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04
Sep

Fellow Prismo Review

0 commentPost by : Jasmin Tétreault
Fellow Prismo Review

The AeroPress is often pitched as the most versatile coffee brewer, but can it make a true espresso? With the Fellow Prismo, it can deliver a potent coffee shot with some resemblance to espresso, but the laws of physics don't permit it to replicate an authentic espresso. Given AeroPress's versatility, is the Prismo a justified investment? Let's explore it in this review.

Fellow Prismo Overview

The Fellow Prismo, specifically designed as an AeroPress attachment, substitutes the traditional filter mechanism. The outcome is a coffee that's notably denser with a pronounced mouthfeel. Its construction ensures it remains leak-proof, offering extended steeping durations for upright recipes. The inclusion of a reusable metal filter makes a full-bodied coffee.

Fellow Prismo Review

Design

Fellow, as a brand, has consistently delivered aesthetically pleasing and robust products. The recognition of the Fellow Stagg kettle, the Ode V2, and the latest Opus grinder among home baristas is a testament to this. While the Prismo's design might be understated compared to other products, it maintains the usability of the Aeropress. Although the aesthetics of the Flow Control cap by Aeropress are better in my opinion.

How it works

The Fellow Prismo AeroPress attachment has two components. There is a plastic screw-on cap, a small rubber pressure-actuated valve in the center, and a metal filter screen. The one-way valve is designed only to open when a certain amount of pressure has built up behind it. Forcing brewed coffee through a small opening to increase pressure.

Fellow Prismo Valve

Using The Prismo

Using Prismo is similar to using AeroPress with the standard brewing method but offers an advantage. The setup requires placing the metal filter in the Prismo and screwing it on the AeroPress. You can also add a paper filter if you want more clarity. You might need to make adjustments to the brewing recipe, such as a finer grind and altered ratios, to have a stronger coffee that resembles espresso. I highly suggest lowering your brew times too.

Fellow Prismo Recipe by Jonathan Gagné

Jonathan Gagné, an astrophysicist from Montréal, created a unique coffee brewing method. By employing an extended brew duration, he aims to achieve heigher extraction and sweetness.

1- Place a paper filter on top of the Prismo metal filter in the cap and attach it to the brew chamber.
2- Before adding the coffee, add 130 g of hot water to the brew chamber.
3- Stir 18 g of ground coffee into the water. Time
4- Pour an additional 130 g of hot water. 0:10
5- Stir back and forth using the paddle or a spoon. Start at the bottom and go all the way up. 0:10
6- Insert the plunger at the top of the brew chamber. Remove the AeroPress and cup from the scale and give it a swirl. 4:40
7- Let steep.
8- Give the AeroPress another swirl and let sit for a while longer. 4:00
9- Slowly press into the cup. 1:00

No more inverted method

AeroPress enthusiasts often use the inverted method to counter the original design flaw where coffee sometimes leaks prematurely. This inversion allows for enhanced extraction and flavor, but it does introduce an element of risk. With the Prismo, there is no need to invert it. I think this is the best use of the Prismo rather than brewing espresso.

Pouring Coffee Fellow Prismo

Extraction Quality - Making Espresso?

The AeroPress, widely recognized for its versatility in brewing and quality outputs, is not improved by the Prismo but does improve usability. I have to clarify that the Fellow Prismo produces an espresso-like beverage and not traditional espresso.

Texture and metal filters

With Prismo, you can achieve a coffee with a richer texture than the standard AeroPress. This is attributed to its metal filter, which allows more coffee oils into the brew. While the one-way valve enhances brew pressure, its absence doesn't alter extraction.

Espresso style

An AeroPress simply cannot replicate the conditions of true espresso, which is typically brewed under 6-9 bars of pressure. Prismo offers an alternative, producing a more concentrated brew reminiscent of espresso, suitable for milk-based beverages. Nonetheless, this extraction is comparable to what one might achieve with a standard metal filter.

Is it crema?

Crema is that beautiful layer of tan foam that crowns a freshly brewed espresso, giving it a distinct appearance and texture. Fellow, with the Prismo filter, boldly claims to replicate this signature layer. Even with freshly roasted beans and a fine grind, my tests fell short of replicating Fellow's results. It seems the absence of foam is due to the need for pressures over 2 bars to produce authentic crema.

Cleaning The Prismo

The Fellow Prismo attachment requires a different cleaning process than the AeroPress due to its reusable metal filter. This metal filter, in contrast to disposable paper ones, can't simply be thrown away. The Prismo, designed to work with slightly higher pressure and finer coffee grounds, may result in the grounds getting stuck to the filter. To maintain it, remove the grounds and then rinse the filter thoroughly, ensuring no mesh holes are blocked.

I would check the one-way valve as it is the main wear point and neglecting it for prolonged periods might lead to it tearing. Fortunately, replacements are available.

Conclusion

The Fellow Prismo is a worthwhile addition for coffee enthusiasts. If experimenting with brewing methods using your AeroPress appeals to you, this accessory is perfect. If the budget doesn't allow it, the AeroPress alone is still a very versatile brewer. I would think about getting the Fellow Prismo if you're aiming for richer coffee and want to move away from the inverted brewing technique. Just remember that a genuine espresso cannot be replicated with a $40 device.

Fellow Prismo Aeropress Go

FAQ

Does the Fellow Prismo make espresso?

A genuine espresso cannot be replicated with a Fellow Prismo The brewing pressure from the AeroPress results in what looks like crema, but it might not be the real deal. As per the AeroPress website, it functions between 0.35 to 0.75 bars. In comparison, espresso machines usually work at 9 bars, and you need around 2 bars of pressure to create crema.

Does the Fellow Prismo work with the Aeropress Go?

The official Fellow website specifically mentions that their Prismo product isn't designed to work with the AeroPress Go or with any AeroPress models that came out between the years 2005 and 2009. Since the AeroPress Go has identical diameter measurements and employs the same filters as the standard AeroPress model, I personally tried using an AeroPress Go and I didn't encounter any issues.

Fellow Prismo - AeroPress Attachment $35.00

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