Mexico City, Mexico | Founded in 2012

Flight Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes from Fellow
Fun Fact: Buna 42 (Buna’s Mexico City cafe) has the only Mod Bar espresso machine in Mexico!

Buna Cafe Rico Fellow Featured Roaster
Coffee/Origin: Oaxaca Alebrije
Variety: Typica, Bourbon
Process: Washed
Notes: Grapenuts, Orange Oil, Vanilla

“An open sky awaits us after a few hours going through a cloudy forest… Nuyuku is where Cecilio’s lot is. He named his lot “At the foot of the mountain” in mixteco. Cecilio and Ines, who are proud to be from the Misty Mountains region, produce coffee of exceptional quality. Year after year we work together to apply more sustainability in the production of coffee and to create resilient crops.We have made achievements in coffee processing and drying, in soil nutrition and implemented organic fertilization. Cecilio is also producing corn right next to a garden that we planted two years ago, another step towards producing self-sustaining crops.” – Buna (@bunamx)

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PARLOR COFFEE ROASTERS
Brooklyn, New York | Founded 2012 Dillon Edwards

Flight Time: 5 hours and 15 minutes from Fellow
Fun Fact: Parlor began as a tiny pop-up in the back of a Williamsburg barber shop!

Parlor Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured Roaster
Coffee/Origin: Kenya Gaturiri
Variety: SL-28, SL-34
Process: Washed
Notes: Plum, Citrus, Caramelized Sugar

“Plum, citrus and caramelized sugar drive the unique flavor we love from Gaturiri. Coffee has been cultivated in the Nyeri district since 1958. Today, as many as 1200 farmers contribute their ripe coffee cherry to the Gaturiri Factory for processing. Part of the Barichu Cooperative Society in Central Kenya, the society has four washing stations: Karatina, Gatomboya, Karindundu and Gaturiri. Mary, the cooperative’s full-time agronomist, uses a designated block of 1,500 plants for group training sessions with participating farmers. ” – Parlor Coffee Roasters (@parlorcoffee)

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ONIBUS COFFEE
Tokyo, Japan | Founded 2012 Atsushi Sakao

Flight Time: 9 hours and 15 minutes from Fellow
Fun Fact: Sakao dominates the Tokyo coffee scene, operating four beautiful cafes. “Onibus” is actually Portuguese for “Public Bus.” which is to say it is for everyone.

Onibus Coffee Fellow Featured Roaster

Coffee/Origin: Rwanda Nyamagabe
Variety: Bourbon
Process: Washed
Notes: Orange, Plum Acidity, Rich Vanilla

“Nyarusiza Washing Station, which is run by Buf Coffee, produces high-quality coffee. It also works on improving treatment of workers and donates its income to medical, educational, and social infrastructure.” – Onibus Coffee (@onibuscoffee)

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L’ALCHIMISTE
Bordeaux, France |Founded 2014 by Arthur Audibert

Flight Time: 13 hours and 25 minutes from Fellow
Fun Fact: L’Alchimiste began as a roastery only, but opened the doors to its first cafe/ boutique shortly after. They also use Fellow’s Stagg kettles!

L'Alchimiste Fellow Featured Roaster

Coffee/Origin: Ethiopia Marabou
Variety: Moka
Process: Washed
Notes: Fruity, Grapefruit, Caramel

“Located in southern Ethiopia, the highlands of the Sidamo region are home to the plots of this Ethiopian crop grown under permanent, protective shade. The volcanic lands of the African rift give it its special character. Lively and fruity, this coffee has a beautiful freshness and an exceptional aromatic persistence!” – L’Alchimiste (@lachimiste_torrefacteur)

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PROUD MARY COFFEE ROASTERS
Melbourne, Australia | Founded 2009 by Nolan Hirte

Flight Time: 17 hours and 50 minutes from Fellow
Fun Fact: Proud Mary’s cafes offer bar-style coffee service which includes espresso flights, beautiful food, and a unique one-on-one barista/ guest experience!

Proud Mary Coffee Roasters Fellow Featured Roaster

Coffee/Origin: Brazil Sítio Sertãozinho
Variety: Yellow Catuai
Process: Natural
Notes: Goji Berry, Blueberry, Creamy

“Sitio Sertãozinho is managed by Paulo Ribeiro Rocha, his daughters and sons-in-law. Working with specialty coffee has given his family a better life! The farm is located near the city Cristina, in the south of Minas Gerais, in Serra da Mantiqueira region. With mountainous topography, and has a differentiated climate and soils favorable for producing specialty coffee.This farm was acquired with an inheritance from Rocha’s parents, and he began coffee cultivation 40 years ago – from the start he focused on quality coffee. He is dedicated to growing coffee sustainably, preserving the environment and are members of the ASCARIVE Fair Trade Association. Rocho and his family are passionate about preserving springs and native forests on the farm, which shelter large plant species and native animals.” – Proud Mary Coffee Roasters (@proudmarycoffee)

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Bon Voyage Fellow Featured Roasters