Tone unveils its next-generation brewing technology


Tone discusses its latest brewing and extraction technology, energy and coffee saving possibilities, and the simplicity of its next-generation equipment.

Swiss coffee brewing equipment manufacturer Tone is passionate about embracing innovation while honouring the traditional shape of its brewing device. Jörg Krahl, Tone Managing Director, says this philosophy was at the forefront when developing several new products for the global market.

“Tone was established to revolutionise temperature and flow control precision and improve energy saving in coffee brewing equipment. The new Tone Touch 04 is a direct representation of this business ethos,” says Krahl.

“By exploring engineering solutions beyond those typically employed within the coffee industry, Tone has created an energy-efficient, boilerless brewer that grants unparalleled precision in crafting the perfect cup of coffee or tea.”

Tone debuted the Touch 04 boilerless brewer at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Portland, the United States, from 21 to 23 April. The Touch 03 was originally designed for pour over brewing and small quantities of coffee of up to 1.5 litres, whereas the Touch 04 offers brewing capabilities from one up to four litres.

Available from December 2023, the Touch 04 can brew coffee within seconds of pressing a button with a powerful heating element devoted to heating water on demand with 99 per cent temperature stability. By not continuously heating an idle boiler throughout the day, the Touch 04 consumes a fraction of the energy of some traditional tank-oriented brewers.

“The Tone Touch 04 transcends conventional brewing machines by enabling baristas to tap into the full potential of their coffee and tea beverages while using 10 times less energy than a traditional brewer. The Touch 4 uses ‘energy on demand’ and has four LEDs that consume next to no energy,” Krahl says.

“The Touch 04 simplifies a lot of steps in the brewing workflow, which allows users to allocate time elsewhere in the business. This innovative product also empowers baristas to effortlessly fine-tune recipes and cater to the diverse preferences of customers.”

Baristas can program different brewing recipes using the Tone Beverage Manager software and adjust flow rates, pulse patterns and temperatures at all stages of brewing. Tone’s logarithmic software can also scale recipes up or down, automatically depending on volume.

“This intelligent brewing system is a key part of the programmability offered in the Tone Beverage Manager software,” says Krahl.

The new machine includes a larger showerhead that evenly saturates coffee grounds using optimal water flow for maximum flavour, and two internal heating elements compared to the single heater inside the Touch 03.

“Our research and development team reached out to [complete bathroom solutions brand] Grohe and learned how they designed showerheads for bathrooms. They took that knowledge and adapted it to our new boilerless brewing and extraction technology,” says Krahl.

“It took us about 25 prototypes to create the perfect showerhead and get the highest extraction possible.”

The Touch 04 has four recipe buttons that can each be programmed to execute two functions. For example, one can program four coffee recipes, and four water profiles can dispense set quantities when the brew basket is removed. By optimising water reach and penetration of the coffee bed, the Tone Touch 04 can achieve high extraction and replicate recipes.

Users can program up to four water profiles using the bypass functionality. With an integrated spout outside of the showerhead, coffee shops can brew coffee concentrates and dilute to have more liquid or by using less coffee or brew large amounts of tea. A patented bypass pathway is built into the drawer that holds one of the Touch 04’s two filter basket inserts for different batch sizes.

“The bypass allows hot water to flow directly into the urn without passing through the coffee,” says Krahl.

The Touch 04 has a deep, narrow brew basket, enabling baristas to experiment with various levels of brew bed agitation from the initial bloom to the final pour.

“The brew basket carrier is dishwasher safe and can be easily removed. Condensation backflow is directed into the brew basket and the basket detection and locking system ensure safety and security during the brewing process,” Krahl says.

“We have received nothing but positive feedback about the Tone Touch 04. We already have pre-orders from three huge global coffee chains.”

Tone believes the future of the global coffee industry is boilerless equipment due to its energy-saving abilities. Considered “the Tesla of the coffee community” according to Krahl, Tone added to its range and revealed the Tone Touch Espresso, a boilerless commercial two-group espresso machine, at Host Milano in October in Italy.

“Not only can this machine produce espresso shots without a boiler, but it can also create a powerful steam for frothing milk,” Krahl says.

Krahl says the Touch Espresso or ‘Touch E’ as it is internally referred to, represents the heritage of Tone, resembling as “a massive mountain with green trees on it”.

“The materials we’re using are simplistic and sustainable, mirroring the current market demands. It will have a unibody casing just like the Touch 03 and 04,” he says.

The Touch Espresso also utilises a modular maintenance concept like its predecessors to simplify service and upkeep.

“All electronical and mechanical parts are built in a modular way. If a service is needed, everything can be accessed and exchanged in an easy and simple way.,” Krahl says.

“It’s also an ideal height so the barista can still converse with the customer without the machine getting in the way. This was an important element for us to incorporate into the machine, as a friendly face always brings repeat customer service.”

The new boilerless espresso machine is also capable of producing a cold espresso shot with a crema on top and fully developed flavours like a hot espresso shot.

“It tastes amazing, and you can use this function in so many different variations. We expect this to be very popular among consumers as there is nothing else like it on the market,” Krahl says.

The Touch Espresso will be available worldwide in 2024.

“The direction of Tone is focusing on boilerless,” says Krahl. “The future is boilerless — that’s the next level.”

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This article was first published in the November/December 2023 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

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