Well, the wait is finally over for pour-over enthusiasts! Fellow, a company celebrated for producing premium coffee gear, has branched into coffee scales. And their first debut is the Fellow Tally Pro Precision Scale.
The Fellow scale is a brew scale that professes to help you produce perfectly proportioned pour-over. So let’s take a look at the highly anticipated Fellow scale to see what features it offers and if it is worth the exorbitant price tag.
Fellow Tally Pro Precision Scale
The Fellow Tally Scale fits with the established aesthetic of Fellow products. With a sleek, minimalist design, smooth curves, and a pairing of matte and glossy black finishes, it is a stunning coffee scale. Once again Fellow has shown that it is a company that understands that the aesthetic side of coffee brewing matters. Coffee enthusiasts want equipment that not only works well but that you would be proud to showcase.
And the Fellow scale is more than just a pretty face. The scale has a premium build, composed of metal and glass, and a hefty weight. It is clearly built to withstand the rigors of a coffee shop environment. The Fellow scale is a brew scale so it is a medium size that can easily handle a Chemex or French press but would struggle to fit under a portafilter on most espresso machines.
The scale has a rechargeable battery that is designed to last for 13 hours of continuous use, or for the average home brewer, 1-2 months. When the battery gets low, Tally flashes with the remaining battery level when turning on or off. The battery is charged via a USB-C port and takes around 1-2 hours to fully charge.
The one area where the Fellow scale lags behind is that it can be fussy to clean. Grinds accumulate in the gap between the weighing tray and base, and the glossy black base is, unfortunately, a magnet for fingerprints. Thankfully, the weighing pan can be easily removed for a thorough clean, however, it does involve more work than other scales which can be cleaned with a simple wipe of a cloth.
Finally, for the Fellow fans out there, the Tally has a video game called Jumpy built into it. To access this go into the smart brew assist mode, turn the knob to a brew ratio of 1:42, and hit the button to start playing!
The Fellow scale has been thoughtfully designed to make the scale simple and intuitive to use. The coffee scale is operated by a trio of buttons; the timer button on the left and the mode button and dial on the right. At the center of the scale is a bright OLED screen that displays the weight and timer.
A short press of the dial will turn the scale on or tare, while a long press turns it off. The dial can be rotated to switch between measurement units or to select brew ratios.
A short press of the timer button will start or pause the timer, while a long press resets it. The timer button is also used to lock in a brew ratio in the Brew Assist mode.
Finally, the mode button is pressed to switch between the three modes: Weight, Timer, and Brew Assist (more on this later).
The Fellow scale is packed with some pretty amazing specs. To start with, the Fellow Tally is extremely precise with accuracy down to a tenth of a gram (0.1g). It has an ultra-fast response time and quickly stabilizes. In fact, the Fellow Tally is even faster than the gold standard Acaia scale, which you don’t often see! The scale has a maximum capacity of 2500g or 5.5 pounds so it can double as a kitchen scale as well if you are struggling to convince the other half of the need for this purchase!
The Fellow Tally has three different modes; Weight, Timer, and Brew Assist.
Weight Mode- In the weight mode, the scale displays the weight in grams, ounces, milliliters, or pounds. This is a basic mode that can be used for weighing coffee beans or for cooking.
Timer Mode- The timer mode shows a split screen with the timer on the left and the weight in grams on the right. The timer has to be started and stopped manually by pressing the Timer button. If you forget to stop the timer at the end of a brew, a stopwatch icon is displayed on the timer button to remind you.
Brew Assist Mode- The brew assist mode is the standout feature of the Tally scale. With this mode, the scale takes the maths out of brewing by calculating the weight of water you need to add to meet your desired brew ratio.
In the brew assist mode, you enter the weight of ground coffee you are using and then select your desired brew ratio. You can adjust the brew ratio in half-step increments from 1:1 to 1:20 by rotating the dial. Once you have selected your brew ratio, the scale automatically calculates the amount of water you need to add and displays it on the screen.
To start brewing you press the timer button and start pouring. The Fellow scale displays the timer on the left, the target weight on the right, and the actual weight in the middle of the screen. Once you hit the ideal amount of water the middle screen changes from black to white, to indicate it is time to stop.
This guided mode is a nice feature to aid less experienced brewers, however, it doesn’t help with pouring technique.
The biggest hurdle to buying the Fellow Tally scale is simply the price. The $185 price tag is hard to justify for a coffee scale (even a high-end one). It is even more expensive than the Acaia Pearl, which is saying something!
In addition, the fact that one of the scale’s key features, the brew assist mode, is aimed at beginners seems another interesting choice. If you are just starting out, spending that much on a coffee scale is a hard pill to swallow. And if you are a pour-over enthusiast, willing to splash out on a high-end scale, you likely know how to brew coffee already.
So who is the Fellow Tally Pro Scale for? In our opinion, this scale is well suited to a commercial environment. It is fast and precise, has a solid build, and the brew assist mode could be helpful for training baristas. The other group of people who might consider purchasing this scale are those already invested in the Fellow aesthetic. If you already have the Fellow Stagg EKG and Fellow Ode Grinder, then purchasing a matching coffee scale is a given.
Fellow Tally vs Acaia Pearl
The Acaia Pearl is ‘THE’ coffee scale to get for manual brewing methods, and has long been the gold standard by which every coffee scale is measured. If you are tossing up between the Fellow Tally and the Acaia Pearl we would recommend opting for the Pearl. The Acaia Pearl offers many of the same specs with 0.1g accuracy, a fast response time, and a rechargeable battery with 40 hours of battery life. While the maximum weight capacity is a little less at 2kg, the Pearl has a few features that trump the Fellow scale. It offers a larger range of modes, Bluetooth connectivity, and a real-time flow rate indicator to improve pouring technique. All of this plus the slightly more affordable price tag make it hard to recommend the Fellow scale over the Pearl.
It is worth noting that both the Fellow Tally and the Acaia Pearl are high-end coffee scales and a bit of an overkill for most people making coffee at home. There are plenty of other decent coffee scales that are more affordable. See our guide to the best coffee scales for our top picks.
Fellow Tally- The Verdict
The Fellow Tally is a luxurious coffee scale that melds beauty and simplicity into one. With an accuracy of 0.1g and an ultra-fast response time, it is one of the fastest and most precise scales on the market. But what really sets the scale apart is the Brew Assist feature. This guided mode takes the maths out of brewing and helps beginners and veteran brewers alike achieve perfectly proportioned pour-over.
The only drawback is that the Fellow Scale costs a pretty penny. So whether this is the right option for you will come down to your budget and how invested you are in pour-over.