Baratza Forte vs Fellow Ode: Which One Should You Buy?
If you’re on top of home coffee grinder news, you may have heard of the new Fellow Ode grinder. This innovative grinder was funded largely by a successful Kickstarter campaign, thanks to its sleek and refined design.
But how does the Fellow Ode grinder compare to classics from other brands like Baratza? We’ll discover the answer by comparing the Baratza Forte vs Fellow Ode.
These are the topics we’ll be discussing:
- Which features are the same between the grinders.
- Differences between them and why they matter.
- Information regarding the price of either grinder.
- Our advice on how to choose which one to buy.
Let’s take a closer look…
If the Baratza Forte were called by any other name, it would probably be something like Baratza Flexibility. This grinder is suitable for a wide range of uses at home, thanks to features such as portafilter or grounds bin compatibility and its programmable buttons. It’s a phenomenal pick for beginning baristas at home or even small coffee shops.
It’s clear that the Fellow Ode was designed for one purpose: to deliver consistently excellent coffee to home kitchens around the world. Its pared-down functions make it simple to operate – just add your beans, press the button, and wait for it to grind. Given that it’s only designed for coffee, though, and not espresso, we’d recommend it for homes that often brew batches of coffee.
The greatest similarity shared by the Forte and Ode is that they both use flat burrs. Flat is one of two burr types in the world of coffee grinders. The other type is conical.
Since the grinders in question use flat burrs, that’s the type we’ll focus on. As you can imagine, flat burrs are two flat serrated discs that stack on top of one another in your grinder. When the grinder is on, they rotate to grind coffee beans between them.
One of the largest benefits to this burr type is unwavering consistency. All coffee particles are ground to the same size, which leads to a balanced extraction and full, rich flavor.
Read Also: Baratza Forte vs Niche Zero
Another quality both these grinders have is their hands-free grinding. Put simply, they’ll hold your grinding receptable for you while they’re in use, which means you can work on other things while your grinder dispenses grounds.
The grinding receptacle in question varies, although both will permit you to grind into a grinding bin. We’ll dig into that more shortly.
Stepped Grind Adjustment System
The Forte and Ode each have a stepped grind adjustment system. On either one, you’ll have a limited number of fineness settings to select from that impact the texture of your coffee grounds.
This is not the design of choice for baristas. Professional baristas often prefer stepless grind adjustment systems that remove restrictions on the settings you can choose, making it possible to rotate the grind adjustment knob or dial to any point.
What makes the Forte and Ode different is that they still maintain a ton of versatility in grind texture. The Ode, for example, has over 30 steps to choose from, giving you a variety of textures to meet your needs.
On the Baratza Forte, you’ll have access to not just one but two grind fineness dials. You’ll set your basic fineness on one, then use the second dial to make further adjustments. This is called the macro/micro grind adjustment system.
There’s a lot to discuss when it comes to burrs. In addition to their shape, it’s also important to touch on their size.
As far as this comparison goes, the Fellow Ode has the largest burrs at 64mm. The Baratza Forte has 54mm burrs.
In commercial settings, the preference is always bigger burrs. This is because burr size correlates to the speed of your grinder, so bigger burrs can grind more quickly.
Further Reading: Baratza 270Wi vs Rocket Faustino
Ceramic vs Steel Burrs
There’s even more to talk about when it comes to burrs. We should also mention what they’re made from and why that matters.
In the Baratza Forte, you’ll have ceramic burrs. Ceramic is well-known for its ability to resist dulling for a long time, as well as its ability to keep cool. Additionally, some say ceramic burrs are quieter than steel ones.
The Fellow Ode uses steel burrs, which is what most commercial-level grinders use. Steel burrs are extremely durable, capable of resisting chipping or breaking. Their main drawback is that they can transfer heat to your coffee beans more, possibly burning them.
The hopper design is another huge difference between these two grinders. Most have hoppers of various sizes that store beans for you.
This is true for the Baratza Forte, which has a hopper that can hold up to 10oz of coffee beans. Things vary drastically when it comes to the Fellow Ode.
The Fellow Ode does away with the traditional hopper design entirely. It has a single-serving hopper, which means it only holds enough to grind a single batch of coffee. You put however much you need in the hopper, and the Fellow Ode will grind it all for you.
There are reasons why either design could be preferable. If you hope to grind multiple drinks in a row, the Baratza Forte’s modest hopper would likely be preferable. On the other hand, if you’re only ever going to use your grinder for single batches or cups of coffee, you’ll love the Fellow Ode’s single-serving hopper.
Supported Brewing Methods
We touched on this briefly at the beginning of the post, but it’s worth mentioning again that the brewing methods either grinder can prepare grounds for varies. The Baratza Forte is the more versatile of the two, capable of grinding either espresso or coffee.
On the opposite end, the Fellow Ode has a much narrower focus. It’s designed specifically to grind coffee and not espresso.
In other words, if you want to prepare espresso-based drinks from home, you’d need to get the Baratza Forte. But if you just want to be able to brew basic coffee, the Fellow Ode has you covered.
Both these grinders come with grounds bins for you to dispense grounds into. Grounds bins are excellent for when you need a larger portion of coffee than that used in a portafilter.
There are some major differences between the grounds bins used by either grinder, though. With the Baratza Forte, you’ll have a simple anti-static plastic bin.
The Fellow Ode kicks it up a few notches. It includes a chic grounds catch that matches the grinder itself. This catch has a little magnet on the bottom that snaps firmly into place beneath the dispenser, ensuring no grounds end up on your counter and that you can’t accidentally tip the bin over.
Look inside the bin and you’ll find some extra nifty features. It has fins inside it that function as a funnel for your coffee so that when you pour the grounds out, they don’t make a mess. There is also a ratio aid inside the bin that shows you how much coffee your grounds will make.
Related Article: Baratza Forte vs Eureka Atom
Fellow Ode Grinds Knocker
Grind retention is what occurs when coffee grounds get left behind in your grinder. There are a couple reasons why you don’t want this to happen.
First, those leftover coffee grounds will grow stale. The next time you grind, those stale grounds will get mixed in with your fresh ones, impacting the flavor of your beverages.
Second, it leads to waste. You’re not getting the full amount of coffee you accounted for when you weighed it out, because part of it is being left behind in your grinder.
The Fellow Ode can take care of this for you. It has a grinds knocker that, as the name implies, will help you knock any lingering grounds out of the grinder.
Baratza Forte Touchscreen Operations
More likely than not, you have a lot of experience using a touchscreen. Smartphones, tablets, and self-service kiosks everywhere teach us how to tap at a screen to get whatever we need.
That’s what will make the Baratza Forte easy to adjust to. It has a sleek touchscreen panel on the front that you can use to adjust most of its settings. Assuming you’re familiar with using a touchscreen, you’ll have no problem figuring out how the Forte’s screen works.
Fellow Ode Auto Stop
In most commercial espresso and coffee grinders, you need to be actively involved in ensuring you get the right dose. You must carefully monitor the machine and stop at the right weight or time.
This may be fine for skilled baristas who understand exactly when to stop, but it’s not convenient for beginners. Fortunately, you won’t have to do this with the Fellow Ode.
The Fellow Ode has an auto stop feature. It will grind every last one of the beans you’ve put in the hopper, then come to a full stop entirely by itself. No meticulously timing your grind here.
Baratza Forte Weight-Based Grinding
With commercial-level grinders, there are two ways to dose your coffee grounds properly: by weight or by time. While the Fellow Ode relies on you to properly weigh your coffee grounds in advance, the Baratza Forte has a different setup.
With the Forte, you’ll have access to an incredibly precise weight-based grinding system. A scale resting beneath the dispenser will accurately weigh each dose you grind, so you’ll know exactly how much you’re getting every time.
Read Also: Baratza Forte vs Sette
Fellow Ode Hopper Lid Grinding Guide
You can tell that the Fellow Ode has been created to allow even novices to grind tasty coffee. One aspect that sets it apart as amazingly beginner-friendly is the guide printed on the inside of the hopper’s lid.
Every time you open the hopper to pour in more beans, you’ll see a convenient guide that tells you what the fineness levels on the dial are. That way, you’ll know exactly what fineness to set your grinder to based on what type of coffee you’re brewing.
Baratza Forte Programmable Buttons
With traditional espresso grinders, you need to keep tabs on the dose and stop at precisely the right time. Unless you’ve got experience doing so already, remembering when to stop can be difficult for beginners.
The Baratza Forte can make it easy for you. It has three programmable buttons that you can input specific weights for doses into.
After the buttons have been programmed with the proper doses, you can just press the right button whenever you need to grind coffee.
Fellow Ode Smart Speed PID Motor
In most grinders, you must rely on the motor to grind at its own speed and hope it maintains a consistent speed. That’s not the case with the Fellow Ode.
Within the Ode, a smart speed PID motor carefully controls the force of the motor. This ensures that every single coffee bean is ground with the exact same force, creating a consistent grind each and every time.
Majesty Coffee is proud to offer a wide selection of espresso grinders for a range of budgets. We have the most competitive prices you’ll find online.
We have the Baratza Forte in our store for $899. The Fellow Ode is not currently in our store and you will need to search online to buy it from another seller.
Which One Should You Buy?
Are you still torn regarding which grinder you should purchase? The good news is that there are tons of differences between these grinders, as each one is intended for use in specific circumstances.
You’d have to go with the Baratza Forte if you wanted to make espresso at all. It’s the only grinder in this comparison that can grind the proper fineness for espresso, and it is also the only one with a portafilter holder built in.
If you’re planning to make coffee, that’s where it becomes a toss-up. Either grinder would be great for brewing coffee at home.
We recommend thinking about your experience level. The Fellow Ode has incredibly simple controls that make it wonderful for any beginner. All you need to worry about doing is measuring your coffee beans, choosing your fineness, and pushing the power button.
Experienced home baristas, on the other hand, will get more out of the Baratza Forte. You can program three different doses into it, grind into a portafilter or grounds bin, and make finer adjustments with the macro/micro grind adjustment design.
Here is our advice:
Get the Fellow Ode if you’re a beginner who just wants to make simple, delicious coffee. You’ll have no problem learning how to use it.
On the flipside, consider grabbing the Baratza Forte if you want to make espresso, want more flexibility from your grinder, or need an affordable grinder for a small coffee shop or office.