Fellow Tally hands-on: A slick scale for precise pour-overs
Would you pay $185 for a scale that could help you brew the perfect cup?
Precise tools are a coffee nerd’s best friends and after releasing the Opus grinder earlier this year, Fellow has returned with another product called the Tally Pro. And while it’s hard to find a kitchen scale exciting – especially one as niche as this – after trying it out for myself I’m starting to see the appeal.
Like the rest of Fellow’s gadgets, the Tally features a minimalist design with a black-on-black color scheme, though I wish there was a little more matte and less glossy in certain areas to hide fingerprints. In the center, there’s an easy-to-read OLED display along with a handy knob and a big button for setting the timer.
The Tally Pro’s specs are pretty solid, too. You get good sensitivity that goes down to a tenth of a gram, a removable weigh pan for easy cleaning and a max capacity of 2,500 grams (about 5.5 pounds). That means this thing can double as a general kitchen scale for all but the heaviest recipes. That said, what I like is Fellow’s attention to detail. Sure, its battery will last about three months, but unlike a lot of other rechargeable scales, the Tally can still work while it’s plugged in. And because the scale relies on a USB-C port for power, you don’t need to bother with proprietary charging bricks. Fellow even built a little Easter Egg into the scale that lets you play a game similar to the one you get in Google Chrome when you don’t have an internet connection.
However, the standout feature on the Tally Pro is that alongside its weight and timer modes, there’s a new Brew Assist mode that attempts to take some of the math out of hitting that perfect coffee-to-water ratio. Simply by entering the amount of ground coffee you’re starting with and selecting your desired ratio (which can be adjusted manually), the scale will calculate the correct amount of water you need (by weight, of course, because no self-respecting coffee geek settles for volumetric measurements). It will even tell you how much water to add throughout your brewing time to help achieve an ideal extraction. Pretty much the only thing it doesn’t do is give you a bloom timer, but that's because given the huge variety of beans, Fellow believes it’s better to follow the roaster’s instructions for that.
Admittedly, long-time coffee aficionados might think this sort of hand-holding is a bit much. However, as someone who has only recently started diving deeper into the intricacies of making a great cup of coffee, I find it's a nice aid for less experienced brewers. In reality, the much bigger hurdle is its price, because at $185 the Tally Pro is around five times more expensive than a standard kitchen scale. And unless you’re a real java nut, that’s a tough swallow.
But if you want a good-looking scale to help maximize your brew, you better start saving up for when the Tally Pro officially goes on sale sometime in early June.
Fellow Tally Pro