The Coffee Company You Need To Know: Fellow
If you don’t know about Fellow yet, we’ll let you in on our little secret. Take one look at Fellow’s delightfully designed coffee and tea products and you’ll instantly know why they’re such a hit – they understand the details.
We caught up with Fellow’s Brand and Marketing Director, Hanna McPhee, who works on all aspects of the brand from packaging and website to store experience to learn a bit more about what makes the brand tick and what the future holds.
Can you tell our readers about Fellow? How would you describe the brand to someone that has never heard of it.
Fellow is a product design company on a mission to help folks brew great coffee. Whether you’re at home or a café, a coffee aficionado or a beginner, we believe everyone should have fun with the craft of brewing, and we’re here to help make that happen.
Why are Fellow products better than what’s on market currently?
We build beautifully functional products rooted in specialty coffee that transform brewing at home and in the industry. Functional tools do not have to hide in your cabinet. Design pieces don’t have to be just for show. We believe all the tools you use for coffee and tea should make the process more enjoyable and look great while doing it.
What was your thoughts in developing the Stagg EKG?
We love pour-over coffee, but we didn’t love the electric pour-over kettles currently on the market. So our small but mighty team set out to create a stunning, minimalist electric pour-over kettle that still packs a professional punch with a world of features like to-the-degree temperature control, a LCD screen, a 60-minute HOLD option, a powerful PID controller, a Fahrenheit/Celsius option, and even a secret video game.
What is your favorite brew recipe for your drippers?My favorite was created by 2017 U.S. Brewers Cup Champion Dylan Siemens:
Dylan’s Featured Recipe
22g of coffee to 350g of water | 200°F water | Medium grind
@0:00 – 50g bloom
@0:30 – Pour to 200g
@1:20 – Pour to 350g
Drain by 2:45
What are your thoughts on the continued expansion and specialization with home brewing?
We’re so excited for where this industry is going. Seeing folks inspired to brew their own cup and create a morning ritual is really wonderful.
Any plans to get into the espresso machine market?
Not at the moment!
Thoughts on current coffee culture?
We really like how much science is starting to build into current coffee culture. Over the past decade, there’s been really great attention to crafting the perfect cup for customers based on experience and taste. Adding in data and science is only going to make that better!
On a different note, we’ve noticed more conversations than ever this year around inclusion, gender, and diversity in specialty coffee. We love seeing these important topics being discussed openly. There is still a long ways to go in the coffee culture for everyone to be on an equal footing, but we are excited about the current direction.
Photo Credit: eightouncecoffee
What does the future hold for coffee industry?
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. We’re excited to see where this goes!
Tell us about your retail location.
Our retail location is a space to play — to brew a cup, share a tip, take a class, or just talk shop. Whether you’re new to specialty coffee or a World Brewers Cup Champion, the Playground exists to help you explore and push your understanding of coffee in a community setting. If the Playground is the vehicle, then coffee is the fuel. Think of each spin in the Playground as a nanoclass that allows you to learn and experiment – one test tube at a time. We’re there to show you how to coax the most flavor out of each bean and brew method.
Describe the retail experience with the customer brewing their own coffee, what motivated that and what impact do you think it has on people brewing for the first time?
At our retail location, we have our Featured Roasters Wall where we highlight five different roasters and their coffee. We rotate the five coffees every month, usually under a theme. You can either buy a bag or a single serving to brew in the store. With the purchase of the single serving, you also get a brew demo where we teach you about the coffee, the pour-over brewing process, and our products.
Favorite coffees your retail store has featured?
Ooh, that’s a really tough question. Each member of the team has his or hers own favorites. Slate, Onyx, and Methodical stand out as some of the best cups of coffee I’ve had this past year.
What’s next for Fellow in terms of product and retail?
We’re coming out with a bunch of (top secret!) new products this year. We don’t have plans for another retail location at the moment, but we would love to build out a second location in the next year or so.