Fellow Prismo attachment for AeroPress

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

Espresso is my favourite way to brew coffee, but I can’t carry my espresso machine around with me wherever I go and my work doesn’t have an espresso machine in my office tea room.

So I use my AeroPress and my coffee plunger. But recently I got to wondering if the AeroPress could be used in any way that could make something that was closer to espresso.

Here’s what I found out.

The Fellow Prismo pressure-actuated attachment for AeroPress

After searching for different ways I could use my AeroPress coffee maker, I stumbled upon an attachment called the Prismo, made by a company called Fellow Industries.

Fellow Industries is a San Francisco based company started in 2015 by Jake Miller. They make various coffee related products, with the Prismo being just one of them.

The Prismo was first introduced to the world in late 2017. Since then, it’s been gaining popularity with AeroPress users everywhere.

Let’s take a closer look at it.

The Fellow Prismo, which helps to get crema from an AeroPress
Click this image to view this on Amazon.

What is the Fellow Prismo and how does it work?

The Fellow Prismo is a pressure-actuated attachment for the AeroPress that lets you make espresso-style coffee, without the need to use the inverted method.

It’s a custom AeroPress cap with a “no drip seal” and “pressure actuated valve”, as well as a reusable metal filter.

You’ve probably noticed I’ve used this term “pressure-actuated valve” a couple of times now and could very well be wondering “So, what is a “pressure-actuated valve”? I’ll break it down.

In the case of the Fellow Prismo, the valve is the small bit of rubber with a cross incision on it that sits in the center of the custom cap.

Pressure-actuated means that it’s pressure that puts the valve into action and pushes it open.

Before pressing your brew, the valve is in the closed position, which stops the flow of your brew into your cup.

Only once pressure is applied by pushing down the AeroPress plunger into the chamber does the valve immediately open and push the brew into your cup like a jet stream.

This is what allows you to produce a brew with the AeroPress similar to the inverted method, without using the inverted method.

This is different from the standard AeroPress cap, which can and does begin to drip into your cup once you pour hot water into the chamber (unless you’re brewing with the inverted method).

What comes with the Fellow Prismo for AeroPress?

Fellow Prismo cap

The custom cap has a pressure-actuated valve. It simply screws onto the bottom of the AeroPress chamber instead of the original cap, with the reusable metal filter placed in the cap.

The pressure actuated valve stays sealed until you press down, allowing you to hold your brew in the AeroPress chamber.

Combined with a “no drip seal”, you can brew a full immersion without inverting your AeroPress.
Close up of the underside of the Fellow Prismo cap, showing the pressure-actuated valve
Close up of the inside of the Fellow Prismo cap

Reusable metal filter

Compared to some of the metal filters that you can find for the AeroPress, this one is decent quality. Although, it does have a bit of flex, so you’d want to be gentle with it.

It has a silicon cover around the edge of the filter which is not removable. I have noticed that it can get a little bit difficult to clean around the edges of the cover.

Close up of the Fellow Prismo 150 micron etched fine metal filter.

Each hole in the filter is… how many microns?

How many microns?

For starters, what’s a micron, you ask? A micron, also known as a micrometer, is a unit of length that is one thousandth of a millimetre.

I wasn’t sure of the exact specs of the filter, as I’d read multiple variations.

This page says the filter is an “80 micron” etched metal filter. Whereas this page says the filter is “150 micron”. And this page says the filter is “70 micron”.

So which is it? Well, I decided to go straight to the source and contacted Fellow Industries to find out.

Here’s my email.

My email to Fellow Industries that states "Hi, I'm an AeroPress user and I recently purchased the Prismo. I'm very happy with my purchase, though I'm still getting the hang of it and experimenting a bit. I was wondering if you could clarify something for me. On the product page of your website, it states that the filter is "150 microns" - https://fellowproducts.com/products/prismo/ - whereas on one of your earlier blog posts, it states that the filter is "80 microns" - https://fellowproducts.com/blogs/brew-guides/prismo-superpowers-for-your-aeropress%C2%AE - and then on Amazon.com it states that the filter is "70 microns" - https://www.amazon.com/Fellow-Pressure-Actuated-Attachment-AeroPress-Espresso-Style/dp/B079YBT2LJ/. I realise that the filter has probably changed over time. Can you please confirm which filter you are currently distributing? Kind regards, Marty"

 

And here’s their super-prompt response, received in less than 24 hours!

An email reply from Fellow Industries that states "Thanks for reaching out, Marty! We need to update those pages as the Prismo filter is 150 microns now (this change was made a few years ago). Let me know if I can clarify anything or answer other questions you may have! Best, Nick"

So there you have it. Thanks to Nick from Fellow Industries, we now know that the current filter for the Fellow Prismo is 150 microns.

So that means that each little hole in the metal filter is 0.15 of a millimetre. That is tiny!

I was also really pleased with Nick’s prompt response. When a company takes the time to respond quickly to their customers’ queries, it tells me that they understand that their customers are important.

That’s an A+ right there.

See the price on Amazon

Fellow Prismo instructions

It’s very easy to begin using the Fellow Prismo. Standard instructions are:

  1. place the reusable metal filter inside the cap, with the Fellow text on the filter face-up,
  2. screw the cap onto the AeroPress chamber, making sure that the Fellow logo icon on the cap is aligned with the numbers on the AeroPress chamber,
  3. measure 20g of ultra-fine ground coffee and pour into the AeroPress chamber,
  4. place the AeroPress onto your coffee cup or glass,
  5. slowly pour 50ml of boiling water (100˚C/212˚F) into the AeroPress chamber,
  6. stir the coffee vigorously for 20 seconds,
  7. let the coffee sit for one minute,
  8. place the AeroPress plunger into the chamber and give an initial quick, hard press to compress the coffee grounds, then maintain constant pressure until the plunger reaches the bottom,
  9. remove the Prismo from the AeroPress and wash all parts,
  10. drink and enjoy your espresso-style coffee.

This is the standard Fellow Prismo instructions and should produce a crema. If you’re interested, you can also use the Prismo to make cold brew.

Cleaning the Fellow Prismo

It’s recommended to clean the Fellow Prismo after every use to avoid it getting clogged up by coffee oils and negatively impacting your brew.

Don’t use anything abrasive or rough though, only a soft sponge. It’s also safe to put it in the top rack of your dishwasher.

Another option is to simply clean it with warm soapy water. To clean it this way, all you need to do is:

  1. take everything apart and rinse it after use,
  2. attach the Prismo with filter back onto the AeroPress chamber,
  3. add some warm soapy water into the AeroPress chamber,
  4. press and pull the soapy water through the Prismo, and
  5. rinse any soapy residue off the parts.

If you wanted to, you could fill the AeroPress chamber with plain warm water and press it through the Prismo once more.

This also would help to remove any soapy residue from all the parts.

Can you use the Fellow Prismo with a paper filter?

Sure. You can use a paper filter with the Prismo, but I don’t know why you’d really want to. After all, it’s designed to be used with a metal filter.

The people at Fellow Industries surely spent months doing research and trying different options for brewing with the Prismo.

Their decision was to design, create and package their own fine metal filter. I highly doubt they decided to pack the Prismo with their own metal filter just on a whim.

However, there is one method of using both a paper filter and the metal filter that I have tried.

It involves tamping the coffee inside the AeroPress and then packing a paper filter on top of the tamped coffee grounds.

In fact, in my somewhat short experience with using the Fellow Prismo, this has been the only method that I’ve been able to use to get anything close to a crema.

I explain this method in more detail here.

See the price on Amazon

Conclusion

Overall I’ve been very happy with the Fellow Prismo. It makes a great brew and I definitely like the fact that I don’t need to use the inverted method to brew a full immersion coffee.

One thing I feel I need to comment on though is the price, as it’s pretty much the same price as the AeroPress itself.

It’s not that expensive, but it did make me wonder if I really needed it.

It’s delivered on everything so far, except I still struggle to get a crema by following the standard instructions. It’s fairly early days for me though, so plenty of time to refine my skills.

It’s a quality product that I have no problem recommending. Click here to view it on Amazon now.

Have you purchased the Fellow Prismo or perhaps have a question about it?

Perhaps you’ve had experience with a different AeroPress attachment? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

Best coffee grinder for camping

There’s nothing more I enjoy doing in the warmer months than loading the car with all the necessary camping gear and driving for a few hours with the kids to one of our favourite camping destinations.

It’s great to just get away from everything and spend some quality time with the family and friends as well.

No doubt you’ll be bringing some coffee with you when you go camping.

The best option is always to grind your beans fresh, because you’ll appreciate the aroma from the fresh grind, as well as the taste, compared to pre-ground coffee (or instant coffee, but who drinks instant, right?).

There’s many possible options for coffee grinders, but what’s the best coffee grinder for camping? Let’s take a look.

A hand coffee grinder for camping with some coffee beans

Best cheap coffee grinder for camping

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

World Barista Champion (2007) James Hoffman knows a thing or two about coffee and reviewed a handful of hand coffee grinders.

You can watch the full video here or below.

It’s definitely worth watching the video to get a better understanding of why each grinder received the score that it did.

Here’s the scores that he gave each grinder for price, build, portability, usability and grind quality.

At the time of writing this, the Henry Charles coffee grinder is unavailable for purchase from Amazon, so I haven’t included it on this list.

It’s worth mentioning that although the Porlex Mini got the highest score, it also has the smallest capacity.

Not a deal breaker, but worth mentioning, as you may be looking for a larger capacity coffee grinder.

The best premium coffee grinder for camping

If you enjoyed James’ video above, but would like to get a coffee grinder that’s better quality and don’t mind spending a bit extra for it, he reviewed a few more premium hand coffee grinders.

He even carried over the winning Porlex Mini from the last video to see how it compares to the more premium models.

The coffee grinders reviewed in this video are:

In the end, James’ pick was the Kinu M47, but he stresses several times that it’s very expensive.

What makes a coffee grinder suitable for camping?

Woman sitting at campsite with a cup of coffee

There’s various factors to consider when trying to find a suitable coffee grinder for camping, such as:

  • size,
  • easy to take apart and store,
  • durability,
  • electric or manual,
  • capacity,
  • brewing method and
  • consistency of grind.

We’ll quickly look at each of these points and why you should consider each of them before making a purchase.

Size

You’ll want something that is small and compact. When you’re camping, space is a big issue and any space that you can save is worth saving.

Choosing a coffee grinder that is compact will save room in your car for other belongings. There’s a variety of small coffee grinders available, but they may not all fit the category of best coffee grinder for camping.

Easy to take apart and store

It’s important to make sure that you can easily take apart your coffee grinder and store it in a way that will see that it doesn’t get damaged.

For instance, most hand coffee grinders will allow you to remove the handle, so it can be stored quite easily.

Durability

Considering you’ll be packing the coffee grinder into your car with a lot of your other gear and it may get pretty full, durability should also be looked at.

Avoid choosing a coffee grinder that has any parts that can easily be broken or seem fragile.

Electric or manual

Unless you go camping with a powered caravan or you have some solar panels to use for an electric coffee grinder, you’ll want a manual coffee grinder.

You might hear these referred to as “manual coffee grinders”, “hand coffee grinders”, or even “hand crank coffee grinders” – they’re all the same thing.

Hand coffee grinders are also likely to be more compact and easier to take apart than electric coffee grinders.

Capacity

This one’s more up to you. Coffee grinders come with various grinding capacities, so you’ll need to think about your specific needs.

Do you want to be making a large grind for a few people, or is it going to be just for yourself?

Again, thinking about the size of the coffee grinder, in my opinion, the more compact the better.

Grind size

Are you going to be using the coffee grinder for various brewing methods or just one?

If it’s for various methods, you’ll want a coffee grinder that can be easily adjusted for different grinds to suit the different brewing methods.

When I go camping, I bring my AeroPress coffee maker. Read my review to find out more about the AeroPress.

Consistency of grind

While this may not be directly applicable to camping, you should always consider choosing a coffee grinder that gives a consistent grind.

Overall, it will produce a better brew and a more enjoyable cup of coffee for you.

Conclusion

The best coffee grinder for you may not be the best coffee grinder for someone else. Everybody is going to have different needs when choosing the right coffee grinder.

Hopefully I’ve been able to show you enough options to help you make an informed decision.

Have you tried any of these coffee grinders yourself or have I left out a coffee grinder for camping that you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II em3820 review

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

While I don’t own the Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II em3820 myself, my brother has one, which I’ve used several times, and he enjoys it for its simple functionality.

In fact, he and his wife wore their first one out, so he’s on to his second machine. They bought the exact same machine again, which is enough to tell you they are happy with it.

The Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II does what it says it does, and doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. Some of the features include:

  • Thermoblock fast heating system for quick heat up,
  • 15 bar Italian pump,
  • Italian crema system,
  • removable 1.7 litre water tank,
  • warming plate for pre-heating cups,
  • 12 month replacement warranty.

What are the specifications?

sunbeam_cafe_espresso_ii_em3820

Included accessoriesMeasuring spoon/tamper
Portafilter
one cup & two cup portafilter baskets
500ml stainless steel jug
Dimensions31.2 x 21.5 x 26.0 cm
Weight6.16 kg
ColourSilver
Construction materialsPlastic & metal
Power1300 Watts
Capacity1.7 L
Pump pressure15 bar Italian pump
Warranty12 month replacement

 

If you want to check out the product manual, you can find that here.

What are the features?

First up, this is a semi-automatic espresso machine. No super-automatic here (not that you’d be expecting that with the relatively low price tag), but there’s still plenty of features that could make this simple machine what you’re looking for.

Let’s take a look.

Accessories:

Included with the machine are a few accessories:

  • A portafilter and two different sized portafilter baskets for brewing either one cup or two cups of coffee
  • A measuring spoon for your coffee grounds that doubles as a tamper
  • A 500ml stainless steel jug for steaming or frothing your milk

Warming plate:

This warms to a moderate temperature once the machine has been turned on and is located on the very top of the espresso machine.

Simply leave your coffee cup or glass resting upside down on the plate to warm it up, so that it retains the espresso aroma and rich taste of your brew.

Removable drip tray & grill:

This can be found directly underneath where your cup sits when brewing coffee. Drip trays in this area are common and helpful, for unexpected spills or catching the drips once you’ve moved your cup away after a fresh brew.

Being fully removable helps for easy cleaning, too.

Removable water tank:

This is where you need to add clean water for brewing coffee and steaming/frothing milk.

It’s located at the very back of the machine and while this water tank can be removed to refill with water, I shy away from removing the one on my coffee machine at home unless I really have to, or perhaps to give it a thorough clean.

The reason for this is to not wear out the mechanism that allows water to flow into the machine. Simply pour water into the tank while it’s connected to the machine, instead.

Just a thought.

Steam wand with silicone cover:

The steam wand, used to steam/froth milk, is located on the right-hand-side of the machine. The silicone cover allows you to handle the steam wand without getting burnt.

There’s a cleaning pin included that you can use to clean the steam wand. This can be found by opening the water tank and is stored on the inside of the water tank lid.

15 bar Italian pump:

While 9 bars is considered the ideal pressure for brewing espresso coffee, this machine has a pressure relief system to limit it to a maximum of 15 bars, which helps to protect from over-pressure.

Unfortunately, there are no gauges on this machine to show what the pressure being produced is, unlike some of the more expensive and commercial models.

Thermablock fast heating system:

The Thermablock fast heating system ensures that the water is heated to 92ºC, to avoid burning the coffee grounds. This is important, as espresso coffee is made with hot water, but not boiling water.

As a result, the correct amount of oils are extracted from the grounds and it reduces the chances of producing a bitter coffee experience.

Simple design and interface:

There’s no denying that the Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II em3820 has been designed with simplicity in mind. The controls are minimal, which greatly reduces the chances of any errors when producing an espresso.

It’s pretty difficult to get it wrong, when your only options for both brewing coffee and steaming milk are “on” or “off”.

To brew a coffee, simply turn the dial clockwise to the right. To steam/froth milk, simply turn the dial anti-clockwise to the left. Easy, right?

However, it also means that this machine is most likely not suited to experienced people that prefer to have more control over their brew.

Cleaning and maintenance

If you’ve used the milk steamer, you should wipe down the steam wand with a damp cloth and then run the steam for a burst or two, to clean out any milk that may have entered the steam wand.

You can also use the cleaning pin that I mentioned above, but you probably won’t need to do this after every use.

The nozzle of the steam wand can be removed by twisting it, for extra cleaning (just make sure it’s not too hot to touch), if you want to run some water through it or clean it with the cleaning pin.

The cleaning pin can also be used to clean the underside of the portafilter basket, ensuring there are no blockages in any of the holes.

To clean the group head, wipe with a clean, damp cloth to remove any coffee grounds left there from the previous brew and then run the machine for a couple of seconds.

Who should purchase the Sunbeam Cafe Espresso II?

This machine is best suited to someone who doesn’t want to spend too much, doesn’t care about all the bells and whistles, but wants a machine that is simple to use and that can still make a decent espresso.

The reviews over on Amazon are very positive, with most people finding it great value for the price and decent quality. Check out the reviews on Amazon now.

I hope my review was helpful. If you’ve purchased this machine, leave a comment and tell me about your experiences with it.

If you’re still undecided if this is the coffee machine for you, check out my other coffee maker reviews.

Stay caffeinated!

Breville bcg820bssxl Smart Grinder Pro review

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

If you’re looking for an electric coffee grinder that can grind for espresso, percolator, drip filter or french press, you should be considering the Breville bcg820bssxl Smart Grinder Pro.

With the ability to produce an even grind for all brewing methods, it should definitely be on your shortlist.

Firstly, it’s got plenty of features, including:

  • hardened stainless steel conical burrs for an even grind,
  • 60 different precision grind settings all the way from espresso to plunger,
  • automatic or manual grinding,
  • dosing IQ technology,
  • an LCD backlit display and
  • a 2 year replacement warranty.

Watch this video for a brief overview.

What are the specifications?

Included accessoriesPortafilter cradle – small – 50-54mm
Portafilter cradle – large – 58mm
Grinds container with lid and sealing cap
Conical burr cleaning brush
Capacity18 ounces
Construction materialsStainless steel housing
Stainless steel conical burrs
Dimensions8.50 X 6.00 X 15.50 inches
Weight6.40 lbs
Grinding mechanismStainless steel conical burr grinder efficiently designed to minimise grinding heat and protect the essential oils in the coffee bean
Power165 Watts
Settings60 precise grind settings from the finest espresso to the coarsest french press grind
Voltage110 – 120 volts
Warranty1 Year Limited Product Warranty

 

If you want to go into more detail, you can view the user manual and user guide.

What are the features?

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro (bcg820bss)
Click this image to see it on Amazon.

Accessories:

It comes with a handful of accessories to assist you with grinding and storing your coffee, including:

  • two different sized portafilter cradles, for grinding directly into your espresso machine portafilter
  • a grinds container with a lid and sealing cap
  • a cleaning brush for cleaning the conical burrs.

The bean hopper:

Starting from the top of the machine, you have the 18oz removable bean hopper with an air-tight seal lid.

The bean hopper comes with a locking mechanism that allows you to safely remove and transfer your beans from the hopper to a storage container.

This is a great feature, as leaving beans in the bean hopper for an extended period of time is not recommended for achieving the maximum flavour from your beans, for instance.

It also has a safety mechanism that stops the grinder from operating if it’s not locked into the correct position and displays the message “PLEASE LOCK HOPPER” on the LCD screen.

The LCD display and controls:

The backlit LCD screen displays various settings, including the coarseness of the grind, the grind time, the amount of shots or cups to be produced and the grind size.

All of these settings can be configured by using the following controls:

  • Grind Amount/Program button: This is to adjust the amount of time for the grind and with Dosing IQ Technology, the time can be adjusted in increments of 0.2 of a second to achieve the perfect grind every time.
    Press and hold the button to save the number of shots/cups and the grind time currently displayed on the LCD
  • Shots/Cups button: This button is to adjust the number of shots or cups to be dispensed. See the table below for the maximum number of shots/cups per method.
  • Start/Pause/Cancel button: This button is to start, pause or cancel the grinding process. You can also press & hold the button for a manual grind.
  • Grind Size dial: Located on the side of the machine, this dial adjusts the size of the grind between coarse and fine.

 

Brew methodEspressoPercolatorDrip filterPlunger
Grind settingFineMediumMedium coarseCoarse
Grind size1-3031-4546-5455-60
Amount1 up to 8 shots1 up to 12 cups1 up to 12 cups1 up to 12 cups

 

Adjustable conical burrs:

Another great feature, is the ability to adjust the upper burr to extend the grind range. The included operating manual explains how to do this in detail, however it is a relatively simple process that can be done without the use of any tools.

Some previous Breville coffee grinders required the use of a shim kit to get a finer grind, which while it was not too difficult to install, this model removes that need all together, certainly making it a better choice.

Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning your Breville bcg820bssxl Smart Grinder Pro regularly will help to produce consistent grinds and should increase the lifespan of the machine.

Some people suggest putting dry rice through the grinder to clean it, but Breville recommend a product (similar to the “Grindz” used in the video below) of their own, Breville Eco Coffee Residue Cleaner.

It’s also recommended to wash the parts and accessories in warm soapy water (not the dishwasher), without the use of anything abrasive, such as scourers or steel wool.

As a result, this will ensure the parts and accessories remain in the best possible condition.

This is a great video that shows you various steps you can take to ensure your grinder is kept clean and in tip-top shape.

Should I buy a conical burr coffee grinder?

There are several reasons why you should consider purchasing a conical burr coffee grinder, such as the Breville bcg820bss. Let’s list these now:

  • Noise – Firstly, they tend to be low-noise, as they operate at a low RPM. This is surely going to be a great reason, as if you’re considering a coffee grinder for your home, a noisy coffee grinder is probably the last thing you want.
  • Heat – Secondly, operating at a low RPM, they also produce less heat. This helps to produce a better brew, as the low heat is less disruptive to the natural oils in the coffee beans.
  • Price – Thirdly, they’re generally cheaper than other burr grinders.

Who should purchase this coffee grinder?

In conclusion, the Breville bcg820bss Smart Grinder Pro is best suited to someone who wants a coffee grinder that is quick and easy to use, has the ability to produce a variety of grinds (without a lot of noise) and doesn’t mind paying a little bit extra than a basic electric blade coffee grinder.

Check out the price and the reviews from other people who have bought it.

Have you purchased this coffee grinder or perhaps have a different grinder to recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!